Thursday, October 19, 2017

Studebaker Hawk: Second Series

As I mentioned in the previous (16 October 2017) post about the First Series Studebaker Hawks, the company was unable to afford to redesign its sedan and coupe bodies following their 1953 introduction.  So it became a matter of facelift after facelift until Studebaker left the automobile business in the mid-1960s.

This post deals with the final iteration of the classic Raymond Loewy designed Starliner coupe.  A major 1956 facelift introduced the Hawk name to the lineup: Golden Hawk, Silver Hawk, Power Hawk and Flight Hawk.  By the 1960 and 1961 model years the line had been reduced to the Silver Hawk, a coupe with a solid B-pillar.

Studebaker rolled the dice one last time in 1962 for its coupe body in the form of the Gran Turismo Hawk, a major facelift styled by industrial designer Brooks Stevens.


This is a 1956 Sky Hawk to provide a sense of what Stevens had to work with.  The high hood and grille were retained through 1961.  Tail fins were added to Golden Hawks in 1956 and the lesser Hawks in 1957.  The 1953-vintage side sculpting was dropped in 1957.

This and the following two images are from Mecum Auctions.  Stevens retained the frontal styling aside from a few details that did modify its feeling.  The grille got more massive framing while side-grille openings lost their chromed frames.  Chrome strips were added to the tops of the fenders.

Tail fins were eliminated, so rear fenders are back about to where they are seen in the top photo above.  Stevens' major restyling was the rear part of the roof.  Aft side windows were reshaped and the wraparound backlights were replaced by flatter units.  The C-pillars were styled in Ford Thunderbird fashion to give the car a more formal appearance.

GT Hawk grilles received a nested-grid pattern for 1963.

Finally, three Mecum photos of the 1964 GT Hawk.  Grille mesh was changed and a few medallions were added.

Side view.  After all those post-1953 changes, it's still a nice looking car.

The main 1964 change was a smoothed-off trunk lid.

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