Rare Rides: The Very Luxurious 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the very luxurious 1958 studebaker golden hawk

Rare Rides has featured a couple of Studebaker offerings in the past, both of which were family-hauling wagons. Today’s Studebaker is a more luxurious and less capacious hardtop coupe. Let’s have a look at a rare 1958 Golden Hawk.

The late Fifties were an unfortunate time at the newly-formed Studebaker-Packard company. The combined operation was the result of Packard’s purchase of Studebaker in 1954. Packard was a smaller company than Studebaker, but had a stronger balance sheet and leadership group. Unfortunately, Studebaker hadn’t quite been honest about its financial position, and it was all downhill from there. But the company still made cars while it floundered, and the Hawk offerings were important in the coupe-loving Fifties.

Based on Studebaker’s Champion Starliner coupe introduced for 1953, designer Raymond Loewy drew up a family of Hawk coupes for the 1956 model year. The entry-level Flight Hawk was accompanied by the Power Hawk, Sky Hawk, and premium Golden Hawk at Studebaker dealerships. Though all four models were introduced in ’56, only the Golden Hawk made it through to a second and third model year.

Upright styling on the new Hawk incorporated a bulging hood and fins at the rear, all the rage in 1956. The hood had a function: It contained a larger engine than the Champion, a 5.8-liter (352 cubic inch) Packard V8 producing 275 horsepower. A muscle car of the time, the Golden Hawk had an excellent power-to-weight ratio that was second only to the much more expensive Chrysler 300B. The old Packard mill was a bit heavy, so Studebaker put an even heavier engine in for 1957. New that year was a 4.7-liter (289 cubic inch) supercharged Studebaker V8. It had the same 275 horsepower as the previous engine, but increased top speed.

The Flight, Power, and Sky Hawks were replaced by a single Silver Hawk in 1957 that still played second fiddle to the Golden Hawk. An additional Hawk offering for 1958 was over at Packard dealerships, where it was sportiest of the four Packardbakers offered that year. 1958 was the last time any new Packards were offered.

The Final Golden Hawks were produced in 1958, riding lower on new 14-inch wheels. There were also new exterior emblems and two-tone paint schemes. For its final year, suspension and drivetrain changes meant the rear seat held three passengers instead of two. Just 878 Golden Hawks rolled off the line in 1958. Silver Hawks were offered in 1959, before a restyling and renaming to Hawk for 1960 and 1961. Further styling changes transformed the Hawk once more, and it became Gran Turismo Hawk for 1962 through 1964. By that point, Studebaker was winding down its model line before full closure in 1967.

Today’s lovely gold and white Rare Ride comes up at the Sotheby’s auction on August 29th, and is estimated to go for between $30,000 and $40,000.

[Images: Sotheby’s]

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  • Pwrwrench Pwrwrench on Aug 27, 2019

    My father had a Hawk of some sort for a short while in the late 1950s. It was all white. When it was gone I remember asking why. He said there was something mechanical wrong with it. Since I was about six years old I had little understanding of such things. I don't recall what came directly after the Hawk, but later he had a couple of Lark convertibles. Then a TR4A, a Sunbeam Tiger 260, and an Alfa Duetto Spider. Of course I wish someone had given me a warehouse to store them all. Always wonder which one would sell for more today. BTW for the demographic question, he was a college professor when he had the Hawk.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 27, 2019

    True the Golden Hawk predated the T-Bird and the Gran Prix but that is the closest comparison I could think of to what the Hawk represented. The 4 seat T-Bird first appeared in MY 1958 and the Grand Prix 1962. But the Avanti introduced in 1962 was even more unique predating most of the personal luxury cars and performance cars if you count Mustang, Camaro, Grand Prix, Chevelle SS, Monte Carlo, Olds 442, GTO, Cougar and most Mopars. The Corvette predated both the Golden Hawk and the Avanti but the Corvette would be considered more sports car than luxury.

    • SPPPP SPPPP on Aug 27, 2019

      Good comparisons. This Golden Hawk looks quite pleasant, if a little baroque.

  • Wjtinfwb How does the ICE mid-engine C8 platform work for... anything else? A sedan? SUV? With a mid engine configuration? A mid-engine SUV will have to be Suburban sized to offer the utility of a CRV. GM should dust off the Omega platform designed for the Cadillac CT6 for an SUV/Sedan offering with exceptional handling, Rear or AWD capability and acceptable space utilization. They also need to focus on interior fit & finish, trim choices and high quality final engineering and assembly. What GM doesn't need is another half-baked product with a storied and prestigious badge on the decklid and a premium price on the Monroney. No more Cimarron's, Allante's or X-cars needed to tarnish the reputation of Corvette.
  • InCogKneeToe BUILD It and they will come.By Build It, I mean a Vehicle that the Customer Wants and it works for them. It could be called Chevette for all that that matters. The Mach E's success isn't because it totes the Mustang on it.Just build what people want, the next Caravan/Taurus/Beetle/Maverick (truck).
  • YellowDuck Wait...how do you make a mid-engine crossover? Or even a 4-door coupe? Me not get.
  • 28-Cars-Later Thanks Corey. The head stud job on NOrthSTAR-T was $3K *years ago* as it involves an engine pull so rear wheel arch rust in and of itself isn't a show stopper. I'll be sure to check out the trunk as it may start to add up on deferred maintenance. Supposedly this was garaged so the underneath the rockers etc. should be decent but if those are shot its not gonna work.
  • Mark 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, G4NG engine with connecting rod bearing issues. Engine needs to be replaced, but Hyundai is denying warranty claim. I have all maintenance records from mile zero. It has been in Hyundai Service department 5 time in 4 months. They added the knock sensor and software update to let you know the engine is about to blow up. They kicked the can down the road doing patch work until the car was past the 120k extended extended warranty. I have that documentation too. So how can I join the class action law suit or find a Lawyer that handles these types of issues?