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BobPalma
06-20-2012, 06:49 AM
Many of us lament having sold one or more of our first Studebaker loves; cars that disappeared into oblivion decades ago, leaving us wonder of their "fate to date." :(

So it was for my long-time Studebaker friend Phil Brandt of Noblesville IN, who recently located his long-lost 1959 Silver Hawk. It was a nice car, black with red interior, that he bought as an ordinary worn old Studebaker in the late 60s or early 70s and "restored" as we would have done it at the time.

Here's a period photo of the car from back then, in the Turn 1-2 short chute of The Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Phil at the wheel:

http://bl153w.blu153.mail.live.com/att/GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=0a1fcae7-ba89-11e1-8765-00237de49cd6&Aux=2154|0|8CF1CACEFA9E210||0|1|0|0|14|5,11,53&maxwidth=220&maxheight=160&size=Att

My personal memory of Phil's '59 was helping him bleed the brakes on a just-slightly-inclined driveway at a farmhouse he was renting in a rural area of NW Marion County (Indianapolis) when we were both young single bucks in our 20s. Phil was under the car and hollared for me to "pump it up" so he could open a bleeder screw.

I pumped it up as instructed and all of a sudden, a weak brake line "blew" and the car started rolling backwards ...with Phil behind a front wheel! :eek: He scrambled out from under the car just in the nick of time. The incline was so slight that it came to a gentle rest of its own accord on a level area without damaging anything, or itself.

That's when Phil and I learned about wheel chocks. (Hey, we were in our 20s and invincible, OK? :cool:)

Phil ultimately equipped the little 259 with a 4-barrel and 4-speed, redid the interior nicely, and refinished the car in what I believe was its original black. He wound up with a interesting, attractive 1959 Silver Hawk.

In a moment of weakness, for reasons he may yet explain to his own satisfaction, he got a hair up his posterior in 1982, when convertibles were no longer being manufactured. He traded the Hawk to the local Pontiac dealer toward a never-titled, custom-crafted, red 1980 Pontiac Trans-Am convertible, one of several that had been built by a place like Cars & Concepts, or some such.

He liked the Trans-Am and drove it a lot, but always wondered what happened to his '59 Hawk after the dealer sold it. It sort of fell off the face of the earth.

Well, lo and behold, Phil was fooling around on the internet the other day, now 31 years since he bid the Hawk farewell, and came up with this photo...with no caption or explanation:

http://bl153w.blu153.mail.live.com/att/GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=52b4841b-ba64-11e1-ab2c-00237de4a62a&Aux=854|0|8CF1C883AF89970||0|0|0|0||&maxwidth=220&maxheight=160&size=Att&blob=MHwzNDM2ZWJiNGIxMTBlYy5qcGd8aW1hZ2UvanBlZw_3d_3d

Phil e-mailed me the photo and asked if I thought it might be his old Hawk. I thought I remembered it having the 1957 Golden Hawk "turbine" style wheel covers on it and asked him if that was true. He confirmed it was, to the best of his memory. But that was all we knew about the photo.

I thought "we" might go backwards from that photo, since nothing was known about it, so I researched 1958 DeSotos on the internet, per the other car in the background.

PAYDIRT! To make a long story short, I found another photo of that DeSoto at what was obviously that same car show and e-mailed Phil back, suggesting he research that car show, which he did. In short order, he again located the original photo through the DeSoto connection!

A caption below the photo now gave the Hawk owner's name and home town (McAllen TX) and described the trophy he was holding as "The Mayor's Choice [the Hawk] Award at McAllen's Palmfest Car Show." :!:

Armed with that data, Phil was able to contact the Hawk's current owner. He determined with certainty that it was, in fact, his "old '59." The owner related stories about the car, including the fact that it had been stolen and taken to Mexico at one time before being recovered. :woot:

So Phil was able to close the loop through the DeSoto hobby and now, like the rest of us, knows "the rest of the story"....even though the late Paul Harvey is not here to tell it.

Congrats, Phil....now those are some COOL BEANS! :D BP

Peanut
06-20-2012, 07:19 AM
Does Phil have any interest in reclaiming his prize, or was it just about the hunt?

BobPalma
06-20-2012, 07:24 AM
Does Phil have any interest in reclaiming his prize, or was it just about the hunt?

'Dunno. Just the hunt, I think....but I really don't know. BP

Johnnywiffer
06-20-2012, 08:54 AM
What a NEAT-O story, Bob! I really love the "happen-stance", then the research and finally, as you said, "paydirt"!

