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tribaker
01-25-2005, 10:08 PM
One of the GT Hawk prototypes built by O'Chapps in South Bend is up for bids on eBay 01/25/05

gary jones

Sonny
01-25-2005, 11:02 PM
Thanks Gary, I took a look. I'd say that's one that somebody would wanna save. It's gonna take some bux, but it's gotta be worth a good buck done. I'd love to see it arrive at a big Stude event and get the BS goin', THAT'S worth every penny. [}:)]

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

loewycoupe
01-26-2005, 02:18 AM
Here is a direct link to the auction so no one has to go searching for it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4522331051&category=6466&sspagename=WDVW

The seller states that he was told it was a '55, however it looks to have been based on a '60 or '61 Hawk, (which would make more sense).

Although an early prototype, it's fascinating to see Brook Steven's distinctive styling cues (particularly on the roof and trunk). I would guess that O'Chapps Bodyworks had little to do with Stevens himself. Studebaker most likely sent over a new Hawk with Steven's sketches and told them to go to work.

Has anyone ever seen factory photos of this car?

Chris

Roscomacaw
01-26-2005, 11:09 AM
I got the seller to tell me what's on the body tag. Since the body tag says: 4H-K5 , this would seem to point up that at least the "tub" of this car started life as a '53 Commander hardtop. I believe the serial# he presents supports that as well. Let's face it - it's real easy to hang Hawk sheet metal on earlier C-K cars. ;)

Taking a second look at it, it appears to have a 6volt battery and the 6volt wiper motor which would support it being pre-56 at the very least.:)

Miscreant at large.

BeeJay
01-26-2005, 01:00 PM
It has a '54 Commander guage cluster. Top looks rather strange with early 1/4 wdos and square top. Not nearly attractive as the GT.
Bob


Own '53 Commander Starliner. Red w/beige top. 350 Chev/700R4. Tilt,cruise,A/C.

loewycoupe
01-26-2005, 01:30 PM
Ah! Mystery sold. Brook Stevens' early GT Hawk designs were undoubtedly based on the K-Body due to it's cleaner roof lines. This meant that Studebaker and O'Chapps would have had to go out and find an old K-Body to utilize for the prototype. If someone could find the old registration information, they would probably see it being privately owned before either Studebaker or O'Chapps purchased it.

Chris

studegary
01-26-2005, 03:46 PM
IIRC, this car was built in the 1957-1958 time frame. I believe the base car to be a '53 Commander Starliner. It had '57-'58 Hawk sheet metal added, as well as the Thunderbird roof grafted on. O'Chapps did specialty work for Studebaker. Brooks Stevens just used this Thunderbird style roof design on the '62-'64 Gran Turismo Hawks. Brooks Stevens didn't get involved with the Gran Turismo styling until March 1961, so he had nothing to do with the car in question (other than to copy the idea for his design). Brooks Stevens also copied the fender top trim from the Continental of the time. In Brooks Stevens defense, remember that the Gran Turismo Hawk was born in six months with a small budget.

arkiejazz
01-26-2005, 04:56 PM
but it's SO UGLY!!!

steve blake

loewycoupe
01-26-2005, 07:49 PM
quote:Originally posted by studegary

IIRC, this car was built in the 1957-1958 time frame.
How do you know this? Do you have conclusive proof when this car was built or are you basing it on the fact that O'Chapps utilized a '58 Thunderbird roof?

quote:[i]I believe the base car to be a '53 Commander Starliner. It had '57-'58 Hawk sheet metal added, as well as the Thunderbird roof grafted on. O'Chapps did specialty work for Studebaker. Brooks Stevens just used this Thunderbird style roof design on the '62-'64 Gran Turismo Hawks. Brooks Stevens didn't get involved with the Gran Turismo styling until March 1961, so he had nothing to do with the car in question (other than to copy the idea for his design).
In an article which appeared in Collectible Automobile, it stated that it was Stevens and not Bob Thomas that was responsible for several aspects of the '58 T-Bird including it's distinctive roof with chrome base trim. It's shape and form harken back to Steven's 1954 Gaylord Gladiator and '56 Scimitar concept cars. He continued to use his trademark roof design on several other cars including the South American Aero-Willys.

Chris

Sam Roberts
01-26-2005, 08:43 PM
Point well taken!


]but it's SO UGLY!!!

steve blake
[/quote]

Sam Roberts

loewycoupe
01-26-2005, 09:28 PM
By the way, what are those fins from? They look similar to the ones on the '56 Golden Hawk but judging from the rust they're not fiberglass. The entire rear section appears to be completely unique to the car.

http://i16.ebayimg.com/02/i/03/47/92/f5_12_sb.JPG

I like that Stevens was considering bringing them back as I prefer the subtitle '56 fins to the larger ones of later years.

Of course, the best fins were no fins at all.

Chris

Sam Roberts
01-27-2005, 08:02 AM
Actually, that rear of that top does not look like 1958-60 T-Bird, it looks more like 1961, or later. I realize there is lead time on design, but something is out of whack IMHO!



Sam Roberts

loewycoupe
01-27-2005, 12:07 PM
quote:Originally posted by Sam Roberts

Actually, that rear of that top does not look like 1958-60 T-Bird, it looks more like 1961, or later.No, take a closer look. It's definitely the roof from a '58-60 era T-Bird. The '61-65 roof was similar but much thinner above the side windows. O'Chapps did a great job grafting the roof to the K-Body.

Chris

studerex
01-30-2005, 02:14 PM
I heard of this car 25 - 30 years ago. OChap had a shop on Olive steet on the west side of South Bend. I owned a low mileage 41 commander coupe that he restored. I meet him once. The story was Studebaker contracted him to build a CK with the T bird roof. I guess the story was true. Glad to see it survived. Hope someone restores it.

Roscomacaw
01-30-2005, 07:25 PM
Yes, I think they also got the job of making the 54 convertible prototype. That car still exists as well.[^]

Miscreant at large.

studegary
02-01-2005, 03:29 PM
I believe that the 1953 prototype convertible (that was later converted to look like a 1954) was built by Studebaker, probably in the Engineering Department, where special orders and modifications were often done. I have seen this car many times over the years. Unlike the O'Chapps T-bird roof job, the '53 convertible does not have body or serial number tags.