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The Studebaker Golden Hawk is a two-door pillarless hardtop coupe type car produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana between 1956 and 1958.
The last Studebaker 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. 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 53.6 inches.
The Golden Hawk was continued for the 1957 and 1958 model years, but with some changes. Packard's Utica, Michigan engine plant was leased to Curtiss-Wright during 1956 (and eventually sold to them), marking the end of genuine Packard production. Packard-badged cars were produced for two more years, but they were essentially rebadged Studebakers. The Packard V8, introduced only two years earlier, was therefore no longer available. It was replaced with the Studebaker 289 in³ (4.7 L) V8 with the addition of a McCulloch supercharger, giving the same 275 hp (205 kW) output as the Packard engine. This improved the car's top speed, making these the best-performing Hawks until the Gran Turismo Hawk became available with the Avanti's R2 supercharged engine for the 1963 model year.
The Golden Hawks were 203.9 inches (5,180 mm) long. A padded dash was standard.
Styling also changed somewhat. A fiberglass overlay on the hood was added, which covered a hole in the hood that was needed to clear the supercharger, which was mounted high on the front of the engine. The tailfins, now made of metal, were concave and swept out from the sides of the car. The fins were outlined in chrome trim and normally were painted a contrasting color, although some solid-color Golden Hawks were built.
Halfway through the 1957 model year, a luxury 400 model was introduced, featuring a leather interior, a fully upholstered trunk, and special trim. Only 41 of these special cars were produced, and very few of the 41 exist today. One of them is housed at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend.
For 1958, the Golden Hawk switched to 14-inch wheels instead of 15-inch wheels, making the car ride a little lower. The 15-inch wheels, however, were available as an option. Other styling changes included a new, round Hawk medallion mounted in the lower center of the grille, and the available contrasting-color paint was now applied to both the roof and tailfins. One unique feature was a vacuum gauge on the instrument panel. Padded dash boards were standard.
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