AJ’s Car of the Day: 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk

Car: Studebaker Silver Hawk

Year: 1958

What makes it special: The Silver Hawk was produced between 1957 and 1959 by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. The Silver Hawk was the replacement for the two lower models in the four-model Hawk range in 1956, the Flight Hawk which carried the Champion 185  cu in six-cylinder 101 hp powerplant and the Power Hawk with the Commander‘s 259 cu in V8. 

What made it famous: In appearance, the Silver Hawk was somewhat plainer in appearance than the Golden Hawk, the senior of the two Hawk models in 1957–1958. There was a little bit less chrome, no supercharger or bulge in the hood, and a simpler two-tone paint scheme was adopted, one color below the chrome belt line and another above, but unlike the Golden Hawk, the lower color included the fin. Some dealers painted the fin only, and sometimes the deck lid recess and or the left and right “side grills” were painted in a contrasting Studebaker color. These usually matched the interior, some were Blue, Gold, Red or Black and were actually better looking according to many owners than the factory two-tone paint scheme. The Silver Hawk, which came in two differently-engined models with either the aforementioned Champion six or the 289 cu. in. President V8 engine delivering 210hp from the 2-barrel, 225hp from the 4-barrel with dual exhaust. The Commander V8 was not offered in U.S. models.

Why I would want one: Admittedly, I was not a fan of these until recent years, now I see them as very stylish, sleeper performers.

Fun fact: In the midst of a financial crisis at Studebaker after a disastrous recession-year performance in 1958, the Golden Hawk was dropped; the Silver Hawk, which had sold somewhat better was retained in the lineup.

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