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Hazel the Hawk

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  • Hazel the Hawk

    I've been bursting to tell you all this story since November when I first learned about this 1957 Silver hawk. Last year my sweet wife Kathy and I went to the Studebaker meet at the Bell's Museum in Bellingham, Washington in September. We were driving my '64 Daytona R2 4-speed, where it won it's first trophy. Kathy has lately been becoming more and more interested in the Studebaker hobby, and it's mostly because of the wonderful people we've met-- people like James and Stephanie Bell, and all of the lovely people that come to the meets.
    While we were there, Kathy became exposed for the first time to several beautiful finned Hawks. She just seemed to fall in love with them. I asked her: "Would you like to have one?" "Sure!" she replied.
    Now guys-- if you have a wife who wants a Studebaker-- what are you gonna do? I couldn't exactly say "NO" to her, could I?
    So we began shopping for one online together. Me shopping, her looking at colors and interiors.
    We found several very nice Silver Hawks around the country for sale, but really didn't have the money all at once to pull the trigger on a restored one, and I really wanted her to have a nice one. We settled on the Silver Hawk because she wanted fins, but having owned a hardtop '53 before, I felt a coupe might be a better choice for her, and 1 supercharged Stude was enough for me, anyway. Also, the price of Golden Hawks put most of them out of the running for us, as well. So, a Silver it was.
    In any case, I looked diligently for 3 months. I had stumbled onto this particular car early on, but blew right past it because it looked like a big project, and it was 3,000 miles away.
    Yet for some reason, I kept coming back to the long-running Craigslist ad, studying the pictures and reading this guy's almost unbelievable description of the car.
    After more than a month I finally called him. He told me he had inherited this and one other car from his late father, and had decided to have it restored in his honor. So he shopped for a shop to do the restore, and settled on a shop in Chicago, many hundreds of miles away from him. He bought a very nice new trailer (shown in the pictures) and towed it to them. They gave him an obviously very loose estimate to restore it, and began work. Every week they would send him a bill, and every week he would pay it... for a year and a half... and finally, after consuming all of his savings, he cried "Uncle" and told them to stop work. About $55,000 worth. Yes, that's not a typo. He went back up to Chicago and retrieved the car, and brought it back to Texas and put it into dry storage. There it sat for a few years, still on the trailer, until I bought it from him, still unfinished. Upon my inquiry, he sent me nearly a hundred detailed, High-definition pictures, and copies of all the receipts, well most of them, pages and pages of them. It's very sad, really, that he wound up in this position, not being able to finish the car and enjoy it, after having spent so much.
    Now it wouldn't be gentlemanly for me to divulge how much I paid for it, but I promise you it was significantly less.
    So in February, my Son graduated from trade school as an ASE certified Mechanic. The day after he graduated, he and I left Seattle bound for Houston to pick up the Hawk and the trailer, as well. (We purchased them both), 3,000 miles each way, lots of junk food, lots of good conversation, and met a truly great guy who made us happy owners of "Hazel the Hawk" (named after my wife's gorgeous eyes).
    Now safely home after a safe and trouble-free trip, Hazel is beginning to come back to life, and Kathy is having lots of fun "designing" the car to her liking while keeping it all Studebaker, and all "period correct". It's getting '55 Speedster hubcaps, a Golden Hawk roof band, and we're deviating from it's original Woodsmoke Grey color to Apache Red with Snowcap White fins.
    Another brag about this car-- it is absolutely brand new. Rotisserie restored acid dipped body, complete rust repairs, Fully restored frame, suspension, steering, brakes, etc. Newly completely rebuilt engine, trans, rear end, driveshaft, starter, generator, wiper motor, carburetor, etc. etc. etc. Need I go on? Oh and the body is arrow-straight, most of the chrome is already done, and from underneath the car looks better than it when it left South Bend. It's a 289, A/T, 4-barrel, Twin-Traction Hawk, without PS. (That may or may not change...)Click image for larger version

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    The pictures show it coming out of storage for the first time in several years, and a couple in Moab, Utah on the way home. More will come as the build progresses... --Kenny
    1950 Commander Land Cruiser
    1951 Champion Business Coupe
    1951 Commander Starlight
    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
    1953 Champion Starlight
    1953 Commander Starliner
    1953 2R5
    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
    1957 Silver Hawk
    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
    1959 Silver Hawk
    1961 Hawk
    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Convertible
    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
    1965 Cruiser
    1970 Avanti

  • #2
    It's always good to keep the wife Happy. The GT in my avatar is my wife's car.

