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JoeHall
06-08-2017, 09:34 PM
Time slips by, and I had not driven the 56J since last fall. Meanwhile, had driven the two GT Hawks a cumulative 9000-10000 miles since then. So I had grown fully accustomed to being behind the wheel of the GTs, and all but forgot what its like behind the wheel of the 56J. Today after work, my son and I got the 56J out, washed it, checked the fluids and air in the tires, then went for a 55-60 mile ride.

Getting back in the 56J, after the GT Hawks, is always like getting off a Honda and onto a Harley. The Harley just has a seat of the pants feel, and road bike feel that Honda just cannot compare to. Another comparison may be 1950s Ford to Buick. The Buick has a, "big car" feel and plenty of road power, while the Ford feels a bit tinny. The 56J's Saginaw PS also contributes to the luxury car feel. The GTs' Bendix PS just cannot compare.

But that is my driving impression today, after a respite from the 56J. In a few months and a few thousand miles behind the wheel of the 56J, I will be saying how light and sporty the GT feels. I feel blessed to be be the caregiver of these three wonderful Stude Hawks. I love'em all :)

riversidevw
06-08-2017, 11:14 PM
Agree... it's great to experience and appreciate the differences, to rediscover the special feel of each machine. I've been driving the Speedster this spring. Now the 56J beckons.

56GH
06-09-2017, 09:34 AM
Joe, I couldn't agree with you more! Having once owned a 56J for twenty years from 1995-2015 and now owning a 62 GT Hawk for 1-½ years, it's a world of difference! I miss the 56J but I'm enjoying what you describe as the lighter feel of the GT. I've owned other Studebakers with the 289 cid 4-barrel V-8s, but this one, even with it's smallish two barrel carb, seems to be peppy enough.

I've owned six Studebakers in my 80 years and choosing a favorite is like trying to choose your favorite child from many!

Bill L.

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Time slips by, and I had not driven the 56J since last fall. Meanwhile, had driven the two GT Hawks a cumulative 9000-10000 miles since then. So I had grown fully accustomed to being behind the wheel of the GTs, and all but forgot what its like behind the wheel of the 56J. Today after work, my son and I got the 56J out, washed it, checked the fluids and air in the tires, then went for a 55-60 mile ride.

Getting back in the 56J, after the GT Hawks, is always like getting off a Honda and onto a Harley. The Harley just has a seat of the pants feel, and road bike feel that Honda just cannot compare to. Another comparison may be 1950s Ford to Buick. The Buick has a, "big car" feel and plenty of road power, while the Ford feels a bit tinny. The 56J's Saginaw PS also contributes to the luxury car feel. The GTs' Bendix PS just cannot compare.

But that is my driving impression today, after a respite from the 56J. In a few months and a few thousand miles behind the wheel of the 56J, I will be saying how light and sporty the GT feels. I feel blessed to be be the caregiver of these three wonderful Stude Hawks. I love'em all :)

cdn56J
06-09-2017, 12:05 PM
We drove our 56J and '85 Avanti to South Bend. I purchased the Avanti quick steering arms from SI and installed them on the Hawk when we got back. Made a real difference.

JoeHall
06-09-2017, 12:10 PM
Joe, I couldn't agree with you more! Having once owned a 56J for twenty years from 1995-2015 and now owning a 62 GT Hawk for 1-½ years, it's a world of difference! I miss the 56J but I'm enjoying what you describe as the lighter feel of the GT. I've owned other Studebakers with the 289 cid 4-barrel V-8s, but this one, even with it's smallish two barrel carb, seems to be peppy enough.

I've owned six Studebakers in my 80 years and choosing a favorite is like trying to choose your favorite child from many!

Bill L.

64731

64732

Bill,
I recall seeing pix of your 56J over the years, and may have seen it in person at a meet somewhere along the Stude trail. The doeskin & mocha color scheme is very pleasing to the eyes, and yours is beautiful as any ever made! Hope it is still in good hands.

Agree, absolutely nothing wrong with GTs either. "The wife's" 63GT is also painted black and white, and same scheme as yours :)
Joe H

Commander Eddie
06-09-2017, 12:40 PM
I get a real big driving experience difference when I have been driving my '61 Champ truck with its "buckboard" ride and non-power steering, and then slip behind the wheel of the '55 President Sedan. What a difference. As it turns out, I like both of them for precisely that difference.
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JoeHall
06-09-2017, 01:31 PM
I get a real big driving experience difference when I have been driving my '61 Champ truck with its "buckboard" ride and non-power steering, and then slip behind the wheel of the '55 President Sedan. What a difference. As it turns out, I like both of them for precisely that difference.
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I have been watching my older brother's 49 Stude pickup from afar, as he talks more and more about selling it. So may someday be able to identify with the buckboard ride you describe. Is your 55 President equipped with PS? If so, I firmly believe the Saginaw system adds to the luxurious, "big car" feel.

Commander Eddie
06-09-2017, 02:26 PM
I have been watching my older brother's 49 Stude pickup from afar, as he talks more and more about selling it. So may someday be able to identify with the buckboard ride you describe. Is your 55 President equipped with PS? If so, I firmly believe the Saginaw system adds to the luxurious, "big car" feel.
Joe - yes, the '55 has power steering. I really like it. It is not too sensitive and I still get a feel for the road, but steering is all but effortless. The only downside is the number of turns stop to stop. But that is not really a problem.

SN-60
06-11-2017, 08:54 AM
There is a big difference in 'feel' between the Packard powered 1956 Golden Hawk and really any other C-K Studebaker.

To me, that difference comes down to the extra torque of a considerably larger displacement engine, and also, the difference in sound between a solid lifter and a hydraulic lifter equipped engine.

(That is, at least until the oil pressure drops away with the Packard :eek:!!!!!)

JoeHall
06-11-2017, 05:03 PM
There is a big difference in 'feel' between the Packard powered 1956 Golden Hawk and really any other C-K Studebaker.

To me, that difference comes down to the extra torque of a considerably larger displacement engine, and also, the difference in sound between a solid lifter and a hydraulic lifter equipped engine.

(That is, at least until the oil pressure drops away with the Packard :eek:!!!!!)

Ed,
I have long heard of other 56J owners' problems with the oil pump, and experienced it a couple of times myself. But there are so many fixes out there now, there's no reason for anyone to have to put up with it. I have ran Packard Intl's modified pump, a Max Merritt modified pump, and more recently an Oldsmobile pump. In each case, the problem was fixed. The 56Js were not at prone to the problem as were Packards, since they hung a vacuum pump off the end of the oil pump.

The Olds pump is almost too much of a good thing, however. I use an Olds OEM output pump instead of their HO version. Even with the Olds OEM, it pumps so much oil to the top end you have to be sure each of the valve spring baffles are positioned exactly as each needs to be, in order to deflect the oil. With the Packrd OEM, that was never an issue.

SN-60
06-11-2017, 05:18 PM
Couldn't help myself with the low oil pressure comment Joe....me bad....I was remembering the 'old days' again!!....I agree that nowadays there are some good fixes to correct that issue...fixes which weren't available years ago.

JoeHall
06-11-2017, 05:29 PM
Couldn't help myself with the low oil pressure comment Joe....me bad....I was remembering the 'old days' again!!....I agree that nowadays there are some good fixes to correct that issue...fixes which weren't available years ago.

I really like the Packard power though. It just, "fits" the car. Old pan & shovel head Harleys were not really all that fast, but the seat of the pants torque made you feel like you were flying. Its kind like that with a 56J. LOL