Saturday, 9 June 2012

My 1st 1962 Studebaker Hawk.

I used to see this car occasionally on my way home from work on the bus, and dreamed about owning one just like it. When it came up for sale in November 1974 I couldn't believe my luck, I just had to have it! Unfortunately it had a clouded history - the previous owner Thomas Ian Hamilton, a champion boxer, disappeared under mysterious circumstances in January 1973, last seen being taken from a Breakfast Ck address by a man with a shotgun. My mother, who still had influence over my funds at the time insisted on the supply of  a Statutory Declaration of true ownership by Mr Thompson's sister, (the registered owner of the Hawk). That being done the gleaming red 1962 Studebaker Hawk was mine for the princely sum of $950, a fortune for an apprentice fitter and turner on $29 / week - I thought I was shit hot. Oh, and yes I did check the boot for a body before I bought it ;-)
Taken 1974 behind the house I grew up in at Redcliffe.

Pick up from Dalby 2009
In November 1976, being a stupid teenager I sold the Hawk for a pittance and bought a 650 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle, and have regretted it ever since. Fast forward to September 2009, I had heard a guy in Toowoomba had the Hawk, I contacted him and organised the trip to Dalby, where it was being stored. We arrived at the yard before the owner and started searching amongst the various wrecks and machinery. My son found him first, yelled out from about 50 m away, "Dad I found it, but you might not want to look". What I saw broke my heart, from a once gleaming red sleek street machine, to a rust red rotted
hulk. I negotiated with the owner, mostly with my heart and not my head, but got him and a few spare panels for a price that I was almost comfortable with. Once the Hawk was home in Brisbane what to do with him? My son and I talked about it and agreed if the actual body shell was intact we'd make a Ute project, (as the rear roof and boot floor were pretty bad). On pulling the guards off we saw the shell was totally shot, sad! So the 'Red Hawk' became a donor car, it was dismantled down to the chassis, what parts that could be saved were. The body was cut up and sent to the scrappers, I hurt a little with each slice of the oxy torch, my misspent youth was woven into this car. Anyway I've already used the steering wheel which is now driving my everyday transport - Murray the '56 International.

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