What If: 1975 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

Welcome back to a journey through alternate universes where Studebaker not only survived but thrived into the 1970s. What would the Gran Turismo Hawk be? A personal luxury car? A rebadged Mercedes? A muscle car? Where would the market lead Studebaker?

By the time I was done exploring this question I had generated over seventy images of cars from Crisis on Infinite Hawks. On balance, the vast majority were from universes where the Hawk existed, but it was a very boring, awkward, and ugly state of affairs. I’ll save those for a future post, because even if they aren’t good, they’re still interesting. But for now, let’s limit our exploration to the twenty-odd cars I thought were the best. As usual, I’ve numbered the pictures for easy discussion in the comments.


This picture doesn’t follow my rule for visible front signals, but I let that slide because I love the massive one-piece grille and bumper assembly. Also, those trapezoidal side markers are pretty sweet.


This one looks like Studebaker went down the copycat route and tried to replicate a Monte Carlo or Grand Prix. A lot of the cars the AI generated look this way. They’re less specifically Studebaker and more an amalgamation of what others were making at the time. But weren’t a lot of 1970’s cars “Me-too” designs? I cut the AI a bit of slack on the personal luxury Hawks, because there’s a certain formula most companies followed, and I think that’s well-represented here.


But don’t worry, not everything is cookie-cutter. This has a sixties feel and the bumper probably wouldn’t pass 1975 bumper safety standards, but it exudes class. That grille would work well on a Packard, no?


What if the Hawk went down the pony car route and channeled the Camaro (a bit too much)?


What if Studebaker strengthened ties to Mercedes and the Hawk became a restyled SL?


Or in this universe, they stuck a formal grille on some other coupe from Europe. Maybe an Opel? It has a European GM flavor to it.


Or what if Studebaker had the resources to build something beautiful and exclusive? This is my favorite. It just drips with power and class, without looking like anything else from 1975. The lighting and composition on this one help, too, as if it were pulled straight out of a glossy brochure.


The nose on this is unique, if awkward, but what I truly like about it is the Avanti-inspired roofline. Design continuity for the win! But those massive headlight pods? Meh.


Another escapee from the sixties, I think. Still, it looks refined and expensive.


The striping on this reminds me of those Bicentennial-edition Chevys. In this universe the Hawk is just a sporty edition of whatever full-size car Studebaker is producing. You might as well call it the Commander SS.


Another nice beak that wouldn’t pass a 5-mph crash test. It reminds me of the love child of a Cutlass and a Grand Prix. Is it riding too high? Sometime the AI makes the cars look a little awkward. Also, it’s nice to see the AI properly replicating 1970s panel gaps.


It’s an otherwise ho-hum blocky design, but the aluminum-look grille surround is an interesting touch. In some of these universes the Studebaker took a conservative approach and designed cars that could be Buicks or Dodges.


In this universe, Mercury designers defected to Studebaker and made themselves a Cougar with a Pontiac nose. I kind of like the color combination, though. I also included this one because the Midjourney AI was very reluctant to render vinyl roofs, so I was happy to get it here.


Another pony car variation, probably based off the first generation Camaro and Firebird. For no apparent reason the AI gave me a lot of bright orange cars.


Another full-size Hawk. If Chevrolet had decided to make the 1975 Impala sleek and sporty, this might have been the result.


In this universe, Studebaker builds it’s personal luxury car on a smaller platform, much like AMC did with the Matador. This looks like a design that was originally sleeker and sportier, but the front end was restyled to accommodate the safety bumpers.


Another European-inspired design that defies personal luxury coupe conventions by being clean and simple. Maybe too much so?


Another one that gives me very AMC vibes.


There’s that Avanti roofline again, on a somewhat more conventional body than #8. That panel gap on the hose makes me wince.


I think those Mercury designers are at it again, at least from the side. Notice how the AI seems to favor putting headlights in induvial pods?


Finally, something with a chunky, Europeans flair, almost a Bentley.