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'59 Hawk - What should I be looking at/for

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  • '59 Hawk - What should I be looking at/for

    I am looking at buyinh a 59 silver hawk w/ auto, it is in nice shape for a driver. does anyone have suggestions about what I should look for as far as potential problems/expendatures?

  • #2
    Number-one deal killer has to be rust. It does the worst to the value of the car, and costs the most to fix. On Hawks, look for rust around the vent doors in the front fenders, and in a vertical line about an inch forward of the back edge of the front fenders. If rust is just starting in that area, look right at the bottom rear of the fender, because it normally starts at the bottom and creeps up. If you see bubbles in the paint there, you have rust holes. The top surface of the front fenders, right behind the headlight rings is another popular place for rust to form.

    If the rear fenders rust, chances are it will be adjacent to, or beneath the fins, or along a diagonal line that marks the front edge of the rear wheelhouse.

    Elsewhere, front floors adjacent to the door pillars, or where your feet go, and the very rear of the trunk floor, in the corners.

    Look for rust in the frame, particularly in the bottom panel of each frame rail. If it is badly rusted, chances are the rail itself will also be rusted. Look for small cracks in the frame adjacent to the front spring pockets. Small cracks are common there, and can be readily fixed. But if they have gotten too big, you may have trouble.

    Don't be alarmed if the engine drips a little oil. The engines are transmissions are rugged, and there are plenty of spare parts and complete replacement engines to be found, should you need one.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #3
      Thanks! I'll give it a good looking

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      • #4
        If you can, find a place where you can get it up on a rack. You can see some things crawling around on your back, but a lift will save you a lot of time and maybe a potential bad deal. Look for: rusty brale lines, loose king pins, steering linkages, major trans/engine/diff/brake cylinder leaks, rusty floor pans & rocker boxes etc, bent/rusty frame members, broken motor mounts, signs of collision damage, exhaust leaks and anything else suspicious. Pull a front wheel to see if brakes have been maintained. Get it warm & drive it at highway speeds and watch for overheating, low oil pressure at idle, low power, knocks, missing etc. Plus what gordr said.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your help

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          • #6
            Is it a 6-cylinder? If so, the little six with automatic is pretty underpowered to be hauling around the heavy Hawk body. Make certain you put it through its paces merging onto freeways, pulling up Colorado mountains and understand the performance envelope.

            jack vines
            PackardV8

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
              Is it a 6-cylinder? If so, the little six with automatic is pretty underpowered to be hauling around the heavy Hawk body. Make certain you put it through its paces merging onto freeways, pulling up Colorado mountains and understand the performance envelope.

              jack vines
              I agree! It is surprising to me, but about one-third (31%) of the 1959 Hawks were 170 cubic inch sixes. The rest were 259 V8s (no 289s).
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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              • #8
                low oil pressure at idle,

                Don't worry about oil pressure at idle, check it at 40 mph in high gear. If it's at or below 20 at 40 mph there may be problems. Its really a tough engine. I drove my 232 for about 40,000 miles before I found the problem (15-20 lbs at highway speed) with the oil pressure, and it caused no bearing wear whatever.

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                • #9
                  SOME rust is OK, depending on where it is and your skill levels. This company offers many, many replacement pieces for the commonly rusted places.

                  Classic Enterprises

                  http://classicent.com/coupes_hawks.php
                  KURTRUK
                  (read it backwards)




                  Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

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                  • #10
                    thanks for all your input, the car sold hours before I got to see it, nice white w/ blue interior, v8,
                    I'll keep looking

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