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Thread: Another great barn find-- Rare! Opinions please?

  1. #1
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    Another great barn find-- Rare! Opinions please?

    Giddy and excited-- this has been quite a year for great barn finds for us! A few months ago we scored a '63 Daytona Convertible, a '52 Champion 2-door sedan, and a '57 Transtar 1/2 ton. All had very low mileage and had been stored 35 and 40 years. All three have now been returned to running condition, and we regularly drive the Truck and the Champion. Lots of fun! Well, now we've really scored a good one, I think! I have big plans for it.
    Great enough to find a solid complete unmolested '56 Golden Hawk, but how about one with manual trans and O.D. as well as Power Steering? And how about with Dual Quads? By all indications this car has been outfitted like this since the beginning. The birth certificate shows the trans and P.S. to be original, and the 2 4's have all original and correct carburetors, linkage, filters, etc. as compared to the factory pictures from 1956.
    The pictures show the as-found condition, and the car as it appears now, cleaned up. Still has not been run, so engine condition is unknown. Doesn't appear to ever have been wrecked, and has no rust except in front fenders. I have perfect replacements.
    We're now trying to decide whether to go all the way with a frame-off restoration, or leave the body on and do as first-class of a job as we can like that. Since it's so rust-free, that's tempting, but a car of this caliber... opinions? We want to make the best of our investment. What do y'all think the value of this car might be going either way?
    It was originally green/white-- we'll probably go green/black as a matter of preference. Might also upgrade to a 374-- I mean, why not? Also intend to install new Chrysler wire wheels and wide whites. No other changes are planned, other than making it like new. (or better than...)56 G Hawk 003.jpg56 G Hawk 004.jpg56 G Hawk 002.jpg56 G Hawk 005.jpg56 G Hawk 001.jpgNew Ariel 28 May 2007 007.jpg56J Engine pics. 001.jpgNew Ariel 28 May 2007 006.jpgThis Studebakering stuff can be pretty cool!
    1951 Champion Business Coupe
    1951 Commander Starlight
    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
    1953 Champion Starlight
    1953 Commander Starliner
    1953 2R5
    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
    1959 Silver Hawk
    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Convertible
    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
    1970 Avanti

  2. #2
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    Kenny, I don't know where to start, this is remarkable!

    I certainly would hold myself back a bit were the car mine. Yes, by all means, make every system in the car function correctly but by all means use it and get it out there in the world, for the world to see. That way, if you fall in love as is, you aren't in any kind of corner. Personally, I'd give it a year.

    After that, if you're not satisfied with the car (green isn't my fave but I do like it on her) or it looks like you may be doing more harm than good by putting off a restoration, rip into her. Is the current colour the original? It almost looks like the inner fenders have white paint. Is that even the original paint to begin with?

    BTW, I am sure there is a twelve step program out there for you but it looks as if you've gone for a 13 step program at this point.

    Seriously though, congratulations!

    Ken Buchanan

  3. #3
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    I love the looks of that car, I want one too!! That color is begging to be two-toned with white, in my opinion every 1956 Golden Hawk should be two-toned.
    1956 Golden Hawks and 1963 Daytona convertibles are two of my most favorite automobiles.

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

  4. #4
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Definitely too nice to restore IMHO.

    Nice car!
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    Ken
    If the engine is good I see no reason to go to a 374. Neither engine is a hot dog but they are respectable in performanceI really like the solid green of the two pics you show in your library. I think it is very elegant. I have had the finned hawks in two tone and single colors as well as GT hawks.in usually single colors. This is a matter of personal preferencem. The tranny combo makes for a great cruiser I think your wheel idea is good.I like keeping the bodies of my cars pretty much stock. With the engine of two four barrel carbs you hsve a very rare car. Good luck.

    Bill Jones Jr.
    D & B Restoration

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Looks like it was an LA plant car. Absolutely beautiful too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by spokejr View Post
    Kenny, I don't know where to start, this is remarkable!

    I certainly would hold myself back a bit were the car mine. Yes, by all means, make every system in the car function correctly but by all means use it and get it out there in the world, for the world to see. That way, if you fall in love as is, you aren't in any kind of corner. Personally, I'd give it a year.

    After that, if you're not satisfied with the car (green isn't my fave but I do like it on her) or it looks like you may be doing more harm than good by putting off a restoration, rip into her. Is the current colour the original? It almost looks like the inner fenders have white paint. Is that even the original paint to begin with?

    BTW, I am sure there is a twelve step program out there for you but it looks as if you've gone for a 13 step program at this point.

