“My 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk Project” by Member John Cosgrove
Monday, January 18, 2021 15:51

My 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk Project

The Hawk project started in 2002. It was purchased from Melbourne and transported to Queensland. The condition can only be described as “unassembled”.

 

There was lots of rust and what we thought was most of the car was only a very small part of what was required to get it on the road.

I started by getting the chassis and the body dipped in a tank to clean the metal and remove paint. The body came out with less metal and lots of holes. The job was getting bigger and more expensive.

I started by coating the chassis with POR Chassis paint then welded up the cracks in the front crossmember and chassis. Rear springs bushes replaced and springs fitted to the chassis. Front end rubbers replaced and fitted to chassis. My brother Michael then designed and fitted discs and callipers to the spindles. This involved designing an adapter plate for the spindle assembly to attach the PBR callipers. A dual master cylinder was fitted to the chassis in the same location as the original and new brake lines fitted. I had a stainless fuel tank made and fitted it to chassis. The diff was cleaned and assembled with new brake shoes etc. and fitted to the chassis. At this point the chassis was nearly completed and only needed a steering box.

   

 The next job was the body. For many years the body was like a permanent fixture on Gordon Thallon’s shed ceiling. It had coloured lights draped in the floor and when turned on the light shone through the holes and created a disco pattern on the floor at many a Christmas party.

At different times in this 18 year saga, it was lowered to the ground and put on a rotisserie and rust and panel pieces repaired.

For the length of the project I spent many hours researching what parts I needed and I found and brought many NOS parts. This was a hell of a job considering we were not sure how it was meant to go together. Gordon and I have learnt a lot about hard top Hawks and Golden Hawks in particular.

 I have to thank Ian McKellar for directing me to the wiring harness company in Melbourne that made his harness. All I had to do was send my old harness to them and they already had the pattern and used some parts of my harness and they promptly sent back the finished product-Yippee!!

As the body work was being completed I thought it was close enough to get the engine assembled. It was a rebuilt short block 15 years or more ago so I got Neil Black from Maryborough to disassemble and check the work and then rebuild the engine to a long block. I had the heads machined and valve guides replaced and new valves seated about 15 years before they were required. I got it back to Gordon’s place and unloaded it onto a wheeled frame to move around only to have the engine fall off the frame and the front supercharger pulley landed on the concrete and broke. Lucky for me Nathan Kramer (from Newcastle) had reproduced the pulley in aluminium alloy and I purchased one and we were back in business. It took another few months before we got ready to put the engine into the car. It would another 1 1/2 years before the car was able to be registered.

It’s now Jan 2021 and the car has virtually sat for 11months because of COVID-19 and other commitments. A friend George Udovicich inspired me to get working on the car again and with his help we have just finished replacing the front springs as the original springs sagged badly. I couldn’t get a floor jack under the front of the car. I read a forum in America about possible substitute springs and purchased them from Rockauto. I also got a couple of ½” spacers from another supplier. After they were installed the car lifted 3½” and looks good. The back of the car also went up ½”.

Now it’s onto the next job in the list of problems that need attention and hopefully the car will be truly finished in 2021.

John Cosgrove

PS – This is the short version. The long version has lots of swearing, wrong parts brought – new parts that didn’t fit – oil leaks – chipped paint, hard work and perseverance. I don’t want to remember some of it so I left it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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