Project In Progress: 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

With cars like the Avanti and the Gran Turismo Hawk, it’s safe to say that Studebaker went down swinging! By 1963, the sun was setting on independent Studebaker leaving, besides themselves, only American Motors and Kaiser-Jeep to do battle with the Big Three. That being the case, anytime a product of the former Conestoga wagon manufacturer from South Bend surfaces, it’s worth a review. This 1963 GT Hawk is located in Marshallville, Iowa and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $312(?), reserve not yet met. There is a BIN price of $1,500 available too. Many thanks to my colleague Russ Dixon for surfacing this neat find!

The Gran Turismo Hawk was offered by Studebaker from ’62 into the ’64 model year though production ended in December of 1963. This model was the last of the “Hawk” series which started in 1956 with the introduction of the Golden Hawk. These were personal luxury coupes, along the lines of the Ford Thunderbird, but went by the description of a “Grand Touring Coupe” as the nomenclature plc was still a few years off. Brooks Stevens gets the nod as the head designer, the same individual who penned the ’63 Jeep Wagoneer (SJ) – a bit of a left-brain/right-brain difference between the two vehicles. Of course, if you have that artistic knack, you can probably design almost anything and Mr. Stevens’ designs went beyond just automobiles. Total GT Hawk production was about 13K copies for its two and a half model years of existence.

OK, to state the obvious, this is a project, one that is stalled, though there has been activity such as coating the floors (which look sound), welding patches to the driver’s side fender, and louvering(?) the hood. I’m not sure about that last one, seems like the wrong subject for such an undertaking. There is still a lot of surface rust, and some rot-through in places, as well as a smattering of small dents that will require attention. All of the trim has been removed but the seller claims that he has it – and that’s a lot of trim.

There is no reference to the interior, other than the bit about the floors, but the seats, along with the instrument panel, look great. This is another one of those pictorials where the interior images are not comprehensive so it’s difficult to get the entire story. The dash pad looks OK, the upholstery side panels have been removed and are included, condition unknown, but the headliner looks like something has been chewing on it.

Unfortunately, this GT Hawk is a roller. And the odd thing is that the seller never mentions a word about the powertrain situation, he just includes an image of an empty engine room. Originally, this Hawk would have been equipped with either a 210 or a 225 gross HP, 289 CI, V8 engine. There was also a rare, supercharged, 240 gross HP, 289 R-1 motor available as well.  The steering column shift quadrant indicates that this Hawk was originally outfitted with an automatic transmission.

No doubt about it, picking up on a project, mid-stream, is a challenge, and that may be the reason for such a minimal amount of bid traffic.  This is a great example of ’60s American motoring by a manufacturer that tried their best to survive in a changing world and just couldn’t make it work – Studebaker was out-sized, out-financed, and just out-gunned. It would be nice to see this final example of their Hawk series saved but the odds seem long. What do you think, a viable project?

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    After having owned a ’53 coupe that started the beer, chair, and sit and look at it” program I have no comment. My wife just asked me when that started…..

    Like 10
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Studebaker. The plant in my hometown – Hamilton, Ontario – was the last chapter for the company. The last Studebakers built were built in Hamilton. (Hamilton’s nickname is “The Hammer” hence my username).

    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

    391 Victoria Ave N, Hamilton, ON L8L 5G7

    manufactured automobiles

    See also: Studebaker Canada

    On August 18, 1948, surrounded by more than 400 employees and a battery of reporters, the first vehicle, a blue Champion four-door sedan, rolled off of the Studebaker assembly line in Hamilton, Ontario.[33] The company was located in the former Otis-Fenson military weapons factory off Burlington Street on Victoria Avenue North, which was built in 1941. Having previously operated its British Empire export assembly plant at Walkerville, Ontario, Studebaker settled on Hamilton as a postwar Canadian manufacturing site because of the city’s proximity to the Canadian steel industry.[citation needed]

    Studebaker manufactured cars in Hamilton from 1948 to 1966.[56] After the South Bend plant shut, Hamilton was Studebaker’s sole factory.[56]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker#Hamilton,_Ontario,_Canada

    Like 4
  3. Autoworker

    My brother owned a ’63 Hawk White with blue interior. I believe it was a 289 V8. Always said it was surprisingly fast from stoplight to stoplight. Had a broken ring, so she was a smoker, lol

    Like 3
  4. Ben T. Spanner

    In 1961 my Father and I went to an new car auto show. I could not understand why he wouldn’t consider this car in this color.
    He ordered a 1962 Dodge 880 convertible, which was a Chrysler Newport with a Dodge nose. He ordered triple blue per the catalog. It arrived with blue paint and black interior and top. He refused delivery.
    I steered him down the street and he ordered a 1962 Pontiac Catalina convertible. Much better.

    Like 3
  5. Steve Clinton

    Now Playing at your local drive-in: “The Attack of the Patina Monster!”

    Like 2
  6. Johnny C.

    This car is an oxymoron… the interior is in surprisingly good condition compared to the exterior. That left front fender is JUNK. The rockers are shot, but are a simple replacement on a Hawk. The floors don’t look horrible and the trunk is somehow decent. All in all this poor thing is quite savable if acquired for a low enough price, so I hope someone can step up and give this diamond in the rough a proper polishing.

    Like 2
  7. Vince H

    The 240 hp engine was not supercharged it was called R1. The R2 rated at 290 hp was supercharged.

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