Supercharged and Understated
We’ve all got a story about the non-chalant 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk pulling up to the light with a Corvette there ready to kick its fins. The Golden Hawk owner would simply press down on the pedal till he felt the Supercharger kick in. The poor Corvette would see nothing but Golden fins as the Studebaker makes easy work of it. In fact, the stories are true. The 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk was not only gorgeous in design and stance, it was faster than Chevrolet’s Corvette and Ford’s Thunderbird.
In classic trim, the Tiara Gold and Arctic White 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk was a sportier looking car with definite Italian styling influences. Cars On Line readers will find the 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk listed today by Classic Investments of Atlanta, Georgia for sale in our Studebaker Section.
Brooks Stevens designed the Hawk from Raymond Loewy’s Studebaker Starliner body. It, of course, was powered by the Studebaker 289 (4.7 Liter) small block. Yet it was enhanced by the McCollough Supercharger and rated at 275 horse power. Extensive options include power steering, whitewall tires, dual outside mirrors, an in-dash push-button radio with dual antennas, tissue dispenser and dual exhaust. All Hawks acquired finned brake drums for 1957, and Twin Traction limited-slip differential. It also had the Flight-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.
At regular driving speeds the engine drove smoothly, producing only 1-2 psi of combustion. But a revving pressure on the accelerator triggered a solenoid that widened the supercharger pulley, causing a spring-loaded idler arm and pulley to pull the belt to the base of the widened supercharger pulley. This greatly speeded up the impeller producing up to 5 psi manifold pressure. The compressed mixture was forced through a Stromberg two-barrel carburetor.
The result was one of the most amazing performance automobiles, yet equally as elegant as it was brutally powerful.