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56 Hawk, considering options

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  • 56 Hawk, considering options

    I have a '56 Hawk, probably mongrel.
    I bought it in '69, and it was a salvage at that time. (Glass inspection, light inspection, brake inspection, smog inspection...)
    Ran it for a while, and moved on to other vehicles.
    259 4-barrel, which may have come from different vehicle. It has 3-speed overdrive.
    When I changed the clutch, the flywheel bolts were for a flex plate, not a flywheel. I changed them, of course. Since I was replacing the rear main seal anyway, the bolts came out easily enough.
    Ran ok, smoked at startup and on coast - the cyl head oil returns seem to be plugged, so the oil pools around the valves.
    Body wasn't too bad, and after replacing all the u-joints and fixing the brakes, I drove it.
    However, I probably bent the clutch disk when installing it, as the clutch never fully disengages.
    So I chipped the reverse idler and/or the cluster, it clunks backing up.
    Of course, all these 'running' references apply to 1970 when I was driving it.
    The windshield was badly pitted, but got slightly broken in the last 15 years or so.
    Anyway - had toyed with getting it running as a funky hot rod/driver.
    But we have some other expenses coming up, maybe I should find it a better home?
    What's a fairly complete project car worth?
    I expect it's worth more as a runner - and more yet as a driver?
    I'll get some pics this weekend, if anyone's interested.
    Oh, yes - the car is currently sleeping in San Dimas, CA - 91773
    Last edited by jmaechtlen; 01-23-2019, 09:07 PM. Reason: forgot location

  • #2
    Which Model '56 Hawk?...


    • #3
      Don't know - how do we figure that out?
      I can get pics of the ID plates and such.
      Aha - found the pink slip.
      ID number is 8451476
      yr model 56
      yr sold 56


      • #4
        If it is a pillar-less Hardtop it is a Sky Hawk with a Studebaker President 289 V8.

        If it is a pillar-less Hardtop with a Packard 352 V8 Engine and low fiberglass Fins, it's a Golden Hawk.

        If it is a Coupe with the swing-out rear quarter windows and a 259 Commander V8, it's a Power Hawk.

        UPDATE: OK, I researched that Serial Number Sequence and it turns out it is a 56B Commander, built at the South Bend, IN Plant, and with the Hawk Body that makes it a Power Hawk Coupe.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 01-24-2019, 01:54 AM.
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          That clutch problem is probably linkage related. Any wear at all and you won't be able to completely disengage clutch and the very so-so linkage is prone to wear. Check clevis, clevis pins, and all bushings. Chances are you will find some slop somewhere. Yes, it is a power hawk and I would put some time and a few $ into it. We have a Sky Hawk and really like the car ( except for those really stupid rear windows!


          • #6
            I kind of liked the car when I was driving it, but it had enough challenges that I just went to other things in front of me.
            If I didn't have a fun project car now, I'd already have tackled the Stude.
            But - my project car can easily keep me distracted and entertained well into retirement and much of the way through it, I suspect.
            (picture a Corvair platform, with the sheetmetal stripped and replaced by custom fiberglass, the powertrain replaced by a custom subframe and suspension with transverse Buick 3.8 V6) - 2400 pounds, over 240 hp with unmodified V6, and lots of room to boost...)
            Anyway - I sure don't see this Hawk as a restoration candidate, but solid enough to become a driver.
            In a few years, I may get another project of some sort - for now, time to find this a new home.
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            • #7
              I picked up a pair of heads and bought new valves for them. They aren't as pretty as they were 50 years ago. I suspect they'd clean up ok.
              I couldn't get the trunk open - I have some old keys, and one of them may fit. Perhaps some of the chrome and other goodies are in there.
              Yeah, the car was not clean when I got it, and I banged it up some with my activities and misadventures.
              (tip - if loading a car onto a single-axle trailer, block wheels of trailer and tow vehicle, especially if you're not on flat ground - else the tail of tow car may lift off of ground, making parking brake ineffective!)

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              • #8
                Jeffry Cassel "really stupid rear windows"?.....


                • #9
                  Lots of cars have windows that are inconvenient for the rear passengers.
                  I never rode back there, so it never bothered me...
                  This car- may be the only car I ever bought because I just loved the looks of this series of cars.
                  I paid $150, which at the time was at least $100 too much!
                  Last edited by jmaechtlen; 02-11-2019, 12:02 AM. Reason: add info


                  • #10
                    P.S. - thanks, Rich, for looking up the model.
                    The engine seems a bit stuck - I tried to turn it with the fan, but the belt died when I tried.
                    I'll take a shop vac and some compressed air to clean up the top and plug areas of the engine, pull the plugs, and squirt some oil down them (and blow it around the cyl with the compressed air.
                    Then throw a battery in and bump the starter - I expect it will spin.
                    Re clutch - in truth, I do not recall messing with linkage - maybe it is that stupidly simple.


                    • #11
                      If you plan to run it, at least pull the valve covers, lube the valve stems the best you can.. Put it in 3rd gear and gently push it back and forth. Make sure the valves move up and down about the same distances and not stuck. I like to start them with a bit of 2 stroke oil in the gas, it really helps the rings etc.

                      Bumping the starter is really hard on things especially if they are not free enough to rotate when you do it. Good luck, be safe.


                      • #12
                        If the engine was factory-matched to an automatic transmission, and someone converted it to a standard shift without “dialing in” the bellhousing, that could also cause clutch/transmission problems.


                        • #13
                          It looks like it could be saved, but may cost more than the value, when finished. It could also make a donor for a street rod, or lastly, parted out to save a few other C bodies. Do you have a price in mind?


                          • #14
                            I perused all the responses, and was amazed that nobody asked, or commented on rust. In today's world rust in the floor or trunk, or lack of it, makes all the difference in the world, when future uses are concerned. There are plenty of rusty cars out there, ready to give up their parts (and parts already salvaged) but rust free examples are at a premium. With little, or no rust, I see it as a great opportunity to get a car who's body may not need to be disassembled, while still being worked on, and driven during the refurbishment.


                            • #15
                              Yes, really stupid rear windows!! It always seemed to me that someone designed a really pretty car and then told the poor engineer to make those impossible rear windows to work They are wider on top than on the bottom so in order to lower they must slide back several inches and then go down into the rear fender. They are inaccessible to adjust and cannot be adjusted by anyone other than a double jointed octopus. The spring tension must be just so and you cannot buy a correct replacement spring. Of course the mechanism must be clean and lubricated which cannot be done in less than a day. Coupe windows are so so so much more practical and they never malfunction. If you really want to lower the rear windows on our Sky Hawk you can do so but it takes a couple minutes of pushing ,pulling along with cranking, so they seldom go down.