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STUDEMEISTER works magic on my '56 Golden Hawk

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  • STUDEMEISTER works magic on my '56 Golden Hawk

    Last January I bought a '56 Golden Hawk with 3 speed OD and dual 4 barrels. The car was built as a single 4 barrel automatic with power steering but was converted to 3 speed OD without power steering. (a proper 352 from a 3 speed GH was used). The rear end was left as a 3.09.
    I decided to upgrade the whole setup to a factory spec Jet Streak with power steering and a more appropriate rear ratio.
    Jack Vines helped me round up all the rest of the parts needed to finish the full jet streak modification - solid lifters, adjustable push rods, heavier valve springs, Isky cam, dual point ignition and hotter coil.
    Driving the Hawk was a chore without power steering so I asked Brent Hagen to get me the parts needed to add a Saginaw setup. He found everything but a steering column for a 3 speed power steering setup.
    Since I've gotten to the mid 70's been there done that stage of life, I needed someone to do the job for me. That's where STUDEMEISTER, Kenny Durkee came in. If you Studephiles don't know him, you need to meet him.
    Kenny and I had several talks about the project, and since he is restoring my old '56, he is well versed in '56 GH's. Another help was that he had a complete 3.73 rear end set up.
    When got the heads off, he found they already had guides installed so all they needed was a little machining for Vito seals. Also discovered that the complete engine had recently been rebuilt.
    Kenny replaced the 3.09 with the 3.73 rear end, installed the Saginaw power steering, modified the steering column and shift linkage to fit a 3 speed with PS, installed all the Jet Streak parts and set it up perfectly. Even added the appropriate chrome on the engine. Love to show Chivvy fans the picture below and ask them what it is! America's first muscle car.
    Wow, what a performance difference now with 330 HP! Before, at 3.5k the valves started to float. Now it easily winds up to 6k and pulls hard from below 2k up to 6k. 2k in 3rd OD gives 70mph. Acceleration is stunning. I don't think my '63 Super Hawk 4spd con keep up with it.
    Thanks Jack, Brent and especially Kenny.
    Randy Bohannon

    '47 Land Cruiser
    '52 Commander Starlight Coupe
    '56 Golden Hawk
    '63 GT R2 Super Hawk
    '63 Avanti R2
    '64 Daytona Convert
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Beautiful car! I am sure it is a blur driving around the island with that much power.



    • #3
      Looks great! Put the rubber bumpers back on your hood cross rod before the noise drives you crazy.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer


      • #4
        Can you even get it up to top speed before you run out of island?


        • #5
          Originally posted by 70Avanti2 View Post
          Can you even get it up to top speed before you run out of island?
          Good one, David. BP
          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

          Ayn Rand:
          "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.


          • #6
            How refreshing to click on a topic with such a positive tone! owner with knowledge and smart enough to know when to reach out to others with skills and abilities to do a job correctly and then not come here and bash them because the work didn't live up to some imagined unrealistic expectations! Well done to all who collaborated on this project.

            My impression is that Randy Bohannon assembled a great team of skilled craftsmen to accomplish his goal. Notice, no CASO moaning about what the work cost, or expressed angst over recouping his money sometime in the future.

            It's all about the vehicle and how enjoyable it is as a result. Isn't this what our hobby should be about? Functional restoration, enjoyable modification, self-satisfaction of innovation, happy tinkering, the challenge of maintaining, and sharing your joy with others! For me, reading this thread was a great way to begin my day this morning! Great car and terrific attitude!
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975


            • #7
              Originally posted by 70Avanti2 View Post
              Can you even get it up to top speed before you run out of island?
              I'm on the "Big Island"


              • #8
                Originally posted by Randy Bohannon View Post
                That's where STUDEMEISTER, Kenny Durkee came in. If you Studephiles don't know him, you need to meet him.
                Does he reside on the Big Island, also?


                S2Deluxe = (5H - C3).


                • #9
                  Kenny lives in Washington State.

                  Every time there's a volcanic eruption that runs to the sea and fills in a bay, there's more island to roam.
                  Mark L


                  • #10
                    Great post Randy ! Glad you got it out there for the others to see what you and I had been talking, when do I start whining for a ride ? You will take bribes, right ?


                    • #11
                      70 Avanti, as Randy said, we are on the "Big Island" and it is about the size of Connecticut, so yep, plenty of room. Ask the guys that my 55 coupe whizzed past during Cruise Paradise, ha !


                      • #12
                        Sweetness and light!


                        • #13
                          Well, Gosh. I’m just blushing and pink all over. Frankly, Randy, it’s so much fun doing work for you, I’d do it all over again. Let’s do another project! —Thanks so much for your kind words— Kenny
                          1950 Commander Land Cruiser
                          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
                          1961 Hawk
                          1962 Cruiser 4 speed
                          1963 Daytona Convertible
                          1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
                          1965 Cruiser
                          1970 Avanti


                          • #14
                            Randy has a sizable collection of some top notch cars, and we're fortunate that Randy splits his time between the Big Island and Tacoma. The car and all of those aptly vetted are located in the PNW. Great work to all who had a hand in the project.-Bill


                            • #15
                              We have one that colour in the Hamilton Chapter. It is a pretty car. Very nice car you have, enjoy!

                              Susan Lusted, What's Happening Turning Wheels