    Seriously though, congratulations!

    Ken Buchanan
    I think Ken's got it dead on. Ditto for me on this count.
    Drive it as is for a while... then decide.
    Unbelievably gorgeous. A breathtaking car, fer sher.
    sals54

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    President Member packardHawk58's Avatar
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    At the 2002 SB meet this 56 J had this quad setup installed, with the owner claiming these were an original air cleaner setup.
    Maybe on a Packard Caribbean, but I think your setup is more plausible, they seem to be the same air cleaners as used on 56-57 Corvettes.
    Beautiful car and looks great in that colour, I don't think it needs two-toning in white. Great find!
    Brian Greenall
    Melbourne, OZ

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    I think I'd redo the mechanicals and the interior, and leave the rest alone. I would have a very hard time changing anything from stock on that one. I've never seen a 56J that color, and as few of these that were built with OD and PS, I'd bet it's the only one in this combination. I like it!

    Be sure to contact Frank Ambrogio so he can add it to his registry.

    Congrats on such a cool find.

  10. #10
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Cool beans, Kenny; what a find!

    I'd agree with Ken and Sal; good recommendations on how to proceed.

    Research the original color; with the under hood being white, it was probably two-toned and you might want to consider that if you ever repaint it...but don't rush into anything, as nice as it cleaned up.

    That looked like quite a nest around the distributor "as found." What did you find underneath there?

    Best wishes on a wonderful car. Overdrive and Power Steering is indeed a rare combination. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

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    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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    I think i'd start looking for history on this one....

    Ditto on the other's comments leave the body alone for at least a year, with the possible exception of hunting down the tin worms and killing them.
    Pull the carpet and check under there too.

  12. #12
    President Member 57pack's Avatar
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    I see by your list by your signature you own way to many Studebakers.
    Please ship your Golden to me asap!
    All kidding aside, what a great find! Just fix what needs to fixed and Drive her!
    Amazing, seems to be more Goldens coming to light. Not a bad thing.

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    The only thing I would change, if you're going to drive it, it the carb linkage. Go to progressive linkage, it's much easier to tune! Very nice catch!- Jim

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    Frame off restoration ??? Find from the registry what's out there. Then, extrapolating "some" from the 64' ragtop thread.... you might get close as to a number. A frame off , with full interior correct for best bucks and of course a complete engine rebuild correct carbing........ well, you know where you stand (on one leg)..... My guess is there are several pockets here who would love that car, pay good money AND complete the restoration to original.....

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    Same 'look' as Joe Bacon's '56 Golden less the 'Glenbrook Green' !!...Your Hawk is the most interesting Stude I've seen on this forum in MONTHS!...Best of luck with it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by packardHawk58 View Post


    At the 2002 SB meet this 56 J had this quad setup installed, with the owner claiming these were an original air cleaner setup.
    Maybe on a Packard Caribbean, but I think your setup is more plausible, they seem to be the same air cleaners as used on 56-57 Corvettes.
    Beautiful car and looks great in that colour, I don't think it needs two-toning in white. Great find!
    Great Photo Brian!!....Hopefully, this powerful engine isn't backed up by an Ultramatic!!

  17. #17
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    That's a fabulous find of my all-time favorite Stude; a '56J with overdrive.
    At the 2002 SB meet this 56 J had this quad setup installed, with the owner claiming these were an original air cleaner setup.
    Maybe on a Packard Caribbean, but I think your setup is more plausible, they seem to be the same air cleaners as used on 56-57 Corvettes.
    Not original for the Caribbean, either. Here's a Caribbean setup installed backward on my '55 E12 pickup


    As there were no factory-installed '56J with 2x4 setups, there were no original air filters. However, it would be natural for Studebaker Engineering to have considered using two of the single carb filters. And yes the Corvette 2x4 air filters work well on '56Js.

    If the engine is good I see no reason to go to a 374. Neither engine is a hot dog but they are respectable in performance
    Your opinions and results are valid in light of how fast BrandX cars later became, but in the Studebaker pantheon of performance, there is none hotter or more pleasant to drive. Compared to anything of its era, the 374" Caribbean in a '56 J is a rocket ship; magazine road tests found even the stock '56J faster and quicker than the Corvette, Thunderbird or Chrysler 300.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  18. #18
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Great find Kenny, I just would re-think that "Black" Color change, not a good combo with the Turquoise Green, which clearly matches/goes well with the clearly Green Interior.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




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    President Member jbwhttail's Avatar
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    You need to send the serial number and body number to Frank Ambrogio for a build sheet on this car, as far as I know no Seafoam and white cars were built. the interior is correct for a Seafoam/Glenbrook green. Also as mentioned the dual carbs were not an option but "may have" been installed by a dealer. As far as the dual air cleaner...... those were manufactured to a drawing of what one would look like should they be an option. If dual carbs were not an option on the Hawk neither was the air cleaner.

