Custom Paint: 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Vehicle manufacturers walk a fine line when devising the color palettes for their various models. They must ensure the paint shades are relatively inoffensive, but they often leave something available for those seeking a more “flamboyant” look. Studebaker was one of the brands that erred on the side of caution, but this retina-searing 1963 Gran Turismo Hawk is anything but conservative. It isn’t even on speaking terms with that word, and it would undoubtedly turn heads wherever it goes. Its most pressing need is a new home, with the seller listing it here on Craigslist in Indianapolis, Indiana. They set a price of $12,500 for the Hawk, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Rocco B. for spotting it.

Before we delve into the story of this Studebaker, I must address the elephant in the room. The supplied photos of this classic are both low-quality and date-stamped for 2016. A lot can happen in seven years, and the seller has done themselves no favors with their approach to the listing. Okay, now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s proceed. The seller quickly denies responsibility for this Hawk’s custom paint job, suggesting they aren’t willing to shoulder the blame for its appearance. It is unclear what color originally graced its panels, but my instincts tell me that the car now wears Sub Lime, a shade that formed part of the Chrysler Corporation’s paint range from 1970. The shine looks pretty impressive, although assessing the overall presentation and condition is limited by the supplied photos. The panels also sport a “floral” theme on the hood, C-Pillars, and the back section of the roof. I initially thought these were decals, but it looks like someone may have applied them with an airbrush. The work seems consistent across all surfaces, and if the new owner chooses to preserve this classic in its current form, they will represent a conversation starter at a show or a Cars & Coffee. Some trim pieces look tired, and I’m unsure whether they would respond to a high-quality polish. The glass appears okay, and the original wheels retain their correct hubcaps and are wrapped in classy whitewalls.

This Hawk’s interior is a mixed bag. The seller adds to the general confusion in the listing by describing it as new. However, the seatcovers and carpet are the only items I can spot that could wear that tag. The dash retains its correct gauges and pushbutton AM radio, with the factory under-dash air conditioning system intact. The pad and door trims look okay. However, the rear trims have tired and faded lower carpet, and the same is true of the dash timber. Those items are probably due for replacement, and I’ve seen owners achieve wonders on the dash using faux woodgrain vinyl. The rear trim could be more challenging, but a competent upholsterer might be able to replace the carpet without breaking the bank. Some plated items are pitted or peeling and may be beyond salvation. However, it is worth noting that any interior faults fall into the non-urgent category. The buyer could address them as parts appear because it is serviceable in its current form.

The seller not only doesn’t supply any engine photos, but he throws a slice of confusion into the mix when describing its mechanical specifications. They refer to the engine as a “V8 259,” which isn’t correct if this car retains its original drivetrain. The motor should be a 289, which feeds its power to the road via a four-speed manual transmission. We can speculate on the available power if it is a 289 because it could range from 210hp to 240hp. The seller mentions a four-barrel carburetor, suggesting the higher figure could be accurate. They have splashed some cash under the skin, with this Studebaker receiving new front shocks, air shocks in the back, a new fuel tank, a sender unit, new tires, a new exhaust, and other parts that aren’t specified. They include the original Build Sheet and state that this Hawk runs and drives well.

The expression “a face only a mother could love” could easily have been coined for this 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. The color won’t appeal to everyone, meaning the seller will probably have a limited pool of potential buyers. However, the classic world is unpredictable, and there will undoubtedly be people out there longing to park it in their garage. Will that happen? Only time will tell.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Adam… As a rabid early Studebaker owner and fan I’d like to continue your comments by saying the black side vents and fuel filler cap do nothing for the appearance of this car. Also the wide whites and jacked up suspension just plain off balance the sleek lines of the body. Not sure why you’d put that paint color on anything but a Dodge Challenger but who knows.

    Like 21
    • nlpnt

      This color on this car needs white-letter tires on chrome Cragars, Torq-Thrusts or maybe 5-slot mags to pull it off.

      Like 5
      • Mike

        The paint scheme on the front looks like Sid from the movie “Ice Age.” The black trim on the front sealed it for me.

        Like 5
  2. KurtMember

    Oh my. Lots of sanding ahead for somebody, or media blasting. Interior looks nice. My initial reaction: WHY??

    Like 11
  3. jrhmobile

    Reading is fundamental. I had to re-read the line three times before it clicked in my mind instead of “part of the Chrysler Corporation’s PAINT RAGE from 1970.”

    Maybe that was me filling in the blanks a little …

    Like 2
  4. Norman Phillips

    It would make a great entry in a 4th of July parade.

    Like 1
  5. TheOldRanger

    I love the car, but not the color…

    Like 6
  6. Chuck Simons

    No one will have a challenging time finding this at the coffee and cars…unless they park with those Mopars.

    Like 3
  7. little_shoesMember

    I like.

    Like 3
  8. Dangerous Dave

    Ugly, with a capitol UG.

    Like 3
  9. Poppy

    There’s a reason Studebaker didn’t offer this color in 1963.
    Will be a tough sell with all the “customization.”
    With 4-speed and AC in a factory color this would easily bring more than the seller’s ask.

    Like 7
    • JGD

      As a former owner of a Ermine White ’63 Hawk with red interior (I bought it new in May 1963), I look at the color of the seller’s car and want to reach for a barf bag. Is it the same color under the hood and in the trunk or just an exterior paint job?

      A BIN price of $12.5K should leave enough room for the buyer to invest in a
      quality repaint in a factory color and not be underwater.

      Like 2
  10. CCFisher

    What happened to it? Was it donated to a high school auto shop class at one point?

    Like 5
  11. Rick

    This nauseating green is similar to the green found on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, only this is much more nauseating.

    Like 2
  12. RIX260

    Nothing that a nice $10K paint job wouldn’t fix.

    Like 2
  13. David Scully

    NOTE TO SELF: Call Earl Scheib about a do-over on the paint…

    Like 1
  14. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    As a Studebaker guy who has had quite a few Hawks 1956 to 1963, This appears to be a decent price for a 289 4 barrel dual exhaust, 4-speed, factory Tachometer and factory A/C combination. It’s likely got the Twin Traction posi rear too.

    Note to whoever buys it; PLEASE repaint it pronto!

    I have a feeling the guy who did the paint forgot to lay some color on the smaller panels like the side grills, fender vents, and gas door, so they ended up black! At least for me that’s the only logical reason why they are not body color!

    Like 4
  15. Vince H

    Incorrect wheelcovers they are 62s.

    Like 2
  16. Derric Dickson

    I’d be leery about the dated photos and lack of engine photos. Many years ago I lived in San Diego and Id take my cars into Mexico where they still used lead paint. These days a total repaint is very expensive. Makes me wonder what Maaco would charge to make it look decent. Ive heard sometimes you can give some of those guys extra cash to make a ride look decent without breaking your budget. If the mechanicals were good, I’d repaint it Black, Silver, Medium Blue or Burgundy. Hope it finds a good home.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds