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Intro and advice.

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  • Intro and advice.

    Hello all:

    My name is Adam and I thought I'd introduce myself.

    I technically don't have a Studebaker, but my parents have had a two tone '64 GT Hawk languishing in a garage since before I was born, almost 30 years ago. If I'm correct, my granddad bought it new or was the 2nd owner.

    As my old man approaches retirement age, we've talked once or twice about finally pulling the old car out of the garage (that's states away) and working on it. The last I'd seen of it, it was still in running order, although it had some electrical gremlins. I'm sure that a decade or more of sitting has not done it any good though.

    So, I'd like to solicit some suggestions from the crowd. If we pull this car out... what should we do? We've lightly tossed around the idea of just getting it running and looking good. We've also thought about tossing a new engine in it to make it a mild hot rod. Neither of us have done anything like this before, but he used to work on his own cars back in the day and I'm mechanically inclined enough to swap parts on my own cars, so it could be done with enough patience, and knowledge farming from places like this!

    Well, that's my story. I'll probably be lurking around here getting information for a while. Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on resurrecting a 64 GT Hawk.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MidKnight View Post
    Hello all:

    My name is Adam and I thought I'd introduce myself.>>>

    Well, that's my story. I'll probably be lurking around here getting information for a while. Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on resurrecting a 64 GT Hawk.
    Welcome ...Adam!!!

    Thanks for your intro & story. I'm sure there will be many along shortly to offer you good advice.


    • #3
      Welcome, too, Adam. It sounds like you and your Dad could have some fun with the car, and your time would be well spent. Gran Turismo Hawks are one of the more popular and collectable postwar Studebakers.

      You'll find the Studebaker V-8 engine in the Hawk both durable and easy to work on. Parts are readily available, and it may not need any "heavy" parts anyway.

      Be sure to join The Studebaker Drivers Club, which you can do right here on the forum. You'll start getting Turning Wheels magazine, and therein you will find multiple sources for virtually any part that Hawk would ever need.

      Bob Palma
      Technical editor
      Turning Wheels
      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.


      • #4
        A 64 GT Hawk is fairly rare these days,is it an R1 or R2 car? It would have emblems on the side of the front fenders. Have any photos you could share? Welcome to a great site for helping you get it on the road. Here's a nice example.

        101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.


        • #5
          ADAM! Welcome! (Great name and very good initial post)
          If you haven't already, I would suggest that you buy a shop manual, for the car. Two additional books are very handy in understanding and knowing just how everything goes together and having the correct part numbers when buying replacement parts. That would be the chassis manual and the body manual.

          Sounds like you and your dad have an opportunity that those of us without sons can only dream. Enough age difference where he can provide direction, experience, and wisdom while you provide the youthful energy, enthusiasm, and physical flexibility to save his back.

          As far as "electrical gremilens"...keep in mind that most of the wires on this car connect to rather simple "electro mechanical" components rather that the more "electronic" micro-chip stuff in today's cars. The wire used by 1964 should still be OK unless mice or someone else has played with it. So before you give up on that, get a good multi-meter and check connections for corrosion and loose wires. Since the dash is fiberglass, the "ground" connection needs to be checked and any opportunity you have to clean and tidy up the connections...take it.

          Good luck with your project, let us know where you and your dad are, and by all some pictures!
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975


          • #6

            Above is an excellent link from the SDC home page on what to do when you get your new Studebaker home. It will remind you of the big things that obviously need attention and remind you of the little things you need to do.

            Welcome, Share your Dad's Studebaker with him and us, we're all slightly 'tetched.'


            • #7
              I can't really add much else; but welcome!
              Dylan Wills
              Everett, Wa.

              1961 Lark 4 door wagon
              1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
              1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
              1914 Ford Model T


              • #8
                Whatever you and your dad decide to do.....just remember to have fun ! If putting a new engine gets you on the road and enjoying it , Then go for it.
                If you are looking for a little more power, Stude engines can be made to scoot with the best. The faster you want to go the more green it takes!
                If you put in a used engine (chevy) and it craps out, then you will have to rebuild it too. Plus you have the added expense of modifying the car to fit the engine, trans,radiator,etc......
                Bez Auto Alchemy

                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


                • #9
                  Right on, Adam! You have a last-of-breed example there. As mentioned above, the '64s are somewhat of a rare bird, having had production cut short that year and never re-started.

                  Studebaker engines are nearly bulletproof if treated right. If you get it running, then my suggestion would be to clean it up and enjoy driving it! You will turn heads like nothing else on the road. Oh, and Studebaker mechanical parts are plentiful, so you don't need to worry about scarcity.

                  Welcome to the Forum, and please be sure to post photos and keep us up to speed!

                  Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


                  • #10
                    One advantage to keeping the Studebaker V8 in the car is that it is the same engine that your Granddad drove with! If the engine can't be repaired, used engines are available from some of our club members. I'm anxious to see photos of your family's car.
                    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


                    • #11
                      don't go swappin engines or anything else right away. work with what you have and if it turns out to be less than what you wanted, upgrade it later. you stated you are beginners,
                      don't get overwhelmed by some motor swap right away. focus on getting it running, brakes, and steering. have fun with it.
                      61 lark cruiser
                      64 daytona 2dr hardtop


                      • #12
                        I echo Tom's advice. Read this article.

                        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


                        • #13
                          Adam welcome, the 64 is one of the nicest of the hawk cars, and production is the least so hot roding a 64 should be last on the list to do, I do have a very nice and rare one full package supercharged R-2 with all the options. take a look, nice to have you around...Bob

                          Castro Valley,


                          • #14
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                            Gosh Mr. Peterson, your 1964 Hawk looks almost as good as mine. lol It looks like my car was ridden hard and put away wet.
                            In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


                            • #15
                              Welcome! Studebaker Hawks are arguably one of the first factory hot rods, well, of the personal luxury type. Don't automatically expect dull or anemic just because your grandfather bought it

                              Don't be too fast to junk anything--Studebaker made hard alloy engines that even if it is stuck right at the moment, it can often be un-stuck and live quite nicely without huge outlays in time or money. Even if it runs but smokes, use top cylinder lubricant and quite possibly any stuck rings will free up with use. My 259 V8 Wagonaire used to smoke badly on both banks when I got it, from sitting parked too long, but with lots of use no more smoke and lots more power (to even tow a Jeep <g>)--even the oil leaks dried up the more I used it.

                              The 289 in the GT Hawk could be from about 200/210 hp (2 bbl) 225hp(4bbl), 240 hp (hi-comp 4 bbl R1) or 289 hp (supercharged R2). Replacing the engine can be done, but the question is why? Parts are plentiful and not hard to find, and even if you have a SBC, there are are other things you have to re-engineer to get everything to work just right and that leads to more money and time than you might think. You might be surprised just how nice it is--as is. Studebaker engines have a lot of torque for their size--enough that in the V8 automatics, they always started in second gear, unless you kicked it down from a standing start, or manually selected Low. Transmissions are Borg-Warner--the Flightomatic automatic is similar to a Fordomatic, and the manual 3 or 3 with overdrive, or 4 speed are all robust BW units. The rear end is a Dana 44--it might have a limited slip differential there too.

                              The 64 GT is rare, and likely the nicest Hawk there was.

                              Ask lots of questions, and enjoy your ride. BTW, tell us where you are roughly, and someone will chime in with the local Studebaker Driver's Club chapter, and who to contact. It makes the process a whole lot easier to know where there are resources, get tips from people who have already done that, or see or experience similar cars in person.
                              Last edited by Jim B PEI; 09-07-2010, 05:44 PM.