Studebaker Silver Hawk 1957

Studebaker Silver Hawk 1957

Studebaker Silver Hawk 1957

  • Origin United States of America
  • Engine 4,736 cc, V8
  • Top speed 115 mph (185 km/h)

One of the world's oldest road vehicle producers, Studebaker introduced distinctive styling after the war; this two-door body style began in 1953, with fins growing steadily to this 1957 peak. Studebaker managed to create yet another update for the fifth season of the basic 1953 body. It is amazing what could be done with the addition of a little sheetmetal and a lot of trim to give the consumer the illusion of a new car.

An expanded new full-width grille design eliminated the low mounted air inlets on each side. Thin horizontal and vertical bars created 18 columns at its widest point, and 10 rows at its highest point, giving the restyled cars a new, wider look at the front end. The front bumper revealed a lower body color pan on each end, and then turned down near the center, providing space for the enlarged grille. Small round parking lamps were relegated to a spot below the front bumper ends. At the back end, a new taillamp and bumper design gave the appearance of a taller tailfin, and added a V-shaped effect to the quarter panel end. Taillamps were oval units mounted at the center of the "V" with backup lights below and ribbed chrome trim above. At a distance, the look was somewhat similar to that of the 1957 Buicks.

A four-door station wagon joined the Studebaker range for 1957, designated as the Provincial in Commander trim and the Broadmoor in President trim. The top line Pinehurst 2-Door station wagon was discontinued. Interiors for all series received design and color updates. The powerful Packard 352 CID V8 and accompanying Ultra-Matic transmission were discontinued, but that didn't mean that Studebaker-Packard would be left out of the horsepower race. Instead Studebaker created an equally powerful engine from its strong performing 289 CID V8 engine by supercharging it. Superchargers had been used in the past, and some were relatively successful. Studebaker, the largest volume manufacturer to date to try the power booster, was more successful than most of its predecessors, using variations of the supercharged engine through the 1964 model year. This engine also proved more successful than the attempts by the Big Three manufacturers to boost horsepower through various forms of fuel injection. No other significant powertrain changes were made, although there were spring and other suspension upgrades.

The Hawk series was realigned to further disassociate them from their humble Champion and Commander beginnings. The most notable appearance change was a new rear quarter panel appendage that created a taller tailfin, and a bodyside cove. The result was a more seamless flow to the bodyside line. The reorganization of the series involved replacing the Flight Hawk and Sky Hawk with a Silver Hawk coupe, available with either six or eight cylinders, and discontinuing the Power Hawk model. The Golden Hawk received minor grille changes and new chrome hash marks in the air intakes flanking the grille.

Several regular line models were redesignated or reinstated, and some new ones were introduced. Starting at the bottom, a "barebones" Scotsman series was introduced at mid-year, consisting of a 2-door and 4-door sedan and a 2-door station wagon. Designated as part of the Champion series, it was marketed as a separate series, and was mainly geared toward businesses and the taxicab market. Painted hubcaps and a painted grille were standard, saying something about the simplicity of the car. About the only options available were two armrests, two sun visors, electric windshield wipers, and Hill Holder clutch.

Going by Studebaker's model numbering, the '56 Champion Sedans became '57 Champion DeLuxe models, while the former 2-Door Sedanet joined a new 4-Door Sedan in the reinstated Champion Custom sub-series. The same thing happened with the Commander series. The President series continued unchanged aside from the new station wagon mentioned earlier.