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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1956 Studebaker SkyHawk

Studebaker buyers were different. Early on to appease their customers Studebaker added features such as the over head valve V8 in 1947, padded dash, seat belts, at the same time they took a very aero look to their cars including a very spacy bullet nose. In 1953 they stunned the automotive world with Studebaker Commander Coupe. Maybe too shocking for the average buyer. The low and wide cars were a generation ahead of the rest of the industry  The low swooping nose with twin snorkels was unlike anything else, the roof line was a  good 8 inches lower than everyone else. The performance abilities of the Lowey designed car was amazing for a, first 239 CID engine and got more so when they opened it up to 289 cid..The big cast iron block was wide and heavy but extremely durable As they found out when they made the Paxton Supercharger an option.

The Hawk series was an interesting departure of the ultimate coupe the 1955 President Coupe ( See the Video ). The stand up Mercedes grill of the Hawk is due to Studebakers marketing partnership with Mercedes Benz, with the hope that they could sell more cars. The Hawk line was almost a complete separate brand. Starting with Golden Hawk - Sky Hawk - Power Hawk - Flight Hawk - Silver Hawk  - Hawk - GT Hawk and the Packard Hawk that was powered by a completely different 352 CID V8.

The Studebaker Sky Hawk was a pillarless two-door hardtop coupe for the 1956 model year only. The Sky Hawk was considered part of the Studebaker President series. One of four models of Hawks available that year, the Sky Hawk was positioned between the flagship Golden Hawk and Power Hawk pillared coupe. Sky Hawks differed from Golden Hawks in that they had less chrome trim and lacked the Golden Hawk's fins. They also had slightly less luxurious interiors, and were powered by the President's 289 cubic inch V-8 with 210 HP standard and 225 horsepower optional instead of the Packard 352 of the Golden Hawk. Only 3,050 were produced that year. The Sky Hawk was discontinued for the 1957 model year. 

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