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JimmieD
11-05-2008, 09:30 AM
I recall a man with a sense of mechanical excellence along with a sense of humor. It was the mid-60's and there was some potent iron out on the streets as the hotrod craze flourished.

I'm not an expert but there were two years of Golden Hawk that were identical except for a minor tail light change, I believe 1956-1957, maybe '55-'56? The color was a golden brown with ivory white, maybe the standard Hawk color?

Frank had one of each, both in immaculate perfect original condition. Sort of. To all but the Stude afficianado they were identical and few people even knew he had 2, thinking they were always seeing the same car.

Friday nights in our hotrod town the guys from miles away would come to cruise the streets, show off their rides and look for some hot drag racing for extra cash. A road outside of town was marked off with a measured 1/4 mile and the lawmen allowed that place for impromptu competition, just keep it clean and safe, boys.

Frank would cruise the main and pull over behind 'out of towners' in his Hawk. Bragging and pride in the ride was the order and he'd join in with the kids. After a few he'd say something like, "Yeah, well that little '55 Chevy thing with the big 301 and Muncie is okay, but it's not exactly a real car...." and tempers flared. "Yeah, so whatta you got that's so hot, big man!?!!" Frank points to his Hawk.

Laughter and jeering, "THAT!? HAAAH haha!" Frank smiles and says, "A good Stude can blow the doors off that Chevy ****"

"Yeah?! So what's under the hood of your Stupidbaker Mr. Cool?" Frank ambles over and pops the hood to reveal the 259 2bbl V8. Laughter gets louder, and Frank says, "Well, $100 a gear says my Stude can eat your Chevy."

The race was on and everybody would meet out at the measured quarter. Frank fell behind, and dropped by his house, to switch nearly identical cars :~ )

He showed up at the 1/4 and the race was on with a lot of local rodders there to watch and officiate. At the flag Frank was flat gone sideways in a cloud of smoke eating the hotrod Chevy by a whole bunch of car lengths, finally grabbing 4th gear just before the line. Money changed hands and the out of towners, not from around here, drove home, broke and in shame.

Frank drove home in this 'other' Hawk, the one with the bored and stroked Packard V8 with the wild cam, 4 barrels and twin superchargers. On the dash, had they only looked, was a small gold plate the size of a business card: "Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Trials. This car timed at 157 mph..." and other info. This was 1965, folks!

I miss Frank and his beautiful Studes and sense of humor. Check what's written, he never lied! A good man having fun and paying for his hobby at the same time.

53k
11-05-2008, 11:13 AM
Great story!
A couple years ago I was talking to an old high school classmate of mine. He had been in to hot Chevvys for a long time. He made the comment that he had never been beaten at the drag races except for the time a shabby old Studebaker Golden Hawk blew him away.:D

Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia
'53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
'64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
'64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
Museum R-4 engine
1962 Gravely Model L (Studebaker-Packard serial plate)
1972 Gravely Model 430 (Studebaker name plate, Studebaker Onan engine)

Chris Pile
11-05-2008, 01:48 PM
Yeah! Let's hear it for shabby old Studebakers!

Chris Pile
Midway Chapter SDC
The Studebaker Special

studegary
11-05-2008, 01:52 PM
If you refer to a Studebaker with a Packard engine, that would be a 1956 Golden Hawk. There is no other Studebaker that is nearly identical to a 1956 Golden Hawk in appearance. 1957 and 1958 Golden Hawks were nearly identical in appearance to each other, but they were both supercharged Studebaker powered. A 1956 Sky Hawk sort of fits the bill, but has more differences in appearance, such as no fins or lower body trim. The holes in the story make me think that it is either a complete fabrication or a poor memory.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

Dick Steinkamp
11-05-2008, 02:23 PM
quote:Originally posted by studegary
The holes in the story make me think that it is either a complete fabrication or a poor memory.




I see it a different way.

Clearly both cars were modified.

The "race car" had a 4 speed, bored and stroked Packard engine, twin superchargers.

The "bait car" had a 259 2 barrel...no Golden Hawk came stock with one.

I'd guess one was a '57 and one a '58. Both received motor transplants and the race car some additional goodies.

If you only see the car hobby through "stock blinders", you are missing a lot of the fun and enjoyment.

Great story JimmieD! [8D] :D



Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/ddstnkmp/Stude-a-mino%20old%20pics/oldpics6asmall.jpg

JimmieD
11-05-2008, 02:24 PM
I don't have a great memory but neither am I a liar Gary L., and I don't much apppreciate that either! I would drive that point home very clearly right now but cheap shot insults aren't worth the trouble.

The events went on over 40 years ago and I was a kid, not expert in Studes. I saw both cars, saw both engines, knew the man quite well. He showed me a difference in tailights but I don't recall it as being a large difference. Both cars had the low fins, not the higher ones like some of the later ones had.

