Barn Find Gran Turismo!

Wearing what may be it’s original faded blue paint, this barn find 1963 Studebaker GT Hawk is awaiting a new owner in Sherills Ford, North Carolina. It’s listed for sale here on eBay, where the buy it now is $2,995 but lower offers are invited. Could this be the Gran Turismo for you?

While the body seems generally sound, the seller speaks of issues on the passenger side rocker panel. Based on this picture, I can see some issues. It is nice to see good trim, though, and straight panels for the most part.

Looking closer, you can see the typical rust at the end of the fender as well as what I think are some real issues under the rocker panel trim. On the bright side, this company will sell you a pair of reproduction rocker panels for $165. They also have reproduction rocker trim as well, in case you want some. I still find it amazing that this GT is essentially an updated body shell from the 1953 Studebaker.

The interior looks like it suffered quite a bit while it was in the barn. Maybe a window was left down? However, the elegant sportiness of the basic design is unblemished, and some parts of the car look pretty good. The steering wheel and dash, for instance. However, the seller tells us that the driver’s side floor pan will need some work, as well as the trunk floor. Keep that in mind as you plan for your new acquisition.

Under the hood, we have a 289 V8, that could be a 210, 225 or 240 horsepower version. We don’t know which one. As a matter of fact, we don’t know anything at all about the engine’s condition, nor the condition of the automatic transmission attached to it. Personally, I do not understand how someone could acquire an old car like this and not try to get the engine started (after taking the proper steps, of course). At the most, it would take an afternoon, right? Oh well, I guess you’ll have to guess! What would you offer for this Gran Turismo?



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  1. Woodie Man

    I’d say it would be reasonable to assume that the drivers floor rust issues and the drivers door rocker problems are related. That said, 3K in todays world is the equivalent to the thousand dollars I might have once paid for a non running rusty orphan make. Ergo, perhaps a reasonable starting point. Of course you need the additional ten grand you’d need to restore everything. But hey then you’d have a pretty nice Stude.

  2. Flmikey

    …is it me or does the whole passenger side look like it’s sagging? Looks like a good deal, though…at least the seller isn’t asking the world for it…

    • Poppy

      I think the ever-expanding rusty rocker is bowing out the rocker trim giving it a bloated look.

  3. Dolphin Member

    The best dash / instrument group of any American car of that era.

    • Poppy

      Yes, clock and tach were optional. This one has both so no blank dash panels. It’s a pleasure to behold when piloting these down the road.

  4. Wagon master

    These don’t like to sit idle for years. I resurrected one from a barn in AZ after sitting for 24 years. All power train gaskets, PS system, valve seals, etc failed within a month of driving. And it drives like a 1953 heavy sedan. I loved the look of the car, fit and finish, but not very satisfying. Mine had the hipo R1 engine also!

    • Oingo

      Not knowing and politely asking would most vehicles not have similar issues is stored similarly?

  5. Howard A Member

    Always liked the Hawk. Surprised it wasn’t more popular. Up agin some stiff competition at the time, and Studebaker wasn’t exactly doing great by this time anyways. This one is pretty tired, but something like this, I suppose you could get it driving, but these really need to be restored, for people to notice. And notice they will. At a show last summer, a guy had a red one that was just beautiful. I don’t like to vote for cars at shows, not why I go, but I voted for this guys Hawk GT, and non-supercharged, which for me is good. Seems like most you see have the supercharger, but I don’t think it was that popular of an option back then. Anybody?

  6. Joe Haska

    Don’t really no the answer for the super-charger, but I agree everyone you see now has it, but I really don’t think it was the case when they were new.
    If I had the luxury to start a project, this would definitely be a car I would like to do. I think its a bargain, but we all know that rust you don’t see can ruin the deal.

  7. Ukracer

    The earlier ’57/8 Golden Hawk models had the supercharger. The 56 had a 352 Packard motor and the later cars made so with the standard Studebaker v8.
    A few later Larks and Avantii had superchargers (R2 and R3 designation)

  8. Chris

    The GT name is pretty accurate here, not really a sports car but when they are tight and well cared for make good long distance cruiser. Typical rust issues. The fenders and rockers along with floor with have to be pulled off. Also check for frame issues.

  9. Ed P

    The Lowey coupes were some of the best looking cars of the 50’s. The B Stevens facelift made them even better looking.

  10. Rock On Member

    Holy crap, that is one massive fan shroud!!!

    • Eric 10Cars

      From 53 to 64 they all had that massive shroud, even the 6s.

      Personally I prefer the 53-55 models as being cleaner and more aerodynamic in appearance. They lost me with the big Chrysler 300 grill.

