John Hychko's 1956 Studebaker
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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