Priced Right? 1962 Studebaker 4 Speed GT Hawk

This is hardly the first Studebaker to be covered here on Barn Finds and I’m certain that it won’t be the last. Studebaker was a bit of a “go your own way” auto manufacturer and their products were varied and commendable. And it wasn’t just ordinary sedans that they produced though the bullet-nose ’50 and ’51 Champion, Commander and Land Cruiser are certainly memorable. It was models like the Avanti and the “Hawk” series that really stood out. And here is a just such an example of a very memorable Studebaker, a 1962 Gran Turismo Hawk, located in El Cajon, California, and available here on craigslist for $2,500. Thanks to Robert T. for this tip!

The Gran Turismo Hawk, or GT Hawk, produced between 1962 and 1964, was a continuation of the Golden Hawk series which got its start in 1956. The three year run yielded about 15K copies. The history and conclusion of Studebaker has been covered here before so there’s no reason to rehash it but recalling the demise of American auto marques like Hudson-Nash-Rambler-American Motors, Kaiser-Frasier-Willys, DeSoto, Edsel, and Studebaker-Packard is a wistful exercise. For the most part, these mash-ups and their ultimate passing occurred a long time ago. But there are constant current reminders that everything evolves and the fittest survive. In more recent times we have witnessed the demise of Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Saturn, Saab, Hummer, Pontiac, Mercury, Scion, Holden, and probably others that I can’t recall. Looking forward, what happens to Dodge and Chrysler, or maybe Buick? The beat goes on…

This GT Hawk was a very stylish automobile, it borrowed a hint of Mercedes with its grille and a nod to the Thunderbird with its roofline. Unfortunately, this example does not show its best due to the plethora of surface rust. The seller states that this is a California car, mostly all there, is complete, and has some rust. Well rust indeed, it’s difficult however to get a thorough enough look to determine the rust’s invasiveness. The bottom of the doors, in particular, look pretty shakey, note the rocker panel molding in the above image, something is going on there. The top of the quarters are rough too. It’s safe to assume metalwork will be needed, it’s just hard to say how much. Notable, however, all of the trim, including the original wheel covers, appear to still be in place.

Moving inside, the environment pretty much goes hand-in-hand with the exterior. It’s shot, the seats/upholstery, door cards, carpet; can’t determine the solidity of the floors from the included images though images of the underside reveal a solid looking structure. In totality, the seller states the following regarding the interior, “The interior on the car is mainly there but will need to be restored. All factory gauges are there and the dash is uncut. Front seats are bucket seats with a center console. Has manual windows. All the glass is there with the vehicle and in good shape. The original steering wheel is there and the horn Gran Turismo horn button is there.” I will concur regarding the instrument panel, it is intact and all gauges seem present and accounted for. There are no images of the headliner but it’s safe to assume that will need a redo as well.

For power, this GT Hawk utilizes Studebaker’s 210 HP, 289 CI, V8 engine, driving through a four-speed manual transmission. And yes, it runs! In spite of sitting for many years, a little direct injection, otherwise known as dumping gasoline down the carburetor, convinced the engine to fire. The motor is going to need some work with fluid swaps and tuning requirements etc. but the fact that it started, and it would seem that it started easily, is a big plus. And of course, the four-speed manual shift sets this Hawk apart from others and helps to up its desirability a bit.

Completely finished, a Gran Turismo Hawk is a great looking car and belies the somewhat dowdy image more pedestrian Studebakers possessed, especially so late in Studebaker’s life-cycle. It’s a tribute to their dedication that they build such a model right up to the end. There is no denying it, this example is reasonably priced but there is probably a lot more going on with both the interior and exterior bodywork than initially meets the eye. What do you think, worth taking a flyer on this classic Studebaker?

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Comments

  1. Paolo

    Priced right? I think so. It runs too. This would be a great start to building one how you like it for pure enjoyment and driving pleasure.

    Like 1
  2. DualJetfire

    I always liked the GT Hawk better than the metallic ones. They are very Rolls from the windshield back, and very American in front. This makes for a very classy car. While most focus on the late history of Stude, it was a high end marque into the 30s and went bust. The lower priced Champion line and WW2 saved it. If you ever have a chance to see the Studenaker Museum in South Bend, by all means do so!

    Like 5
  3. 19sixty5 Member

    When my parents were car shopping in 1962, my dad being a Studebaker man was all in for a Hawk GT, however my mom won out and they bought a 1962 Buick LeSabre. It wasn’t all bad news, as the Buick had a dealer-installed dual quad setup on the 401. That thing would honk!

    Like 9
  4. dave brennan

    Well, at least if I’m crazy I’m not alone. The first thing I thought of when I saw the side view picture was Rolls-Royce. If I were younger and had more time this would be a neat project

    Like 3
  5. jerry z

    This is one of my favorite Studes. For the price, it’s worth the chance to own and fix up. Finding parts maybe a little more difficult compared to the Big 3 but the body looks solid. I like it!

    Like 1
  6. Bill McCoskey

    Mechanical parts are generally not a problem. However GT Hawk trim items can be a bit pricey.

    This car was oddly optioned. Yes, it has a 4-speed floor shift, but no power steering or power brakes, no tachometer or clock, single exhaust, 2-BBL carb, even the horn ring is the base version. This car has 3 options: Radio and heater, and that 4-speed.

    Before I made a major investment in this car, I would get the original car build sheet from the club, and make sure this isn’t a car that was converted to a 4-speed.

    Like 1
  7. Vince H

    It has a trunk lid from a 56. All GT Hawks came with dual exhaust. Frugal people went to the single when replacement was needed. It will probably cost more to restore it than it will be worth. These are fun cars I had a 57 Golden Hawk and a 64 GT.

  8. Chuckster

    I live ten minutes from El cajon and I can’t believe this is a california car. That much rust just ?

    Like 1
    • Chuckster

      I live ten minutes from El cajon and I can’t believe this is a california car. That much rust ? Sorry about that extra word on the end

      Like 1
  9. John S.

    Too bad this car was let go this far… Rust has always been a concern on the Hawks and this one has it’s share. The interior is deplorable. Stude’s value is creeping upward but this one would be easy to get “up-side down” on investment.

  10. Gaspumpchas

    Had a car friend who recently passed, there was one of these and 2 others the same year, decent and not much rust. We couldn’t get any local interest and she needed them gone, sold the 3 for a grand. Yep one had the 4 soeed. So it goes.
    Stay safe
    Cheers
    GPC

  11. Norm

    The chrome side grills say Canadian built unless it has been played with.

  12. Vince H

    Norm you are right but I think they may have been changed. The trunk lid is from a 56.

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