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Towing capacity of Lark & Hawk?

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  • Towing capacity of Lark & Hawk?

    Hi,
    I'm new to this forum,and this has probably been asked before....
    Does anyone know the towing capacity for the following Studes:

    1959 Golden Hawk, 289 engine
    1962 Lark sedan, straight 6

    I'm looking to buy a vintage 12 ft. trailer with a dryweight of 1600 - 2000 lbs. Can either or both of these cars pull this weight?

    Thanks!
    MMills

    mmills

  • #2
    I'm sure you'll get opinions at both ends of the spectrum on this one.

    Mine is this...

    Definitely not the Lark. Underpowered and under braked even without the trailer.

    MAYBE on the Hawk if it is an automatic and in excellent mechanical condition. Even then, have a frame mounted class 3 hitch fabricated for the car, tow slow (55 mph or less), have the trailer equipped with electric brakes (and a breakaway kit) and install an electronic brake controller in the car. You should also think about fabricating some sort of transmission oil cooler. Stay out of the mountains.


    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

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    • #3
      Well Dick is right about all of that. Don't try it with the Lark. Definitely put some electric brakes on the trailer and a class 3 hitch on the Hawk. Now here's some of my stories.

      My uncle had '57 Silverhawk, 289 3spdOD and he pulled his 8,000 lb boat with the car. I guess he blew some minds when he pulled up to the boat ramp with the Hawk.

      I have another uncle who had the same set-up, '57 Silverhawk, 289 3spdOD. There is a place in my area called "Carson Pass." Its a VERY steep and a very long hill. There was a fella with a 1950ish Ford pickup, pulling a 25' airstreem trailer and he fried the clutch. My uncle told the guy to get a chain and the fellow said, "yer gonna pull me with that?" My uncle started pulling and the guy dumped the clutch, stalled the engine and left it in gear, while my uncle pulled him up that steep grade with his Hawk.

      Jake

      -Home of John Studebaker-
      http://s158.photobucket.com/albums/t95/stude4x4/
      http://varozza4x4.com

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      • #4
        I have to agree with Dick to a limited extent. Forget towing anything with the Lark. With that six, it's all the poor thing can do just to haul itself around. As for the Hawk, condition is the key factor. Yes, a 289 should be able to handle that trailer with alacrity. Still, that's if it is in excellent condition. I have a '62 Champ with a (poorly) rebuilt 259 that has no trouble at all with 3-4 thousand pounds. I live in the mountains, quite literally. My driveway... well, let's just say that I tell people it was designed by Lucifer Metastophelies (a greek engineer that always smells like sulfur for some reason...). It has to work, but can pull my 57 Miley horse trailer up the driveway with no problem (dry weight about 3k). I towed my '56 Parkview wagon from Oroville to Lewiston, CA, a distance of around 150 miles. The truck had very little trouble. This, and with carb troubles. So, yes, your Hawk should be able to handle that trailer, if the weight you quoted is accurate. Just, as Dick so wisely suggested:

        quote:it is an automatic and in excellent mechanical condition. Even then, have a frame mounted class 3 hitch fabricated for the car, tow slow (55 mph or less), have the trailer equipped with electric brakes (and a breakaway kit) and install an electronic brake controller in the car. You should also think about fabricating some sort of transmission oil cooler.
        Remember, the Hawk has a larger displacement in it's engine than my truck, but it's gearing isn't set up for work. So, the engine loses it's ability to pull weight. As for mountain driving? Learn to downshift. You'll be ok. Just get that trans cooler for an automatic.


        Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
        Lotsa Larks!
        K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
        Ron Smith
        Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
        Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
        K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
        Ron Smith
        Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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        • #5
          The Hawk should easily pull that trailer. I towed my Hawk from Fort Hood, TX, to Seattle, WA, behind my '61 Studebaker station wagon equipped with a 259 CID V8 and 3-speed OD transmission. That's about 3,500 lbs. I had no problem with the mountains and easily cruised along 70 mph on the Interstates.

          Dale

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          • #6
            Maryanne,

            My experience is not so much being able to tow something, rather, being able to control it and stop when necessary. As stated by Dick, you absolutely need brakes on the trailer and a means to control them from the tow vehicle.

            I can not tell you how many times someone has pulled in front of me while I was towing a trailer and I had to slam on brakes to avoid an accident.

