1956 GOLDEN HAWK - PERFORMANCE TESTS

Several magazines printed performance tests on the 1956 Golden Hawk.
The best 0-60 time was 7.8 seconds and the worst was 10.0. One of the fastest speeds was obtained with a car that had 100,000 miles on it.
This would bear out Tom McCahill's comments shown in the first box.
NASCAR Official Certificate of Speed, dated February 21 1956, shows Wallace Chandler attaining a measured mile speed of 127.343 mph in a 1956 Golden Hawk.
 Here are some of the results:
Mechanix Illustrated
April 1956
Tom McCahill
0-30 mph in  3.4 seconds
0-50 in 7.4
0-60 in 9.6
0-70 in 12.2
Top speed  130 mph
Equipment: Ultramatic, Power Steering, Power Brake, Power Seat, Power windows
Observations: The car had less than 50 miles on the odometer, and was loaded with optional equipment which wouldn't normally be included on a performance entry car. This car was neither equipped nor prepared to show the Hawk off at its best. Packard engines are put together with extremely close tolerances at such vital points as the main bearings. This means careful break-in to avoid expansion damage. Unlike most other American cars with comparatively loose tolerances, these close-fitting parts will limit performance for a longer period of time.
Auto Age
March 1956
Staff Report
0-30 in 3.4
0-40 in 5.1
0-60 in  9.0 
Top speed not stated
Equipment: Ultramatic (no other options indicated)
Observations: These were actual speeds, taken with a stopwatch and throttle being punched at the same instant. Floorboarded at 95 mph, the Golden Hawk fairly leaped ahead and we got nearly 115 before we had to back off for the turn ahead. This was tried several times and several runs of 115 mph and better were achieved with the car still accelerating. Then we just ran out of room.
Hot Rod
April 1956
Racer Brown
0-30 not stated
0-50 not stated
0-60 in 10.0
0-70 not stated
0-80 in 17.7
Top speed not stated
Equipment: Ultramatic, power steering, power windows, power seats. (2030 miles)
Observations:  The car was running on too lean a mixture and if corrected, he estimated 6% would have been lopped off the times, putting the 0-60 time at approximately 9.4 seconds.
59% of the total weight was on the front wheels and 41% was on the rear wheels. These figures are entirely compatible with present-day passenger car practice and should serve to dispel the doubts of anyone who believes that the Golden Hawk is any more 'nose heavy' than other makes." "The tenacity with which our Golden Hawk stayed stuck to the road through the most violent road race maneuvers was considered exceptional. Only in the fastest turns did the rear end show any signs of breaking loose, this being a simply matter to correct..
Motor Life
January 1956
Ken Fermoyle
0-30 in 3.5
0-40 not stated
0-50 not stated
0-60 times  9.2 and 9.6
0-70 not stated
Top speed 125 (estim)
Equipment: Ultramatic (no other options indicated)
Pre production model,  3600 lbs. 
Observations: I was able to get around the not-too-steeply banked corners at close to an indicated 90 mph. The car felt solid at those speeds, gave no indication that it was near the point of breaking loose. Over the various paved road courses at the proving ground, the Golden Hawk maintained its footing quite well, although we didn't attempt any really drastic cornering maneuvers. The ride was comfortable at all times.
Motor Life
October 1956
Ken Fermoyle
0-30 not stated
0-40 not stated
0-50 not stated
0-60 in 8.8
Top speed 125 (rough track)
Equipment: Manual transmission with overdrive. (no other options indicated)
This car  had 100,000 miles on it when Ken ran it through its paces.
Observations: At one point I hit an unexpected bend of diminishing radius a shade faster than was comfortable. I was running in overdrive second and punched the throttle to try to power thru. It worked out all right, but I had an anxious moment as the front end mushed down and the tail started to come around. This 100,000 miles later test indicated to me that Studebaker has some basis for claiming that it builds high quality products. When you can put an automobile thru 100,000 miles of back breaking testing and have it wind up performing as well as this Golden Hawk - you must be building 'em right!
Motorsport
Jan-Feb 1956
Bill Holland
0-30 in 3.5
0-40 not stated
0-50 not stated
0-60 in 9.4
Top speed 125 mph (rain)
Equipment: Ultramatic, power steering, power brakes (no other options indicated)
Observations: The day I arrived to make the tests, it rained all day, but we decided to make the tests anyway, so keep in mind everything we did is this test was on a wet surface. We then did a few fairly fast laps around the three mile track going into the turns about 85 to 90, sliding a little but with good control and recovery at all times. There is some lean noticeable on the corners, but not excessive, due to the low suspension of the Golden Hawk.
Speed Age
March 1956
Bill Holland
0-30 in 3.5
0-40 not stated
0-50 not stated
0-60 in 9.6
Top speed 125 mph (rain)
Equipment: Ultramatic, power steering (no other options indicated)
NOTE: Bill didn't give speed ratings in this article, but mentioned those from his test in the Jan-Feb 1956 Motorsport article.
Observations: I was impressed immediately with the tremendous acceleration of the car. Floor-boarded, it took off with hardly a trace of wheel spin and roared with turbine-like smoothness well up over the 100 mph mark without any lag or flat spots at all. You may be wondering whether or not the car is hard to drive or even if it's safe. I will say definitely that this automobile is not a compromise in any way between safety and performance.
Speed Age
July 1956
Jimmy Reece
0-30 not stated
0-40 not stated
0-50 not stated
0-60 in 7.80
Top speed not stated
1/4 mile in 17.01 (85 mph)
Equipment: Manual transmission with overdrive (no other options indicated)
Observations: We tested the Chrysler 300B, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Thunderbird, and Studebaker Golden Hawk, for both acceleration from a standing start through the measured quarter mlie and for zero to 60 mph performance. In each case, the Hawk by far the fastest, taking off with a neck snapping burst of speed that was impressive, to say the least.
      Comparison of acceleration
                       1/4 mile    0-60 mph
Golden Hawk     17.01        7.8
Corvette             17.12        8.4
Thunderbird        17.21        8.6
Chrysler 300-B   17.80        9.1

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