In 1962 things were not good for Studebaker. They had teamed up with Packard by that time and the two companies were limping towards their eventual grave together. That being said, in ’62 they were not dead yet and as a company trying to get their act together, they needed to keep models fresh and appealing to the buying public…who found their models neither fresh or appealing. The ace in the hole that Studebaker had was the amazing designer Brooks Stevens. They basically came to him and told him that they needed a revamped and modernized look for their Hawk model but it had to be achieved on the cheap. Stevens went to work and turned out one of the most handsome Studebaker designs in the company’s history and he managed to do it in a way that saved the company tons of money that they did not have.
If you look at this car and a Hawk from the 1950s you’ll see what we’re talking about. The tail fins are gone, the classy and thick c-pillar has that chrome strips at its bottom, the front end got a more pronounced chrome grill, and he managed to really make the interior better. The dash in the car is beautiful with its round gauges and while this car would be cooler with a floor shift, it looks the part of the chic 1960s, even with the column shifter in place.
Most major body components were retained and that’s where the cash savings came in for Studebaker. Not having to retool the whole car was huge. The hood and deck lid are the same design although the deck lid did get a kind of decorative overlay to spice it up a little.
Mechanically the car was essentially identical to the Hawks of the 1950s. The 289ci V8 engine was under the hood and all of the chassis and suspension stuff was the same. In 1963 buyers could opt for the high performance R series engines including the supercharged mills but in 1962 you got either the 2bbl 289 or the 225hp four barrel version of the same engine. The mill in this particular car has been dressed up some and looks like it may have had an intake swap and more modern design 4bbl carb added under the air cleaner.
The 1962 Gran Turismo Hawk is a really neat car. This one is classy and beautiful and we’re thinking reasonably unique.You don’t see tons of these things rolling around. We’d love to set this one up with an R3 blower engine that makes 335hp and have some fun cruising down the road. Oh yeah, a six speed swap behind that little engine would make it a real fun driver!
Beautiful car and (we think) an interesting story.