Would that all of LIFE was that rewarding! :D

John

studelark
06-20-2012, 09:09 AM
Bob; I can't get any of the photos to show on my 'puter! What am I doing wrong? Interesting story of one man's persistence.

Frank Drumheller
Locust Grove, VA
60S-W6
M16-52 Studebaker-Boyer 1948 fire truck

studelark
06-20-2012, 10:00 AM
Thanks, Bob. I appreciate the time it took to send these photos. Frank

BobPalma
06-20-2012, 10:17 AM
If my car collection is For Sale next week, you'll know my wife killed me for posting this photo:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/jonesboatphoto.jpg

Circa 1977: My friend Phil Brandt (then the owner of the 1959 Hawk in this topic) is up front in the 1970 Duo Rounder trihedral-hull runabout I bought brand new in 1970. Yours truly behind the wheel; wife Cari [appropriately] in the First Mate's seat.

Aft are sisters Debbie (behind me) and Jenny Jones, daughters of Studebaker-club friends Steve & Peggy Jones of Indianapolis. Steve took the photo from the shore as we pushed off for a round of water skiing on west central Indiana's Raccoon Lake. (1970 Kiekhaefer Mercury 800 power, of course; no wheezing OMC Johnson / Evinrudes!)

Debbie Jones was perhaps 12 at the time; maybe 13.

In December 2011, we attended Steve & Peggy Jones' 50th Wedding Anniversary Party on the east side of Indianapolis, sitting with Phil at one of the tables. Daughter Debbie is now about 47 years old and runs a catering service with her husband, who together catered her parent's 50th Anniversary Party!

I hadn't remembered this photo having been taken, but Steve gave it to us at the party. Time flies when you're having fun. Sigh. BP

Sdude
06-20-2012, 03:04 PM
Hey Bob, you looked just like Jack Nicholson in the day.

BobPalma
06-20-2012, 03:16 PM
Hey Bob, you looked just like Jack Nicholson in the day.

Well, Jon; I'll take that as a compliment, I guess...thanks! :cool: BP

Sdude
06-20-2012, 08:17 PM
Well, Jon; I'll take that as a compliment, I guess...thanks! :cool: BP

Yeah, my wife confirmed it. I showed her the picture and said "who's that?"

First words out of her mouth with no hesitation - Jack Nicholson.

You can take it as a compliment - that is unless "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

BobPalma
06-20-2012, 08:20 PM
Yeah, my wife confirmed it. I showed her the picture and said "who's that?"

First words out of her mouth with no hesitation - Jack Nicholson.

You can take it as a compliment - that is unless "YOU CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

Well, I'd better not let Cari see these remarks or she'll want to know how come I'm not making as much money as Jack Nicholson. ;) BP

tailfin
06-26-2012, 05:33 PM
Well, (I said, as I quietly snuck in the back door of this place) I am the fella who now owns that 59 Hawk listed above. Phil was not the only one excited when we made contact. I have wanted to learn more about the Hawk's history and previous owner(s) for many years. When he called and my wife said, "The phone is for you. He thinks he use to own your Studebaker," I was in disbelief. After a very interesting conversation, Phil and I got the needed info to stay in touch, and almost every day I am learning something new about a car that I have owned longer than any other car in my entire life. (I have owned it for 28 years) Funny, for years, as a member of SDC, I would see Bob Parma's name, but it never occured to me that he was not only personal friends with a previous owner of my Hawk, but that he had worked on it also. Boy, life is fun of surprises. This one was a very good one indeed.

tailfin
06-26-2012, 05:39 PM
Hmm...I was gonna post a current picture of the Hawk, but I apparently am not smart enough to do that. Guess I will go and polish the Hawk. At least I know how to do that...

JoeHall
06-26-2012, 05:58 PM
Some may not know, Phil is a looong time 56J owner. He has a very nice looking, tastefully personalized 56J that is often seen in and around Indi and South Bend.

kurtruk
06-26-2012, 06:34 PM
Hey Bob, you looked just like Jack Nicholson in the day.

I was thinkin' Burt Reynolds, with less chest hair...:cool:

BobPalma
06-26-2012, 08:20 PM
Hmm...I was gonna post a current picture of the Hawk, but I apparently am not smart enough to do that. Guess I will go and polish the Hawk. At least I know how to do that...

Welcome aboard, Ward.

