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Hawk body swap questions

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  • Hawk body swap questions

    Wow it has been a really long time since I have been to the forums. I am anxious to get back to working on my hawk but time and money have been quite thin these days but hope to get back to the family stude.

    After doing some research a few years ago, according to the serial numbers I have a 57 silver hawk. My hawk however does not have the rear finns. It looks more like this:

    The car has been in the family for over 40 years which means there is a few years in the beginning of its life that it could have been modified. I wonder if it was a leftover 56 body they resold as a 57?

    Anyways, the body is just plain filled with rust. The garage where is sat in san diego leaked and the trunk filled with water and puddled there until it could evaporate for who knows how many years. The trunk lid its self is the only thing that appears to only have surface rust. The channels that hold the rubber seal are pretty much completely gone.

    Now I am perfectly aware that I could buy a good condition stude for much cheaper then it would cost to repair just the body of my current hawk however this hawk has been in the family, not the other. So I guess my goal is to restore THIS hawk.

    I recently got the idea of maybe buying a another hawk with a good body on it then moving the body to my hawk. I am thinking this would be much cheaper then to restore the rust filled one I have however I assume it would be hard to find a hawk with a good condition body first off. BUt if I found one, I assume it would be on an already restored hawk and would be pointless to strip the nice hawk to build up my hawk. Any thoughts on this?

    Also I really like the front end on the older hawks like these:

    What are the chances of getting a body off of one of those smoother front end hawks to fit my hawk? What are the chances of finding one in good condition.

    Any other thoughts on different ways to approach this would be appreciated.

    Now nothing in restoring a Studebaker is gonna be cheap however im looking for the most cost effective method. Although repairing my body is doable, i just cant justify it knowing I'm taking the long expensive rout.



  • #2
    Welcome back.

    Yes, it always costs more to restore a rust bucket than to buy a good car. However, once you start changing something as major as the entire body, it isn't really your family's Stude any more. Remember George Washington's hatchet which has had three handles and the head replaced once.

    No, that photo you showed is technically not an "earlier Hawk'" Studebaker began using the Hawk nomenclature in 1956. The 1953-55 cars still were Champion, Commander, President.

    Maybe your car is a Silver Hawk, but if it doesn't have fins, it could be a '56 where the data plates or the title got wonky early in its' life. Give us some photos or a clear description to conclusively identify your car. Is it a 6-cyl coupe?

    thnx, jack vines



    • #3
      duplicate deleted


      • #4
        Don't ask me. jimmijim

        Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.
        sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member


        • #5
          Yes, but the last one was made out of cherry....right?


          • #6
            I've got a 57 silverhawk body about 75 miles away from you, but it has some rust issues as well. And the roof has been dented in a few places. But, from what you describe, it might be better enough than yours to take under consideration. Oh, and for sale is the windshield, back window, dash, and tt 3.90


            • #7
              I am constantly amazed at the number of solid unrestored bodies that turn up of all models and styles. Many times you see them in TX that have no engines and cooked interiors but solid body and floors.

              If you're sure you want to do this, keep your eye on eBay, and I bet you'll find a viable candidate before too long! Do consider what Jack said about GW's axe, though...

              Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
              Parish, central NY 13131

              GOD BLESS AMERICA


              • #8
                Thanks for all the replies everyone. The engine is a 289 with a two barrel Stromberg and a flight-o-matic transmission. I know that my Father rebuild both the engine and the transmission way back when. I am pretty sure he bought a new engine block because the old one seized up from oil loss so there is a chance it was originally a 6... but im pretty sure it was always the 289. According to the plates it should have been a 289. I will have to get some pictures up.

                So putting a body of that era will not fit my hawk then correct? I have seen a few different modified Studebaker with the older smoother front ends on them so I know it can be done but with how much modification I wonder.

                I like the whole Gorge Washington hatchet thing. If I bought a new good condition body I think I could convince my father its still the family hawk. Especially when it comes to the price of a rust restoration.

                So what is the value of a body like mine? If my front hood and fenders are fine, I would need to get the rear deck lid as well as the main cab/trunk part. What is the value of my body in its current condition? Should I just scrap the one I have in preparation for the new one? Is it worth anything to anyone with all its rust?

                I will start to look through ebay, any other sites to keep an eye on like craigs list? What am I looking to pay for a good condition body with NO rust?


                • #9
                  My opinion is this...
                  We are all here on this ball of a planet for only a short time.
                  Do whatever you have to do to get your Stude on the road so you can enjoy it, drive it, and show it off.
                  If you sweat every detail, you stand a good chance of never getting it on the road.
                  If swapping a body will get you there three years sooner.. Go for it!
                  Critics are everywhere.
                  You will never escape them.
                  Forge ahead and get going!
                  Think about that hatchet.
                  It hasn't been used in 200+ years.

                  HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


                  Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

                  Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)


                  • #10
                    You need to verify what year your car is. '56 and '57 use different hoods and trunklids. If you want it to be "correct", we must identify it.

