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  • Thinking about buying a Hawk...Any thoughts?

    I'm getting bored with my 69 Montery convert so I'm going to send it down the road in the spring (the only time to sell a convert in Minn). I was thinking of getting something more fun/sporty to drive so I thought I'd try a Mustang, Comet, Cougar, or something else along that ilk. But then, I stumbled upon a 57 Silver Hawk that is in storage in a friend's pole barn.

    This unit is owned by a man in his mid 80's and his father bought it new. It hasn't been driven much in the last 30 years but it supposedly runs and drives just fine. About 20 years ago a relative volunteered to "fix the interior" and took out the headliner and door panels and never went any further than buying the new cloth for the seat inserts. The panels are lying in the trunk and appear to be ok.

    Since it's in winter storage and the old timer won't be back from AZ until spring, I haven't had a chance to start it or drive it or even see it other than with a flash light. It has the 289 2v and the stick (no OD) and the fellow says it smokes just a little- He suspects valves. It has just over 80K on the odometer. The brakes went to the floor (but were fine when he parked it in the barn last fall) and I found red fluid by a rear wheel. It's had a repaint in the 70's and there's a small spot behind one of the front fender vents where the lead patch is starting to bulge out. Other than that, I can't see anything else on the body but next spring's closer exam will tell more. The potmetal has some pitting (tail light housings, headlite rings, and small side grills as well as the turnsignal pods and hood "scoop") but the grill, bumpers, and emblems (except for the plastic inserts) seem to be good.

    Here are my questions/concerns. Since this car has the old fashioned style pedals that go through the floor, are there conversions kits to make this a dual master cylinder unit (I'm fixing up a 65 Ford Custom for my boys and simply replaced the single unit on the firewall with a dual from a newer Galaxie- super easy fix)? Where else do I need to look for rust? How well do these things drive? Are they reliable? I had a '55 Clipper from '82 until I bought the Merc in '99 and I'm thinking real hard about jumping back in the orphan pan. Oh, and he's inkling he wants $6000 for the car. By the time I spend money to replate the parts, put in a headliner, have the seats redone, buy new tires, completely overhaul the brake system, do some engine work, maybe a repaint (it's gold), will I be o.k.? Are these things a hot car or do they have limited appeal? I know this is like asking the choir if they like to sing but I know somebody out there can fire me up into buying this old Stude...Thank you for any thoughts.


  • #2
    Here are my questions/concerns. Since this car has the old fashioned style pedals that go through the floor, are there conversions kits to make this a dual master cylinder unit

    Yes, there is a vendor who makes a dual master cylinder conversion. Maybe someone else can tell you his name. He is usually at the Studebaker swap meets in York and Reedsville, PA.

    Where else do I need to look for rust?

    As you stated the front fenders where they meet the door are very rust prone and it sounds like this one was repaired before. There is a box section on the outer edges of the floor, that is referred to as "hog troughs" which is rust prone. There is a boomerang shaped brace inside the rear fender that causes rust. The rear fenders are removable, but you will have to break the spot welds on the fins which were tacked on top of the fenders. Of course, check the trunk floor also.

    How well do these things drive?

    The driving experience will be entirely different from your Mercury, but I think it is much more fun to drive. The steering is a little slow, like most 50s cars.



    Are they reliable?

    Yes, that is the best part of 50s-60s Studebakers

    I had a '55 Clipper from '82 until I bought the Merc in '99 and I'm thinking real hard about jumping back in the orphan pan. Oh, and he's inkling he wants $6000 for the car. By the time I spend money to replate the parts, put in a headliner, have the seats redone, buy new tires, completely overhaul the brake system, do some engine work, maybe a repaint (it's gold), will I be o.k.?

    You will have a very nice and fun car. Whether you can make money on it would be a different matter.

    Are these things a hot car or do they have limited appeal?

    All Hawks are coveted by their owners and draw attention anywhere you go.


    I know this is like asking the choir if they like to sing but I know somebody out there can fire me up into buying this old Stude...Thank you for any thoughts.

    Yes you will receive a lot of encouragement from this group and I think it is warranted. Good Luck and keep us posted.


    Leonard Shepherd, editor, The Commanding Leader, Central Virginia Chapter, http://centralvirginiachapter.org/

    Comment


    • #3
      Here are my questions/concerns. Since this car has the old fashioned style pedals that go through the floor, are there conversions kits to make this a dual master cylinder unit

      Yes, there is a vendor who makes a dual master cylinder conversion. Maybe someone else can tell you his name. He is usually at the Studebaker swap meets in York and Reedsville, PA.

      Where else do I need to look for rust?

