We welcome first-time contributor Jake Kaywell. Not yet having reached the age of twenty, he now counts among our youngest contributors. We oldsters lament that teenagers have no interest in the older cars but Jake is here to prove us wrong in telling us about his plunge into the world of Studebaker.
Another balmy summer’s day unfolds in Florida. The coconut palm trees are in full bloom, the monarch butterflies are migrating further north from Mexico, and the herd of snowbirds have made a mess of the local roads. I’ve seen one too many CadiLincolMerBuick land-ships with crushed velour upholstery and terminally worn ToyoNissHondas being driven 20 miles under the speed limit. However, the snowbirds are really far from my mind, for I have my own bird, the GT Hawk.
Yes, this wonderful creature was designed by one Brooks Stevens on a shoestring budget. All that was required was a changing of the chrome trim pieces and a newly designed GT roofline in order to give the car a more formal air. He did a fantastic job on it, as the only clue that this car has to being a decades old design was in the floorboard mounted pedals. This really is a 1950’s car dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 1960’s!
The actual car you see here is number 3,295 out of a total of 9,335 produced in 1962. Its designation of 62V-K6 indicates that it was an American market car with the aging but still respected 289 cu. V8 mill pushing out about 210 Civil War era horses.
It was sold new in Sacramento, CA to a Ms. Helen Potter who ordered factory air, a BorgWarner 4 speed manual transmission, and the Twin Traction limited-slip differential but not POWER STEERING OR POWER BRAKES. Good God in heaven, Helen, what were you thinking?!
The Hawk series was interesting in that it was (and still is) a perennial in-betweener. Not quite a GT car, not quite a sports car, certainly not quite a muscle car, it was something of an enigma to the American car scene in its day. Indeed, since the model’s original launch in 1956 when it had no less than FOUR trim levels, most consumers had been passing this car up for the more commonplace and familiar Thunderbird and Corvette. Even automobiles from the British Invasion such as the E-Type were more prevalent. They were great cars to be sure, but they can’t claim to be unique. Not when compared to this fine automobile here!
Yes, I must admit that it’s my first car. I saved 7 years in order to get this one. I didn’t know it then, but it was to be a long road to get there. My first experience with classic cars was with a rather plumby 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk. III and a 1979 MG Midget that liked to set herself on fire when she was feeling just the right flavor of pissy. From there, I migrated to Big Three stuff, but I soon realized that those cars did not suit me at all. No…what I needed was an Independent.
I’m certainly glad I did. I may well end up with two animal companions that I’ll remember for the rest of my life – my dog and my Hawk.
The car was originally done in P6213 Iridescent Green [Metallic Green according to some sources and may have originally looked more like this – Ed]. It was resprayed at some point in the 1980s by the second owner AT THE REQUEST of the first owner, Ms. Helen Potter. I am now the third owner.
There are so many people out there that never get to have the opportunity to own a classic like this. I am very thankful. As long as I’m in my Hawk I don’t even mind those snowbirds clogging the roads!
This poem (Automotive Retrograde) is something I wrote some time ago about my Hawk, and it should give you an idea of how I feel about her. Enjoy!
With hands shaky, a young lad swoons with joy.
His pride, his achievement, has now arrived.
More than a heap of glass and steel alloy,
His guardian angel, now come alive.
Her name be Daisy-Mae, a gal of old.
From the time of Beatles and the space race.
Her parent, Studebaker, deathly cold,
Having been half a century displaced.
On a shoestring budget she was conceived.
Under the svelte dress, old bones did creak.
Over her compromised frame, people grieved
But no one complained about her physique.
Hearty V8 engine became her heart.
Displacing 289 cu., she went off apace.
Strutted her stuff down the roads of Stuttgart.
The world then stared at her 120 inch wheelbase.
As the world forgot, she got despondent.
Went on a two decade long hiatus.
Then she was rescued, I her respondent.
No longer an item of shamed status.
All systems go, including radio.
Listening to tunes of old emotion.
Daisy has been kept in the bungalow.
Now a fair healer, the finest potion.
I am youthful, but I appreciate.
My brain and heart can get to sobering.
However, here’s something I do dictate;
Here’s to many more years of motoring!