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1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk Is a One-Year Wonder With a Nice Surprise Under the Hood

Studebaker is now primarily known for the Avanti, the outlandish-looking sports car that broke several world records in supercharged form. It was also the world's fastest production vehicle when it made its debut in 1962. But the South Bend, Indiana-based company left a long list of cool automobiles behind.
1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk 16 photos
1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk
The "bullet-nose" cars of the early 1950s are just as outlandish as the Avanti, but the Hawk series is also worth mentioning. Introduced in 1956, two years after the Studebaker-Packard merger, the Hawk lineage spawned no fewer than eight different models and remained in production until 1964.

The Golden Hawk is perhaps the most famous version of the series. The company's flagship model from 1956 to 1958, it was also one of only three Hawks built for three consecutive years. The Silver Hawk and the Gran Turismo Hawk are the other two.

Four of the remaining five models were offered for one year only, which makes them rare classics nowadays. Especially since many of them did not make it to 2022 in one piece.

Except for the Packard Hawk, which was offered in 1958, all the other one-year wonders were built in 1956 and were part of the initial roll-out of the Hawk series.

1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk
Called the Flight Hawk, Power Hawk, and Sky Hawk, they were offered alongside the flagship Golden Hawk that year. Yup, as you might have already guessed, they were basically trim versions of the same car.

The Flight Hawk was the entry-level model with the least impressive features. But it was also only available with an inline-six mill. The Power Hawk was next in line. Also a pillared two-door coupe, it came with a few extras and a V8 engine as standard.

There there was the Sky Hawk, which wasn't quite as fancy as the Golden Hawk but it boasted a pillarless coupe layout and a two-tone paint scheme.

Its 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8 was also notably more powerful than the Power Hawk's, delivering 225 horsepower (an extra 40 horses) in its optional, four-barrel form.

1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk
Not quite popular during its sole year on the market, the Sky Hawk moved only 3,050 examples, about 1,000 fewer than the more expensive Golden Hawk. The white-over-green example you see here is one of those cars.

And unlike many of its siblings that are still around, it's a nicely refreshed example that's rust-free. On top of that, it features a few modern upgrades, including a radio and Bluetooth connectivity.

But it also comes with a different engine. It's still a V8 and it's still of the Studebaker variety, but it was sourced from a newer Avanti.

The latter was also powered by a 289-cubic-inch mill, just like the Sky Hawk, but rated at 240 horsepower naturally aspirated form and 289 horses with the Paxton supercharger.

1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk
The Sky Hawk is fitted with the former but the engine has been rebuilt with a .020 overbore and equipped with Avanti headers, a new exhaust system, and a new Edelbrock carburetor. Output figures are a mystery, but the seller claims the car has "plenty of power."

With only 3,500 miles (5,633 km) on it, the engine is basically new, just like the Borg Warner T-10 gearbox that comes with it. The coupe still has original drum brakes at all corners, but they've been rebuilt and "stop very well."

While far from perfect as a classic, this Sky Hawk is a rare opportunity in this condition. If you're into 1950s Studebaker coupes, this gorgeous two-tone example is being auctioned off by eBay seller "jimmyz483" as we speak. Bidding is at $7,800 with almost three days to go but the reserve hasn't been met. The buy-it-now sticker sits at $19,000.

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

 
 
 
 
 

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