Supercharged V8: 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk

For many years, the Studebaker Golden Hawk was a largely forgotten classic. However, it features many of the attributes that should mark it as a long-term future collectible. Consider the fact that this one was built in limited numbers, has a distinctive appearance that would not be mistaken for anything else, and that the engine bay houses a supercharged V8. It would seem that potential buyers could be onto a winner. This 1957 Golden Hawk presents well and has no immediate needs. The owner has decided to part with this beauty, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in San Francisco, California, and while spirited bidding has pushed the price to $12,077, this is still short of the reserve.

The first thing to note with this Golden Hawk is that it has undergone a color change at some point. It rolled off the production line wearing Midnight Black and Arctic White, but I must say that I like this new combination. It gives the vehicle a fresh and clean look, and I would be tempted to leave it untouched. The paint shines and features few flaws. There is no reason to consider a repaint unless the buyer is striving for complete originality. The panels are straight, with no dings or dents. The seller states that a previous owner replaced the front fenders and trunk lid with NOS items, and these remain in good condition. One of the weak points with the Golden Hawk was its ability to rust. It seems that this car hasn’t been immune, and the owner admits that the floors wear a few patches. However, these have been installed to a high standard and shouldn’t need any further work. The rest of the vehicle remains rust-free, meaning that the buyer can slip behind the wheel immediately. The previous owner removed some of the trim and chrome during the repaint, but this is all present and awaiting a buyer to refit it. The seller includes all of the required clips, so reinstalling the trim could be a way of keeping busy in a workshop for a few days. The remaining chrome is in good order, and there are no issues with the glass.

The interior is complete and presentable, and once again, it has no immediate needs. At some point, it has received a retrim, and the existing cloth shows no signs of rips or tears. The fabric is starting to show its age and develop some stains, so the buyer will probably choose to retrim it in the future. They shouldn’t need to touch the dash, pad, or headliner. All of these items are in good order and should be good for many years. There have been no aftermarket additions, with the pushbutton AM radio still occupying its rightful place. There are a couple of items that will require attention. The radio only produces a hum, so that will need investigating. The tachometer also doesn’t function, so that will require attention.

The Studebaker isn’t numbers-matching, but it features the supercharged 289ci V8 that should be producing 275hp. The original owner also chose to equip this classic with a 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive and a Twin Traction rear end. Thanks to a low overall weight of just 3,405lbs, the Golden Hawk could accelerate from 0-60mph in around 7.8 seconds. This car runs and drives well, but the buyer will have a few issues to address. It is fitted with a dual exhaust with Glasspacks, and while it is said to sound terrific, it will need new tailpipes. The master cylinder is leaking, but the seller includes a new one in the sale. He also says that the overdrive is inoperative and that he is having this checked. There is a chance that the seller might not repair it by the time that the sale is completed, but full credit to the owner for being candid about this car’s potential problems. Beyond those, he says that the engine sounds good. There are no odd noises or rattles, no smoke, and the oil pressure is healthy.

I initially said that this 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk has the potential to become a future classic, and the market seems to confirm that claim. Values languished for a long time, but they have begun to climb in recent years. They took a hit last year, but the indications are that the Golden Hawk is climbing out of this slump. Today, you will struggle to find a good example for under $22,000, while an immaculate car can easily achieve a sale price of twice that figure. I would expect the bidding on this car to top $20,000, and if it sells for less, somebody could be scoring themselves a bargain. As always, I would advise an in-person inspection. If it all checks out per the listing and photos, this could be an excellent classic for someone to park in their garage.

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Comments

  1. Gary

    What a great car!

    Like 6
  2. Jeff Zekas

    The problem with buying a Studebaker: you have to find another Studebaker lover, when it comes time to sell. My buddy restores old cars, and most of his cars are unique or unusual, so that’s how I’m aware of this phenomenon. Once all the old guys who liked a car back in high school die, then the car is just “some old car” that only museums want (and sometimes, not even that). I’ve seen this with my kids: the “old” cars that *they* like are Acuras and Hondas. Also, a classic car that is modified loses value, since it is not original. And this car doesn’t have the original motor, and possibly not the original transmission. So the current bids seem reasonable, since this is not a show car but a driver.

    Like 8
  3. Terrry

    You have to give Raymond Leowy credit for redesigning the “lowboy” Studebaker body style in ’53. It lasted all the way until the end (with minor cosmetic updates) and still looks good in all its iterations today.

    Like 10
  4. Andrea Crosa

    Well actually it was not Loewy who designed the car but Bob Bourke.

    Like 1

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