Studebaker Silver Hawk
1957 to 1961
The Studebaker Silver Hawk was a car manufactured by the Studebaker Corporation in South Bend, Indiana, between 1957 and 1959. In principle, the same vehicle was built in 1960 and 1961 under the name Studebaker Hawk , because there was no other Hawk model in this time on offer.
The Silver Hawk replaced the two weaker models of the 1956 four-limbed Hawk range, the Champion's six-cylinder Flight Hawkand the Power Hawk with the Commander's 4.2-liter V8 engine . Both models were coupes with B-pillars for the US market, and so was the Silver Hawk designed. It was available in three engine versions: the President 's 4.7 liter V8 engine , a 210 bhp (154 kW) dual carburettor version and a 225 bhp (four times carbureted) 225 bhp version, or the Champion' s 3 - liter 101 - cylinder inline engine of 101 bhp (75 kW).
The appearance of the Silver Hawk was the coupe version with B-pillars of the Golden Hawk, the higher-altitude Hawk models of 1957 and 1958. It had slightly less chrome trim and a slightly simpler two-tone paint job - just one color above the waistline and the other below, but unlike the picture below, the lower tail included the tail fins. Many specimens were ordered by the dealers in pure white only on the tail fins, and sometimes the bottom edge of the roof or the right and left "side grills" in a contrasting color from the Studebaker range was painted. This contrasting color usually matched the interior; some were blue, gold, red, or black, and some owners thought that looked better than the factory two-color finish.
In the midst of the financial crisis of Studebaker after the disastrous sales of the 1958 recession, the Golden Hawk ran out. Therefore, the 1959 Silver Hawk was the only Hawk model still made; they only kept it in the program because the dealers wanted to have at least a glamorous flagship as an attraction for the customers. These customers, however, rather bought Studebaker's last hope, the "compact car" Lark, In fact, the Silver Hawk was the only available Studebaker model except the Lark. In 1959, the Silver Hawk was a sort of combination of the features of the previous year's Golden Hawk and Silver Hawk: The inscription "Silver Hawk" wandered from the trunk lid to the tail fins and now had the new Hawk emblem between the two words. The parking lights were moved from the front fenders to the side grills, there were chrome trim on the windows, as in the 1953 and 1954 Golden Hawk, and the interior had inherited something from both models as well. The two-color paints were only available for the export models.
Thanks to Lark, the 1959 was the first after six lean years for Studebaker to earn profits again, and so the Silver Hawk was allowed to live on with its 7,788 sales. The new models for 1960 were simply called "Hawk", since there was no other Hawk, and they were taken over relatively unchanged from 1959. The only difference was the acquisition of the previously used in the Golden Hawk 4.7-liter V8 engine, but without the compressor. This was the only engine available for the US models in 1960 and 1961, the last year of the fin model. Some six-cylinder and 4.2-liter V8 engines were installed in export models. To a limited extent, in 1961, the two-tone paint was restored: beige in a strip at the base of the tail fins.In 1962, the model was replaced by the new Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk .
At the start of the 1960 model year, US automakers were threatened with a steel strike, and the lack of steel hit Studebaker - much smaller than AMC or the Big Three - particularly hard.
Studebaker had a proven salable model in the Lark of 1959, which was further developed in 1960 with small changes. Given the lack of steel, the company decided to focus on producing as many Lark as possible so that dealers could be adequately supplied with new cars. This was the production of the Silver Hawk in November and December 1959 in arrears.
To the detriment of Studebaker - but to the benefit of Hawk customers - broke in the last months of 1959, the sales of Lark away. From early February 1960, the Hawk models were finally made on the tapes in South Bend.
One does not know what would have happened if the Lark's sales had remained at the level of the 1959 model year, but there are speculations that the company would not have built a Hawk at all. The long period between the announcement of the new model and the start of Hawk production only shows how close the society was to not even producing a model that they had at least half-heartedly advertised in leaflets.
Fortunately, the Hawk lived on, and later that year, a production model in its class won the Mobil Economy Run at 12.5 liters / 100 km.