End of the Line: 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

If you peeled away the styling of the Gran Turismo Hawk, what you found beneath it would be a restyled version of the Golden Hawk, which was first released in 1956. This was no bad thing, because not only was the basic car a proven package, but the restyling removed the fins from the car, which were a feature that polarized opinion among buyers. Barn Finder Pat L referred this Studebaker through to us, so thank you for your help, Pat. The GT Hawk is located in Daytona Beach, Florida, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist.

We’ve seen a number of different versions of the Hawk come across our desks in recent months, and this really does look like one of the better ones. The car is finished in Champagne Gold, and the owner says that it is both solid and original. It certainly doesn’t show any signs of rust issues, and the presentation of the entire car looks really good. I’m a great fan of the earlier Hawks, but I do really like this one.

Under the hood, the GT Hawk features the combination of the 289ci V8 engine and the Flight-O-Matic transmission. This combination gives the car quite lively performance, and power steering makes it easier to make sure that the car is always pointing in the right direction. While the general presentation of the engine bay is pretty good, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the engine has been the subject of some work with a rattle can or two, which I really am not a fan of. If this is going to happen, I always prefer that it is either done properly with the engine out of the car and on a stand, or it’s left original.

While I was disappointed with the appearance of the engine, I am not in the least bit disappointed with the interior. The appearance and condition further reinforce my earlier statement about this being one of the nicest Hawks that we have seen. There’s very little to fault in there. The seats are all upholstered in vinyl, and it is a great relief that this car is a ’63 model rather than a ’62 example. In 1963, Studebaker changed suppliers for its seat vinyl. One of the main reasons for this was that the earlier vinyl proved to be quite fragile, and today it would be nearly impossible to find a ’62 model that still has its original seat vinyl intact.

This GT Hawk is a really nice car that, to my mind, has been let down by the rattle can work on the engine. It is not an especially low-mileage example, with 94,000 miles showing on the odometer. It’s clean and tidy, and it will come to the new owner with the original factory order sheet that lists all of the options and the original delivery sheet. Prices on these vary quite wildly, and there often seems to be little rhyme nor reason behind this. The owner of this car has set the price at $17,900, and I would not be in the least bit surprised if he gets it.

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Comments

  1. flmikey

    Nowhere in the seller’s ad does it say that the paint or interior are original…it describes it as better than excellent…and although the paint is absolutely beautiful, there is no way it’s original…that being said, this car is stunning, and priced about right…

    2
    • Poppy

      Interior appears original as the pleated inserts tend to flatten with age as shown, plus some minor cracks are evident. Tach is not stock unit or size, but floor shift auto is a nice option. Unsure about paint, but it looks like a stock ’63 color.

  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    Adam, if you peeled back enough layers, you’d find a ’53 Starlight coupe!

    That is one very nice car that I hope someone will enjoy for many years to come…

    10
    • Paul Dietzel

      It’s a “hardtop”, i.e., pillar less so peeling it back to ’53 would reveal a “Starliner” coupe.

    • Greg H.

      Surprisingly, the front fenders (minus trim and fittings) are exactly the same from 1953 through 1964 on all the coupes. That’s what happens when you are a manufacturer that is pinching pennies.

      • Vince H

        @Greg H

        rear fenders are the same too 53-64

      • Bill W

        And windshield, hardtop door glass, hardtop doors (except for reverse curve which was removed in 1957) were the same 1953-64.

        Big surprise was in 1962 when the GT was introduced. Magazine writers loved the new look but were surprised at how much changed given Studebaker’s tight finances.

        No one at the time knew that the rear quarter panels were the same from 1953 to 1964. The fins of 1956-1961 were rivetted to the fenders. The finless 1964 rear fenders were actually cheaper to make than the finned 1963 version. The roof and rear window were the expensive items in 1962.

        Studebaker did not have pennies to pinch at that point as they were actually losing money.

  3. pwtiger

    End of the line? The GT was made for one more year…I own a few GT’s, it is a shame that it costs more to get it into this condition than what you can sell it for, some day it might get popular but most people do not know what it is…

    7
  4. ted brown

    I sold a nice one for $8800,00 can.

  5. Wrong Way

    Studies, are awesome cars! Too bad they were pushed out by the competition! This paticular car is really nice! Price? I think that its about right! In my opinion!

    2
  6. Fred W

    “It is not an especially low-mileage example…”

    In my book, when a car travels on average under 2000 miles a year, that’s low mileage!

    2
  7. Hotroddaddy

    Love those Hawks, but personally I would prefer the 56 with the Packard 352 or the 57 with the supercharged 289.

    1
  8. JEFF S.

    I would love to have one of these, except without A/C I am not a buyer.

  9. scottymac

    I can’t believe Barn Finds, or Craigslist, or the PC police haven’t shut down this ad yet. Original ad says the seller “owns” some person named Manuel!!!

    4
  10. Bob Member

    Jeff S. You could always add AC to this beautiful car. Done properly it will look nice and make it much more comfortable to drive. It would cost about $2K including labor.

    • JEFF S.

      Bob. Sure, you can add A/C but I would rather pay a couple of grand more for a car with factory air. Here is one for $21,900 with A/C and black interior that I would consider. Talk the seller down to $19,900, no modifications required. I did not realize you could buy these cars this cheap.

    • PatrickM

      Yup! I like my a/c.

  11. PDXBryan

    Beeee-aaaaaa-uuuuuu-teeeeeee!!!!!

  12. Bob Member

    Jeff S… Understood. You are correct.

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