John Hychko's 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk - The Polynesian
1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk owned and restyled by John Hychko of Valley Auto Body custom shop in Waterbury, Connecticut. Named "The Polynesian", Hychko based his build on a totaled 1956 Studebaker. The body was completely demolished, but the frame was left in a fairly reasonable condition. According to Custom Craft Nov-Dec 1960 Hychko claimed that he constructed The Plynesian with a blending of present day lines and a touch of the futuristic. After towing the totaled Stude to his shop, Hychko's first step was to chop the top 5 inches. When the top was welded back into position, the large rear opening was covered by metal. A smaller convertible window was later added. In the rear, John grafted on a pair of 1959 Cadillac quarter panels. The units were completed, and they were grafted just rear of the doors. A handmade rear grille shell made from tube and sheet metal was constructed between the quarter panels. The trunk lid was a sectioned Cadillac piece. A convertible screw-type jack was used to raise the deck. 1957 Mercury Turnpike skirts were installed to hide most of the wheels. To balance the wild rear end, Hychko welded into one-piece two 1959 Dodge front end assemblies featuring 8 headlights. The hood, also a 1959 Dodge unit, was pancaked and sectioned 5 inches. A special lower splash pan was constructed of metal. A 1953 Ford center grille bar was used to fill the grill cavity. The Polynesian was finished off in with a deep maroon paint job. Harold Block of Waterbury upholstered the car in white and maroon Naugahyde. The stock Studebaker dash and the top were also upholstered in a matching scheme. The build took about 8 weeks of continous work.
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