Nice Driver: 1961 Studebaker Hawk

1961 Studebaker Hawk

Located in sunny San Francisco, California, a lovely 1961 Studebaker Hawk is parked near the water to give you a glimpse of how stunning it is. Up for sale at an asking price of $14,000, this Studebaker does not have any VIN information listed, but it does have 120,000 and the title is said to be clear. Thank you, Matt R., for the tip. You can view more on craigslist.

1961 Studebaker Hawk

Moving this Studebaker around is its original 289 cubic-inch V8 that has a four-barrel carburetor and it is connected to a rare, from the factory, 4-speed manual transmission. All the numbers match. The photo of the engine gives you a good idea of its condition. If you are looking for a way to stand out on your daily drive, this is a perfect vehicle for that. California has so many unique vehicles, but this one should still stand out, and if you live elsewhere in the country, that will only increase the attention you receive.

1961 Studebaker Hawk

Inside this Hawk is a very nice, original interior. It has been very well maintained. Especially if the seller uses it every day like they suggest the new owner could. The radio is claimed to function, along with the heat. That is a good thing if you plan on purchasing this car and moving it to a colder climate. One of the few flaws is the paint. It is bubbling up in certain areas. The photos are at a distance that makes it hard to see the paint in detail.

1961 Studebaker Hawk

This is the final year for this make and model. While there are not a lot of photos, the seller was clever to park the car by the water and try to give it some selling appeal even though it doesn’t really need it. The car speaks for itself. Really, the only hesitant factor is the price. There are a lot of vehicles you can get for this price. It is a niche vehicle, so that maybe what the seller is relying on. What do you think?


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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    Very cool car, and the two problems still exist. No money and no where to put it.

    Like 13
    • Tom Pierce

      I have Money and a Room. What a Score

      Like 1
  2. jerry z

    Studebaker of the era either the Hawks or Commanders where dreams are made of! Too bad there is no room in my garage or property to enjoy this ride.

    Like 3
  3. Del

    I have always wanted one of these and this is an astounding one for the price.

    It sucks to be old and poor in the great white north.

    Besides at my age the wife wants me to sell off the fleet

    Like 13
    • That AMC Guy

      I’m pretty much in the same boat. At some point if she gets here way you may even see some of my motley collection put up for sale here.

      Like 6
      • Bob McK Member

        Better idea guys. You could sell off your wives and keep your beautiful babies. Just an idea…. LOL

        Like 3
  4. BeeMoe

    Last year for the make and model? Wrong and wrong. Both Studebaker and the Hawk carried on the several more years. This was the last year for this body style, however. The four speed is a big plus.

    Like 4
    • Vince H

      It was the last year for the finned Hawk.

      • Bob C.

        Then in 62 the Grand Turismo Hawk came out.

  5. packrat

    With a little negotiation, you could get this for a tenth of that ’59 droptop from the other day, and Just as fun.

    Like 3
  6. Rich Rivers

    I had a 61 and loved it. The 4speed is rare and makes it nicer. But compared to modern cars they handled horribly, brakes also weren’t great. They have some serious grunt though and could hold their own.

    Like 4
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Probably the brakes weren’t any worse than 99% of the other drum brake cars out there. I’ve driven a few over the years that would scare the crap out of you when it came time to stop the car. I still remember (I think) the first time I drove a car with power disc brakes, after stabbing the brakes and darn near smashing my nose into the steering wheel, I knew this was something good.

      Like 4

    Always loved these cars.
    That being is it that Studebaker never made a ragtop version?

    Like 1
    • Vince H

      Frame was not strong enough for a convertible.

      Like 1
  8. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Price seems pretty fair to me though a close inspection to ascertain the body and floors for any problems would be in order. It’s a good-looking classic with a desirable drivetrain that you could drive as-is. My ’64 Fairlane 500 has drum brakes which I find to be up to the task though I did upgrade to a dual chamber master cylinder. I’ve had drum brake cars before so I’m familiar with them but of course you could upgrade to power discs all around if you felt the need.

