Studebaker Silver Hawk
The Studebaker Silver Hawk was a model of automobile produced by the Studebaker Corporation between 1957 and 1959.
Brief history of design and construction
Based in South Blend, Indiana, Studebaker produced a distinctive range of cars that were designed by Raymond Loewy. Loewy would later gain international notoriety by designing both BP and Shell oil company logos, Lucky Strike cigarette packets and the iconic profile of Coca Cola bottles.
The Silver Hawk was introduced in 1957 and was initially a higher end replacement for the 1956 four-model Hawk range, which included the Commander, the Power Hawk and the Flight Hawk.
1959 saw the first profitable year in six years for Studebaker, mainly due to the rising sales of the Silver Hawk, which sold 7,778 units.
Changes to the 1959 model included new tailfins, chrome mouldings around the window and a more luxurious interior. In 1960, Studebaker dropped the Silver part of the name and production of the Hawk continued for another three years. The series was improved upon again in 1961, with the introduction of a second paint colour along the base of the fin and better-quality bucket seats.
The Hawk series was discontinued in 1962 and was replaced with the Studebaker Gran Turismo.
America in the 1950s produced some of the most extravagant automobiles ever designed. Huge fins, lashings of chrome and oversized bumpers were in vogue and were practised by all of the top American automobile manufacturers, including Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.
Because of their flamboyant and extravagant contours and relatively small production numbers, there is a strong community of Studebaker enthusiasts and the Silver Hawk is perhaps the most sought after model.
Unrestored Silver Hawks have been advertised for $1,500 on Americanlisted.com and Hemmings.com; however, collectors should proceed with caution as restoration can take hundreds of hours and cost thousands of dollars and the actual condition of these examples could be beyond repair.
Collectors or owners of Studebaker cars can find more information through the Studebaker Drivers Club.
Rarity and value
Compared to its American counterparts, Studebaker was a comparatively small company and therefore could not produce rare or unique versions of their models. Instead, most of the Studebakers that are featured at auctions have been customised independently by individual owners or restorers. However, in January 2012, a rare 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk sports coupé was estimated on Historics.co.uk to be between £12,000 and £18,000. This particular model is one of only 367 made in 1958 with a Sweepstake V8 engine.
A fully restored and customised 1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk, with rare rear air-conditioning, was sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Orange County Auction in 2010 for $24,750.
A 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk coupé fetched $10,530 when it was sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Classic Car Auction in 2002.
A further Barrett-Jackson auction, held at Scottsdale, Arizona, saw a customised 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk coupé realised a price of $15,950 and in 2004, at the Florida Collector Car Auction, another 1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk was sold for $18,725
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