The Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk (or GT Hawk), a sporty coupe sold between 1962 and 1964, was the final development of the Studebaker Hawk series that began with the Golden Hawk of 1956. The GT Hawk's styling was a fairly radical facelift by designer Brooks Stevens of the older Hawk shape; Stevens went after a European-inspired, clean look for the car he codenamed the "Hawk Monaco" (his prototype even had Monegasque license plates!). The hood from the older Hawk was retained, but was given a more pronounced (imitation) radiator frame to more closely resemble the cars of Mercedes-Benz, which at the time were distributed by Studebaker. The grille inside the radiator frame was patterned after the Mercedes as well.
Despite the European influence, the Gran Turismo Hawk drew on American influences, too; the roofline was heavily inspired by the Ford Thunderbird, with thick C-pillars. A chrome edge running from front to rear highlighted the top of the bodywork in very similar fashion to that on the contemporary Lincoln Continental. The taillights were particularly fashioned after the Lincoln's, and the trunk lid was given a faux brightwork "grille" overlay (to hide the grooves of the otherwise carryover 1956-61 lid) that resembled the Lincoln as well.
Stevens's extensive yet inexpensive modifications to the body finally rid the car of the 1950s-style tailfins and bodyside trim of previous models. The rear window was nearly flat and recessed, reducing the cost of an ordinarily expensive piece of glass. Overall, the exterior look kept the smooth, aerodynamic style of previous Studebakers but moved up to date. Stevens also cleaned up the interior with a modern instrument panel that could be ordered with a full complement of large, easy-to-read instruments within close range of the driver's line of sight. The top of the instrument panel was also padded to serve as a crash pad. This dashboard would prove to be another Studebaker trendsetter; later Chrysler models in particular (such as the 1977-1989 Dodge Diplomat) would have instrument arrangements clearly inspired by the Hawk. The GT featured bucket seats and a console in the front, befitting a grand-touring car, and all seats were upholstered in either cloth and vinyl or all-pleated vinyl.
Beginning with the 1963 model year, the "Jet Thrust" R-series V-8 engines designed for the Avanti could be ordered throughout the Studebaker line, with the naturally aspirated R1 delivering 240 bhp, the supercharged R2 giving 289 bhp and the limited-production supercharged 304.5 in R3 powerplant issuing forth a full 335 bhp. Handling and braking improvements were made to match the high-performance engines, with front and rear anti-roll bars, rear radius rods, heavy-duty springs, and front disc brakes all available ala carte or in a "Super Hawk" package (introduced mid year) with an R1 or R2 engine. Avanti engines that were factory installed in Hawks (and Larks) had serial numbers beginning with "JT" (for R1) and "JTS" (for R2), rather than the "R" and "RS" prefixes used in Avantis.
The GT Hawk was fairly light for an American car of its class and era, and any of these engines made it a sound performer; the blown R-engines just amplified the Hawk's performance capabilities. Despite the fact that Studebaker's V8 was a heavy engine for its size, the Hawk was, by most accounts, a car with surprisingly good handling, as well as strong straight-line performance.
This exceptional Original example has traveled only 44,000 miles from new and is in excellent condition throughout. It is one of only 47 Full Package R2 SuperHawks and only 24 with the Heavy Duty Powershift Automatic Transmission. It is the ONLY ONE with the Halibrand Magnesium wheels. Other features of the R2 Super Hawk include Bendix Power Disc Brakes, Power Steering, Front and Rear Stabilizer Bars, Traction bars, 3.54 Twin traction Heavy Duty Rear Axle, Dual Exhaust, 160 MPH Speedometer, 6,000 RPM Tachometer.
Finished in the very desirable Black/Red color combination, this stunning car was light years ahead of its time when produced, and represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the most exciting Milestone Cars.