My personal e-mail address is in any Turning Wheels' Co-Operator column. If you can figure out how to send those photos to my personal e-mail, I can probably figure out how to post them here for you. :cool: BP

BobPalma
03-16-2013, 04:31 PM
Update March 16, 2013: Phil just received this "TODAY" photo from Ward "tailfin" Morrill, the current owner, enjoying the car at a current/recent show.

This car is really a phoenix, and not a Pontiac, either. Remember, it was stolen, taken to Mexico, rode hard and put up wet down there, and then partially stripped. When located in Mexico through some a somebody-knew-somebody sleuthing, a "law officer" was driving it as his patrol car, somewhat beat up.

Talk about a miraculous comeback! :woot: BP

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/phils59hawktoday_zps70f8fba4.jpg

Roscomacaw
03-16-2013, 04:42 PM
SO........ yet another option as a Pursuit Marshall!

BobPalma
03-16-2013, 08:35 PM
SO........ yet another option as a Pursuit Marshall!

Might be, Bob...and remember, as bad as it got in Mexico, this is what Phil and I were trying to do to it in the mid-1970s! :eek:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/PBHawk72.jpg

8E45E
03-16-2013, 08:46 PM
Update March 16, 2013: Phil just received this "TODAY" photo from Ward "tailfin" Morrill, the current owner, enjoying the car at a current/recent show.

Another one to add to this thread: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?340-Where-is-your-FIRST-Studebaker&highlight=1976

Craig

tailfin
03-16-2013, 11:20 PM
Update March 16, 2013: Phil just received this "TODAY" photo from Ward "tailfin" Morrill, the current owner, enjoying the car at a current/recent show.

This car is really a phoenix, and not a Pontiac, either. Remember, it was stolen, taken to Mexico, rode hard and put up wet down there, and then partially stripped. When located in Mexico through some a somebody-knew-somebody sleuthing, a "law officer" was driving it as his patrol car, somewhat beat up.

Talk about a miraculous comeback! :woot: BP

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/phils59hawktoday_zps70f8fba4.jpg



Phil is too nice to say anything, but he is still helping in the Hawk's restoration. I recently needed a part that I could not find and he solved my problem. My hat is off to Phil, who is a obviously a great guy. I feel honored to still be able to display the car that he (and Bob) both worked so hard on 40 years ago. I never cease to be amazed at the attention the Hawk gets at car shows.
I have owned over 50 vehicles in my life, but before I found the Hawk, I would never have guessed I would own a Studebaker for longer than any other car in my entire life. (I have owned it for 29 years and still counting) What fun I have had with it. Driving home in it tonight from a weekend car show, all the other people on the road were jockeying for a position to see it and try to talk to me. As the rest of you finned Hawk owners also already know, they are wildly popular with the crowd.

candbstudebakers
03-17-2013, 01:42 AM
If my car collection is For Sale next week, you'll know my wife killed me for posting this photo:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/jonesboatphoto.jpg

Circa 1977: My friend Phil Brandt (then the owner of the 1959 Hawk in this topic) is up front in the 1970 Duo Rounder trihedral-hull runabout I bought brand new in 1970. Yours truly behind the wheel; wife Cari [appropriately] in the First Mate's seat.

Aft are sisters Debbie (behind me) and Jenny Jones, daughters of Studebaker-club friends Steve & Peggy Jones of Indianapolis. Steve took the photo from the shore as we pushed off for a round of water skiing on west central Indiana's Raccoon Lake. (1970 Kiekhaefer Mercury 800 power, of course; no wheezing OMC Johnson / Evinrudes!)

Debbie Jones was perhaps 12 at the time; maybe 13.

In December 2011, we attended Steve & Peggy Jones' 50th Wedding Anniversary Party on the east side of Indianapolis, sitting with Phil at one of the tables. Daughter Debbie is now about 47 years old and runs a catering service with her husband, who together catered her parent's 50th Anniversary Party!

I hadn't remembered this photo having been taken, but Steve gave it to us at the party. Time flies when you're having fun. Sigh. BP

Shame on you Bob, do you know who designed the Evinrudes??

BobPalma
03-17-2013, 06:22 AM
Shame on you Bob, do you know who designed the Evinrudes??

Well, Bob, even if Raymond Loewy styled it, I wouldn't have a bloated "John-Rude" on the back of my boat for half the price of a Kiekhaefer-Mercury! That's back when the Johnson/Evinrude versus Mercury war was in full battle mode on America's waterways, every bit as strident as Chevy versus Ford or Coke versus Pepsi...and I was solidly in Camp Kiekhaefer-Mercury.

