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Studebaker does't get the credit it's due!!

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  • Studebaker does't get the credit it's due!!

    l subscribe to Hemmings Classic Car and have saved EVERY issue - and every issue of it's predecessor Special Interest Autos. A wonderful magazine. But an article in the last issue (Dec 2018, #171) made me mad.

    That issue has an extensive article about personal luxury cars, defined by the author as " a purpose-styled coupe (or convertible), a model with no direct sedan equivalent - at least not visually. ......prettier, less utilitarian styling.....the personal luxury car is [in most cases] a mid-size vehicle" and suggests that the instrument panel should have "a brace of gauges that keep you informed at a moment's glance". Does that not sound exactly like a Studebaker Hawk to you? (BTW a Hawk 's length is 2 inches less than a '70 Monte Carlo). The article does show a picture of an Avanti, but l CAN'T understand how the author made NO MENTION of the Hawk! The '58 T-bird is mentioned as a "pioneer of the genre", and yes, it was an early example as well, but PLEASE give Studebaker credit for launching the Hawk series, which IS DEFINITELY a personal car that started life 2 years earlier than the four-place T-Bird!!! (Us Stude enthusiasts would, of course, be thinking that the '53-'55 coupes and hardtops could be the genesis of the personal car.) If the author wants to see a personal luxury car, l'd love to show him around a '56 Sky Hawk!! (Let's save the '56 Golden Hawk for the time he wants to see a muscle car!).

    BTW, l believe that it was Studebaker that showed Ford that two-place T-Birds were not the way to high sales. Consider that in 1956 Studebaker-Packard was in a BAD position - soooooo close to bankruptcy it wasn't funny, had a much poorer and much smaller dealer network than gargantuan Ford Motor Company, and yet, the new Hawks were out-selling Thunderbirds. In 1957 the re-styled T-Birds just barely edged out the Hawks. The was a no-brainer for any Ford exec looking at the sales figures!

    Old car authors ignore Studebaker time and again. And they shouldn't. That's not fair play! HCC has a columnist and author who most often espouses the virtues of Nash, Hudson and AMC - and that's great. The profile of those cars is likely being raised in the eyes of HCC readers. BUT Studebaker is being short-changed when it comes to the same treatment (yes there was the fairly recent column proposing that the Golden Hawk may be contender as to what was the first post-war muscle car, and Bob Palma's column pointing out the toughness of Stude's V8) - and we need more print exposure to raise Studebaker's profile as well!

    l know - there are more important things on which to expend my high blood pressure, but if l'm wrong about the above, let me know (constructively)!
    Roger Hill


    60 Lark Vlll, hardtop, black/red, Power Kit, 3 spd. - "Juliette"
    61 Champ Deluxe, 6, black/red, o/d, long box. - "Jeri"
    Junior Wagon - "Junior"

    "In the end, dear undertaker,
    Ride me in a Studebaker"

  • #2
    We compared Studebaker Hawk and 4-seat Thunderbird production figures here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ht=thunderbird

    Craig

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    • #3
      Well, now I'm bummed. I thought my 50 Land Cruiser was my personal luxury car. LOL

      If it's gauges that make a personal luxury car, then no one can top the beautiful instrumentation of the Speedster and Hawks.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by STEWDI View Post
        l know - there are more important things on which to expend my high blood pressure, but if l'm wrong about the above, let me know (constructively)!
        YOU ARE NOT WRONG...my friend...but passionate! But, before you stroke out and depart, how 'bout amending your will to leave me the neat little junior wagon listed in your signature line.

        The only article I took the time to notice in the same issue is Bob Palma's excellent article titled "Lingering Technologies" on page 36.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          Studebaker, and most of it's customers were more interested in Champions, and that is what most people remember. Rubber floor coverings, and cardboard kick panels and "B" pillars don't exactly inspire the "luxury" part of the equation. Even Golden Hawks had carboard interior kick panels. Not until the 400 model did luxury seem to matter to the company. The Land Cruisers were an attempt, but not exactly "personal" in size.
          Bez Auto Alchemy
          573-318-8948
          http://bezautoalchemy.com


          "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
            Studebaker, and most of it's customers were more interested in Champions, and that is what most people remember. Rubber floor coverings, and cardboard kick panels and "B" pillars don't exactly inspire the "luxury" part of the equation. Even Golden Hawks had carboard interior kick panels. Not until the 400 model did luxury seem to matter to the company. The Land Cruisers were an attempt, but not exactly "personal" in size.
            All of that is true Bez for OLDER Hawks, but not true for the Luxurious Gran Turismo Hawks with Carpeted Firewalls, Kick Panels, Door Bottoms, Floors, with a Console, Rear center Arm Rests, Sporty Floor Shifts Std. & Auto, Full Gauges and more if ordered.

