Ted Spradling's 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk Hardtop Coupe
Ted Spradling's 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk Hardtop Coupe.
From the outside, the two most significant changes that differentiated the 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk from the 1956 version were the addition of chrome outlined fins that soared outward and a fiberglass hood overlay.
Looking under the hood it becomes obvious that the hood overlay isn't merely a decorative add-on. In 1957, Studebaker dropped the clunky 352 cubic inch Packard engine and replaced it with the Studebaker 289 V8. By adding a Paxton Supercharger, the horsepower was brought up to 275, equalling that of the earlier, heavier Packard engine while trimming 100 pounds off the front of the car.
The car shown here belongs to Ted Spradling, who lives in Roanoke, Virginia. Purchased in 2007, Ted was the car's 4th owner. The odometer shows 74,000 miles, but it is likely that the odometer has turned over.
When the car was purchased, it was clear that there was some needed body work. Bubbling under the paint near the air vent showed that it needed attention.
There were signs of some unsavory activity occuring under the paint.
To remedy the rust and a few minor dings, Ted took the car to Lenny Hall in Christiansburg, Virginia to have the body work done. It was stripped down to bare metal and the rusted spots were repaired. The car was then repainted matching the original Arctic White.
You would have to try really hard to miss those fins!
The outboard mounted front turn signals harken back to a earlier time.
Since the door's interior showed only minor signs of wear, it was left untouched. Not bad for a car that's over 50 years old.
The seats did need to be reupholstered, though, and a close friend of Ted's with a long career in the furniture business offered to do the reupholstery job. We all should have good friends like that!
Another view of the interior.
Other than some cleaning up, the engine was left alone.
The Paxton Supercharger, along with its assorted plumbing, keeps things pretty tight under the hood.
Back in the day, they certainly knew what a trunk was supposed to be.
There are still a few things that need to be taken care of before Ted's finished with his Golden Hawk. At the top of his to-do list is to get the bumpers re-chromed.
We think this is a fine example of a "tweener" car: not in good enough condition to remain a "survivor" but in too good a condition to warrant a complete frame-off restoration. A really nice car!