Parked 30 Years: 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk

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Just last week I finally visited the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, which has long been on my list. This collection houses a good selection of Studebakers from more than 100 years of production, from the first horse-drawn carriages through the last car to roll off the Canadian assembly line in 1966. The models from the 1950s and ‘60s have always been my favorite and I have to admit this visit filled my head with thoughts of someday finding a Studebaker of my own to fix up. If I were not already bogged down by a couple other automotive projects this 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk available here on eBay in Irvine, California would be just the car for me.

The Silver Hawk was less flashy than its Golden Hawk sibling, with a two-door pillared coupe body, less chrome, and a simplified paint scheme. In fact, by 1959 it was the only remaining model in the Hawk range, with most of the focus being put on the new Lark. This example has been sitting for more than 30 years and looks to be very nicely preserved. The seller states that it wears most of its original paint with some rust in the lower doors and trunk lid that has been touched up. For an unrestored 62-year-old-car the body appears remarkably solid and complete, and a few shots of the trunk floor and undercarriage seem to support this. The stainless steel trim is said to be in great condition though there is some pitting on the chrome bumpers and light bezels. All four wheel discs are present and look to be in nice condition as well.

On the dashboard there is full instrumentation set into a beautiful engine-turned panel. It appears someone may have hacked this one up a bit at one point to try to fit a larger aftermarket radio and that is a shame. On the bright side, the dash pad appears to be uncracked. A large factory Studebaker-Packard air conditioning evaporator unit is mounted under the dash and is likely non-operational after sitting so long. The steering wheel is covered in a perforated vinyl cover that was a popular accessory when this car was last driven, and there is a column shifter for the three-speed manual transmission.

The seat upholstery and door panels appear to be in great original condition with no noticeable damage and will probably be fine with just a light cleaning. There is no word on the headliner but the part of it that can be seen in the photos looks fine. It’s hard to see if there are any carpets present, and if so, if they are as good as the rest of the interior.

Under the hood sits a 259 cubic inch V8 engine that is said to run on starting fluid but will need a carburetor rebuild along with a cleaned-out fuel tank and a full tune-up. The air conditioning compressor and condenser are both present so hopefully the system can be revived. Unsurprisingly, the brake hydraulics will need to be overhauled after sitting for more than three decades.

With four days of bidding left, this Silver Hawk sits at $3,550 with no reserve and 30 bids cast. Hagerty places a #4 Fair condition example at $12,000 so there is still potential for a deal. Patina is a word that gets thrown around a lot but this car truly has it. Would you get this one running, driving, and stopping and preserve its original condition or strip it down and perform a full restoration?

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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320Member

    Unless it is the camera angle, I’m pretty sure the alternator is hitting the inner fender.

    Like 2
    • Rick

      The generator, not alternator.

      Like 1
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    kind of looks like they hammered the inner fender to let the alternator have enough room to run. This one looks to be gone and it appears like it was pretty good shape. Funny, I once knew about one of the previous body style Hawks that was parked in a grove back in the 60’s rusting away. Don’t know why it was parked but it was visible from the road but never talked to the land owner about it. I always thought it was a very impressive body style, must have been because of so many of them used out in Bonneville, etc. for land speed record attempts.

    Like 2
  3. Sam Shive


    Like 0
  4. hsche426

    Stop back at the museum again sometime, Jonathon. The displays are rotated on a regular basis.

    Like 0

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