            Gary


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            • #7
              Thanks all for the great advice. This has been invaluable. I guess I'll have to do all the mechanical work first before I put my interior designer cap on. I am looking to renovate a vintage 1950's era trailer to tow behind our '59 Silver Hawk. The Hawk is a daily driver, so we will definitely need to make sure it is in excellent condition before we tow anything.

              Thanks again,


              mmills

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              • #8
                Very wise, Maryane. Send us a picture when you get the both of them ready for the road. That'll be one really cool ride and tag-along![8D]


                Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                Lotsa Larks!
                K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                Ron Smith
                Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
                Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                Ron Smith
                Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pulled a 16' Renken Speedboat with 75HP Johnson and Tee Nee Trailer for 2-3 years in the early 60's with a '57 Golden Hawk. Never had a problem. Lake was 120 miles R.T. Circa 1960 Trailer Hitch which as I remember wasn't much.

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                  • #10
                    This might be better for the Studebaker stories section, but in 1967 I pulled a 15' camper trailer out of Buffalo River State Park(now national park)in the Ozark Mountains and back to Searcy with my 1959 Lark 6 with overdrive. I also had a 14'flat bottomed boat on top of the car. Coming up out of the river valley the car was in low gear and boiling over, but we made it. By gathering speed on the down hills we made it up the other hills, but I would not recommend that adventure to anyone.I was 17 (dumb) and lucky I guess, and the low overdrive gearing helped. I found out later that my dad had made arrangements with the park superintendent to tow us out if needed.

                    1952 Champion Starlight since October,1971. 1962 Daytona
                    since May, 2007.Searcy,Arkansas
                    "In the heart of Arkansas."
                    Searcy, Arkansas
                    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                    1952 2R pickup

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                    • #11
                      Almost 50 years ago we bought a used 15' travel trailer (weight unknown) and towed it with the only vehicle we had at the time, my '53 Champion coupe with OD. Not a lot of performance by modern standards, but with the high (numerically) axle ratio that came with the six-OD it wasn't difficult to get the rig started or to climb hills. Obviously, our top speed was much below modern freeway speeds. We also successfully towed a neighbor's 21' Airstream with the Stude. Now we have a 30' trailer with a Dodge/Cummins PU as the tow vehicle.
                      I concur that you must have electric brakes on the trailer with a modern controller that senses the negative acceleration when you start to brake. A good trailer dealer can acquaint you with the various types of controllers. If your trailer is so old that the brakes on it are meant for 6 volt systems, then you need a heavy duty dropping resistor somewhere in the line.
                      Best wishes on this project, and I also would like to see a picture.

                      Jerry Buck
                      Racine, Wisconsin
                      '53 Champion Coupe - C (owned since 1956)
                      '61 Lark VI Convertible

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                      • #12
                        Lucifer Metastophelies, was he the guy that sang about the burning ring of fire? Or was that Johnny Cash.........

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In 1970 I bought an 18-foot Shasta travel trailer (weight loaded for a camping weekend- 3,800 pounds). I pulled it with my Wagonaire with a 259 and overdrive (3.73 rear end). I had a frame mounted hitch with a load-equalizing setup and I had electric brakes on the trailer. The Wagonaire handled it okay, but not well. On reasonable level ground- no problem. However, I got behind a stalled truck going over the mountain to Santa Cruz, CA (probably near Dick's old place). When I was able to get moving again I really smoked the clutch trying to get started up hill. Another time we left San Luis Obispo and went up the coast a short distance before turning up to old 99. I found that we were on a hill that went steadily upward for (it seemed) ten miles. I ran that whole distance in low gear, foot to the floor, making maybe 10mph- talk about white knuckles. I bought a '64 Champ longbed with a Powershift and a 3.73 TT rear. The hitch got swapped to it and I added an auxiliary cooler in series to the existing radiator cooling. I installed a R-1 engine. I pulled the trailer to Placerville on one tour- piece of cake- then I took the trailer up to the Seattle area, east to Yellowstone and on to Boston crossing one pass at 9,000 feet. It never faltered and handled the trailer beautifully though I did consume a lot of gas, something like 9mpg for the entire trip.


                          [img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/R-4.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64L.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64P.jpg[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/53K.jpg[/img=right]Paul Johnson
                          '53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
                          '64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
                          '64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
                          Museum R-4 engine
                          Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                          '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                          • #14
                            you mean to tell me back in the day NO larks pulled trailers??? really somehow i dont believe it.

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                            • #15
                              [ATTACH=CONFIG]33832[/ATTACH]
                              this is my lark and serro scotty and i will make it work
                              Attached Files

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