      As you stated the front fenders where they meet the door are very rust prone and it sounds like this one was repaired before. There is a box section on the outer edges of the floor, that is referred to as "hog troughs" which is rust prone. There is a boomerang shaped brace inside the rear fender that causes rust. The rear fenders are removable, but you will have to break the spot welds on the fins which were tacked on top of the fenders. Of course, check the trunk floor also.

      How well do these things drive?

      The driving experience will be entirely different from your Mercury, but I think it is much more fun to drive. The steering is a little slow, like most 50s cars.



      Are they reliable?

      Yes, that is the best part of 50s-60s Studebakers

      I had a '55 Clipper from '82 until I bought the Merc in '99 and I'm thinking real hard about jumping back in the orphan pan. Oh, and he's inkling he wants $6000 for the car. By the time I spend money to replate the parts, put in a headliner, have the seats redone, buy new tires, completely overhaul the brake system, do some engine work, maybe a repaint (it's gold), will I be o.k.?

      You will have a very nice and fun car. Whether you can make money on it would be a different matter.

      Are these things a hot car or do they have limited appeal?

      All Hawks are coveted by their owners and draw attention anywhere you go.


      I know this is like asking the choir if they like to sing but I know somebody out there can fire me up into buying this old Stude...Thank you for any thoughts.

      Yes you will receive a lot of encouragement from this group and I think it is warranted. Good Luck and keep us posted.


      Leonard Shepherd, editor, The Commanding Leader, Central Virginia Chapter, http://centralvirginiachapter.org/

      Comment


      • #4
        One thing on the '57 Silver Hawks, they could be had with the 185 CI flat head 6, a 259 V8, or the 289 V8. (Nothing to do with Ford)
        My grandad has a '57 Silver Hawk with a 289 and 3 speed overdrive trans, and it is one fast car. It will keep up with most anything on the highway.

        Here's a few pics of his.





        This is why the car needs a new clutch. [:I]


        ___________________________________________

        Matthew Burnette
        Hazlehurst, Georgia
        '59 Scotsman PU
        '63 Daytona HT



        http://mbstudebaker.blogspot.com/
        http://thestudillac.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          One thing on the '57 Silver Hawks, they could be had with the 185 CI flat head 6, a 259 V8, or the 289 V8. (Nothing to do with Ford)
          My grandad has a '57 Silver Hawk with a 289 and 3 speed overdrive trans, and it is one fast car. It will keep up with most anything on the highway.

          Here's a few pics of his.





          This is why the car needs a new clutch. [:I]


          ___________________________________________

          Matthew Burnette
          Hazlehurst, Georgia
          '59 Scotsman PU
          '63 Daytona HT



          http://mbstudebaker.blogspot.com/
          http://thestudillac.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Jim Turner makes kits to mount a dual M/C

            http://www.turnerbrake.com/

            You will probably be upside down in the car by the time you finish those things you outlined...but I'm sure you know from previous old cars...that's what happens [^]. You can always buy a finished car cheaper than you can do one. You miss the fun of bringing it back (IF that's fun for you), but you usually end up with more $$ in the car.

            I'm not sure how you define a "hot car". They are not '57 Chevys or '55 T Birds. They have a more limited appeal and are priced accordingly. I personally think that's a good thing, but each to his own .

            Good luck with it. If you buy the car, be sure to join the Studebaker Driver's Club...

            http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/index.asp

            It's only $19 for your first year and comes with a fantastic monthly publication (Turning Wheels) chock full of tech tips, vendors, parts for sale, etc.



            Dick Steinkamp
            Bellingham, WA
            Dick Steinkamp
            Bellingham, WA

            Comment


            • #7
              Jim Turner makes kits to mount a dual M/C

              http://www.turnerbrake.com/

              You will probably be upside down in the car by the time you finish those things you outlined...but I'm sure you know from previous old cars...that's what happens [^]. You can always buy a finished car cheaper than you can do one. You miss the fun of bringing it back (IF that's fun for you), but you usually end up with more $$ in the car.

              I'm not sure how you define a "hot car". They are not '57 Chevys or '55 T Birds. They have a more limited appeal and are priced accordingly. I personally think that's a good thing, but each to his own .

              Good luck with it. If you buy the car, be sure to join the Studebaker Driver's Club...

              http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/index.asp

              It's only $19 for your first year and comes with a fantastic monthly publication (Turning Wheels) chock full of tech tips, vendors, parts for sale, etc.



              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA
              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

              Comment


              • #8

                This is a picture of my husbands Hawk. Really fun car to drive. We drove it from Fresno, Ca to Omaha, Nebraska and back just this past Septmber. Has 289 with 4 barrel,automatic. Averaged 20 miles to the gal. Rode really good.

