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'Way cool "Found my old Stude" Story (pics!)

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  • 'Way cool "Found my old Stude" Story (pics!)

    Many of us lament having sold one or more of our first Studebaker loves; cars that disappeared into oblivion decades ago, leaving us wonder of their "fate to date."

    So it was for my long-time Studebaker friend Phil Brandt of Noblesville IN, who recently located his long-lost 1959 Silver Hawk. It was a nice car, black with red interior, that he bought as an ordinary worn old Studebaker in the late 60s or early 70s and "restored" as we would have done it at the time.

    Here's a period photo of the car from back then, in the Turn 1-2 short chute of The Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Phil at the wheel:



    My personal memory of Phil's '59 was helping him bleed the brakes on a just-slightly-inclined driveway at a farmhouse he was renting in a rural area of NW Marion County (Indianapolis) when we were both young single bucks in our 20s. Phil was under the car and hollared for me to "pump it up" so he could open a bleeder screw.

    I pumped it up as instructed and all of a sudden, a weak brake line "blew" and the car started rolling backwards ...with Phil behind a front wheel! He scrambled out from under the car just in the nick of time. The incline was so slight that it came to a gentle rest of its own accord on a level area without damaging anything, or itself.

    That's when Phil and I learned about wheel chocks. (Hey, we were in our 20s and invincible, OK? )

    Phil ultimately equipped the little 259 with a 4-barrel and 4-speed, redid the interior nicely, and refinished the car in what I believe was its original black. He wound up with a interesting, attractive 1959 Silver Hawk.

    In a moment of weakness, for reasons he may yet explain to his own satisfaction, he got a hair up his posterior in 1982, when convertibles were no longer being manufactured. He traded the Hawk to the local Pontiac dealer toward a never-titled, custom-crafted, red 1980 Pontiac Trans-Am convertible, one of several that had been built by a place like Cars & Concepts, or some such.

    He liked the Trans-Am and drove it a lot, but always wondered what happened to his '59 Hawk after the dealer sold it. It sort of fell off the face of the earth.

    Well, lo and behold, Phil was fooling around on the internet the other day, now 31 years since he bid the Hawk farewell, and came up with this photo...with no caption or explanation:



    Phil e-mailed me the photo and asked if I thought it might be his old Hawk. I thought I remembered it having the 1957 Golden Hawk "turbine" style wheel covers on it and asked him if that was true. He confirmed it was, to the best of his memory. But that was all we knew about the photo.

    I thought "we" might go backwards from that photo, since nothing was known about it, so I researched 1958 DeSotos on the internet, per the other car in the background.

    PAYDIRT! To make a long story short, I found another photo of that DeSoto at what was obviously that same car show and e-mailed Phil back, suggesting he research that car show, which he did. In short order, he again located the original photo through the DeSoto connection!

    A caption below the photo now gave the Hawk owner's name and home town (McAllen TX) and described the trophy he was holding as "The Mayor's Choice [the Hawk] Award at McAllen's Palmfest Car Show."

    Armed with that data, Phil was able to contact the Hawk's current owner. He determined with certainty that it was, in fact, his "old '59." The owner related stories about the car, including the fact that it had been stolen and taken to Mexico at one time before being recovered.

    So Phil was able to close the loop through the DeSoto hobby and now, like the rest of us, knows "the rest of the story"....even though the late Paul Harvey is not here to tell it.

    Congrats, Phil....now those are some COOL BEANS! BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 06-25-2012, 07:39 AM. Reason: added IMS photo from back in the day, corrected details.
    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.

  • #2
    Does Phil have any interest in reclaiming his prize, or was it just about the hunt?
    ~Matt Connor
    '59 Lark 2-door

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Peanut View Post
      Does Phil have any interest in reclaiming his prize, or was it just about the hunt?
      'Dunno. Just the hunt, I think....but I really don't know. 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.

      Comment


      • #4
        What a NEAT-O story, Bob! I really love the "happen-stance", then the research and finally, as you said, "paydirt"!

