NEW! Award 88: 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk – Sold?
December 2, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” even though with a $225,000 asking price, we highly doubt this Studebaker actually sold. Please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
“NOTE: Two Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars NOT Twenty-two Thousand Five Hundred.” The private seller calls out that their asking price for this Concours-Quality, 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk originally listed in November 2021 on Craigslist in Louisville, Kentucky is not a typo. While the condition and rarity of this car place it among the finest examples available today, the ridiculous asking price is beyond realistic.
Currently offered at $225,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Golden Hawk priced over $163,000 above this guide’s #1 “Concours” appraisal of $61,800. Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the current ask is over three times above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $56,000. Finally, Classic.com, confirms that over the last five years, the highest price paid for a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk was $95,700. With an asking price beyond double what the value for the car really is, we have no choice but to give the private seller our latest “NEW!” (short for “No Effin Way!”) Award for an asking price that is completely out of touch with the market reality.
Studebaker designers created the Golden Hawk as a two-door pillarless hardtop personal luxury car. Launched in the fall of 1956, Golden Hawks remained in production for only three model years. With limited capital available, Studebaker designers and engineers had to think of innovative ways to develop all-new models. For the Golden Hawk, that meant it took the basic shape of the 1953–55 Champion/Commander Starliner coupe but added a large, almost vertical egg-crate grille and raised hood line in place of the earlier car’s swooping, pointed nose, and was introduced as the Studebaker Speedster. At the rear, a raised, squared-off trunk lid 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 cubic inch V8, which delivered 275 brake horsepower. 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 Packard engine gave the car a reputation for being nose-heavy. Despite replacing the heavy Packard engine with a belt-driven, supercharged “Sweepstakes” 289 cubic inch V8 making the same 275 horsepower, the new engine package ended up being a bit 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 plus.
A wide variety of colors (including two-tone paint schemes) were available. Two-tone schemes initially involved the front upper body, the roof, and a panel on the tail being painted the contrast color, with the rest of the body in the base color. Later 1956 production had the body above the body trim line, including the trunk, in the contrast color with the tail panel, roof, and the body below the body trim line being in the base color. The interior included an engine-turned dash. Unfortunately, like many more expensive cars, Golden Hawk sales were heavily hit by the late-1950s recession, and the model was discontinued after only selling 878 examples in 1958.
A Studebaker Hawk enthusiast has this interesting 1957 News Reel segment featuring a ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk that served as a commercial for Cinema goers at the time:
While we do not question the quality of the restoration of this highly optioned 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk, we would love to know the seller’s rationale for asking such an ou-of-touch price for it. The only plausible explanation is that summed up all the receipts accumulated during this car’s restoration and believe that should be reflected in the price. Unfortunately, as many of us know all too well, it does not work that way.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk
All redone to original. 289 supercharger, automatic transmission, twin traction,
Beautiful Tiara Gold, all available options: PB, PS, PW, P Seat,
Tinted Glass, Dual mirrors, antenna, seatbelts, rear speaker, windshield washer, wire wheels. All works, never wrecked, looks runs like new — $225,000 (NOTE: Two Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Dollars NOT Twenty-two Thousand Five Hundred).
Serious Buyers Only Please – SERIOUS INQUIRIES CALL CELL PHONE“
Yea or Nea: What say you about our assessment of the price of this Studebaker Golden Hawk? Comment below and let us know!