Project Car Hell, Cool Names From Doomed Manufacturers Edition: Airflyte or Power Hawk?

Illustration for article titled Project Car Hell, Cool Names From Doomed Manufacturers Edition: Airflyte or Power Hawk?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! After yesterday's QOTD, it just makes sense to go shopping for project cars with cool names!


Of course, non-Big-Three American manufacturers of the 1950s provide a rich vein of great car names for us to mine, so let's set the price limit in the three figures and go shopping!

We'd all like a Studebaker Dictator, but they stopped making the Dictator in 1937 and prewar Hell Projects tend to be too expensive for today's low-buck theme. Not a problem for us, though, because the Studebaker-Packard Corporation created the snazzy-looking Power Hawk for the 1956 model year. Power Hawk! Imagine how your daily commute would be so much better if you could just say to yourself every morning: Now I'm going to drive my Power Hawk to work! That could be your eternal damnation daily reality, because this genuine 1956 Studebaker Power Hawk (go here if the listing disappears), complete with 259-cubic-inch V8 and 3-on-the-floor manual transmission— yes, that's right, a V8 coupe with 3-on-the-floor— has an asking price of just $600. Can you believe it? Judging from the grainy, ill-composed photographs, we'd say that this car appears nowhere near reasonably complete, and how bad can some "rust in floors" be in California? Sure, it's damp in Santa Rosa, but again, how bad could it be? Power Hawk!

600 clams, or bones, or whatever you call them, for a Studebaker Power Hawk sounds good to us, but what will you do when you need some body or trim parts for it? That's right, you need to find a two-fer-one deal on a non-Big-Three 1950s machine with a cool name... and that won't be easy! Or will it? Ho ho, my Hell Project-seeking friends, we've got good news for you: This pair of 1950 Nash Ambassador Airflytes (go here if the listing disappears) sports a price tag of just $500. Five hundred bucks! Hell, you can't even get yourself a rusted-to-oblivion '83 Pontiac Phoenix for that kind of price (actually, the going rate for an '83 Phoenix is negative $100, but you get the idea). For your five Benjamins, you get yourself a couple of upturned bathtubs with wheels gorgeous Nashes, one with a "numbers matching" drivetrain and the other with a ready-for-monster-power Ford 9" rear end. From the photographs, it appears that you get something approximating a full set of window glass, at least three bumpers, and several acres of rusty sheet metal. Life will be so much better for you when you can say to yourself "I'm an Airflyte driver!" Nash Airflyte! It just sounds good, as will your new quad-turbocharged AMC 401 V8— hey, Nash became AMC, which means that purists will still rake you over the coals won't squawk about that engine swap!


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For pure all-out migraine inducing misery I'd go with the Power Hawk.


For this deal a double dose of rusted Nash nightmare takes the win. '$500 to fill two slots in my yard instead of one? I'll take em!'

Even with two rolling chassis, I doubt you've got a complete car total, so you'd need another donor, at least...