(And BTW, I was proven right: I owned the boat 39 years and the engine was never apart, not even the carburetors! I used it a lot, too. When I sold it four years ago, the engine was running on the original fuel pumps and carburetors -yes, there were two of each- and the crankcase halves still had their original, factory lead seal on the cable, indicating they'd never been "split.")

Good outboards, those Mercurys! :D BP

8E45E
03-17-2013, 08:24 AM
Shame on you Bob, do you know who designed the Evinrudes??

Depending which one, it was Brooks Stevens.

Craig

candbstudebakers
03-17-2013, 10:19 AM
Brooks Stevens did have something do do with Evinrude.

Pack Rat
03-17-2013, 10:47 AM
Hi guys (and gals) .... I'm Phil. Since this thread is about MY old Silver Hawk I though that I would chime in here. I've never posted before and only occasionally monitor the forum.

It was quite a thrill to locate my former Silver Hawk last year. I had been wondering what happened to her ever since 1982 when I traded the Hawk in for a slightly used Trans Am convertible (1 of a small number of Camaros and Trans Ams custom converted in that era) with air conditioning. That might have been one of the last Studebaker trade-ins to a new car dealer in history. I had the Trans Am for 25 years.

I have replaced the Silver Hawk with a 56 Golden Hawk which is quite possibly my last restoration. There must have been something detrimental in the 'rust buster' spray we were using in 1972 as both Bob Palma and I have almost identical receding hair lines .... Haaaaaaaaaaa.

Pack Man22180

showbizkid
03-17-2013, 11:13 AM
Phil, welcome to the Forum! Glad you've got a Studebaker back in the fold :) That looks like a very cool car.

BobPalma
03-17-2013, 02:20 PM
Welcome, Phil...and since the rust-buster apparently saved the '59 Silver Hawk, I'd say the receding hairlines were a small sacrifice for "the cause," eh? ;) BP

Pack Rat
03-17-2013, 03:04 PM
22194As long as the Silver Hawk remains in Texas and the Mexicans don't get ahold of it again, it should be around long after you, I, and Tailfin are taking our inevitable 'dirt naps'.

Pack Man

StudeRich
03-17-2013, 03:58 PM
OK who is going to post the first bid for Bob's Barracuda Convertible or '64 Daytona Convertible?

He appears to be still "kickin" but I don't think he will be allowed to keep them in CARI's garage any more!

And they are unlikely to fit in the DOG HOUSE with him! :D

BobPalma
03-17-2013, 04:04 PM
OK who is going to post the first bid for Bob's Barracuda Convertible or '64 Daytona Convertible?

He appears to be still "kickin" but I don't think he will be allowed to keep them in CARI's garage any more!

And they are unlikely to fit in the DOG HOUSE with him! :D
Now wait a minute here, Rich; let's not get the forum membership a little ahead of itself! :D :eek: BP

jnormanh
03-17-2013, 04:14 PM
Shame on you Bob, do you know who designed the Evinrudes??

I thought Ole Evinrude designed them. And I wouldn't disparage the early Evinrudes. Later known as ELTOs (Evinrude Light Twin Outboard ) and in 4-60 and X-60 form, they powered many top midget race cars, won lots of races and championships. A running late 1930s ELTO 4-cyl is worth a lot of money. A 1939 Mercury? Not so much.

ELTO is long gone, of course. Mercury? Everything up to 60HP is made in Japan or China.

ELTO went down in a blaze of glory. Mercury? Just more Chinese junk.

http://granitefallsvintageracecars.com/cars/num7/1200/7main.jpg

SN-60
03-17-2013, 05:07 PM
I thought Ole Evinrude designed them. And I wouldn't disparage the early Evinrudes. Later known as ELTOs (Evinrude Light Twin Outboard ) and in 4-60 and X-60 form, they powered many top midget race cars, won lots of races and championships. A running late 1930s ELTO 4-cyl is worth a lot of money. A 1939 Mercury? Not so much.

ELTO is long gone, of course. Mercury? Everything up to 60HP is made in Japan or China.

ELTO went down in a blaze of glory. Mercury? Just more Chinese junk.

http://granitefallsvintageracecars.com/cars/num7/1200/7main.jpg

Very interesting!.......And what a nice picture!