Studebaker Golden Hawk from 1958. 8 cylinders, 5.8 L, 279 HP, 219 km/h in Moscow
The Studebaker Golden Hawk is a two-door pillarless hardtop personal luxury car produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, between 1956 and 1958.
The last automobile until the Avanti to have styling influenced by industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s studio, the Golden Hawk took the basic shape of the 1953–55 Champion/Commander Starliner hardtop coupe but added a large, almost vertical eggcrate grille and raised hoodline in place of the earlier car’s swooping, pointed nose, and was introduced as the Studebaker Speedster. At the rear, a raised, squared-off trunklid replaced the earlier sloped lid, and vertical fiberglass tailfins were added to the rear quarters. The Golden Hawk was two inches shorter than the standard Hawk at 153.6 inches.
The raised hood and grille were added to allow space for a larger engine, Packard’s 352 in³ (5.8 L) V8, which delivered 275 bhp (205 kW). This comparatively large, powerful engine in such a light car gave the Golden Hawk an excellent power-to-weight ratio (and thus performance) for the time; of 1956 American production cars, the Golden Hawk was second only to Chrysler’s 300B by that measure — and the Chrysler, which cost considerably more, was essentially a road-legal NASCAR racing car. The Golden Hawk, like the Chryslers, is a precursor to the muscle cars of the 1960s.
The heavy engine gave the car a reputation for being nose-heavy; the supercharged Studebaker engine that replaced the Packard engine in 1957 was heavier. Road tests of the time, many of which were conducted by racing drivers, seldom mentioned any handling issues in spite of the heavy front end.
Speed Age magazine of July 1956 tested the Golden Hawk against the Chrysler 300B, Ford Thunderbird, and Chevrolet Corvette, finding that the Golden Hawk could out-perform the others comfortably in both 0-60 mph acceleration and quarter mile times.
The fastest 0-60 reported in magazine testing was 7.8 seconds, while top speeds were quoted as 125 mph (201 km/h) plus. The 1956 model powered by a Packard engine entered the famous Mille Miglia race in Italy.