Q: You do a good job and the columns are all very interesting. In your column a while back, you point out that the 1957 Pontiac had the first 3x2 carb setup, which is correct. When you talked about the Tri-Powers that followed in 1958, you omitted the Chevy 348, but then mentioned it in your next column. However, I want to mention you also missed the 1958 Mercury 3x2, which was available in the Super Marauder 430 V8 that put out 400 horsepower. This rare option was stunning in its beauty between the air cleaner and valve covers.
I also want to mention another couple of columns. The features were on the Studebaker Golden Hawk. At that time, Motor Trend magazine was the bible of the new Detroit cars, and I still have every issue. I thought I knew every option from 1956 to 1958, but I didn’t know that the Golden Hawk ever came with a 374 V8 with 310 horsepower. A reader by the name of Fred Durbano wrote to you about it, but I doubt even the Studebaker Club knows about this option. Where did you retrieve this information? Even if there were such a 374 Hawk available, I doubt it could beat a 1956 Corvette 240 horsepower with a three speed!
Thanks much, Richard E. Johnston, Newton, Mass.
A: Richard, first and foremost, thank you very much for the nice comments, especially from such a dedicated car lover and historian like you. That 1958 Mercury Super Marauder was a very rare option, and did appear on the option list. Thanks to you, we add it to our all time list of “Tri-Power” cars from the 1950s.
The mix-up on that Golden Hawk 374 V8 you mention came from the Packard-Studebaker merger, which found the 1956 Golden Hawk model available with either a 352 Packard V8 or the rare but available 374 as an option. A total of just 4,071 Studebakers were built that year in Golden Hawk trim, and the model was the only of the 1956 Hawks to sprout tail fins. This Packard V8 Golden Hawk info is available on numerous websites, including some nice videos with engine information on YouTube, too.
Additionally, in 1956 the other Hawks, including Sky Hawk, Flight Hawk and Power Hawk, used the Studebaker 289 engine. Total production for 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawks came in at 19,165 units, according to StudebakerGarage .com, which is a great site for Studebaker fans.
Thanks again for your nice comments and info on that 1958 Mercury.