This 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk Is An Amazing Study In Cash Strapped Car Design

This 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk Is An Amazing Study In Cash Strapped Car Design

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.

Check out the full listing for this 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk 

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10 thoughts on “This 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk Is An Amazing Study In Cash Strapped Car Design

  1. Gary Smrtic

    Still a great, great car! I had a ’61 Silver Hawk when I was in the Air Force. Awesome machine.

  2. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Yes – one of the best looking American cars of its period and a rare gem from a sadly ignored manufacturer. But is it just me or were they looking at a Facel Vega when they deigned it?

  3. DanStokes

    What’s interesting to me is how much ’53 Raymond Lowey is in it. Swap the hood, deck lid, and top and it’s a classic ’53. In truth the grille “mustaches” might be a bit shorter but not much. I actually like the ’53 a bit better but that WAS my first car so I’m kind of biased.


    1. jerry z

      I have to agree the ’53 is definitely a better looking car.

      And you’re not biased!

  4. Anthony

    Great looking car. Imagine what would of happened if they had the dough to do it.

  5. Eddie Maurer

    The words most often associated with GT Hawk reviews in automotive magazines… both in 1962-64 and reviews going forward into the 1990s and beyond… are \”elegant\” and \”elegance\”. THAT is not a coincidence… it is simply a mutually-agreed-upon statement of reality. I have been the second owner of a \’62 GT since 1965, and to me… as a retired architect with a 37-year-long career… it becomes more elegant every single time I look at it. Jus\’ sayin\’…

  6. Chryco63

    Just respectfully pointing out that by ’62, Stude’s partnership with Packard was already toast: Packard was dead in ’58.

    A great, timeless design, and the R2 and R3 cars with manual transmissions really get me going.

  7. Eddie Mzurer

    Actually… if one is looking for the design inspiration for the \’62 GT, it is NOT the FACEL VEGA… as cool as IT was… the inspiration wad, rather, the \’61 Lincoln.Continental… Look at the GT\’s front-to-rear, top-of-fender bright-metal-trim spear… like the Continental\’s. The GT\’s vertical tail lights, set just below the rear end of that bright-metal spear… like the Continental\’s. The complete absence of any other side ornamentation along the GT\’s sides (except identification)… like the Continental\’s. Finally, trunk brightwork \”grille\” on the GT… like the \’61 Continental\’s. Even the GT\’s rear-roof \”earmuffs\” are similar to a Thunderbird… Or a \’61 Continental, depending on one\’s perspective. No doubt about it, Brooks Stevens used the \’61 Continental as \”guide\”, in his re-working of the Golden Hawk… into his elegant Gran Turismo tour-de-force… Jus\’ sayin\’…

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