Monday, July 30, 2012

54 Commander For Sale

The design of this car was just selected one of the most beautiful American cars of all times!

Offered up for sale is the second favorite car in the collection.   Designed by Raymond Loewy, this 1954 Commander Starliner hardtop was arguably the best design of the early 50's. In fact, the style was so terrific that the New York School of Fashion presented its Gold Medal to Studebaker.  This was the year Studebaker became Sudebaker-Packard with total production of about 68,000 cars.

Because of their appealing designed many of these cars have be customized and re-powered into magnificent hot rods.   Thus original Starliners are rarely found in any condition and almost never in this condition.  They sold new just over $2,000, which, in today’s market would just cover some engine parts.  It was bought about 11 years ago from a Washington, D. C. Avanti dealer who wanted to restore it for his personnel collection but sold it well before completion beyond some mechanical work.  Since then it was undergone a complete, and detailed frame off restoration with about 500 miles driven since then, in fact, no car in this collection is driven adequately but when they are driven be prepared to have people wanting to know about the car.

This car received the same level of attention and care as described in the other two cars with the theme always being to bring it back to another half century of service.  No detail was overlooked or covered up, and as usual, no pop rivets and no Bondo to cover rust.  Even the dash and interior trim was blasted and repainted its proper colors.   Exterior  paint is Viper red (with black top) using 4 coats of Valspar single stage urathane on top of 2K primer, and it has many rare NOS trim parts that were originally bought from American Service Center in Arlington, Va.  The correct interior is an upholstery kit from the original Phantom in Knoxville, TN.

While the goal is original restoration, this car has fiberglass front fenders, and Edelbrock carburetor with original air cleaner and vapor return to the gas tank intake port to provide relief from vapor lock.  



804 776-6215

Additional photos: 1954 Commander Photos

1954 Commander - Additional Photos

Friday, July 27, 2012

An Interesting 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk

This 1956 Golden Hawk has had an interesting and unique history.  It was bought about 4 years ago from the attorney who represented the previous owner of Richmond International Raceway, (RIR).  It was stated that the original intention was to open a museum featuring unique cars in America but, with the death of the RIR owner, the plans were shelved and RIR was sold. 

Shortly after the car was purchased,  a complete frame off restoration was undertaken and virtually every part that would come off, was taken off and restored, refurbished, and or replaced essentially in the same detailed manner of the other listed cars.  Metal work included the usual rust elimination and included new sub-floor and trunk components from Classic Enterprises.  And as with all of this collection, no pop rivets, no short cuts, and no Bondo to cover rust. 
Some have said that the 1956 Golden Hawk (GH) comes with extra challenges because of its unique parts, expenses, and handling issue.  Of the three 56 GH’s in this collection, this is the one that adequately addresses these commonly held beliefs.  While it looks like any other well done  1956 GH, it handles like a 60's Gran Turismo as it has such a frame that includes, heavy duty front and rear sway bars, disc brakes, and above all, it is not involved in the Packard drive train/weight issue as it has a 289 Studebaker motor/transmission.  As one can see from the pictures, it looks identical to its  Packard relative, but once you drive this  car; and once you have to buy Packard engine parts or seek transmission service you will quickly appreciate this unique beauty even more. 
This car was finished with Dupont Nason Fullthane 2k Polyurathane on top 2K urathane Primer and has a complete Phantom Auto interior. 

Additional photos:  1956 Golden Hawk Pictures

1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk Pictures

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo (GT) Hawk

There are simply too many cars in the collection of Studebaker, Avanti, and Novas.   The decision has been made to sell three more of the cars, this GT Hawk, and later a unique 1956 Golden Hawk and a 1954 hard top commander.  Hopefully, the next generation will be able to enjoy them as none of them are being adequately driven at this time.

Offered up for sale at his time is a frame-off restored 1963 Studebaker GT Hawk.

Standard equipment on the 1963 GT Hawk includes power steering, 289 engine, AM-FM radio (that works) clock (that works), automatic transmission, and limited slip differential.  This car was fairly well taken care in previous ownership with only minimal rust, which was cut out and replaced with chemically treated 20 ga rolled steel and or OEM replacement steel from Classic Enterprises.  Replaced steel was welded in place, never riveted and never screwed or bolted, and all exposed metal was treated with an anti-rust after welding and, no short cuts were taken, no Bondo used to cover rust, and no pop-rivets to hold steel in place.   

This car lives up to the commonly held reputation as being one of the best handling, sporting cars of its time and there is little possibility that a commercial restorer could come anywhere close to the price of this car in consideration of what all was done.  The theme for restoration of all of the collection was to maintain as much of the actual appearance as feasible yet update it to make it highly presentable and reliable.  However, on this GT Hawk, to help reduce the chance of vapor lock, an Edelbrock 600 CFM carburetor with ½” riser and vapor return line was installed.  The underside of the original air cleaner was modified to accommodate the larger intake and maintain original appearance.

This car looks like an exceptionally well maintained driver from the early 1960's. It is not a museum piece and you should not expect to compete with concours de elegance shows but it is well done and well bought at this price, largely because most labor hours were uncompensated in the interest in keeping Studebaker alive.

The largest restoration expense, in dollars and compensated time, as one would expect, was in the mechanical/machine paint area.  The objective here was to bring it back to another half century of attractive, reliable service.  This included restoring, rebuilding and or replacing virtually every removable part.  It was overhauled .30 over using Studebaker International major re-build kit.  The starter, alternator, power steering, brakes, water pump, radiator, exhaust, shocks, dash, rubber and grommets, new radial tires, king pins, were key elements.  Even the tiny rollers that facilitate window opening and closing were painstakingly replaced and the mechanism’s refurbished.

It was painted with 4 coats of Dupont Chroma Clear over 5 coats of Dupont Chroma Base on top of 2Kprimer/surfacer and Chroma Seal.  The interior was an upholstery kit from Southeast Studebaker, and of course the stainless was polished and other metal re-chromed.


804 776-6215

Additional Photos: 1963 Gran Turismo GT Hawk Photos

1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo (GT) Hawk-Pictures

Additional pictures of the 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo (GT) Hawk.