    Like 1
  9. Retired Stig

    Great car, no room in the garage, so I’ll just have to look. As an aside, San Francisco is not “sunny” ala southern California. It can rain a great deal, temperatures can best be described as mild, and is more often foggy and damp with salt air than sunny. So beware of cars from the bay area, they are far from rust free. Obviously not as bad as those from other climates, but SF is not the Mojave desert.

    Like 4
    • luke arnott Member

      Agree!A few years back I left Sacramento @95% and drove to SF.As I went over the Golden Gate it was 57% and that was midday.

      Like 2
    • Dan B.

      So true. I lived a few blocks from where those pictures were taken. The salty fog air can act like a slow moving acid. However, the eastern neighborhoods of San Francisco get significantly less fog.

      I grew up on the North Coast and cars that slept in garages lasted significantly longer than cars kept outside (from a rust perspective anyway).

      Anyway, GLTTS. Great car.

      Like 3
  10. Bing

    Great car fairly priced. A deal on a close offer. Long time owner and four speed a plus. Regarding the comments about brakes and handling. All cars from that era, with standard brakes and no power steering were tough to drive. Hope in any stock C 1 and you get the same thing. They were death traps if you went into a sharp turn at speed. Remember Jan and Dean? “Walk down back from dead mans curve”. It was real in those days.

    Like 1
  11. RJ

    “Sunny San Francisco”? Not the one I’m familiar with. I just bought a ’53 Starlight Commander – now I kind of wish I shopped longer. Oh well…

    As far as the brakes go, as somebody else stated, they were as good as any in their day. Front disc conversions are readily available, though.

    Like 2
  12. Philip Bregar

    Why no views from the front. My 58 Chevy and 63 Ford both have drum brakes, and I have no problem with them. Of course, being born in 1950, I’m used to how they work. Would love one of these, but toooo far and a little more than I’ve got to spend. GLWTA. Someones going to get a good car.

    Like 1
  13. Vince H

    Go to sdckeystoneregion,com to win a 60 Hawk.

  14. Mark

    My favorite was the Brooke Stevens designed Grand Turisimo Hawk of 62 & 63.

  15. charlie Member

    The issue with drum brakes is fade when hot. My ’56 Chevy would stop from 65 mph with no problem (once, until they cooled off, a matter of a few minutes) but my’68 Chevelle wagon would only stop from 55 mph without fade – I rolled through the first toll booth on the NJ turnpike trying to stop from 65 – luckily there was nobody in front of me. Starting in ’69 GM put discs on the Chevelle front (and I am guessing the stable mates from BOP). I could have ordered power brakes which would have had discs in ’68 but what did I know. I drove that wonderful car carefully thereafter.

    Like 3
  16. canadainmarkseh Member

    All this talk of brakes and poor stopping is why I have converted my 51 dodge to power disc brakes. Not that hard to do actually if you have a good mechanical knowledge. I was given an 02 caravan with a bum transmission pulled out all the brake parts and with a few mods I’ve fitted them into my 51 dodge. Bolt pattern on the wheel hubs has not changed since the 1930’s. I did a weight comparison between the caravan and my 51 and to my surprise the caravan was actually heavier the the old 51 dodge. Now a days there are kits available to convert a vintage car so for me it’s a no brainer, if your going to mingle with modern traffic do the upgrade.

  17. PatrickM

    Well, shucks!! Here we go, again. Money, time, space, etc. You know the old story. (Dang, man)

  18. Bear

    Nice looking car.
    You couldn’t begin to restore one to that level for those $$.
    I’d get a good paint shop to touch up the paint flaws & drive it as is.
    If you keep the 4-wheel drum brakes well adjusted they actually stop fairly decently. You just need to remember that they won’t stop nearly as fast as any modern car, so leave lots of room in front of you (2x or 3x what you normally would) & plan ahead.
    That said, I think my 1st upgrade would be disc brakes.

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