Location: Arroyo Grande, CA, USA
Joined: 05/03/2010
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Restorer, Muscle Cars, Classics, Race only
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"The First Love Hawk"     1959 Studebaker Hawk

Introduction / Overview:

I am in the process of recreating my very first car. In 1966 I puchased a 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk for $150 from a neighbor. It had experienced a wiring fire but was very salvagable. I was 14 at the time and over the next two years I took the whole car apart and put it back together again. When I turned 16 it became my first car. Tragically I only got to enjoy my hard work for less than a year. I really enjoyed but sadly some kids thought it would be funny to remove some caution signs from a street project the Gas company was working on. Since it was nighttime I wasn't able to see the six foot deep hole until it was too late. The car hit the hole so ahrd it ripped the front suspension off of the frame. My teeth and maybe my life were spared because I had set the car up for drag racing and had installed seat belts. I was bruised but not broken but the Hawk was too far gone to save. The engine went on to win it's class at Lions and Irwindale but you never forget your first love. 


I will be using the Studebaker 259 cubic inch engine I used at Bonneville in 2011. It pushed the Avanti to over 150 mph but I am making some changes. It will still be supercharged but I am adding multi port fuel injection for driveability and added performance. The engine will be backed up by a 518 programmable Torqueflight four speed automatic with lock up convertor. With 3:55 gears in the Dana 44 Jag rear differential I am hoping to achieve my goal of performance, realiability and decent gas mileage.  


Since this is going to be a driver I have set the goals to be comfortable ride with good handling. Enough performance to impress but not sacrifice driveability or reliability. So I am installing a Jaguar independent rear suspension and a Dodge Dakota front clip. Four wheel independent suspension, four wheel disc brakes and rack and pinion power steering. I am adding an "X" frame and crossmembers to stiffen the frame and improve ride and handling.

Wheels and Tires:

We will be using steel wheels painted to match the body. Going to have Early Wheel make them fo rme to my specs. Tires will be 60 series on 16 inch rims. Not wure on the sizes yet but willl post when that is sorted out

Body & Paint:

The body will be where I spend the most time customizing. The plan calls for a roll pan style front end with two grille surrounds. The front clip will be tilt syle with power tilting rams. All seams will be filled and a custom hood scoop is planned. Also looking to slant back the front grille and replace the headlights with something sleeker. Out back a fully custom treatment is planned. Roll pan and hand made from the top of the fins top the roll pan. LED lighting will be employeed with custom plasma cut displays.

The paint is going to be True Blue with White pearl for the body. The grille surrounds, hood scoop, top, facing of the fins and the deck lid inlay will be Silver Metal flake with a medium flake. Custom art work on the deck lid.


My wife and I will be embroidering the custom cartoon character created for the project in the seats, door panels and the headliner. Still looking for the right seats for the project. Planning to make front seats swivel for easy access. Lots of sound deadening planned and of course a nice sound system for those long road trips. Air conditioning and cruise control are being added for creature comforts. All glass will be tinted for comfort and to protect the interior.

Lifestyles: Builder