Corgi 211 Studebaker Golden Hawk
Mettoy launched the Corgi Toys brand in 1956, the year I was born - which maybe explains why I've always been so fond of it. They began with six British saloon cars, good solid fare like Rover, Austin & Hillman. These cars were in stock colours for the real cars, sensible greens greys & beiges.
They quickly learnt that boys wanted something a little more exotic in their toyboxes and began to use not only brighter colours but more exotic cars, ones we didn't see every day on the British roads. In February 1958 they launched their first of many American cars - the Studebaker Golden Hawk. it was interesting of Corgi to choose an oddball maker like Studebaker but typical of their quest for innovation and engineering novelty
There are three versions of the Corgi Studebaker Golden Hawk. The first two in 1958 were a freewheeling version in blue with gold painted side flashes and the white mechanical one with the friction flywheel motor. Both had windows but no suspension or seats.
Later in 1962 it was given the S treatment receiving seats and suspension and also becoming truly golden, being vacuum plated in gold or with a painted gold finish, both with white side flashes.
Rootes Group in the UK were heavily influenced by Studebaker in the styling of their Audax family of cars - the Sunbeam Rapiers and Humber Sceptres of the early 60s have several design cues from this car, the central square grille with the small grilles to the sides, the line of the front wings and the wrap around rear window with the reverse slope on the C pillar all reflect the American car.
It was an excellent call by Rootes.