One car was a small non-supercharged V8 and the other was a large, roughly 400 or more cubic inch Packard. I have no idea if either engine was a stock edition Stude, but I do recall he had a well known garage in town that this young kid hung out at. Many of the local hotrodders were in on the joke but most people thought he only had the one Stude because they looked identical. He was one of the best power tuners in town regardless of make. Also a heck of a nice guy until the flag dropped.

S_Ferrell
11-05-2008, 02:36 PM
Very tacky and nasty Gary, really no need for that kind of comment. I am sure that not every one of your "family stories" is completely factual.

JimmieD
11-05-2008, 02:42 PM
Another tidbit for those here who may have known this man, or if he is a member here: before this he had been a bicycle racer and was the Mexican national champion, that's the Frank I'm talking about. Not sure if that was like world's champion or what year, possibly champion of Mexico or possibly of the world. Surely a competitive guy!

Looking back his influence helped mold a certain punk kid into what he would later become and a large part of that was to be a full blown caraholic, rabid for hot machines and racing.

Does anybody know of a Golden Hawk with that gold business card sized plaque, in the middle of dashboard right near the top, as described? I'm not positive it was 157 mph, I almost recall 161 mph, just not sure. If so please contact me?

PackardV8
11-05-2008, 03:46 PM
quote:Frank drove home in this 'other' Hawk, the one with the bored and stroked Packard V8 with the wild cam, 4 barrels and twin superchargers. On the dash, had they only looked, was a small gold plate the size of a business card: "Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Trials. This car timed at 157 mph..." and other info. This was 1965,

Hi, Jimmie,

Thanks for sharing. I'm always interested in stories of performance Packard V8s. I'll do some research into an old Hot Rod Magazine story about a modified '56 Hawk which ran at Bonneville; I have it filed somewhere. What was Frank's last name and what was the town and what year did he run there? PM me if you prefer.

thnx, jack vines

PackardV8

Flashback
11-05-2008, 07:20 PM
Good story JimmieD. I associate with your topic
title. My 4 sons still ask me at times to tell
them about hot rodding "Back in the day". I am 64
and have sons from 27 to 37. I don't always get
the details exactly right, but they still lovem.
I liked yours.

Tex E. Grier
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn320/Flashback53/Studebaker255.jpg

mbstude
11-05-2008, 07:50 PM
Love the story. [8D]

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/56GoldenHawkatbonneville.jpg

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA
http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/images/StudeDriveLogo_small.jpg

N8N
11-05-2008, 07:59 PM
well a '56 would have had "plain" taillights fit to the shape of the rear fender, and would have had a Packard engine as stock. a '57 or '58 would have two little round lights at the rear of each fender, the lower of the two being a clear lens for the backup lights (the backup lights on a '56 would be little add-on things bolted to the filler panel between the body and bumper.) Does that sound like the difference you remember? The fins on a 57-58 would be taller than the '56 as well, and the side trim a slightly different shape. The shape of the bulge in the hood would be different as well, although hoods can be swapped (and it's not real noticeable if the 57-58 wasn't actually a Golden Hawk but a Silver Hawk) But if they were the same color and at night, that might not be immediately noticeable to a non-Stude guy...

twin blowers on a Packard engine though? I can see it on a Stude engine (Ted H has done it, as has Karl) but there's not a whole lot of real estate under the hood of a 56J...

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

JimmieD
11-05-2008, 08:04 PM
Thanks, Jack, e-mail sent!

Thanks, Tex, and yes it was a fascinating time with so many great stories. I miss that innocence and simplicity, good clean fun, great times that will never be repeated except by the teller to another eager listener!

Great pic, Matt! I remember dual carbs and it was a worked Packard and I think twin superchargers? I've heard Daytona can be a better speed surface back then but not allowing the long runs or high speeds of Bonneville. That car pictured is very similar, with the low fins, but the dark color throws me off. Seems like one car had rear lights like that one, more flush, but the other car had round lights [2?] set into a similar housing? I just don't 'know' Stude's so can't say for sure.

JRoberts
11-05-2008, 08:06 PM
Great story, Jimmie. I have a friend in Raleigh who got into a bit of street racing with his Golden Hawk. Took on a 'Vette that seemed to rule the streets of the area and left him quickly behind. My friend drove on home, (no money involved I guess). Very soon the guy and his 'vette pull up into the driveway. "What are you runnin'?" My friend's reply was that it was all stock and opened the hood. The vette driver claimed that it was not a stock Studebaker. Well, we all know the answer here it was indeed a stock '56 Golden Hawk -- came stock with that big old Packard V-8.

