When I visit a classic car show, there is never a shortage of Fords, Chevrolets, Chryslers, and other American muscle cars. However, it’s rare to see a Studebaker at the local cruise-in night. Why is that? The simple answer is that Studebaker just didn’t build a whole lot of cars.
Take this 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk for example. It is one of just 4,009 produced in 1963. In that same year, Ford sold 63,313 Thunerbirds and Pontiac sold 72,959 Grand Prixs. As you can tell, this car was definitely not a big seller, which makes it all the more special to have spotted this GT Hawk at the Scottsdale Pavilions.
The Gran Turismo Hawk was a sporty little coupe that was produced from 1962 through 1964. This particular car has a 289 cubic inch V8 engine with a 2-barrel carburetor. It makes 210 horsepower and has a 3-speed manual gearbox with overdrive. Though that doesn’t sound like much, the little car was actually pretty decent in a straight line and held its own against the Thunderbird and other similar sized cars.
Since this is a Gran Touring car, the GT Hawk came with front bucket seats and a center console. It even has a faux woodgrain dashboard! This particular car is also equipped with a factory air conditioner, a rare option – and certainly a welcome one in Arizona! The dashboard has all your basic gauges plus a nice big clock to the left of the steering wheel.
On the outside, the car’s designers wanted to go for a European look, which can be seen in the tiny, Mercedes-like grille. I wasn’t able to get a clear shot of the front, but that’s okay because the front isn’t very flattering to look at, anyway.
Overall, I think this car is pretty homely when you compare it to a ’63 Nova or a ’63 Galaxie. Not that it’s awful looking, but it lacks the straight lines and simple beauty of its competitors.
Back in the early ’60s, this car would have set you back about $3,895. It’s not my favorite design for an old car, but it’s cool to see something a little out of the ordinary. After all, that’s what this site is all about!