The Gran Turismo Hawk was unveiled in 1962 after the brilliant redesign by Brooks Stevens on a shoestring budget. By 1961 the original Hawk design began to look aged, and the public was not buying them. Brooks Stevens did a miracle reskin of the car by putting on a new grille, shaving off the fins, and adding a new, squarer roofline. The public immediately responded and sales nearly tripled. The design was continued with very little changed until 1964, but when the South Bend plant closed, so did the story of this short lived version of the long lived Hawk.


Raymond Loewy penned the 1950s Studebaker, creating the elegant designs of the Champion and Commander six- and eight-cylinder models, sold in either Starlight (coupe) or Starliner (hardtop) form. For 1956, the whole range was revised and renamed the Hawk, distinguished by a squared-off eggcrate grille and different bootline. Available in four trim levels, the Flight, Power, Sky and Golden Hawks respectively, the Studebakers sport coupes combined good looks with powerful V8 engines. By 1960, Studebaker's coupe models were simply known as the Hawk, selling alongside the Lark four-door range. Mechanically, the 1960 Hawk could be had in six-cylinder form (for export only) but more commonly came with V8 engines of either 259-cid or 289-cid capacity while the interior was well equipped with semi-bucket seats and white-on-black instruments.

Along with a new-for-1960 Lark station wagon; the 1960 model year saw the introduction of the Lark convertible, the first Studebaker convertible since 1952. Both the Lark and the Hawk Series were available with either an L-head six-cylinder or an overhead valve V8 engine. The 169.6 cubic-inch six-cylinder unit offered 90 horsepower while the base 259.2 CID V8 offered 180 horsepower. An optional 289 CID was available on the Hawk, bringing horsepower to an impressive 210 hp.

The 1960 Studebakers were similar to their 1959 siblings. The exterior trim differences between the Regal and the DeLuxe remained basically the same as in 1959. The Econ-O-Miler continued to be a long-wheelbase, 4-door sedan with Lark styling.

The 'Silver' name was dropped from the Hawk's title. The 'Hawk' nameplate could also be found on the rear fins. Another distinguishing feature of the 2-door coupe Hawk were red background Hawk emblems and imitation louvers on the front edge of the fins.

For 1962, the Studebaker Hawk, now called the Gran Turismo Hawk, lost its fins, was given a squared roofline, and received rocker panel moldings. The 'Hawk' name could be found on the deck lid and 'Gran Turismo' script was located on the doors. The six-cylinder version was only sold outside North America.

The 1962 six-cylinder engine displaced 169.6 cubic-inches and developed 112 horsepower. The Base overhead valve V8 engine displaced 259.2 CID and developed 180 hp while the optional 289 CID V8 produced 210 horsepower.

Production of Studebakers at South Bend officially ceased in 1964, although the Avanti carried on for several more years.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2017

Vehicle Profiles

Hardtop

Chassis Num: 62V9077

This 1962 Studebaker GT Hawk is a period custom by Vincent 'Beansie' Berbardo. It is believed to be the last example completed. It is a multiple award winning vehicle and has been highlighted in magazines. It has its original rebuilt 289 V8 engine....[continue reading]

Hardtop

Chassis Num: 62V19218

This 1962 Grand Turismo Hawk is fitted with a V8 engine and an automatic transmission. It has factory air conditioning, power brakes, and power steering.....[continue reading]

Hardtop
Chassis #: 62V9077 
Hardtop
Chassis #: 62V19218 

History

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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1963 Gran Turismo Hawk Image Right
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