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View Full Version : Towing capacity of Lark & Hawk?



Maryanne
04-26-2007, 11:41 AM
Hi,
I'm new to this forum,and this has probably been asked before....
Does anyone know the towing capacity for the following Studes:

1959 Golden Hawk, 289 engine
1962 Lark sedan, straight 6

I'm looking to buy a vintage 12 ft. trailer with a dryweight of 1600 - 2000 lbs. Can either or both of these cars pull this weight?

Thanks!
MMills

mmills

Dick Steinkamp
04-26-2007, 11:53 AM
I'm sure you'll get opinions at both ends of the spectrum on this one.

Mine is this...

Definitely not the Lark. Underpowered and under braked even without the trailer.

MAYBE on the Hawk if it is an automatic and in excellent mechanical condition. Even then, have a frame mounted class 3 hitch fabricated for the car, tow slow (55 mph or less), have the trailer equipped with electric brakes (and a breakaway kit) and install an electronic brake controller in the car. You should also think about fabricating some sort of transmission oil cooler. Stay out of the mountains.

http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

Stude4x4
04-26-2007, 01:10 PM
Well Dick is right about all of that. Don't try it with the Lark. Definitely put some electric brakes on the trailer and a class 3 hitch on the Hawk. Now here's some of my stories.

My uncle had '57 Silverhawk, 289 3spdOD and he pulled his 8,000 lb boat with the car. I guess he blew some minds when he pulled up to the boat ramp with the Hawk.

I have another uncle who had the same set-up, '57 Silverhawk, 289 3spdOD. There is a place in my area called "Carson Pass." Its a VERY steep and a very long hill. There was a fella with a 1950ish Ford pickup, pulling a 25' airstreem trailer and he fried the clutch. My uncle told the guy to get a chain and the fellow said, "yer gonna pull me with that?" My uncle started pulling and the guy dumped the clutch, stalled the engine and left it in gear, while my uncle pulled him up that steep grade with his Hawk.

Jake

-Home of John Studebaker-
http://s158.photobucket.com/albums/t95/stude4x4/
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studeclunker
04-27-2007, 02:08 AM
I have to agree with Dick to a limited extent. Forget towing anything with the Lark. With that six, it's all the poor thing can do just to haul itself around. As for the Hawk, condition is the key factor. Yes, a 289 should be able to handle that trailer with alacrity. Still, that's if it is in excellent condition. I have a '62 Champ with a (poorly) rebuilt 259 that has no trouble at all with 3-4 thousand pounds. I live in the mountains, quite literally. My driveway... well, let's just say that I tell people it was designed by Lucifer Metastophelies (a greek engineer that always smells like sulfur for some reason...). It has to work, but can pull my 57 Miley horse trailer up the driveway with no problem (dry weight about 3k). I towed my '56 Parkview wagon from Oroville to Lewiston, CA, a distance of around 150 miles. The truck had very little trouble. This, and with carb troubles. So, yes, your Hawk should be able to handle that trailer, if the weight you quoted is accurate. Just, as Dick so wisely suggested:


quote:it is an automatic and in excellent mechanical condition. Even then, have a frame mounted class 3 hitch fabricated for the car, tow slow (55 mph or less), have the trailer equipped with electric brakes (and a breakaway kit) and install an electronic brake controller in the car. You should also think about fabricating some sort of transmission oil cooler.

Remember, the Hawk has a larger displacement in it's engine than my truck, but it's gearing isn't set up for work. So, the engine loses it's ability to pull weight. As for mountain driving? Learn to downshift. You'll be ok.;) Just get that trans cooler for an automatic.;)

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/december%2006/HPIM0234.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/56%20Parkview%20Wagon/56wagonleftfrontclipped-1.jpg
Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

blackhawk
04-28-2007, 02:53 AM
The Hawk should easily pull that trailer. I towed my Hawk from Fort Hood, TX, to Seattle, WA, behind my '61 Studebaker station wagon equipped with a 259 CID V8 and 3-speed OD transmission. That's about 3,500 lbs. I had no problem with the mountains and easily cruised along 70 mph on the Interstates.

Dale

Guido
04-28-2007, 12:09 PM
Maryanne,

My experience is not so much being able to tow something, rather, being able to control it and stop when necessary. As stated by Dick, you absolutely need brakes on the trailer and a means to control them from the tow vehicle.

I can not tell you how many times someone has pulled in front of me while I was towing a trailer and I had to slam on brakes to avoid an accident.

Gary

http://thumb14.webshots.net/t/53/453/1/21/36/2964121360097493054pVJTFL_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/57/757/2/88/4/2023288040097493054SEKowB_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/18/19/8/37/21/2050837210097493054IYBJJL_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/59/559/1/43/57/2876143570097493054jKVhDw_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/22/22/0/2/68/2589002680097493054ftBuBw_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/28/28/8/30/30/2075830300097493054aSSlFv_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/59/459/2/23/86/2067223860097493054YoeGMx_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/28/28/5/18/33/2537518330097493054OgEKcN_th.jpg
Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

Studebaker horse drawn doctor’s buggy; Studebaker horse drawn “Izzer” buggy; 1946 M-16 fire truck; 1948 M-16 grain truck; 1949 2R17A fire truck; 1950 2R5 pickup; 1952 2R17A grain truck; 1952 Packard 200 4 door; 1955 E-38 grain truck; 1957 3E-40 flatbed; 1961 6E-28 grain truck; 1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck; 1962 7E-7 Champ pickup; 1962 GT Hawk 4 speed; 1963 8E-28 flatbed; 1964 Avanti R2 4 speed; 1964 Cruiser and various other "treasures" (including a 1959 IH B-120 4 wheel drive).

Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

Maryanne
04-28-2007, 01:39 PM
Thanks all for the great advice. This has been invaluable. I guess I'll have to do all the mechanical work first before I put my interior designer cap on. I am looking to renovate a vintage 1950's era trailer to tow behind our '59 Silver Hawk. The Hawk is a daily driver, so we will definitely need to make sure it is in excellent condition before we tow anything.

Thanks again,


mmills

studeclunker
04-28-2007, 06:06 PM
Very wise, Maryane.:D Send us a picture when you get the both of them ready for the road. That'll be one really cool ride and tag-along!:D[8D]

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/december%2006/HPIM0234.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/56%20Parkview%20Wagon/56wagonleftfrontclipped-1.jpg
Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

yekslo1
08-14-2007, 12:49 PM
Pulled a 16' Renken Speedboat with 75HP Johnson and Tee Nee Trailer for 2-3 years in the early 60's with a '57 Golden Hawk. Never had a problem. Lake was 120 miles R.T. Circa 1960 Trailer Hitch which as I remember wasn't much.

52-fan
08-14-2007, 02:06 PM
This might be better for the Studebaker stories section, but in 1967 I pulled a 15' camper trailer out of Buffalo River State Park(now national park)in the Ozark Mountains and back to Searcy with my 1959 Lark 6 with overdrive. I also had a 14'flat bottomed boat on top of the car. Coming up out of the river valley the car was in low gear and boiling over, but we made it. By gathering speed on the down hills we made it up the other hills, but I would not recommend that adventure to anyone.I was 17 (dumb) and lucky I guess, and the low overdrive gearing helped. I found out later that my dad had made arrangements with the park superintendent to tow us out if needed.

1952 Champion Starlight since October,1971. 1962 Daytona
since May, 2007.Searcy,Arkansas

Studenut
08-14-2007, 03:23 PM
Almost 50 years ago we bought a used 15' travel trailer (weight unknown) and towed it with the only vehicle we had at the time, my '53 Champion coupe with OD. Not a lot of performance by modern standards, but with the high (numerically) axle ratio that came with the six-OD it wasn't difficult to get the rig started or to climb hills. Obviously, our top speed was much below modern freeway speeds. We also successfully towed a neighbor's 21' Airstream with the Stude. Now we have a 30' trailer with a Dodge/Cummins PU as the tow vehicle.
I concur that you must have electric brakes on the trailer with a modern controller that senses the negative acceleration when you start to brake. A good trailer dealer can acquaint you with the various types of controllers. If your trailer is so old that the brakes on it are meant for 6 volt systems, then you need a heavy duty dropping resistor somewhere in the line.
Best wishes on this project, and I also would like to see a picture.

Jerry Buck
Racine, Wisconsin
'53 Champion Coupe - C (owned since 1956)
'61 Lark VI Convertible

John Kirchhoff
08-15-2007, 12:02 PM
Lucifer Metastophelies, was he the guy that sang about the burning ring of fire? Or was that Johnny Cash.........

53k
08-15-2007, 01:47 PM
In 1970 I bought an 18-foot Shasta travel trailer (weight loaded for a camping weekend- 3,800 pounds). I pulled it with my Wagonaire with a 259 and overdrive (3.73 rear end). I had a frame mounted hitch with a load-equalizing setup and I had electric brakes on the trailer. The Wagonaire handled it okay, but not well. On reasonable level ground- no problem. However, I got behind a stalled truck going over the mountain to Santa Cruz, CA (probably near Dick's old place). When I was able to get moving again I really smoked the clutch trying to get started up hill. Another time we left San Luis Obispo and went up the coast a short distance before turning up to old 99. I found that we were on a hill that went steadily upward for (it seemed) ten miles. I ran that whole distance in low gear, foot to the floor, making maybe 10mph- talk about white knuckles. I bought a '64 Champ longbed with a Powershift and a 3.73 TT rear. The hitch got swapped to it and I added an auxiliary cooler in series to the existing radiator cooling. I installed a R-1 engine. I pulled the trailer to Placerville on one tour- piece of cake- then I took the trailer up to the Seattle area, east to Yellowstone and on to Boston crossing one pass at 9,000 feet. It never faltered and handled the trailer beautifully though I did consume a lot of gas, something like 9mpg for the entire trip.


[img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/R-4.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64L.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64P.jpg[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/53K.jpg[/img=right]Paul Johnson
'53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
'64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
'64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
Museum R-4 engine

studebakerjoe
04-08-2014, 09:17 PM
you mean to tell me back in the day NO larks pulled trailers??? really somehow i dont believe it.

studebakerjoe
04-08-2014, 09:19 PM
33832 this is my lark and serro scotty and i will make it work

studebakerjoe
04-08-2014, 09:22 PM
33833:!!: im sure i can make this serro scotty work with mine

starliner62
04-08-2014, 09:22 PM
Just watch Mr. Ed. Wilbur pulled a horse trailer more than once with a Lark!!

Greenstude
04-08-2014, 09:45 PM
From 1985 to 2012, I owned an 18-foot travel trailer, weighing about 1,800 lb., which had surge brakes. These were adjusted properly and worked very well on the highway. I also used a sway bar which was very effective, especially in crosswinds or when being passed by a tractor-trailer, and would definitely use one again if I were to get another travel trailer. And, as said above, it is important that the tow vehicle and hitch be rated to handle the gross weight of the trailer (and more).

StudeRich
05-04-2014, 04:23 PM
studebakerjoe; it is not the LARK that is the problem, it's the 90 H.P. Lark VI, SIX Cylinder Engine that is! :(

Many of us like myself, have used Larks to pull other 3200 Lb. Studebakers with Towbars on Interstates, over huge West Coast Mountains and all with 289 V8's at 70 MPH and sometimes 259's with no problem at all, just do NOT try that if you have a Six! :D