Monday, October 16, 2017

Studebaker Hawk: First Series

Aside from its low-volume, fiberglass-bodied Avanti built in 1962-63, Studebaker could not afford to develop completely new designs.  Instead, it had to rely on its 1953 sedan and coupe designs for the rest of its existence as an automobile manufacturer.  This post deals with the first version of the Hawk line, introduced for the 1956 model year as a successor to its classical Starliner coupe.

Wikipedia deals with the top-of-the-line Golden Hawk model here.  And I posted about Studebaker's hellish 1955 facelift of the Starliner coupe here.  That, in turn, led to the 1956 facelift that became the Hawk.

Hawks were given a small facelift for 1957 and until the 1962 model year changes were trivial.   What I'm calling the Second Series Hawk appeared as a major facelift for 1962.  I will deal with that in a later post.


This is a 1955 Studebaker Speedster, a Starliner with a restyled grille and hood, plus lesser trim changes.  Photo from Branson Auction.

And here is a 1956 Golden Hawk.  Again, there is a new hood and grille.  The vertical grille was a bold step at the time, because styling fashion called for wide grilles.  This photo and the one below are from Mecum Auctions.

The Golden Hawk was given tail fins -- this for the same model year that Chrysler Corporation was introducing them as facelift items on its 1955 redesign.  The Hawk trunk styling was also new.

This is a 1956 Power Hawk, a coupe with a B-pillar and a V-8 motor.

A '56 Sky Hawk pillarless coupe with a six cylinder motor.  Rounding out the line was the Flight Hawk, a six with a B-pillar.

Tail fins became better integrated for 1957.  The side sculpting from 1953 has been eliminated.  I consider this the most attractive First Series Hawk.

Auctions America photo of a 1958 Golden Hawk.  Grids have been added to the side grille openings and a different medallion is on the main grille.

This 1958 Golden Hawk has a horizontal bar in each of the side grilles.  Mecum photo.

Golden Hawks were gone by 1959.  What remained was the Silver Hawk with its fixed B-pillar.  Parking lights have moved from atop the fenders to the side grilles.  Mecum photo.

This "for sale" photo shows a 1960 Silver Hawk.  The grille medallion has been moved and a few chrome bits added to the fore end of the tail fin ensemble.

Another "for sale" photo, this for a 1961 Silver Hawk.  The medallion has moved again, but that's the only change I notice.  Big things were coming for 1962, however.

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