    Your car do with it as you like but............... I would look at what it qas originally before I changed it.
    It is an addiction!

  20. #20
    Silver Hawk Member studeclunker's Avatar
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    Well Kenny, congrats on yet another wonderful find. as the usual caveat goes, you car, your money. That said, I would seriously consider VERY carefully any modification of this car. It just might be already heavily modified, then again knowing Studebaker as we all do, it very well could be factory. If so, it might be a better investment on such an unusual car to just repair and restore without any modification (or very minimal anyway).

    Wonderful find, congratulations!
    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
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    Ron Smith
    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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    I would keep the engine as is as long as the oil pump is up to the job. Isky made a cam and lifter set for these engines. Ask Jack Vines as he is the expert. Upgrade the brakes, heavier front and rear sway bars and drive it hard.
    StudeRick & Johna
    Sacramento CA

    1964 GT Hawk
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1964 Avanti

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    If you intend to drive this '56GH a bit, a Jack Vines Oldsmobile oil pump conversion kit would be 'just what the doctor ordered'!

  23. #23
    President Member hausdok's Avatar
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    It cleaned up very very nicely. I'd leave it alone. It's a survivor. Today, it seems like survivors are commanding more money at auctions than restored or modifieds. I'd clean the interior, have an upholsterer replace any torn seat panels, damaged door panels and carpets; same with the trunk; but keep as much of the original as I was able to with careful cleaning and polishing. Remove the front fenders, cut out the rust, weld in new metal, lead, sand, prime and paint to match and reinstall. I'd leave the original rims and covers and replace the old rubber with some new classic tires - classic radials if I wanted to drive it a lot or just classic bias-ply if I wasn't planning to drive it a lot.

    Think about having a dry-ice blasting company clean the engine compartment and under the car for you maybe even the trunk, seats and headliner. There's a firm in Seattle in Freemont Area. Dry ice blasting can remove years of aging and dirt without harming the finish or the underlying car the way that sand blasting does.

    We should talk. I believe I'm supposed to be picking up a car from you in a couple of weeks. Shoot me a PM.
    Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
    Kenmore, Washington
    hausdok@msn.com

    '58 Packard Hawk
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    (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

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    FullSizeRender.jpgHere is an original factory photo taken in 1956 of the prototype as Studebaker was preparing this as a factory option. It was to include Dual points distributor, special camshaft and solid lifters, and the dual carbs as you see them here. All the Studebaker part numbers were outlined at the time as it was being readied for production. Why they didn't end up producing it, I do not know as the engineering of it was apparently completed. As you can see, the air filters were the same as they appear on my car.
    I have the build sheet, and Seafoam and White was the original color combination. I appreciate the sentiments of keeping it all original, but alas it's already not-- it had a fairly poor quality paint job done to it many years ago, and was painted all one color at that time.
    As far as my choice of Black and Seafoam, that was a factory paint scheme offered on Golden Hawks in 1956, and a few were built that way. Having bought and sold many cars during my career, I've found that a beautifully presented car in beautiful colors sells every bit as well as a "correct" car in almost every case. I think those who complain the the color isn't original are usually just looking for an angle to talk the price down when there isn't anything else wrong with the car to use as a bargaining point. Surely many of you must have seen the Metallic Black-Cherry colored '58 Golden Hawk on the internet? Positively not original, positively Beautiful.
    This car is a bit like the long lasting discussion about which R3 Avanti's are the "real" ones... Was this built by Studebaker? Yes. Were the dual quads factory installed? I don't think so, although they are exactly like the factory photo. Were they Dealer-installed? It appears they were because of how correct and complete it is. I see this car as rather like a "Yenko" Camaro-- they weren't built by Chevrolet, but by a Dealer. In any case, intake system aside, the car is equipped just as it was when it left the factory.
    And about the wire wheels and tires: two of the highest auction prices ever paid for a Golden Hawk were both cars that were sold with Wire wheels. But more importantly== I like 'em!! And they are easily removed if desired.
    I love the discussion and the comments! Keep 'em coming! This is how we learn.
    1951 Champion Business Coupe
    1951 Commander Starlight
    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
    1953 Champion Starlight
    1953 Commander Starliner
    1953 2R5
    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
    1959 Silver Hawk
    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Convertible
    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
    1970 Avanti

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    Never seen that photo before....Not only do you have an interesting car there, you also have interesting photos!!

