Project Or Parts? 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk

Affordable project cars will generally involve a trade-off for potential buyers. An owner might offer a classic at a rock-bottom price, but the lower the price, the more work the buyer will generally face to whip that car back into shape. This 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk might prove to be an exception to that rule. This is not a car that the buyer will return to active duty in a single weekend, but it is a surprisingly solid car. Even if a potential buyer isn’t considering it as a restoration project, it appears to be a complete vehicle that could serve as a valuable source of parts for another restoration. Located in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, you will find the Studebaker listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $2,500, but there is the option to make an offer if that seems a bit rich for you.

At first, it seems that time has not been kind to the Parade Red Silver Hawk. I believe that this car probably rolled off the line wearing the single color, with the white on the fins being a later addition. Some buyers had this work performed by the dealer before delivery, and that is a possibility here. The panels sport a few dings and dents, and there is also visible evidence of prior repairs. However, when you look beyond the faded paint and surface corrosion, it appears that the panels have little in the way of penetrating rust. The lower extremities look surprisingly good, but that isn’t to say that this is a rust-free project car. The owner admits that the floors are rotten, so the buyer would need to replace these if the aim of the game is a restoration. It isn’t clear how extensive this rust is or whether it has impacted the trunk pan, but replacement parts are readily available. A complete set of floors and a trunk pan will leave no change from $1,100, but if that’s the only rust to be tackled, whipping the bodyshell into shape might not be an expensive undertaking. Plenty of exterior trim pieces are beyond repair or are missing, but the tinted glass appears okay.

When we turn our attention to the Studebaker’s interior, the news isn’t as good. It appears that all of the major components are present, but the buyer will be left with no choice but to perform a complete retrim. There isn’t a single piece of upholstery that is salvageable, while the shopping list will also include a headliner, dash pad, carpet set, and sundry small pieces. The machine-turned dash fascia is damaged, and it is hard to know whether the buyer could repair this. Unfortunately, the state of the interior could potentially undermine this classic’s viability as a restoration project. Finding a trim kit won’t be easy, so the buyer might need to source all of the pieces separately. Low production volumes equate to higher prices, which becomes apparent when you start compiling a parts list. A complete set of seat covers will burn a $1,200 hole in the buyer’s wallet. A headliner will add $260, while a carpet set will cost around $320. At this point, we haven’t considered door trims, seat foam, a headliner, or any other damaged parts. This is one of those situations where the buyer may need to bide their time scouring eBay and other resources in the hope of scoring their parts. We also know little about the Studebaker’s mechanical health. We know that the engine bay is occupied by the 289ci V8, which would have been producing 210hp in its prime. We also know that a 3-speed automatic transmission backs this V8. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. The owner supplies no engine photos, doesn’t provide any information on when the car last fired a shot in anger or if the motor even turns freely. Potential buyers will need to hope that the seller is willing to answer questions because I suspect there will be plenty to ask.

Studebaker only produced 4,485 examples of the Silver Hawk in 1958, and many of those cars have succumbed to the ravages of time and the impact of significant rust problems. Although they are relatively rare, the sticking point is that the rarity doesn’t necessarily equate to high values. It is possible to head out into today’s market and find some extremely tidy examples for under $25,000. That means that for this project to remain financially viable, the buyer would need to consider performing many tasks themselves. Even if this is limited to basic disassembly and reassembly, it will all help. So, now that you’ve seen what this 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk has to offer its next owner, do you believe that its destiny is a project car, or is this a source of parts for another restoration.


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  1. Steve Clinton

    And it has flow-through ventilation seats!

    Like 4
  2. studehudsonguy

    A parts car at best.

    Like 6
  3. chrlsful

    love ALL the orphians, looks like a Kizar 4 nxt week.
    Love 2C this 1 brought back.
    Sommth the tail lghts’n put ’em up in the fins?

  4. Howard A Member

    Like I’ve said before, I kind of use the number of comments to correlate the interest in something, and all these projects that aren’t a GM, Ford or Chrysler, just don’t have a chance today. There are lots of Hawk fans, they really were some of the swoopiest cars, but few, if any, will take on a project like this. It doesn’t make any sense( cents) to do it this way today. Besides, we’re too busy funding WW2 airplane projects,,,and such.

  5. Bill McCoskey

    Last I checked [about 25 years ago] rust-free front fenders for hawks [all 2 door front fenders are different than the sedan fenders] were over $1,200 each, with NOS versions nearing $2k. Rust free rear fenders are also getting pricy. A nice Hawk hood that has not been bent backwards at the hinge points is also very sought after.

    So if someone is restoring a Hawk and has rusty body panels, this is the perfect parts car.

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