It Might Have Been…

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been.'”

Many are familiar with this line by John Greenleaf Whittier, but most are probably not aware that it is from his poem “Maud Muller.” The picture below is an example of “it might have been” although certainly not the most poignant or significant. As much as I love cars and cars from defunct American makes, I am not so dense as to be oblivious to the rest of the world.



From Studebaker Hawk 1956-1964 Photo Archive by Ed Reynolds (I hope Stephen Cox, “Mr. Hawk,” has a copy of it) is a picture of Brooks Stevens’ rendering of what the 1965 Gran Turismo Hawk could/should have looked like. I really like the more modern look of the front grille and trunk lid. The fact that this car could still look fresh in the mid-1960s is, of course, a tribute to the original design of the “Loewy coupes” that were actually drawn by Bob Bourke.

The reality is, and yes hindsight is 20-20, production of the GT Hawk could have continued even after the shutdown of the main Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana in December, 1963. While the Avanti was made in a “special” area only in South Bend, GT Hawks had been manufactured in Canada. Of course, Studebaker was in its death throes as an automobile manufacturer by this time and the money for even the modest changes proposed by Stevens simply did not exist.

While no longer in the lead as candidate for Corvette companion/grocery car, the Gran Turismo Hawk is still in the running. Who knows how many iterations of rank will exist between now and the actual time of purchase?


A dialogue between me and Dirty Dingus McGee about yesterday’s post got me thinking about my favorite 100 or 200 cars of all-time. I am never going to be able to rank that many cars, but I thought about adding a feature to Disaffected Musings. I would call the posts “In Or Out?” and would show a car and then ask you to say if it would make your top 100 without your actually putting a number on it. Does anyone like the idea and, if so, would you participate?








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8 thoughts on “It Might Have Been…

  1. That would have been a nice facelift for the GT Hawk. Stevens understood Studebaker’s financial condition and was able to do a lot with very little just as he did when he re-made the Hawk into the GT Hawk for ’62. That car was actually $20+ less to build than the ’61. What Stevens really wanted to do was replace the GT Hawk with the Sceptre:


    1. Many thanks, C/2. Stay safe and be well.

      My dilemma in “In Or Out?” is that I don’t think I want to include cars that almost everyone agrees are beautiful and perform well. The E-Type Jag comes to mind. The C2 Corvette is probably in that category, as well.

      On the other hand, just like the rankings of draft-eligible players (doesn’t matter which sport) really diverge among teams the further down the list one goes, the more I depart from cars like the E-Type the more difficult it will be to create a consensus, especially if just 2 or 3 people vote on each car. Any suggestions?


      1. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Often said, always true.Just to take the 2 examples you mentioned; Which E type? Original Series 1, later 2+2, convertible? Same with the C2; 63 split window, roadster, or 67 big block. And often times the color changes ones definition of beauty. I’ve seen so many C 2’s in red, i don’t even “see” them these days. A black on black roadster? Get the drool towel handy.


      2. Great points, sir. If I proceed with this exercise I am leaning towards more specific models than “E-Type Jaguar.” Still, I don’t think I’ll get as specific as color, but will allow the readers to “embellish” the car.


    1. Thanks, sir. As I envision “In Or Out?” (if I start it) I would simply list a car and then ask the readers if they think it would be in or out of their personal top 100. I might weigh in, I might not.

      If I had the net worth of Bezos or Buffett or Gates I could easily imagine having a triple-digit number of cars like Jay Leno.

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