The 1962 Studebaker GT Hawk appeared to be an all-new, high-style personal car in the Thunderbird class. In reality, it was an unusually creative facelift of an aging design done on a shoe-string budget in the Brooks Stevens design studios.
Starting with the 1961 Hawk, Stevens lopped off the dated tailfins, added a Thunderbird-like roof cap, and applied a Continental-like beltline molding. The result: 1962 style on a platform that went way back to the 1953 'Loewy Coupe.'
The 1963 edition shown is the ultimate expression of GT Hawk power and luxury. This all-original, 40,000 mile car is one of only 160 built with the Avanti Supercharger R2 'Jet Thrust' engine/4-speed manual transmission combination. Other options include the 'Hill Holder,' power disc brakes and the 'Twin Traction' locking rear differential.
The Raymond Loewy designed Studebaker Coupes were introduced in 1963 and became the Hawk series from 1956 to 1961. In 1962, designer Brooks Stevens redesigned the Hawk in the European style. The new Gran Turismo Hawk was produced for three years. 1963 production was 4,634 units. Equipment includes a tachometer, front power disk brakes, power steering, twin traction rear axle, and a Flight-O-Matic transmission. The price was $3,866.
The Gran Turismo is powered by a 289 cubic-inch V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and develops 240 horsepower.
Sold for $33,000 at 2014 Mecum. Studebaker hired designer Brooks Stevens to redesign the Hawk for 1962. He was given a shoe-string budget and was faced with the uncertainty surrounding the company's fortunes. Stevens was able to modernize Raymond Loewy's original design in striking fashion, rounding off the rear of the car and replacing its softly arcing roofline with a squared-off roof inspired by the Ford Thunderbird. For 1963, the design remained virtually unchanged. It another attempt to increase the new Hawk's appeal, Studebaker began offering the Avanti 289 cubic-inch V8 in both normally aspirated and supercharged versions and a new Super Hawk braking and handling package that included front and rear anti-roll bars, rear radius rods, heavy-duty springs, power steering and power front disc brakes.
This particular example is unrestored example that has been given a repaint in the original Ermine White. It is one of 56 early production 1963 GT Hawks special ordered to Super Hawk specifications before the model was technically available from the factory. It was specially built for actor Alan Young, and currently retains its matching-numbers R1 289/240 HP Jet-Thrust Avanti V-8 engine, which is teamed with a heavy-duty Flight-O-Matic transmission and Twin Traction limited-slip rear end. It has its original Red vinyl interior equipped with factory Climatizer air conditioning, full gauges and a 6000 RPM tachometer. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014
Sold for $27,500 at 2015 RM Auctions. The 1953 Raymond Loewy-designed coupe models were popular, and Studebaker had underestimated their appeal, resulting in lost sales until production was able to catch up with demand. They would remain in production until assembly was moved to Canada in 1965.
The coupes wore a design by Loewy staffer Robert Bourke and came in several body styles including a coupe and hardtop, and powered by sixes and V8s. The 1955 President Speedster was a very elegant version fitted with an up-rated 289 cubic-inch engine and given exclusive colors, and a damascened dashboard with Stewart Warner instruments.
The Studebaker sedan and wagon bodies were styled for 1956, bringing them more in-line with other American cars. The coupe's update were limited to a nose and tail makeover. The result was the Studebaker Hawk, with fiberglass fins, a slight bustle trunk lid, and several engines to choose from.
The fiberglass fins were short-lived, as they were replaced with steel fins for 1957. Since the Packard engine had gone out of production, the engines were all Studebaker. The Studebaker V8 had reached its displacement limit, so it was given a McCulloch supercharger, resulting in nearly one brake horsepower per cubic inch of displacement.
Designer Brooks Stevens updated the Hawk in 1962 with a more formal appearance. The roof contours were re-worked and the grille was given a broad chrome outer molding. It was also given a new name - the Gran Turismo Hawk. R1 and R2 engine options were available on the Hawk. Hawk production was winding down in 1963, and continued only through the 1964 model year, since the Hawk was discontinued after production was moved to Canada. From a high of nearly 20,000 in 1957, it had dropped to 8,388 in 1962, the GT Hawk's debut year. In 1963, it was 4,634.
This particular example was acquired by the current caretaker in 2014. It is painted in Champagne Gold with bucket seats upholstered in pleated red vinyl. This Gran Turismo Hawk has power steering, power brakes, a radio, a heater-defroster, a center console, a factory tachometer, and an electric clock. Power is from a 289 cubic-inch V8 with dual exhausts and delivers 210 brake horsepower. There is a three-speed Flightomatic transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.
Currently, the odometer shows 93,500 miles which are believed to be genuine.
The original owner was Norman Smalley, of Plainfield, Indiana who took possession of the car on December 27th of 1963. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2015
From 1962 through 1964 Studebaker produced the Gran Turismo Hawk, also known as the GT Hawk. The GT Hawk was an iteration of the Hawk series which had begun with the Golden Hawk in 1956. The styling was performed by Brooks Stevens using the prior Hawk cars as a starting point. The hood was retained while the radiator and grille borrowed inspiration from Mercedes-Benz. The GT Hawks was a marriage of both European and American styling and influences. The rear end was similar to that of a Lincoln while the roofline closely resembled a Ford Thunderbird. The result was a modern car that was both smooth and aerodynamic. It was sold in the US and other countries, such as Great Britain and Australia. In the US, sales were slow, with only 8,388 examples being produced in its inaugural year. 947 were produced for other countries during that year. This would be its strongest year, as sell fell to 4,009 for 1962, plus an additional 625 for export. Only 1,484 US examples were produced in 1964 and 283 for export.
Many areas of the vehicles were designed to be inexpensive to produce. The rear window was flat and recessed; the underpinnings and chassis of the car were nearly identical to prior Hawks. The engine bay could accept a variety of Studebaker engines which could be matted to a three-speed manual, four-speed or Flight-O-Matic automatic gearbox. The engines ranged from a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produced just over 210 horsepower to a supercharged 5-liter engine that produced over 330 horsepower. The cars low weight and front disc brakes made it a solid performance machine.
Minor styling improvements were made for 1963. The rectangular parking lights were replaced with round units. The side of the dash were wood grain which made it similar in appearance to the rest of the instruments. Changes followed in 1964 such as a 'Studebaker Hawk' nameplate appearing on the trunk lid. The grille was again updated, now having a Hawk emblem in the center of the grille. A circle-S ornament could also be found on the grille shell. The top was a half-vinyl-covered roof which had been part of Stevens original designs but never made it into production in prior models. Wheel covers, similar to the other Studebaker models, were added. A silver-threaded cloth upholstery was added to the list of options, and for the first time, AM/FM radio could be ordered on the GT Turismo. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2007
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