  11. Al

    I could have bought this car for $1000 . The rocker panels were included in the price. Do to the high price for shipping and the motor and brakes not working i deceided to pass on this car.
    To much money to restore but would be good for parts only.

  12. Melvin Burwell

    Definitely one of my dream machines. But way out of my league. $$ Restore etc.

  13. '63 Lark Daytona ragtop

    Floor pans and rockers are being reproduced for most later model Studes. Ask on the club forum or look in the magazine…

  14. Vince Habel

    Everything you need is easy to get.

  15. jesus bortoni

    Beautiful lines. Look at that roof! In its own way as pretty as the ’70s Cadillac Seville.

  16. S Ryan

    Rusty Studebaker with no title. It would have to be really cheap.
    I say pay up for a driving project if you can.

  17. Joe Muzy

    I have a 64 Hawk and I get comments where ever I go. The parts are available plus the Studebaker Drivers Club is one of the strongest clubs as far as getting help and support.
    Ten grand is a good estimate to go though everything
    Studebaker engines are more expensive to build than other makes but they sure have well motors.
    The rust on this car is no worse than any other car and parts are available.
    Spend the money and you’ll still be ahead of what the car is worth.
    Good bargain

  18. Wagon master

    R2 Paxton supercharger option was available on GT Hawks, but without AC as an accessory.

    B Stevens face lift? Never heard of it.

    • Poppy

      Brooks Stevens was hired by Sherwood Egbert to freshen the tired finned Hawk design which was in it’s 5th year of minor updates. He had impossible timelines and a shoe string budget yet the car made it to production on time and is beautiful.

      • Ed P

        Thank you

    • Poppy

      Sorry, 6th (!) year. Amazing when you consider how much the Big 3 designs changed from ’56 to ’61.

  19. Terry J

    Wagon Master knows……the temptation to try to fire it up is always there, BUT stuck lifters or valves can bend pushrods and burn valves, frozen rings can break and wipe out an otherwise good cylinder wall, crud in the bottom of the pan can break loose and clog the oil pump and passages thus taking out rod and main bearings. Why do I know these things? GUESS. If I bought something with a commonly available engine (SBC,SBF etc), or if I intended to replace the engine anyway I’d give it a try, but Stud Baker engines aren’t laying around cheap. And as a seller, I’d rather give the buyer the choice on how to proceed rather than gamble and then have to disclose bad things. Now if it fired up, smoothed out and ran great with no noises or issues, that would be a big selling point, BUT…… :-) Terry J

  20. Joe Muzy

    I’m working on a 59 Studebaker Lark that sat for years. It has 99,000 on the engine and going to rebuild it anyway. Took off the carb and blew it out, used a gas can as a fuel supply and stuck in a battery and she fired right up. Studebaker was known for strong engines.

    • Poppy

      Nice drivers are still fairly reasonable (for less than the cost of fixing this one). Keep your eyes open, there are a lot out there still.

      • Poppy

        Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to Melvin Burwell, not you, Joe.

  21. Fred W.

    Hope someone restores this, but too much rust for my taste. Proper metalwork is much more expensive than it once was. Not that I’ve even done it- all my restoration work was done in high school years with fiberglass and bondo.

  22. Poppy

    Chrome valve covers and breathers were on the R1 engines (but could be added to non-R engines, of course). Would be interested in knowing what the engine number is.

  23. Loco Mikado

    The hog troughs are gone on this car hence the sagging. In order to truly fix it right it needs a frame off restoration and a lot of reinforcement before you pull the body off or else it will fold up and you will never get it right again. The $10,000 dollar estimate that one poster gave is about 1\2 to 1\3rd the amount it will take to do it right. As far as Studebaker engines go there are lots of them out there as people are pulling them out and replacing them with the vastly inferior SBC, They were designed to take almost diesel compression ratio’s as they expected 110-130 octane or higher gas to be available a few years after they were designed. The only saving grace is the collectors finally are starting to pay the insane prices that other cars of the era are commanding and that used or even NOS parts that other car owners can only dream about are readily available and reproduction parts are becoming more available. Love the car, but not the cost of restoring it.

  24. Alan (Michigan)

    Zero chance of making this anywhere near as nice as the one just sold @ Mecum….. (For $7K!) Without spending 3 times the money.

    • '63 Lark Daytona

      That should have gone for double that, even with the non-authentic changes.

  25. Howard A Member

    Watch out for that ” guillotine” hood!!! :)

  26. Rex Kahrs Member

    Brooks Stevens also designed the Jeep Wagoneer, and the Miller High Life logo. I like the Wagoneer a whole lot more than Miller High Life…I bought a 6-pack a week ago, and half of it is still in the fridge.

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