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    I'm thinking that although this dual quad conversion was PROBABLY (?) done at a Stude dealership, it was done with (at the time) brand new parts. (not simply pirated off of a Caribbean)

    This conversion may be as close to what a 'factory' '56J dual quad option would have looked like as any of us are ever going to see!

    Once again, this Hawk is the most interesting Stude that has been discussed on this forum in a LONG time! (IMHO)

  27. #27
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I'd like to see the car in green and white.
    I like to keep original paint colors, but more important green is my favorite color.
    It sure cleaned up nice from the dusty barn find.

  28. #28
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    On this car's original paint, looking at the 56J Only site, I do not see, "seafoam" green listed at all. But "seaside" green is listed, including with the white combo. Looks like there were 15 at SB, and 7 at LA that were painted seaside green & snowcap white. There were 5 midnight black & seaside green 56Js from SB, and zero from LA.

    As for the dual carbs, I knew a guy from the Midwest who owned a beautiful 56J with that setup. He was on the SDC circuit for several years, and always lost points when judged, due to the carbs not being, "factory correct". Last time I saw him and his car was at the SDC meet in SB about 10 years ago; he said he was tired of arguing with the judges, and just going to display it from then on. I have not seen him nor the car since. The, "Jet Streak" option got as far as planning, but unfortunately was never released by the factory. It certainly appears they, "belong" on this car, and every other 56J I have seen them on.
    Last edited by JoeHall; 04-05-2017 at 11:11 AM.

  29. #29
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    You are correct-- I intended to say "Seaside Green" and I believe you are correct in the production numbers as well...
    1951 Champion Business Coupe
    1951 Commander Starlight
    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
    1953 Champion Starlight
    1953 Commander Starliner
    1953 2R5
    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
    1959 Silver Hawk
    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Convertible
    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
    1970 Avanti

  30. #30
    President Member packardHawk58's Avatar
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    Kenny, just curious you have a 64 Daytona R2 listed in your collection , is it a hardtop?
    Ironically I will probably be meeting you in three weeks since I will be riding with Mike to pickup that 63 Daytona Convertible that we are hauling to the SB meet for the new owner.
    Brian Greenall
    Melbourne, OZ

  31. #31
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    drrotor, unless the engine shown has adjustable pushrods on the valves, it must have hydraulic lifters.

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    The car has cleaned up very well! My opinion is that they are only original once- even if it's a bit shabby, sort all the systems out and enjoy driving the wheels off it for a while. Trust me, it will garner as much or more attention at a car show than if you did a concours restoration on it! What a great find- should be lots of fun to step down the loud pedal on that baby on the open road!
    Evan Davis
    Prairie Bulletin
    Saskatchewan Chapter
    Prince Albert, Sk
    http://www.saskstudebaker.ca/Studebaker.html

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    Not sure what happened to my earlier contribution to the thread...

    Firstly, congratulations on a truly superb 'find' and in what incredible condition after such a long period of hibernation.

    If you haven't already been in contact with Frank Ambrogio, you should make contact with him. Frank set-up the 56J Register and you can find his contact information here
    http://www.1956goldenhawk.com/

    Frank might be able to help with a copy of the build sheet, though he would probably appreciate you joining the Register too. There's no joining fee, other than supplying him VIN Tag and body numbers. I'm pretty sure Frank and many other members of the Register would be delighted to read of how you found the car / owner, bought the car and your plans for such a lovely vehicle. Franks publishes a Newsletter 3 to 4 times each year, so fingers crossed you might consider this.

    Some have suggested enjoying the car 'as is' now to help formulate your future plans, which does make sense. Others have suggested swapping out the oil pump and contacting Jack Vines - he is the go to guy on Packard engine matters. Jack should be able to supply you with the correct oil pump and guidance. Jack would also be able to provide you with some great insights to turning the engine into a 374" - you'd be sure to enjoy the extra horses!

    Frank had a car with dual quads, which he sold a few years ago. As with all unique vehicles, if you have some time... please take as many photographs as possible and if you're minded to, perhaps consider sharing with Frank Ambrogio.

