Twelve Five Twenty

In the latest episode of People Vote With Their Feet comes the news that, apparently, Elon Musk is moving from California to Texas. Let’s see: you can have much of your income taxed at the state level at 13.5%–California’s highest bracket for those “evil” wealthy people and the highest state income tax in the country–or you can have it taxed at zero as Texas has no state income tax. A person doesn’t have to be as smart as Musk to make that choice.

Some extremely misguided people (I am being kind in my characterization) who seem to fail to realize that the US is a federal republic and not a unitary one think all states should have the same laws, taxes, regulations, etc. Wrong!

 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

That is the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Many would argue it has been largely ignored and that many federal regulations are implemented without the federal government’s right to do so having been delegated by the Constitution. Still, different states have the right to have different laws unless those laws have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

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Has it really been nine days since Thanksgiving?! It really seems like two or three days to me.

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That is a picture of our desert home. The money shot would show more of the east side of the house and the amazing mountain views behind, but it would also show our address number, which is not a good idea in this day and age. We’ve been in the house about four weeks and we’re still unpacking, still having repairs/upgrades done. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be “done” by the end of January.

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I am a big fan of Mecum auctions, and was long before Scott Hoke and I became friends, but have been somewhat critical of the recent dockets that, in my opinion, have too many Mustangs and pickup trucks. (That criticism applies to Barrett-Jackson dockets as well.) The current auction (which can be seen on NBCSN) from Houston has a lot of those, but has redeemed itself with some cars like this:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk and the picture is, ironically, from Mecum and is a lot offered at their 2016 Dallas auction. For the nth time, Mecum does not allow online photos of lots from recent auctions to be captured.

The ’56 Sky Hawk consigned to the current Houston auction was bid to $12,000, but did not sell. The four Hawk models for 1956 sold 19,165 units (the ’56 Ford Thunderbird sold 15,631), of which only 3,610 were Sky Hawks.

Of course, the Hawk line was a remodeled version of the classic “Loewy coupes” that were actually designed primarily by Bob Bourke. Without the fins that appeared on some of the other Hawks, the Sky Hawk very closely resembles those classic coupes. This is my favorite of the four ’56 Hawks as I think it looks the best; the Flight and Power Hawks had visible B pillars and the Golden Hawk had larger rear fins that look out of place to me.

While this car wouldn’t make my Ultimate Garage 3.0, it wouldn’t be far off. Sacrilege though it might be to some, if I somehow acquired one of these I would certainly make a restomod out of it and might even have that hood scoop made functional.

Is anyone else, besides me and Stephen Cox, a big fan of Studebaker Hawks?

 

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A Sad Sunday; Sunday Studebaker Sky Hawk: October, 2019

My wonderful wife has departed on a long trip, primarily for business. I am very sad. I will never understand men who seem happy or say they can’t wait for their wives/significant others to leave.

Please be careful, V Squared! I LOVE YOU!!!

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In one of the Studebaker books I recently purchased the author wanted to make the point that at the beginning of their existence, the Hawk series was fairly popular and outsold the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird. Here is a chart I created showing 1956-1957 production/sales for the three cars. The Hawks were introduced in 1956. Of course the Thunderbird was changed into a different kind of car in 1958.

 

YEAR CAR TOTAL PROD/SALES  
1956 Chevrolet Corvette 3,467  
1956 Ford Thunderbird 15,631  
1956 Studebaker Hawk (All Models) 19,165 Flight, Power, Sky, Golden
       
1957 Chevrolet Corvette 6,339  
1957 Ford Thunderbird 21,380  
1957 Studebaker Hawk (All Models) 19,674 Silver, Golden
       
1956-57 Chevrolet Corvette 9,806  
1956-57 Ford Thunderbird 37,011  
1956-57 Studebaker Hawk (All Models) 38,839  

 

Yes, Ford marketed the Thunderbird as a “personal luxury” car and not as an out-and-out sports car. Yes, the Hawk had four seats while the Corvette and first-generation Thunderbird had two. I didn’t make the comparison, the author did. However, it is true that for 1956-57 the Studebaker Hawk cars outsold the Corvette and the Thunderbird. (Studebaker actually marketed the Hawk series as “family sports cars.”)

I don’t care that much for the Hawk cars with the bolted-on fins and the pillared coupe body style. Granted I am at a long distance from these cars in time and space, but my favorite of these is the 1956 Sky Hawk. Sorry, 56packardman, I know the ’56 Golden Hawk was powered by Packard’s 352 cubic-inch V-8. From Richard Langworth’s excellent book, Studebaker 1946-1966, The Classic Postwar Years, an “explanation” as to why I like the Sky Hawk the best:

 

“For those who found balance and finesse as important as brute force, the Sky Hawk provided a reasonable alternative. At $500 less than the Golden Hawk, it was one of the best buys around in 1956 [not 2019, $500 was a much more significant amount of money then]. Like the Golden Hawk (but not the Power and Flight Hawks), it used finned brake drums, which were highly resistant to fade. It handled beautifully and with 210 HP was no slouch in performance. There was a vinyl interior of luxurious design, the same tooled metal dash as the Golden Hawk (tachometer optional), and much cleaner exterior styling. The Sky Hawk was devoid of what Bob Bourke called ‘those damnable fiberglass fins.'”

 

OK, some of you reading might find the part about balance and finesse being as important as brute force a tad hypocritical for someone who drives a 650 HP Corvette Z06. I maintain the Z06 has tremendous balance with its excellent handling and comfortable, well-appointed interior. Without further ado, a picture (“courtesy” of Mecum) of a 1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk:

 

See the source image

 

The original shape of the Loewy coupes is quite evident. This car, of which 3,610 were made, is not easy to find in the classifieds, but is a contender to be purchased as an homage to defunct American makes. I’m keeping my Z06, though.

 

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