I have been searching for some time for information that will let me make a sensible column about this Studebaker car – I am still in a quandary about it but hopefully one of my readers will set me right.
The stumbling blocks are fourfold
The name badge on the door says Gran Turismo, while the body shape of the car says Hawk – whether plain Hawk, Golden Hawk, or Silver hawk, those tail fins finished in 1961 while the Gran Turismo name started in 1962.
I can only locate one other picture of a “continental look” boot lid and it is on a ’57.
No record seen yet of the peculiar tricolour badge on the body side.
No other photos showing any thing like the Victoria Half Vinyl top have been found so far.
Now, Australia has had a history of getting American ( and perhaps European) car models later than in their native countries. We have seen cars in 1960 that America used in 1959 – new production, but possibly with extra parts or stamping press moulds shipped over after their use in North America. It has lead to confusion in car spotting in the past. Is this a Studebaker made of 1961 parts but christened with a 1962 name by the factory?
Is the boot lid with tyre shape from an earlier model but adapted to this one?
Are the badges later additions – is the half-Victoria top a local modification?
I am also pleasantly suspicious about the colours on the car – but then I am always suspicious of the use of green and gold here in Australia – it being the Australian F1 motor racing livery. Is this a highly imaginative custom sedan by a local enthusiast? Is the absence of chrome trim around the two small grill openings in the front evidence of a little re-styling?
Whatever, it is fun to look at and would be a head-turner in any motoring gathering. The Studebaker Club seems quite strong here – I know there are several chaps who have adapted them for wedding hire and other special purposes. And as Studebaker did have a reasonable following in heavier vehicles as well, there should be a lot of knowledge and nostalgia for it.
I just wish I had more definite info about this one.