Cruising down memory lane: Sumter collector adds classic ’62 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk to eccentric inventory

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 7/21/19

One of Sumter's most prolific collectors recently made his biggest purchase.

Known as a history buff, anthropologist and ethnographer (that's a researcher of peoples and cultures), Don Cann owns what some describe as a worldwide antiquities …

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Cruising down memory lane: Sumter collector adds classic ’62 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk to eccentric inventory

Posted

One of Sumter's most prolific collectors recently made his biggest purchase.

Known as a history buff, anthropologist and ethnographer (that's a researcher of peoples and cultures), Don Cann owns what some describe as a worldwide antiquities museum and store at 202 Broad St., Global Curiosities by The Southern Cross. Now, he's also the proud owner of a "new" 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk.

A self-described car enthusiast as well, Cann also owns a 1931 Ford four-door Phaeton, which he said he got in almost a steal about 20 years ago while living in Argentina. For the 80-year-old Cann, it's the fourth Studebaker he's had. When including shipping, he paid about $17,200 for the 57-year-old classic and thinks it's the only '62 Gran Turismo in Sumter now.

Cann found the car on eBay in June and bought it from its previous owner in Sarasota, Florida, for $16,500, he said. He paid an additional $700 for it to be shipped, and it was delivered on July 7.

Studebaker was an independent American automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana, founded in 1852 that stayed in business until 1966. It was known for producing good-quality, reliable cars, Cann said, but the brand couldn't compete in industry price wars between heavyweights Ford and General Motors and eventually had to merge in the mid-'60s.

In 1962, the Gran Turismo Hawk was a redesign, an American sportscar, and only 1,900 were made. The body of Cann's GT Hawk is velvet black with a metallic silver top, which wasn't a standard color combination for the car maker. The top was painted silver later.

According to the original bill of sale, which Cann now also has, it was assembled in South Bend and sold to a dealer in Pasadena, California, for $3,389 in April 1962. The final retail price was about $3,700, he said.

The V-8 engine is a complete rebuild in addition to the brakes and many other parts. The car was also re-upholstered in red vinyl and has new red carpeting. An after-market air-conditioner system was also installed. Cann said he wanted a classic cruiser that he could drive regularly, even during Sumter's steamy summers.

Antiquities museum and store

Cann started collecting coins at the age of 8 after his older brother brought some back from across Europe after World War II.

A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and B-52 pilot, Cann said his travel in the military "whetted my appetite" for currency from all across the world. Global Curiosities by The Southern Cross has a money museum and some of the most unusual collections one could imagine, including Egyptian mummy artifacts, a collection of Burmese Bibles, sharks' teeth, fossils, minerals and even a collection of 70 million-year-old dinosaur eggs from Mongolia.

The museum and store had regular business hours from 2007-'17, but he now showcases it by appointments only.

He calls it a "labor of love" that keeps him healthy.

"That's how you keep young," Cann said. "You keep developing new interests all the time."