                    You can use any COUPE body shell from 1953-1961
                    All 1953-1961 Quarter Panels are fully interchangeable, with only trim-location holes in different places.
                    1953-1955 Trunk lids will FIT.. but not be correct. They are smoother and lower.
                    1956 Hawk Trunk lids are one-year-only
                    1956 Hawk Hoods are one-year-only
                    1957-1961 Trunk lids are the same stamping- with a few emblem-location hole differences
                    1962-1963 Trunk Lids are the same stamping- if you remove the aluminum panel- and fill the mounting holes.
                    1964 Trunk Lids will FIT but are a different shape at the rear (smooth).
                    1953-1956 COUPE Doors are all the same stamping- again, trim holes and interior latches are slightly different
                    1957-1961 COUPE Doors are interchangeable with no modifications
                    1953-1955 COMPLETE fenders- will NOT work on a '56-61 Hawk (unless you use the matching hood). The inner fenders/grill area differs greatly
                    1953-1964 HAWK OUTER FENDERS are interchangeable- (trim hole differences)
                    1953-1955 HOODS cannot be used with (complete) '56-61 Hawk Fenders (unless you use the correct inner fenders and grill mount area).
                    1957-1961 Hoods are interchangeable
                    1962 Hawk Hood will FIT- but will not accept the '57-61 chrome hood ornament.
                    1963-1964 Hawk Hoods will FIT- but you must use '63-'64 side grilles
                    1957-1958 Hawk side-grilles are the same with some minor differences in the inner pan (GH's have trim installed, SH's are plain)
                    1959-1961 side grilles are the same- except for color of the inner pan.To use on a '56-'57 you need to fill some trim holes and flatten the recessed area for the park-light.
                    1962 Side grilles FIT- but are painted not chrome (exc. Canada)- also the pan is different to accommodate the turn signal housing
                    1963-1964 Side Grilles are completely different- and can only be used with a matching hood.


                    Specializing in Studebaker Restoration

                    Specializing in Studebaker Restoration


                    • #11
                      A body swap makes it a different car, plain and simple. If the rust
                      is pretty much in the rear, you could find someone with good sections
                      of a wrecked C/K and weld the panels in. I think Mc Caffery in Lompoc
                      has some panels, and so does Tim Hunter in Solvang.


                      '63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires
                      '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                      Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                      I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by sbca96

                        A body swap makes it a different car, plain and simple.
                        I have to disagree with this (to a point)

                        Swapping a Coupe body onto a Hardtop, or making a convertible out of a 2-door... is a significant change, and I would agree with you on that.

                        However, IMO- changing a body shell is no different than replacing a whole floor or trunk pan.

                        Studebaker had a warehouse full of body shells..
                        When they built a '53 Coupe, they went out and got a shell. When they built an early '54.. there's NO DOUBT they probably used a left over '53 shell.....
                        They may never have gotten to use the shells from the "back-wall" of the warehouse.. that could have been used all the way up until 1961.

                        The more parts one replaces, the closer you approach the point at which the car is no longer what it was when it left the factory... but a body-shell and some periferal sheet metal... isn't quite there yet.


                        Specializing in Studebaker Restoration

                        Specializing in Studebaker Restoration


                        • #13
                          Ray, I like what your saying.

                          What exactly do I need to determine what this car is. Engine number and number off the firewall/driver doorway along with some pictures right.

                          Based on what Ray said, its entirely possible that it is a 57 and they put a leftover shell of a 56 on it instead. Would that make this car any more or less valuable?

                          Let me know if there is anything else I need to be taking pictures of or anything else that would help me get to the bottom of this

                          Ray also, do you do full restorations? Custom work? Do you just do this on the side as a hobby?


                          • #14
                            Also, what all is involved in removing the shell from the car.

                            I am presuming the following:
                            Seats, interior, doors, hood lid, deck lid, fenders, dash, floor pedals, steering wheel and column, what else am I missing? I am trying to grasp how big of a project I would be undertaking. I have never restored a car but I have don my share of tinkering and rebuilding and tend to be mechanically inclined however I would like to avoid ripping it all apart and not being able to get it back together. I figure I have many years left to learn as I am only 22 years old but the condo I have simply provides no room for something like this. Currently the car is sitting at my parents under a car cover. I would really like to avoid it raining on the car while the shell is off and I also have to find a place for everything I take off.

                            Any advise or any additional items anyone can think of when removing a shell is always greatly appreciated!


                            • #15

                              Don't take the car apart...yet.
                              Join the SDC.
                              Find your local chapter.
                              Attend a meeting or two.
                              Make some friends.
                              Develop a solid game plan.
                              You'd be a lot better off to find a mentor who will guide you through the process, and possibly allow you to park your stude off in the corner inside someplace.
                              Be creative.
                              But foremost...
                              Develop a gameplan.
                              Make a list.
                              Set goals.
                              And foremost?
                              Have fun with it!
                              HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


                              Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

                              Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)