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57 Silver Hawk fin removal

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  • Body / Glass: 57 Silver Hawk fin removal

    Hi All,

    Just bought my first Studebaker, a 1957 Silver Hawk. Just joined this forum. Can’t get much more newbie than this.

    Now that I have a project, I need a smart way to make it look good and be road worthy. So, before making missteps I am asking for your expertise in terms of body work.

    My vehicle has rust issues where the fin attaches to the quarter panel. It has the same issue at the quarter panel to body seam. I saw the Ray-Lin ‘Fin Installation’ how to and a picture gallery of ‘Buttercup’. Thumbs up Jerry; impressive work. Both fin to quarter panel seams on this vehicle are in poor shape with lots of cracked plastic filler. It is probably best to remove the fin for metal and rust repair. Would appreciate some info on how to remove the fin.

    The quarter panel is in good shape. The seam where quarter panel and body meet needs work. Tips and hints on removing the quarter panel are appreciated.

    The vehicle is far from stock, so there is no need/desire to keep something original for the sake of originality. The car will be getting A/C and it currently has working vent doors. The window vent hardware is either non-existent or in poor condition. I do not feel that working window vents are a necessity or particularly desired. Has anyone eliminated the window vents or made them fixed (closed)? If so, hints and tips are welcomed.

    These couple of items should keep me busy for several months. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

    I’ve uploaded some pictures. If you see ‘em I was successful. If not I’m still trying.

  • #2
    The rear quarter side trim holds the bottom edge. Once it is popped off, you will see the bottom of the fin. The top edge is held on by tiny T-bolts that bolt through the body. Look up inside the trunk, about where the fin meets, and you will find them. T front end on my 60 Hawk had a chrome moulding with 2 screws, but I don't see that on yours. When you get towards the front of the trunk the T-bolts no longer have nuts on the bottom, and they are pushed into a barrel nut. You should be able to carefully pry up on the fin attachment strip and pop them out. Good Luck with it! Looks like the car has already had a few modifications. It will be a fun driver for you.


    • #3
      Thanks tsenecal. This is helpful.


      • #4
        Dave L. from OK (I can't think of his forum name) has a 1954 C-body (like yours) that has the vent windows completely eliminated. Hopefully, he will see this thread.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer


        • #5
          As bad as they look those fins may not be usable without a lot of cutting and welding on them. Or, find another pair of fins. One solution would be to remove and eliminate them from the car. You would then need the stainless steel trim pieces that go on top of the quarter panels and 1955-56 taillamps. The car then would look like a 1956 Flight or Power Hawk. Some like the fins, some like the beauty of the fin-less 1953-56 C & K's. Your car, your choice.


          • #6
            Don't be suprised that the metal under the fin is very thin and may require replacement. This was from a 58HT which had the added fins on top of the fender. A little pressure from my finger made the hole in the metal.


            • #7
              I now have a better understanding of how to proceed and what to be aware of. Much thanks for the assist.

              I'll be starting on it in a few weeks. Be done in a few years.


              • #8
                Not bad, it looks quite original until you see the '62 GT Grille, Grille Moulding and of course the Mopar under the hood.
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner