One of the most frequently asked questions is, "does it have a supercharger?" Of course, for 1957 and 1958, the answer is yes. Those models were equipped with Studebaker's venerable 289 CID V-8 which included the McCulloch supercharger. The 1956 Golden Hawk with the 352 CID Packard V-8 did not come from the factory with a supercharger.
A supercharger was available from McCulloch for the 1956 Golden Hawk with the Packard V-8. The photo at the left was submitted by member Brent Hagen of Portland, Oregon. With the fan shroud removed, the photo offers a good view of the installation. This car appears to be one of the rare manual transmission with overdrive units with power steering. You can see the overdrive relay located on the cowl, to the right of the windshield wiper motor. The power steering reservoir and pulley are on the right side just beyond the fan blade and peeking over the top of the supercharger pulley..
It appears that the oil filler tube is slanted to the side and the oil filter canister, if present, is not visible at all. The oil bath is gone, but the carburetor appears to be the standard Carter WCFB 4 barrel. There appears to be a different arrangement for the water pump manifold (you can see the outline on the front of the cylinder head) and the generator adjustment arm. Everything else appears to be pretty much standard.
According to a price list that Brent sent, the supercharger kit for the 1956 Golden Hawk cost $318.75. The distributor for Oregon and Washington was Jim Flanagan's Automotive, Sales and Installation - McCulloch Superchargers, 1802 S. E. 7th Avenue, Portland 14, Oregon.
According to the McCulloch literature, the supercharger caused a 40% boost, kicking the 352 CID Packard V-8 from 275 hp to an astounding 385 hp. All this in a car that was already rated 2nd, only to the Chrysler 300-B, in horsepower per pound ratio for all cars in 1956 in stock form.
To learn more about McCulloch superchargers,
a look at Jim Moody's great web site at
Jim Moody's McCulloch supercharger site
Jim Sent the following :
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