PDA

View Full Version : Convert 1962 Hawk into 1956 Sky Hawk look-alike--feasible?



Dwight FitzSimons
08-20-2017, 10:51 AM
Seeing the G.T. Hawk with its roof crushed in a recent SDC Forum thread reminded me of a pipe dream I have had for years: Converting a '62 Hawk into, essentially, a '56 Sky Hawk look-alike. Rationale: (1) Some of us consider the Sky Hawk to be the prettiest of all Hawks, (2) '62 Hawks seem to be much more common today than '56Hs (9335 '62s produced vs. 3610 '56s), and (3) I like the idea of playing "Studebaker stylist." I realize that replacing the G.T. roof with the earlier HT roof is no small matter, but all the body parts would be available on the donor car, so it is just a matter of labor hours/dollars. Can anyone make a WAG (wild-ass guess) of the number of hours required to accomplish the roof removal and installation? Where would one cut the A pillars?
-Dwight

mbstude
08-20-2017, 11:32 AM
Or you could save a lot of hassle and buy the Sky Hawk that's for sale here..

studeclunker
08-20-2017, 02:03 PM
Sorry Matt, your link didn't come up.

I agree with Matt though. It would be a lot easier to buy a Sky Hawk and just work on that than go it the hard way. After all, there aren't that many improvements in the chassis from '56 to '62. Even at that, it would be easier to frame over a '56 to a '62 chassis than rebuild at the level you are considering. I agree though. The '56 Hawks and the GT are the only hawks I really like. The rest are okay, with fins and everything. But the clean, lovely styling of the Sky Hawk and the '53-4s are the best Studebaker ever did IMHO. Then again, I'm also odd enough to like the '56-7 sedans, wagons, and Packards (though I don't particularly like the silly fins on the Packard, the tail light lens kinda makes up for it).

mbstude
08-20-2017, 02:07 PM
I didn't post a link. We've got a '56 Sky Hawk for sale for $3800. Runs, drives, and mostly solid, but it is a project.

Dwight FitzSimons
08-20-2017, 03:14 PM
I would buy that Sky Hawk if I weren't already "Hawked-out" with two '64 Hawks (& an Avanti). Both are good cars, both R1s, but both (as usual) often need something done to them. BTW, I would never cut the top off a '64 Hawk.
-Dwight

T.J. lavallee
08-20-2017, 04:25 PM
I've always considered the 62 Hawk one of the best looking cars of the 60's. Simply a stunning design inside and out. To relegate that milestone to resemble another design milestone seems incredulous to me. I must agree with others that the purchase of a 56' would be a better way to achieve you desire.

bensherb
08-20-2017, 04:43 PM
I agree with the others, a pointless effort. Find an earlier body shell with the correct roof. Heck if it were a few years ago I had a good rust free one I would have given you, but it's long gone now. But, if I were to swap roofs, I'd probably remove them at the firewall pinch weld in front and the lap seam weld in back. The only finishing work then needed will be the lap at the top of the rear fender where the factory did it .

studegary
08-20-2017, 06:26 PM
Do not forget that besides the roof, all glass (except windshield), both doors, hood and trunk are different between the two models.

Xcalibur
08-20-2017, 10:12 PM
Almost anything is possible with enough resources... but, many times simply getting what you want in the first place is much more practical, especially when what one wants is not even close to being a one-of-a-kind item. All the best, regardless.

56H-Y6
08-21-2017, 06:38 AM
" I like the idea of playing "Studebaker stylist."

Then create something that never was! Graft a '58 J-Body top onto the '62 Hawk, add or subtract other styling details either seen on styling clays or those that styling drawing show were considered.

Steve

swvalcon
08-21-2017, 08:32 AM
The 62-up hawk body is in all respects a 56 body or should I say a 53. All studebaker did to the shell is change out the roof panel and the panel between the trunk lid and back glass. If you ever strip one to bare metal you will see the weld points and lead work where it was done. But would be a lot of work to go though just to end back up with a 53 body shell. There are enough 53 k bodys still around that there would be not point to it. Just find a 53-58 K body and you have what you need. Not sure but I would guess the doors are the same and just need a vent window and glass change to the 56 doors. Same on the rear 1/4 glass.

Dwight FitzSimons
08-21-2017, 10:07 AM
" I like the idea of playing "Studebaker stylist."

Then create something that never was! Graft a '58 J-Body top onto the '62 Hawk, add or subtract other styling details either seen on styling clays or those that styling drawing show were considered.

Steve

That is my other "Hawk fantasy!" The 1958 J-body roof is lighter looking than the Thunderbird (oops, Packard Predictor) roof, which, I think, is a bit heavy looking for the svelte Hawk body. Such a styling study was built and still exists. To me, it's even prettier than the G.T. Hawks. But, the amount of fabrication would be huge: roof mods, all glass except windshield, SS trim, etc.

-Dwight

swvalcon
08-21-2017, 11:14 AM
Dwight I'am sure if you ever saw one stripped apart you would find it not that hard to do. Studebaker never did anything on the hawks and ck bodys that was that drastic. They just didn't have the money.

studegary
08-21-2017, 12:05 PM
The 62-up hawk body is in all respects a 56 body or should I say a 53. All studebaker did to the shell is change out the roof panel and the panel between the trunk lid and back glass. If you ever strip one to bare metal you will see the weld points and lead work where it was done. But would be a lot of work to go though just to end back up with a 53 body shell. There are enough 53 k bodys still around that there would be not point to it. Just find a 53-58 K body and you have what you need. Not sure but I would guess the doors are the same and just need a vent window and glass change to the 56 doors. Same on the rear 1/4 glass.

I agree with you on the basic body shell (inner), but most of the exterior panels are different. For example, the '56 K has short swoops in the door panels and the '62 K has plain door panels. As I said before, the trunk lid and hood are also different.

swvalcon
08-21-2017, 12:59 PM
Gary that may be true but if your building a half custom there's nothing to say you cant use the gt doors, hood and the deck lid should be the same once you pull the aluminum panel off it. or find a 53-54 put a packard hawk center ring on it. I think what he was looking at here was put his own mark on it.

56H-Y6
08-22-2017, 07:29 AM
Hi

"But, the amount of fabrication would be huge: roof mods, all glass except windshield, SS trim, etc."

Before you write-off transplanting a '58 J-Body hardtop to a '62 GT Hawk, a dimensional analysis of the affected areas of the body is in order first. You may yet find it is more readily doable without massive difficulty or expense.

Steve

Dwight FitzSimons
08-22-2017, 11:44 AM
Hi

"But, the amount of fabrication would be huge: roof mods, all glass except windshield, SS trim, etc."

Before you write-off transplanting a '58 J-Body hardtop to a '62 GT Hawk, a dimensional analysis of the affected areas of the body is in order first. You may yet find it is more readily doable without massive difficulty or expense.

Steve

Good point. My brother has 2 '58 J-body Studes: a loaded President with a title, but too much rust; and a Commander with no title, but a good body. I'll take measurements the next time I'm at his garage.
-Dwight