Joe Roberts
'61 R1 Champ
'65 Cruiser
Editor of "The Down Easterner"
Eastern North Carolina Chapter

JimmieD
11-05-2008, 08:10 PM
Nate, YES!!!! That's exactly what I recall, just posted about it without seeing your reply! Two small lights, one slighty larger, both about 2 1/2" diameter. Other car had almost flush lights.

I think he had taken the Packard engine out to around 400 cubes, had dual carbs and I believe twin huffers. I think I read Packards are around 352 or so, that says a bore and stroke could hit 400 or more?

This is cool, so much being revealed after so many years! I'd flat die to find that car and can't imagine it wouldn't be preserved, but that's a lot of years...

You guys are really making my day! Thanks...

JimmieD
11-05-2008, 08:14 PM
Hah, cool Joe!

It was pretty remarkable that all the local guys kept the secret of the Hawk twins and every Friday or Saturday some new prospects would roll into town, looking to whip the locals. Not this week, fellas, but come on back and try again. You know, that was some real money in the mid 60's!!! A month's pay for a lot of guys.

What I don't know is if he had a 4 speed or a 3 speed overdrive, but likely a 4 speed.

JimmieD
11-05-2008, 08:20 PM
Did all the Packard engines have 2 - 4's and dual blowers? Was there a Packard V8 of 400+ cubes? Regardless I believe his was fully built.

N8N
11-06-2008, 07:27 PM
stock Golden Hawk engine was 352 with a single WCFB, but a Packard Caribbean would have a 374 with dual quads, and that would be a pretty much bolt-in swap. From what I've heard there was enough meat to bring that engine over 400 cubes. no blower at all stock, but I believe that McCulloch made a very few kits to put a single VS-57 on a 56J...

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

JimmieD
11-06-2008, 10:48 PM
Thanks, nate, filling in the picture.

Jack Vines discovered a 56J in HRM 1957 with a 411ci Packard that turned 141 at Bonneville. Possibly Frank had purchased this car and built it up more or copied it and did more extensive engine work. The other possibility is I'm not correctly remembering the speed printed on the little plaque and the older I get the more possible that is :~ )

clonelark
11-08-2008, 11:29 AM
I think they were 57 & 58 cars, Stude Did in fact build a few packard powered hawks in 1957 with the packard engine. (Think it was 400 cars) There was a display at the old Stude museum that had a white one on display. Were they all white cars? seams i might have read that too. About the only difference between the looks of a 57 & 58 hawk that i know for sure were the fins on the parking lights for 58.


Bob Whiten

studegary
11-08-2008, 07:56 PM
quote:Originally posted by clonelark

I think they were 57 & 58 cars, Stude Did in fact build a few packard powered hawks in 1957 with the packard engine. (Think it was 400 cars) There was a display at the old Stude museum that had a white one on display. Were they all white cars? seams i might have read that too. About the only difference between the looks of a 57 & 58 hawk that i know for sure were the fins on the parking lights for 58.


Bob Whiten


Studebaker did not build Packard engined 1957 Golden Hawks. You may be thinking of the 1957 Golden Hawk 400 model. The "400" had nothing to do with the engine size or the production quantity. The 1957 GH and the 1957 GH 400 used the same engine. The biggest difference was that the Golden Hawk 400 had leather seats that were similar to a Packard Hawk.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

mbstude
11-08-2008, 08:14 PM
This is my absolute favorite '56J interior pic.

80 MPH. 2500 RPM. And it's in 2nd gear. LOTS of pedal left. [8D] It's all about the right gearing..

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/b2da-1.jpg

Thanks to Joe Hall for taking it. :)


I've drivin an OD equipped '56J. That thing ran like a scalded rabbit.

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA
http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/images/StudeDriveLogo_small.jpg

N8N
11-08-2008, 08:26 PM
What trans is in that 56J? Looks like a modern auto, maybe a TF727 or THM400? Nice job on the quadrant, wouldn't know that it wasn't stock if I didn't know what the correct one looked like.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

JimmieD
11-08-2008, 09:11 PM
There was never a prettier dash than the Hawk engine-turned dash with S&W gauges! Gorgeous!!

Thanks all for more great info. Sure wish I coud find that car. I see there's several possibilities of what it actually was; be nice if it turns up to answer all the questions.

StudeRich
11-08-2008, 09:20 PM
Isn't that just a stock Packard Ultramatic Trans. Dial? If it has that Trans. it would have to have some pretty TALL rear gears to run that low RPM's ! [:0]


quote:Originally posted by N8N

What trans is in that 56J? Looks like a modern auto, maybe a TF727 or THM400? Nice job on the quadrant, wouldn't know that it wasn't stock if I didn't know what the correct one looked like. nate

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa221/studerich/My64Daytona.jpg
StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA