View Full Version : GT door latch/striker

02-05-2007, 09:45 AM
The GT Hawk has always been my favorite Studebaker. Its most glaring weakness, however, has to be the door striker/latch assembly. I've owned Studes from 1947 to 1966 and was always impressed by how the doors closed on the older models. Close the door slowly on a 1949 Land Cruiser - lovely click and smooth operation.
Not so on the GT. You almost always have to slam that door or be adjusting forever. Of the later model Studebakers the Avanti is an exception. The doors close easily and properly and they use a borrowed Mercedes door latch assembly.
Finally, my question. I've often wondered if the Avanti style door latch/striker assembly could be installed on a GT Hawk. I realize that anything can be done if enough money is thrown at it. What I want to know is if it's a good idea. Can someone with modifying experience tell me if this swap is fairly easy or a complicated procedure?

02-05-2007, 06:01 PM
FWIW, For the reasons you mention, I put Mercedes latches on my '56 Hawk project and am glad I did. It was by no means easy, nor impossible. Like anything else, your results may vary.

thnx, jv.


02-05-2007, 08:04 PM
Wow, someone else with the same idea. Do you have any photos?

02-05-2007, 08:34 PM
I can understand your motivation, but I think you are barking up the wrong tree. I think the problem lies in the doors and other structure of the car, not the latch. I think if you put a better latch on the door it will still not close easily because for one there is so much flex in the Hawk body that if the car is parked on any uneven surface the door becomes hard to close. Also the way the windows fit against the weather strip leads to a lot of flexing in the door assembly as it closes. To top it all off, regardless of how you adjust it they still leak and whistle.
Having said all that, I have seen Hawks that have doors that are easy to close, and one door works pretty good on my car. I keep telling myself, it can be done if they are adjusted correctly and the weather strip is all perfect.

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk