rnch saidI owned the original car that was tarted up to make this Hawk, a '53 Studebaker Commander Regal 2 door hardtop, ivory body, dark "Air Force Blue" top, red leather interior.
It was the Venus De Milo of 1950's car design. I would sit out in the garage, coffee (or adult beverage) cup in hand, and just stare at it and enjoy it's beauty.
So many of it's "styling cues" were stolen for other, later model cars! The twin grilles became a Pontiac styling trademark, it's low sloping hood and wrap around back window was used on the 1975 Camaro/Firebird.
It's Borg-Warner 3 speed automatic transmission was far superior to the sloppy, "slip-n-slide" 2 speed Powerglide on Chevrolets.
It made my best friends' '56 Chevy Bel-Air and '53 Ford Customline looked like the packing crate my Studie was shipped it.
And here's the guy behind ithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Loewy
"Loewy had a long and fruitful relationship with American car maker Studebaker. Studebaker first retained Loewy and Associates and Helen Dryden as design consultants in 1936:[p.247] and in 1939 Loewy began work with the principal designer Virgil M Exner. Their designs first began appearing with the late-1930s Studebakers. Loewy also designed a new logo which replaced the "turning wheel" which had been the trademark since 1912.
During World War II, American government restrictions on in-house design departments at Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler prevented official work on civilian automobiles. Because Loewy's firm was independent of the fourth-largest automobile producer in America, no such restrictions applied. This permitted Studebaker to launch the first all-new postwar automobile in 1947, two years ahead of the "Big Three." His team developed an advanced design featuring flush-front fenders and clean rearward lines. The Loewy staff also created the Starlight body which featured a rear-window system wrapping 180° around the rear seat.
1953 Studebaker Commander Starlight coupe
In addition to the iconic bullet-nosed Studebakers of 1950 and 1951, the team created the 1953 Studebaker line, highlighted by the Starliner and Starlight coupes. (Publicly credited to Loewy, they were actually the work of Robert Bourke.) The Starlight has consistently ranked as one of the best-designed cars of the 1950s in lists compiled since by Collectible Automobile, Car and Driver, and Motor Trend. The '53 Starliner, recognized today as "one of the most beautiful cars ever made", was radical in appearance, as radical in its way as the 1934 Airflow. However, it was beset by production problems.
To brand the new line, Loewy also contemporized Studebaker's logo again by applying the "Lazy S" element. His final commission of the 1950s for Studebaker was the transformation of the Starlight and Starliner coupes into the Hawk series for the 1956 model year. The photo to the right actually shows a Starliner coupe which does not have the "C" pillar, but a window.