    It's name is "Sweet Magnolia" or "Maggie for short.
    Neil Thornton

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    • #3
      My wife loves our Packard and she says she will drive it (once put together) loves it has automatic and power steering and power brakes. She has named her" Marigold "in honer of the yellow/white livery.
      Good luck with Hazel the Hawk! Your wife has great taste!
      sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

      "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
      Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
      "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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      • #4
        Great story. And my wife names our cars too. The Commander is Kermit. The truck is Dessert Rat. I think the new President (yellow and white) may end up being Sunflower. We'll see. This brings up a topic for this Forum, giving our cars and trucks names. I see them posted on here now and again. Maybe I'll start a thread, unless it has been done already.
        Ed Sallia
        Dundee, OR

        Sol Lucet Omnibus

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Commander Eddie View Post
          Great story. And my wife names our cars too. The Commander is Kermit. The truck is Dessert Rat. I think the new President (yellow and white) may end up being Sunflower. We'll see. This brings up a topic for this Forum, giving our cars and trucks names. I see them posted on here now and again. Maybe I'll start a thread, unless it has been done already.
          I can contribute three....'The Everyday Driver '83'....'The Doctor's Car'...and 'The 'Fun' Avanti'.....Notice which car I put FIRST!

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          • #6
            Thanks for sharing the news, Kenny. Keep us posted on your progress (here, or when we see you and your wife at our get-togethers in the Seattle area).

            Mark L
            Mark L

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            • #7
              Henrietta Hawk liked this story when I read it to her.

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              • #8
                Great story, Kenny; congratulations.

                It looks like a blank sheet of paper as to color; what is your wife considering? Any favorites? 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.

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                • #9
                  Looks like it is going to a good home.

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                  • #10
                    Well, we don't mind the original "Woodsmoke Grey" color, but Kathy wants the car to 'really POP", as she puts it. So seems like she's settling on either Apache Red with Arctic white fins, or possibly turquoise on the bottom half and black on the top half. Probably the red, though. Any opinions on other color combinations (with "POP" in mind)...?
                    1950 Commander Land Cruiser
                    1951 Champion Business Coupe
                    1951 Commander Starlight
                    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
                    1953 Champion Starlight
                    1953 Commander Starliner
                    1953 2R5
                    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
                    1957 Silver Hawk
                    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
                    1959 Silver Hawk
                    1961 Hawk
                    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
                    1963 Daytona Convertible
                    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
                    1965 Cruiser
                    1970 Avanti

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Down here, black is an oven...a challenge for any air conditioner in driving season.

                      When it comes to color...trust the woman. Red and white will "POP."
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

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                      • #12
                        A red with white fins is a real popper !

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                        • #13
                          Two replies here.

                          Kenny, Congrats on a very unusual find and good luck with the completion. Keep the pics coming. I'm not dissing the Chicago shop, but holy cow-$55,000-I must have been in suspension on star trek for a number of years.

                          57pack,
                          We named our '57 Clipper Wagon " Colette the Clipper" in honor of the wife of the couple who did the body & paint. They were here yesterday viewing same after the return from the upholstery shop and the start of reassembly with some of the many trim pieces reaffixed. They couldn't believe how really stunning she is in her two tone scheme (Coppertone & Arctic white)with all that stainless and chrome. I'll post some pics when I get my act together.
                          Cheers, Bill

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                          • #14
                            drrotor, Congratulations on your find and my sympathies to the former owner that knew when enough is enough. Living in the Chicago 'burbs, the prices we are quoted up here are most likely some of the highest in the country. The body looks really great. The red color with white fins is an outstanding combination. There was a red and whit Silver Hawk discussed not too long ago on the forum that had been wrecked in a movie and the production company was finally selling it. I saw the movie but don't recall the name, but the car before it was wrecked looked great in that color combination. Good luck with completing the restoration! Its win-win getting a car your wife likes (not just tolerates), getting a nice car for a good price and having a newly graduated mechanic to help with the work!
                            sigpic[SIGPIC]

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                            • #15
                              that is going to be a fantastic project..Look at me! green with envy!

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