The Countdown Continues

17 days until my wonderful wife and I receive our second vaccination against the damn virus, 31 days until “full immunity.” As I fully understand, at our age that time will fly by.

We cannot wait to attend car shows and to visit car museums, to dine inside at restaurants, to visit antique shops. Those activities are really all we’ve missed as we are not partiers nor did we travel multiple times a year. I have mentioned to my wonderful wife that when we are “fully immune” I would like to go back to the last restaurant where we dined indoors before all hell broke loose, an IHOP in Sun City, Arizona. Remember, we were vacationing here last year at this time to attend the Mecum auction.

I hoped, but did not expect to be living here at the time of this year’s Mecum auction. I certainly never expected to be here and be unable to attend. No one can consistently predict the future with any degree of accuracy.



I keep thinking about this car, a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk that was offered on Bring A Trailer back in 2018. It looks like a 1964 model given the landau roof, but it doesn’t have to be from that year. For me, I differentiate the years by the rear deck molding or lack thereof.

IF I ever acquire one I would like to have it painted green, although a little darker than this one, and would like to fit it with wire wheels. Granted that I have never seen this car in person, but other than one I saw at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this is the nicest Gran Turismo Hawk I have ever seen. For me, dark exterior colors muddle the lines and I am not a fan of white cars, either. Here is a photo I recently “published” of a 1962 model at the Mecum auction in Arizona last year:



Note the rear deck molding is basically all metal; that is how the ’62s were outfitted. For 1963, the bottom of the molding had a black strip so “Studebaker Hawk” stood out. For 1964, the molding was removed as the deck stamping was finally changed from the original used since 1956. For the ’64s, “Studebaker Hawk” was shown as a badge in stainless or some other “chrome-like” metal against the “plain” rear deck.

If space for another car were not an obstacle, one reason I would hesitate to buy one of these is service. I am certainly not qualified to fix one myself–my acquisition of a service manual for all 1959-64 Studebakers notwithstanding–and I have little idea what shop would be qualified to work on the car. I have read about one shop that specializes in working on “classic” cars located at the Scottsdale Airpark although the name eludes me for the moment. (Damn advancing age!)

Any thoughts or opinions you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.








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8 thoughts on “The Countdown Continues

  1. “If space for another car were not an obstacle,”

    It’s always been a problem for folks who live in subdivisions or “planned” communities. Most, if not all, have covenants about cars parked in driveways or in the “yard.” And most lots aren’t big enough to accommodate another separate garage.

    Fortunately for someone like myself who prefers living in a rural area, it’s not a problem. The county smiled each time I had a new building erected, due to now being able to siphon more tax money out of me. But being a rural area, my property is classified as agricultural, so the tax burden isn’t excessive. I keep the agriculture designation by having 4 1/2 acres that are cut for hay twice a year, and renting out 3 approx 1/2 acre plots to friends in subdivisions, for $1 per year plus some fresh vegetables, as gardens. It also doesn’t hurt that the current tax assessors husband is a drag racer who has worked on his car in my shop a few times. 🙂

    My life isn’t for everyone, but it works for me. Yes, it’s 14 miles to the “city”, but there is now a Dollar General about 4 miles away (damn things pop up like mushrooms after a rain storm these days) for emergencies.


    1. Thanks for sharing, DDM. Yes, like I keep writing, everything is a trade-off. I could not live comfortably in a rural area and you could not do so in an urban/suburban area. As a result, barring a huge lottery win, it is unlikely I will ever be able to indulge my automotive wishes. DSFDF

      Your actions to keep the property classified as agricultural remind me of something Ross Perot and his company did with some of their land in Texas. They would have buffalo (bison?) graze on a piece of the property so it could be classified as agricultural and they would pay less taxes. The reason I know about this is that we used to live not far from there.


  2. I know you aren’t running out to get another car, but on the subject of finding mechanics…
    I’m fortunate enough to be able to do a few minor things myself on the old car. And more fortunate my dad, a long time mechanic, is still around to help guide me (and have pretty much any tool I’d need). But that said, I find there are often a few guys at the car cruises/cars n coffee events who are willing to do mechanical work, at a fairly reasonable price.
    The guy I use is a member of our little club, John. Drives a 70 Chevelle with a 502 crate motor. He’s good, charges about $50/hr (shop rates here are usually $90-120), charges his cost for parts, and he does stuff like brakes, tune ups, to dropping the bumper on my cousin’s 69 Cutlass so he could replace the tail light lens.
    Of course, can’t guarantee but I find there’s always a guy that people who frequent a cruise night know of who can do the work.
    If the mood for a Stude happens to strike, I mean.


    1. Thanks very much for your advice, Mark. I really am constrained by lack of space. Some of the houses in our development could park five vehicles, but we really only have the three garage spaces and they are now all occupied. That being said, I will keep your suggestion under my hat because, well, you never know.


  3. Since you are now in the Phoenix area you might consider these folks, for service on your Corvettes. Glendale is a hike from your place, but I understand they do excellent work.

    I will send you the contact info for my friend, El Polocko, (screen name) in an email. He is an excellent fabricator and I have trusted him to do a lot of work on my truck project. He doesn’t work on your type of car, but he knows a lot about the automotive world in Phoenix.


  4. You bring up a point about classic cars that has always given me pause. Service is an issue. When I had an MGB (71 model, a couple decades ago), I had to take it to a colleague’s performance shop. It wasn’t because I wanted performance mods. The owner, a friend of mine, had a deep affection for British cars and he worked on them because he liked to do so. Of course, I paid regular rates for the service as I have minimal technical expertise in automotive repairs aside from the most basic of tasks. I don’t even do my own oil changes.
    The first season I had my 2004 Mustang in for an oil change, the local shop told me that my shocks were leaking and that they could fix me up to the tune of about $1200, iirc.
    Having just had it completely inspected in North Dakota, and some front end suspension work done on it prior to driving it the 1700 miles plus to Buckeye, I smelled a rat. I thanked them for their concern and vowed never to return.
    Since then, I’ve taken it to the Ford dealer near our house for maintenance. Funny they never noticed any “leaking shocks.” >grin<


    1. Thanks, JS. Yes, reliable service that one can trust is an issue for all cars. For modern cars I might recommend buying an OBD code reader. For older cars, of course, that is not an option.

      Dealer labor rates are usually higher than independent mechanics, but except for one Chevrolet dealer in the 1990s, I have never had any issues with poor repairs or what I felt were exorbitant rates. DSFDF…

      Liked by 1 person

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