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Running Project: 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

By the early 1960s, Studebaker’s checkered history was affecting operations. The Lark, a solid seller before the Big Three launched their own compacts, was fading. The merger with Packard confused and angered customers. Industry price and cost pressures infected the balance sheet. The company was just one year away from closing its South Bend facility forever when this 1962 Gran Turismo Hawk rolled off the line. Offered here on craigslist, this Hawk is priced at $3000 and is located in Chico, California. It does run and drive but “needs work”. We owe thanks to Terry T. Brinson for this flighty tip!

The Hawk series kicked off in 1956 with four models. By 1957, the line-up shrank by two, leaving the Silver and Golden Hawks. After 1958, only one Hawk continued in production. Striving for survival, Studebaker re-designed the Hawk in 1962 and launched it as the Gran Turismo; simultaneously, the Avanti hit the market. Alas, neither was enough to save the company, which closed its last plant in 1966. Studebaker chose its 289 cu. in. V8 for the Hawk, equipped with either a two-barrel or four-barrel carburetor; transmission options included a three-speed manual, a four-speed with overdrive, or the Flight-O-Matic automatic. This example was equipped from the factory with the four-barrel 289 good for 225 hp, and an automatic gearbox.

Along with the exterior, the Gran Turismo’s interior benefited from a major facelift, with upgraded fabrics (except for the pleated vinyl which deteriorated rapidly), big gauges in the driver’s sight-line, and stainless accents. The dash was padded and marketed as a safety feature. This interior is worn nearly everywhere in some measure – the new owner will need to decide how far to go here.

Our seller calls the paint coat “patina” but to my eye, it’s simply worn out and not consistent with what I expect on a Hawk. On the other hand, the body is fairly straight and the rear stainless panel is in great condition, as is the chrome. Lenses are clear and uncracked. Up front, the grille is tidy. The seller fesses up to surface rust here and there (self-evident), and floor rust where patch panels have been installed. But no doubt, this car has its positive points. Meanwhile, Hagerty pinpoints a “fair” example at $9500. There’s precious little headroom from that point to the best in the world, though, at just over $30,000, kinda like this one. How would you tackle this project?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Kevin Koressel

    I see a prostreet car .

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo ET

    Agreed, Prostreet all the way.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Jerald carswell

      I’d buy it for 3 grand how do I get it to texas

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo bob

        they have car shippers for that

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Tony O

        I have a friend in Elgin that hauls pretty reasonable too

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Eric_13cars Member

    Having had a rough 54 Champion 2dr. Coupe (not same as 2dr sedan) with a 62 Hawk 289, I champion these engines in their comparisons with the Chevy 283 and Ford 289. You can bore them to 0.90 over. The swept bearing area is supposedly 40-50% greater and the crank is much heavier. The only problem is the small oil drains from the heads for which there are several fixes (a 6 quart system, you could have a quart in each valve cover, and the valve stem seals need replacing).

    My personal taste is such that I much prefer the earlier designs without the extravagant fins, and whose rear end treatment is similar to this 62. I’m not a fan of the Chrylser 300 letter car grill (not sure which came first, Chrysler or Studebaker) and would be interested to find out whether a 53-55 hood would fit. The price doesn’t seem too bad although I suspect it’s negotiable. If it were closer to me than the 3000 miles it is, I’d be at least an in person looker with an offer in hand.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Joe

      Blank slate if you wish. A lot of sheet metal is interchangeable between 1953-1964 Studebakers especially between the hardtops doors. The earlier front fenders are different than the 56 and later hawks. So if you wanted the 53-55 hood would would have to swap the whole front clip. All rear fins are just bolted on, as is the cars quarter panels. I have a 57 Golden Hawk the I restored using 54 quarter panels and 63 doors.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Vincent H

        Outer fenders are all the same it is the inner half of the fender that is different.

        Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Henry Davis Member

    I’ve got a 62 hawk that I bought 4 years ago for $5K and drove it 100 miles home. Love the styling, and the engines are bullet proof. Rust in the door hinges is a problem, and requires expertise to fix. Stubebaker International Is an amazing source for parts and advice. Turning Wheels magazine is their publication, and well worth joining. Parts are surprisingly available. 62 hawk has the heater core under the passenger seat (optional additional one on the driver’s side) and are unavailable anywhere I can find. I bought a rusty parts car a couple of years ago, and have a lot of parts I’ll give away to anybody that need them. But everything below the door handles on it as red powder.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Joe

      I personally went with a underdash unit in my 57 hawk. I’m not a big fan of heated seats. Lol.

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Henry Davis Member

        Later hawks went to the more conventional heater core position on the passenger side firewall. I’m using an Old Air setup that does away with the underseat core…I’ve got two of ’em at the radiator shop now, but don’t expect either one of them will be salvageable.

        Like 1
  5. Avatar photo BigDaddyBonz

    Even though I love one of the Big 3s autos above the others, I admit a fondness for the orphans (in particular Studebakers). I agree that it would make a nice pro-street or perhaps pro-touring cruiser. Upgrade all the essentials (ie; brakes, suspension, electrical and rebuild existing motor/trans). Fix the dings/dents/scratches and lay down some paint. (Btw, no sbc or ls, have an imagination). Voila! The only one in town for cruise night. Best wishes to new owner.

    Like 5
  6. Avatar photo Duaney

    Unless the Studebaker engine is beyond hope, I would restore it, paint, interior and enjoy it

    Like 5
  7. Avatar photo Fred

    Studebaker didn’t close its last plant in 1966. They had plants all across America producing many consumer products. They just stopped making cars. They left the auto industry.

    Like 1

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