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1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk Looks Better Than New, Hides LS Surprise Under the Hood

Introduced in 1956, Studebaker's Hawk series spawned no fewer than five different models until 1959. The Golden Hawk ranked the highest in the lineup as a personal luxury car.
1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod 14 photos
1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk restomod
Based on the Champion model designed by Raymond Loewy, the Golden Hawk, boasted a few unique features, including an almost vertical egg-crate grille, a raised hood line, and a pillarless hard-top layout. It also featured more prominent rear fins.

Studebaker's fastest car at the time, the Golden Hawk came with a Packard-sourced, 352-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) V8 rated at 275 horsepower under the hood. When Packard leased its engine plant to Curtiss-Wright and stopped making the V8, Studebaker replaced it with its very own 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8 paired to a McCulloch supercharger. The power rating remained unchanged at 275 horses.

The most expensive Studebaker at the time, the Golden Hawk left the company's assembly plant in fewer than 4,100 units. But while you will find many of them in running condition across the U.S., none is as spectacular as the shiny red example you see here.

As you might have already guessed, this 1956 Golden Hawk went through a thorough restoration process. One that saw it being repainted in a custom metallic red and fitted with a luxurious leather interior.

And yes, those are modern seats you see inside the cabin. They were sourced from a fifth-generation Pontiac GTO and reshaped to work in the Golden Hawk. And surprisingly enough, they don't look out of place despite being some 50 years newer than the car.

But you'll find an even bigger surprise under the hood. This Golden Hawk came with a Packard 352 V8, but the original mill is long gone, having been replaced by a GM-sourced LS1. That's a 5.7-liter small-block that GM offered in various cars from 1997 to 2005.

The mill debuted in the Chevrolet Corvette but quickly found its way into the Pontiac Firebird and Chevy Camaro in 1998. Then it was transferred into the Pontiac GTO and the Holden Monaro and Statesman. Perhaps it came from the same GTO as the seats.

There's no info on how much power it cranks out, but the 5.7-liter V8 in the 2004 Pontiac GTO was good for 350 horses and 365 pound-feet of torque. And that's enough to push this Golden Hawk past the 150-mph mark. The V8 mates to its matching 4L60E four-speed automatic transmission.

The chassis also gained a few upgrades, including a revised suspension system and disc brakes at all four corners. Power steering makes turning and parking easier now. Part of a large collection of classic cars and hot rods, this Studebaker comes from California, and it's being auctioned off via Hemmings. Bidding has reached $60,500 with a "reserve not met" status with two more days to go.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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