1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Supercharged R2
Studebaker isn't quite mainstream, but there are a lot of guys who really dig their performance/luxury coupes like this 1963 Studebaker Hawk Gran Turismo. Dramatic styling, strong performance from a very rare factory supercharged 289 cubic inch V8 and 4-speed manual transmission, plus all the luxury features you'd expect make this a wonderful alternative to the usual '60s hardware. This particular Hawk has been faithfully restored at some point and still looks good and is ideally suited for casual shows and driving events. The low-key white paint makes it a bit of a stealth ship given its performance, and the angular yet sleek bodywork really shows off the Euro-inspired design. It's an older repaint that looks right on the vintage sheetmetal, not too shiny and a correct color that doesn't look modern, which always helps an old car's image. There's the slightest hint of a hood scoop up front and the final vestiges of tail fins out back, so the car is a perfect representative of the early '60s and it's in the details where this car really shines. Check out the anodized insert in the deck lid, the chrome trim running along the tops of the fenders, and the radio antenna mounted on the deck lid, all things that make this car stand out in a crowd. We're guessing that much of the chrome and stainless was restored when the car was painted and it shines up nicely with a soft patina that works well with the overall look. I'm not sure if it's possible, but the beautiful red bucket seat interior is even more dramatic than the bodywork. The front seats are separated by a neat little console and that's a legit 4-speed gearbox on the floor between them. The upholstery was replaced when the car was painted about 20 years ago, and it's nicely detailed with vertical pleats, cool chrome recliner levers. Matching carpets and handsome door panels with aluminum inserts make it inviting and the wrap-around instrument panel puts the focus on the driver. A full array of gauges also have a European look and the little toggle switches underneath were clearly inspired by aircraft design. The woodgrain finish on the instrument panel looks expensive and the factory AM/FM radio is way over there by the passenger and yes, it works! The back seat looks almost completely unused and the large trunk offers a correct mat and jack assembly. The 289 cubic inch R2 V8 has no relation to Ford's more famous powerplant, and thanks to a factory-installed McCullough/Granatelli/Paxton supercharger, it really howls with one horsepower per cubic inch. The big red compressor dominates the engine bay and all signs point to this being the car's original engine. The engine was rebuilt less than 1000 miles ago, and the heads are correct R2 units, so the engine is right. It has all the original hardware save for an electronic ignition system and chrome valve covers give it a dressed-up look. It's backed by the aforementioned 4-speed manual gearbox and a sturdy rear end with highway-friendly gears inside, making the Gran Turismo a great touring car, just as the name would imply. The dual exhaust system features new mufflers and intermediate pipes and has a soft V8 rumble, and with power steering and power brakes it's as easy to handle as your daily driver. Steel wheels with hubcaps wear 215/75/15 whitewall radials that look great and improve the ride in a noticeable way. With just over 4000 Hawk GTs built in 1963, and an even smaller amount of supercharged productions, this is a rather rare piece and is just right for the guy who understands that muscle cars weren't all built by the Big Three. Call today!