The vehicle was hardly driven for the last 10 years, so a few problems arose as it became a daily driver, prior to its upcoming complete restoration.
The exhaust manifold gaskets blew out. However, repair was simple and easy, and the gaskets cost only $27.
The header-to-exhaust donut gaskets blew out. However, they were repaired with the new-type flared system, and no problems have arisen since.
The car has a very poor turning radius, and is a challenge to U-turn in tight lanes.
I totally agree with a previous review of these cars. They are very underrated.
I have been doing vehicle restorations since 1970, including the 1957 Ford T-Bird, 1956 Ford Victoria, and many more classics than can be listed here.
This was my first Studebaker, for restoration. I got it because I always loved the body design. The car has a factory 4-speed, and when compared to the '57 T Birds, the Studebaker has much better handling and power.
I was able to pick up this solid Hawk for what I would call a pittance, compared to anything I have restored so far. Now, after many hours of delighted driving, I am more amazed than ever at how unbelievably low the resale value is on these awesomely designed vehicles, although they are going up in value consistently.
The only problem with my Hawk is that I cannot get out of a parking lot without at least one person wanting to talk for hours about the car!
With the factory 4-speed, it is like driving a sports car, and the power that the little 289CI develops is far superior to the 312CI T-Bird engine.
I would just like to drive a factory-supercharged version of the Hawk someday. Of all the classic vehicles I have owned, this one is a keeper for the duration.