    When Frank set-up the 56J Register, his ethos was to help share and disseminate knowledge, experience... and fun between 56J Owners. The ethos remains and we're exceedingly lucky to have such a stalwart still running the Register.

    BTW, you'll find the Register a vast resource as well as some highly knowledgeable folk, who will be more than happy to provide any help and assistance with your questions and queries.

    Please keep posting updates and photos as you work thru your ideas... and here's hoping you become a long-term owner of such a great car. If you've not guessed, I admit to being biased.

    Good luck, Richard

    ITV 4 - photo 1.jpg Photo0166.jpg Chassis-full length.jpg LF5_0724.jpg

    PS: It's a mammoth task if you go the whole restoration hog, but you'll know all about that anyway
    Richard

  34. #34
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    Kenny,

    I know that you know your way around cars, so I don't have to tell you what's involved in a body off. Please take some time to let this all settle down before you jump in with both feet. The way to maximize value is to not restore, but preserve it as original as you can live with. I know you well enough to know that perfection is what you demand, but you also drive your cars. A twelve hundred hour> restoration on a car that you will want to drive, and "make the best out of your investment," are sadly incompatible. You are going to drive it so prepare it as a driver. By taking the body off you can easily add 50% to the restoration time required with very little real cosmetic payback, while putting yourself behind the eight ball time and dollar wise. There are scant few post war Studebakers that can even come close to recouping the cost of restoration and this is not one of them. Soft prices, limited high end market and extremely high restoration costs and you have a recipe for financial suicide! Hope to see you this weekend at Mary's. You'll see some of our junk and maybe see the depth to which this suicidal tendency can lead!-Bill

  35. #35
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    IMHO, Original production order would be a good start.

  36. #36
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    I think everyone has fallen in love with this Golden Hawk !!!!!!!!

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    You guys are great. "Wisdom comes from the council of many". That's why I've been soliciting opinions. Thanks to all of you.
    Yes, I've already registered the car on 56J register, spent an hour on the phone with Frank, and I was already in posession of The original buid sheet.
    Don't worry-- I'm not the kind of guy who charges into a project with tools and parts flying every which way, and with no plan. Collecting all your opinions is in fact, part of the plan. As far as the way to build this car, I'll be doing a very nice quality restoration to it with these critera:
    1. It must be beautiful to the eye, done in a period-correct way, but not slavishly correct to the last detail.
    2. It will be upgraded only slightly with a nod towards safety and reliability-- i.e. Disc Brakes, Radial Tires, Electronic Ignition, Seat Belts.
    3. It will be upgraded in the spirit of it's performance personality: A fresh or NOS 374, with all Jet Streak components if possible.
    4. It will NEVER have any SBC, LS1, Mustang suspended, Rack and Pinion foolishness anywhere near it.
    Does this all meet with the approval of the Studebaker Community? I hope so, because it certainly meets with mine!
    Oh-- and it won't be done soon...
    1951 Champion Business Coupe
    1951 Commander Starlight
    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
    1953 Champion Starlight
    1953 Commander Starliner
    1953 2R5
    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
    1959 Silver Hawk
    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Convertible
    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
    1970 Avanti

  38. #38
    President Member BRUCESTUDE's Avatar
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    Beautiful car! At least have it running and driving in time for the National Meet in Tacoma, 2018!!

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    Speedster Member
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    Oct 2012
    Location
    Renton, Wa.
    Posts
    269
    IMG_0040.jpgIMG_0046.jpgMaybe this will help. As a way of illustrating our intentions for this '56IMG_0039.jpg, I offer up a few pictures of our '57 Silver Hawk we finished restoring last year. I built this car especially for my wife, and let her choose the color, the upholstery color and material, etc. I optioned it up by adding power steering, and Golden Hawk gauges, upholstery in the style of Golden Hawks, Golden Hawk trim (as well as some from other years), Speedster wheel covers, etc.
    Maybe 1 person in a thousand at local car shows knows that it isn't exactly correct, but everyone seems to approve. I was amused, however, at a Studebaker car show last year, a fellow was walking by with his wife. We overheard her say "Wow! That thing is Gorgeous!" To which I heard her husband (or whatever) sniff: "It's just a Silver Hawk". We thought, Oh, Brother.
    1951 Champion Business Coupe
    1951 Commander Starlight
    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
    1953 Champion Starlight
    1953 Commander Starliner
    1953 2R5
    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
    1959 Silver Hawk
    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Convertible
    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
    1970 Avanti

  40. #40
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    12,576
    Nicest looking '57 Silver Hawk I ever saw!

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