Classic Van Auction Talk

Monday 5 November 2018





NEC, Birmingham
10th - 11th November 2018

Registration: 823 YUG
Chassis Number: 6800526
Engine Number: 56721346
CC: 5800
Year of Manufacture: 1956
Estimate (£): 30,000 - 35,000

(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

  • Imported from Houston, Texas in 2007 the Golden Hawk was a one-year-only model
  • Subject to a total ground-up, body-off chassis restoration over 5 years. Completed in 2012
  • The big-block, Packard 352” engine (275bhp) was fully rebuilt by Packard engine specialist, Jack Vines
  • Power steering and brakes, rebuilt suspension, and stainless-steel exhaust system.
  • Stunning new interior from Rene and Bonita Harger, Phantom Auto Works 
  • 635 cars known globally to survive from a production of 4,071. Never been offered for sale in the UK.

Never offered for sale previously in the UK, this stunning 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk, has been the subject of a 5 ½ year ground-up, body-off restoration which was completed in 2012.  The Golden Hawk was a one-year-only model that featured the big-block, Packard 352” engine, producing 275bhp

After the merger of two long-established automotive companies in 1955, the Studebaker-Packard Corporation looked to design their own “Finned” car with the development of the 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk. Raymond Lowey and his design studio were commissioned by Studebaker to design a more “European” style car. Earlier, in 1953, Studebaker had launched the Starliner Coupe, recognised as "one of the most beautiful cars ever made", and beautiful they may have been, but powerful, they were not. In 1956, the top-of-the-range, Golden Hawk, a direct evolution of the ’53 model was launched and it addressed the issue of under-power with the fitment of the Packard 352” engine resulting in the Golden Hawk inheriting the mantle of ' America’s fastest family car'.

Details regarding the engine rebuild;

Jack Vines is a renowned builder of Packard engines in the USA. Within Packard and Studebaker circles, Jack is the ‘go-to’ specialist for rebuilding these robust engines. The engine block has been bored and honed .030" and fitted with new corresponding .030" Egge pistons. The heads were resurfaced. The crank was reground and new .010" main and rod bearing caps fitted. A fully rebuilt oil pump, new timing chain and gaskets have all been replaced. The specification build sheet should be inspected to fully appreciate the extent of the engine’s rebuild. The starter, generator, carburettor and fuel pump have all been rebuilt.

From our vendor:

"Following the car’s extensive restoration in the UK, the scale and scope which included over 1,100 hours of labour, alone.  The separated body tub, front and rear wings plus chassis were all sent for media-blasting, red oxide painting and stove enamelling.

Inner and outer sills plus trunk floor-pans were sourced via renowned panel supplier, Classic Enterprises in the USA. Extensive fabrication work was undertaken on both sides of the interior’s floor pans. With the chassis painted, the body-work and associated parts were painted in ceramic green and snowcap white, which is period correct for this car.

With the chassis painted, new brake lines were fitted. New brake shoes were fitted all-round, brake master cylinder and a new handbrake cable were fitted to the chassis prior to the body being fitted back on to the chassis. The front and rear suspension were completely rebuilt with all new parts, included shock absorbers and heavy-duty front springs. The car benefits from a rebuilt power brake system including power steering servo. 

The original radiator was re-cored in the new UK. Accompanying the radiator, a replacement water pump and new belts with correctly tensions set.

The car is fitted with Packard’s correct Ultramatic 2-speed automatic transmission. New bands and seals were required to make the unit fully operational. The Ultramatic Torque Converter was been rebuilt in the UK by KSM Services. For added protection, the car has been fitted with a 4588-Tru-Cool LPD transmission cooling kit, ensuring the transmission remains at optimum running temperature.

Studebaker International, the world’s number one supplier of replacement, NOS and remanufactured parts have been a significant provider of replacement parts. From screws, nuts and bolts to some of the more noticeable shiny parts, like the remanufactured rear-light units and marque script adorning the car and so much more.

A complete Phantom Auto Works (Rene’ and Bonita Harger) interior – green & white with silver Mylar, black vinyl dash pad, headliner and retainers matched to Studebaker’s most often ordered exterior colour combination in 1956, ceramic green & arctic white, to create a dazzling mid-50’s automobile.

A Shrock Bros. remanufactured white steering wheel sets the tone for the interior and the engine-turned dash. A glorious fully restored valve radio is paired to twin rear-mounted aerials. Complete new wiring harnesses were fitted to the car and perform faultlessly. 

Front and rear bumpers, headlamp rims, front grills, running and backup lights are just a few of the examples of where new chrome has been sourced to create a visual piece of Americana art-on-wheels.

The 56J Only Register was formed in 1989, by Frank Ambrogio.  Frank continues to publish three 56J Only Newsletters per year as well as maintain the 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk Owners Register website. The website and newsletters have become the global authoritative source for this icon car. 

Within the Studebaker world, Frank has become the world’s foremost knowledge source of these rare cars. Globally, there are circa 40 known cars of similar condition to the one presented here today. There are no known other examples on the road in the UK today. This is a unique piece of automotive history in this country that benefits from a recent MOT, October 2018."

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