        Would that all of LIFE was that rewarding!

        John

        Comment


        • #5
          Bob; I can't get any of the photos to show on my 'puter! What am I doing wrong? Interesting story of one man's persistence.

          Frank Drumheller
          Locust Grove, VA
          60S-W6
          M16-52 Studebaker-Boyer 1948 fire truck

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, Bob. I appreciate the time it took to send these photos. Frank

            Comment


            • #7
              If my car collection is For Sale next week, you'll know my wife killed me for posting this photo:



              Circa 1977: My friend Phil Brandt (then the owner of the 1959 Hawk in this topic) is up front in the 1970 Duo Rounder trihedral-hull runabout I bought brand new in 1970. Yours truly behind the wheel; wife Cari [appropriately] in the First Mate's seat.

              Aft are sisters Debbie (behind me) and Jenny Jones, daughters of Studebaker-club friends Steve & Peggy Jones of Indianapolis. Steve took the photo from the shore as we pushed off for a round of water skiing on west central Indiana's Raccoon Lake. (1970 Kiekhaefer Mercury 800 power, of course; no wheezing OMC Johnson / Evinrudes!)

              Debbie Jones was perhaps 12 at the time; maybe 13.

              In December 2011, we attended Steve & Peggy Jones' 50th Wedding Anniversary Party on the east side of Indianapolis, sitting with Phil at one of the tables. Daughter Debbie is now about 47 years old and runs a catering service with her husband, who together catered her parent's 50th Anniversary Party!

              I hadn't remembered this photo having been taken, but Steve gave it to us at the party. Time flies when you're having fun. Sigh. BP
              Last edited by BobPalma; 06-27-2012, 05:51 PM.
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Bob, you looked just like Jack Nicholson in the day.
                Jon Stalnaker
                Karel Staple Chapter SDC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sdude View Post
                  Hey Bob, you looked just like Jack Nicholson in the day.
                  Well, Jon; I'll take that as a compliment, I guess...thanks! 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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                    Well, Jon; I'll take that as a compliment, I guess...thanks! BP
                    Yeah, my wife confirmed it. I showed her the picture and said "who's that?"

                    First words out of her mouth with no hesitation - Jack Nicholson.

                    You can take it as a compliment - that is unless "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"
                    Last edited by Sdude; 06-20-2012, 08:19 PM.
                    Jon Stalnaker
                    Karel Staple Chapter SDC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sdude View Post
                      Yeah, my wife confirmed it. I showed her the picture and said "who's that?"

                      First words out of her mouth with no hesitation - Jack Nicholson.

                      You can take it as a compliment - that is unless "YOU CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"
                      Well, I'd better not let Cari see these remarks or she'll want to know how come I'm not making as much money as Jack Nicholson. 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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It is a two way street...

                        Well, (I said, as I quietly snuck in the back door of this place) I am the fella who now owns that 59 Hawk listed above. Phil was not the only one excited when we made contact. I have wanted to learn more about the Hawk's history and previous owner(s) for many years. When he called and my wife said, "The phone is for you. He thinks he use to own your Studebaker," I was in disbelief. After a very interesting conversation, Phil and I got the needed info to stay in touch, and almost every day I am learning something new about a car that I have owned longer than any other car in my entire life. (I have owned it for 28 years) Funny, for years, as a member of SDC, I would see Bob Parma's name, but it never occured to me that he was not only personal friends with a previous owner of my Hawk, but that he had worked on it also. Boy, life is fun of surprises. This one was a very good one indeed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hmm...I was gonna post a current picture of the Hawk, but I apparently am not smart enough to do that. Guess I will go and polish the Hawk. At least I know how to do that...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some may not know, Phil is a looong time 56J owner. He has a very nice looking, tastefully personalized 56J that is often seen in and around Indi and South Bend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sdude View Post
                              Hey Bob, you looked just like Jack Nicholson in the day.
                              I was thinkin' Burt Reynolds, with less chest hair...
                              KURTRUK
                              (read it backwards)




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

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