                Mabel 1949 Champion
                1957 Silverhawk
                1955 Champion 4Dr.Regal
                Gus 1958 Transtar
                61 Lark VIII
                Fresno,Ca
                Mabel 1949 Champion
                Hawk 1957 Silverhawk
                Gus 1958 Transtar
                The Prez 1955 President State
                Blu 1957 Golden Hawk
                Daisy 1954 Regal Commander Starlight Coupe
                Fresno,Ca

                Comment


                • #9

                  This is a picture of my husbands Hawk. Really fun car to drive. We drove it from Fresno, Ca to Omaha, Nebraska and back just this past Septmber. Has 289 with 4 barrel,automatic. Averaged 20 miles to the gal. Rode really good.

                  Mabel 1949 Champion
                  1957 Silverhawk
                  1955 Champion 4Dr.Regal
                  Gus 1958 Transtar
                  61 Lark VIII
                  Fresno,Ca
                  Mabel 1949 Champion
                  Hawk 1957 Silverhawk
                  Gus 1958 Transtar
                  The Prez 1955 President State
                  Blu 1957 Golden Hawk
                  Daisy 1954 Regal Commander Starlight Coupe
                  Fresno,Ca

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hemming Motor News has released its latest top 21 hottest Collector Cars. In no particular order this is how the editors of Hemmings Classic Car Magazine picked the top 21 Hottest Collector Cars. Check the list and see if you have one in your collection. You guys will glad to know that Studebaker made the list. For the complete list and yes this is a cheap way to draw attention to my Forum/Garage click on the link below and read about the rest of the cars.

                    http://groups.msn.com/Automotivehistoryonline


                    Randy_G
                    1959 Studebaker Lark

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hemming Motor News has released its latest top 21 hottest Collector Cars. In no particular order this is how the editors of Hemmings Classic Car Magazine picked the top 21 Hottest Collector Cars. Check the list and see if you have one in your collection. You guys will glad to know that Studebaker made the list. For the complete list and yes this is a cheap way to draw attention to my Forum/Garage click on the link below and read about the rest of the cars.

                      http://groups.msn.com/Automotivehistoryonline


                      Randy_G
                      1959 Studebaker Lark

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        IMHO, the V8 Silver Hawk is about the most fun-per-dollar of anything out there. I have owned one Hawk or another for 45 years and would never be without two or three of them.

                        1. Are you sure it does not have overdrive? Very unusual to find a standard shift Hawk without it.
                        2. The exhaust smoke probably means it needs valve stem seals. This is a safe assumption, as 99% of the Stude V8s on the road always need valve stem seals.
                        3. The Hawks are anvil-simple to work on. Parts availability is good.
                        4. Change over to an AFB 4-bbl, dual exhausts and a Pertronix ignition and you smile as you listen to the V8 purr.
                        5. In the minority here, but I have driven several well-maintained stock single master cylinder Studebakers for 45 years without a single failure. Having said that, every brake part on your car is more than 40 years old and has had zero maintenance. If it were mine, I'd replace or rebuild every piece of the brake system. New lines, sleeved cylinders, new shoes, turned drums. That far into it, adding a dual-chamber master cylinder is no big deal.

                        That Hawk is calling your name. This is your chance to rehabilitate yourself, save an orphan and have fun at the same time. Go for it!

                        thnx, jv.

                        PackardV8
                        PackardV8

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          IMHO, the V8 Silver Hawk is about the most fun-per-dollar of anything out there. I have owned one Hawk or another for 45 years and would never be without two or three of them.

                          1. Are you sure it does not have overdrive? Very unusual to find a standard shift Hawk without it.
                          2. The exhaust smoke probably means it needs valve stem seals. This is a safe assumption, as 99% of the Stude V8s on the road always need valve stem seals.
                          3. The Hawks are anvil-simple to work on. Parts availability is good.
                          4. Change over to an AFB 4-bbl, dual exhausts and a Pertronix ignition and you smile as you listen to the V8 purr.
                          5. In the minority here, but I have driven several well-maintained stock single master cylinder Studebakers for 45 years without a single failure. Having said that, every brake part on your car is more than 40 years old and has had zero maintenance. If it were mine, I'd replace or rebuild every piece of the brake system. New lines, sleeved cylinders, new shoes, turned drums. That far into it, adding a dual-chamber master cylinder is no big deal.

                          That Hawk is calling your name. This is your chance to rehabilitate yourself, save an orphan and have fun at the same time. Go for it!

                          thnx, jv.

                          PackardV8
                          PackardV8

                          Comment

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