Due to a number of factors, Studebaker's finances were
poor by 1954, leading to a merger with Packard. Studebaker-Packard
would fare no better, as Studebaker would lose 43 million
dollars in 1956, and Packard disappeared altogether after
Studebaker would rebound in 1959, introducing the compact
Lark, a success that helped push Studebaker back into
the black. By 1961, however, Studebaker would be back
in the loss column.
They countered with the new Gran Turismo Hawk for the
1962 model year, styled by Brooks Stevens.The Studebaker
Avanti debuted as a 1963 model.
Styled under Raymond Loewy,
the Avanti featured disc brakes, optional supercharged
engines, and a fiberglass body. Studebaker's financial problems continued, however.
December 1963, Studebaker closed its South Bend plant.
Production continued through March 1966 at the Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada plant, where a blue and white 1966 Cruiser
marked the end of 114 years of Studebaker vehicle production.