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R3 Hawks???

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  • R3 Hawks???

    I just watched one of the Youtube videos of an R3 Lark drag racing. In one of the comments, someone said he had owned a Hawk that was special-factory-ordered with an R3 engine. And he or someone else said there were 9 R3 Hawks built by Studebaker.

    I have been reading everything I could get my hands on about the history of R3 Studebakers, and have never run across any info about factory-built R3 Hawks. I think it is quite possible that somebody could have thought that discussion about 9 Studebaker R3 cars was about Hawks.

    But I thought I would just double-check to see if I am missing an interesting history of R3 Hawks?

  • #2
    There actually WERE, 9 Factory installed R3's but all in Avantis. That must be where the "9 Rumor" started.

    One R3 '64 Commander 2 Door Sedan in Strato Blue was Factory built by and for a Car Mag. Road Test and was sold, also still exists.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Commander 2 dr. Laguna Blue R2.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	65.6 KB
ID:	1729510 Here is a very nice Laguna Blue '64 Commander that is supposed to have an R2 Supercharged Jet Thrust Avanti Engine.

    Quite a few Avantis have Paxton Products Division of Studebaker installed R3's, some Dealer or owner installed and a few GT Hawks as well got Aftermarket R3's, but NOT Factory.

    As far as I know the few R3 Larks, Hawks and Avantis that the Granatelli's built at Paxton for Bonneville testing mostly all had their R3's removed and sold as R2's or whatever.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 09-10-2019, 06:07 PM. Reason: Updated Color of R3 Commander
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      One R3 Hawk was more than likely built in South Bend”s engineering department. This car would be the one shipped to Paxton Products for Bonneville record runs. I know it’s controversial but production blue prints exist for the installation and prints would not have been released without a final mock-up. Suspension and frame modifications were done to all the Bonneville cars. Paxton did no frame, or suspension modifications of this magnitude and also did very little sheet metal fabrication. When these cars left South Bend no engine number was included on the shipper. I can only assume the fitted engine was not meant to be sold with the car.
      As a side note, the R3 sedan is strato blue in color which is a darker blue than the Laguna blue car pictured car pictured above.


      • #4
        Originally posted by nels View Post
        As a side note, the R3 sedan is strato blue in color which is a darker blue than the Laguna blue car pictured car pictured above.

        Interesting history on that car:

        As seen at MCACN last November: https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....ighlight=mcacn



        • #5
          Very interesting . . .

          The thread that prompted my questions is mostly off point, but here is a link to it: I am sure lots of your are familiar with the video.

          Anyway, here is what the guy said about his Hawk that he claimed to be an R3:

          Ron Fillmore5 months ago:

          I don't recall the tire size. I do recall I had the very first set of radicals in my town when I replaced the originals. About '67? Those first radials came with inner tubes! Yes that is true about the number of '63s with the R-3,. But mine was even more rare. I went to a Studebaker dealer to order a 62, not knowing about the coming Avanti options. Apparently this guy had a real connection with someone in South Bend. He told me what was coming and suggested I wait for the '63 model year, or maybe he could get me a special ordered one off build. Wasn't sure what he meant, but to make a long story short, I wound up with an official '62 taken delivery of in late '62, but was in actuality a '63! I guess the order went in before the end of the '62 model run, but by the time the build started it was the '63 model year. There was some sort of overlap! I would imagine it was one of those 9 you mentioned. I later learned I could have saved a couple of thousand had I waited to order a '63. One of the worst mistakes I ever made was selling it in '93, still running.

          Can anyone make sense of this in light of the verifiable history of Hawks and Jet Thrust engines? Wikipedia says the Jet Thrust engine options weren't available until the mid-1963 model year.


          • #6
            Wikipedia is confusing the introduction of the 'Super' package, which was a mid-year introduction: https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....ks-Super-Larks

            The R1 and R2 were available from the start of 1963 Lark, Cruiser and Hawk production.



            • #7
              In an upcoming TW, the continuation of the '64 GT saga will feature one of the Bonneville GT cars, which IIRC, was built as an R1, but at various times ran with one or more examples of each of the four of the R-series engines.

              jack vines


              • #8
                There was a guy that had a 63 or 64 Lark. Yellow with 2, 4" wide racing stripes down the center, that came to San Fernando Raceway in the mid to late 60's. That claimed to have a factory R3 in his car. Both Burke LaSage and I inspected it. I put the numbers on his windshield. They made him run it with the blower belts removed, since they hadn't built more than 50 of them and made him run I stock. I still wonder what happened to that car.