1960 Studebaker Hawk

THE HIGHLIGHTS


• Beautiful example of a rare and stylish classic.
• An excellent runner, a pleasure to drive.
• Plenty of documentation and marque-specific material.
• Undergone extensive restoration and remains striking.

THE BACKGROUND


The late fifties threw-up some of the most extreme examples of American automotive styling extravagance, particularly with huge fins, oversize bumpers and acres of chrome spread over many of the American automotive industry's top models. This excess was rife amongst the Big Three manufacturers (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler) but there was another carmaker that offered a slightly different approach whilst keeping their products broadly within the style of the times.

The Studebaker Corporation was a small (by comparison) company based in South Bend, Indiana, producing a very distinctive range of models that originated from the drawing board of Raymond Loewy (the designer of the Coke bottle). The glamorous Studebaker Hawk Coupé of the late 1950s was a typical Loewy creation, on-trend but offering a certain exclusivity of style distancing itself from the ‘shiny tin’ on offer elsewhere.

The Studebaker Hawk was introduced in 1956 and was marketed with various sports car references and a European image. Studebaker believed this associated sophistication would assist sales. The Hawk was hoped to be the saving grace in an otherwise struggling period for the Studebaker marque.

The stand-out styling was a hit with the press at the Hawk’s launch, with particular favour given to the rear fins. With significant chrome across the front and rear bumpers, tail-lights, grille and down the dominant lines of its sides, the Studebaker continues to wear it’s American sports car heritage with grace.

The 289 OHV V8, was mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission making for smooth powerful delivery and a superb soundtrack, which to this day, propels the 1960s cruiser onto modern motorway speeds with ease.

THE HISTORY


The Hawk we have here, with its white with red detailing, was sold new and spent its earlier life in the US where it was latterly subject to an extensive cosmetic and mechanical restoration by the previous owner, including the addition of a 1958 Continental Kit, an upgrade to power steering (a welcome assistance), updated electrics and an alternator conversion. 

There is a complete breakdown of the significant works carried out by the last American owner, which is contained in the history file. The present owner is pleased to email any prospective buyer, this full documentary evidence.

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THE PAPERWORK


Accompanying the car is an extensive record of documentation, including original bills, work records, hand-written notes and registration in the UK, including the current DVLA V5 document.

In addition to the maintenance documentation, the car comes with Studebaker promotional materials, books and documents, which adds to the province of this rare marque.

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THE INTERIOR


From the moment you open one of the coupe’s doors, you’re met with an interior which excites the senses, both in charming period looks and that wonderful subtle smell of leather. The mix of materials across the dash, seating and the cabin as a whole, exudes the quality and styling of a bygone era.

Whether you find yourself seated in the front or climb into the rear, all the sills, surrounding paintwork and doors seals are still in great condition, with nothing unsightly to distract your eyes upon entry or exit.

The beautiful leather interior is the perfect accompaniment to the chrome trim that adorns the dashboard, inside of the doors, window frames, the radio, and instruments.

The inside of this Studebaker Hawk is all in a very attractive condition, with bright chrome work, showing only minimal age-related pitting. The leather of the seats really is in a beautiful condition, with no signs of unsightly rips or tears or fading on high traffic areas. The same can be said of the carpets, which also remain is great condition. Seats belts are assumed to have been latterly added for safety.

The owner notes that all switches and controls throughout the car, work as they should.

The rear trunk has a large main compartment for luggage and also houses the spare wheel and all generally presents in a great condition.

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THE EXTERIOR 


The exterior silhouette of the Hawk has a fabulous fifties style and period presence. Those striking lines, leading to the rear fins on the coachwork are a fine example of American carmaker fashion of the period. Today the panels and gaps appear straight and true. The gleaming two-tone white and red paint is set off beautifully with the abundance of bright work, where all the chrome fixings are in fine fettle with only minimal signs of age.

Working around the car’s exterior, there are no notable dents, or heavy scratching with only very minor marking here and there as expected given its age, but generally the exterior appearance happily defies the Hawk’s 61 years. The large and striking radiator is dominant up front, together with the bumper and bonnet, all show little sign of stone chips. 

All glass, windows and lights present in a nice clear condition, with no nasty scratches noted. One small piece of side trim is currently missing, but the owner has indicated that the part is on order from Studebaker Parts online and will be forwarded to the new owner.

On the underside, it is again evident much has been spent in all the right places during the restoration. The car is showing some minimal signs of surface rust, but nothing which appears as a concern. All-in-all, the mechanicals are in keeping with the maintenance and care lavished on this car.

Completing the exterior are the chrome capped wheels, which all look to be in an extremely good state and all four tyres also appear in very good condition, with plenty of remaining tread.

THE MECHANICS 


The 289 V8 is mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. The engine starts and turns over with ease and settles to a subtle burbly idle. On the move the engine picks up quickly and propels this American swiftly, shifting through the automatic gears smoothly. With over 210bhp and 300lb ft of torque the Hawk offers 120mph performance and sub 12 sec 0 to 60mph time. No slouch, even by today’s standards.

Lifting the heavy bonnet, reveals a well presented and evidently extensively restored and serviced engine and ancillaries, where the present owner has kept up servicing and required maintenance, noting most recently a new ‘rear main’ oil seal, new sump gaskets, new auto transmission oil pan gasket + filter, new engine and transmission oils and a new starter motor.

The service history backs up what presents as a generally brilliant mechanical condition car. On the move, the Hawk feels and appears to have no concerns regarding starting, driving, stopping and shutting off the engine. It really is in great current running condition.

THE APPEAL


These Hawks are a rare sight, but what a sight they are. Distinctive and representative fifties styling, with real road presence. This beautifully restored and maintained example is a great opportunity to enjoy and drive a piece of automotive history which boasts magnificent design and rarity, for a very reasonable guide price. The car has been used sparingly and garaged, which is reflected in its wonderful condition.

These Studebaker Hawks are some of the world’s most exclusive American classic cars, which will burble off down the country lanes, and then turn heads when you drive through the next town or village. The sound of its V8 engine breathing through chrome exhaust tips, will have you smiling on every journey.

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As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1960
  • Make Studebaker
  • Model Hawk
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 93,282 Miles
  • Engine size 4700
  • Location Kent
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
26 bids
  • du•••• £21,500 20/01/22
  • ma•••• £21,000 20/01/22
  • du•••• £20,500 20/01/22
  • ma•••• £20,000 20/01/22
  • du•••• £19,500 20/01/22
  • ma•••• £19,000 20/01/22
  • A•••• £18,500 20/01/22
  • du•••• £17,500 20/01/22
  • ma•••• £17,000 20/01/22
  • mo•••• £16,000 20/01/22

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