            These GT Hawks were built in the Luxury Personal Coupe era of Buick Riviera's, Ford Thunderbird's, Pontiac Gran Prix's, and Oldsmobile Starfire's so THOSE were the correct years of Personal Luxury Car competition for the Hawks.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

            Comment


            • #7
              Roger, you make a valid point; author Jeff Koch definitely overlooked the Hawk series.

              He's a good writer, so why not write Hemmings with your beef? It's appropriate ...and if you keep your observations short and sweet, there's a good chance your letter would be published in a future "Recaps" column, although I hold no sway over such things.

              Honestly, they welcome letters of that nature. As you know, that publication is kind to Studebakers, so it could not have been an intentional oversight, or one that was "edited out" during production. BP
              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

              Ayn Rand:
              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                All of that is true Bez for OLDER Hawks, but not true for the Luxurious Gran Turismo Hawks with Carpeted Firewalls, Kick Panels, Door Bottoms, Floors, with a Console, Rear center Arm Rests, Sporty Floor Shifts Std. & Auto, Full Gauges and more if ordered.

                These GT Hawks were built in the Luxury Personal Coupe era of Buick Riviera's, Ford Thunderbird's, Pontiac Gran Prix's, and Oldsmobile Starfire's so THOSE were the correct years of Personal Luxury Car competition for the Hawks.
                So true! My dad has had '53-'56 Stude "pre Hawks"/ Hawks for decades but they never really appealed much to me; that was until I saw a '62 GT. It's sporty elegance really said somthing to me, and I knew if I were to get a Studebaker that was the one for me.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  I read this article yesterday and my feelings were exactly the same. Great! They forgot the Hawk again! IMHO, the author should have stick to the 70's cars, as including 50's and 60's cars make for a lot of ground to cover. I'm sorry to say this but I learned nothing by reading this piece.
                  Nice day to all.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    When you produce less than 2% of the output in a given year, it is easy to be overlooked. If it upsets you, I would suggest researching and writing your own article to tell the story.
                    Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

                    The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

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                    "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"

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                    • #11
                      One model that was NOT overlooked in that article was the Avanti, where a photo of one is shown. Optioned out, the Avanti is more true of a personal LUXURY car than a G.T. Hawk.

                      The main focus in the text was how in the 1970's 'glitz & glamor' and emphasis on creature comforts replaced the raw performance that muscle cars from the 1960's offered.

                      Craig

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In a magazine article some years ago it was pointed out by a columnist that the Avanti's only true competitor in its market niche was a stablemate...the Studebaker GT Hawk. They were both personal luxury cars, had performance from good to great depending upon options and were visually very distinctive. One can argue the Buick Riviera and Pontiac Grand Prix were in the same class in my estimation.
                        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the support. My blood pressure is is down a few "notches"!

                          Bob, l did send HCC an email a couple of days ago. It was short (too short, may be), and not too sharp l hope.

                          Craig, of the 18 pictures in the article, 7 of them were of PRE-1970 vehicles. The author WAS looking to the beginnings of the style category. Yes there was an Avanti pic, but l'll hold to the opinion that a Monte Carlo, a Cordoba, and a T-Bird were more closely related to a GT Hawk than an Avanti. A number of years ago when author Richard Langworth went looking for a Lincoln Continental Markll, he bought a GT Hawk instead (and he liked it very much), not an Avanti.

                          And, yes l do have something in mind about encouraging a magazine article on the subject of Studebaker accomplishments - to be written by a real author, though, NOT me. Hope it works.
                          Studebaker accomplished a lot and introduced several "industry firsts" It was longest-lasting company to emerge from horse-drawn manufacturing to motorized vehicles - and use it's own name. It was the second company (after GM) to build a modern test track facility. Self-adjusting brakes in 1947. Steel-backed modern bearing shells in (was it 1931?). One of the first (or first) with a "modern" fuel pump (to replace vacuum pumps (1927). Rotary door latches in 1937. And so on.

                          If any forum member has ideas/facts that should be included in such an article, PLEASE post them here!

                          Thanks again!
                          Last edited by STEWDI; 11-03-2018, 12:14 PM. Reason: spacing
                          Roger Hill


                          60 Lark Vlll, hardtop, black/red, Power Kit, 3 spd. - "Juliette"
                          61 Champ Deluxe, 6, black/red, o/d, long box. - "Jeri"
                          Junior Wagon - "Junior"

                          "In the end, dear undertaker,
                          Ride me in a Studebaker"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I shall never forget a quip from a girlfriend long ago.......in her opinion the 1963 Buick Riviera was the most "erotic" design she had ever seen....not that she did not appreciate the lines of the Avanti, but the early "Rivs' stoked her chimney;-)
                            Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
                            In a magazine article some years ago it was pointed out by a columnist that the Avanti's only true competitor in its market niche was a stablemate...the Studebaker GT Hawk. They were both personal luxury cars, had performance from good to great depending upon options and were visually very distinctive. One can argue the Buick Riviera and Pontiac Grand Prix were in the same class in my estimation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Roger, you can add the hill holder to Studebaker firsts.

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