Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects RainierHooker's '52 Champion - A Survivor turned Daily-Driver

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RainierHooker, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    So, we kind of had an Abort-Start with the last car that we got to be the misses' Daily-Driver. So this time around, we started looking for the most bang for our buck, while still remaining true to form. I think we may have succeeded in spades...

    [​IMG]

    What you see is a nearly 100% Original, one-owner, 1952 Studebaker Champion Regal Sedan. It was bought new by a filbert farmer in Newberg, Oregon and used as 'the farm truck' until the old codger keeled over at 93. Even three of the four tires appear to be original to the car, and the last new set of plates the car ever had, from 1956, were in the trunk. I sealed the deal on the car after driving two hours to check it out after work a few days ago, and I pick it up this week.

    Plans for now include replacing the trunk floor and the driver's side floor panel (the only apparent rust on the car), a re-upholstery job, and a brake and engine tune. Then we're gonna drive the heck out of it.

    To appeal to this audience, and my own eyes, wide-whites and an altitude adjustment are soon in order, as well as any period-original speed-equipment that I can dig up for that flathead-six that is staying right where it belongs, under the hood. Edmunds among other brands are on my shopping list.

    Here's the last of the pics I have at the moment...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,502

    aircap
    Member

    Cool.... my first Studebaker was a '52 4 door (Commander).
     
  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,651

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    that is one funny looking car. I love it!
     
  4. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,096

    ss34coupe
    Member

    Very cool story! My first car was a 1950 Studebaker four door sedan.
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Oh yeah! I've always had a soft spot for those cars. Here's my Grandpas old 52. sbc with a saginaw 3 speed
     

    Attached Files:

  6. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Well, we went and picked up the Stew last night. A few snafu's along the way delayed the trip plenty, but now the car is in the shop of JS Customs for a little work.

    We are going to knock off all the rust, first thing. A whole new trunk floor, and a little but of patch-work in the floors are all the car really needs.

    After that, she'll return to my garage for all new brakes and fixing the few little mechanical issues with the car, and then its onto cosmetics. Firestone Wide-Whites showed up while we were on the road yesterday. I'm still looking for solutions to the interior problems, but this thing should be on the road in no time (I say that now).

    I'll post better pictures of the car once I get them resized and uploaded...
     
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,712

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sounds like fun. Those old Studes were pretty solid and reliable cars in their day and that ought to make a good one to drive on a daily basis.
     
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,102

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

  9. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Thanks guys. I am looking to hop-up the engine a little bit, if just to fully utilize today's higher-octane gas. Pretty much to me, that means finding a higher-compression head, and playing with the carb and timing. Studebaker advertized these things as averaging 27 MPG and I don't think there's any reason for it not to have a good showing on that front as well as more power, even if only a little.

    As promissed here's more, and better pics of the car and yesterday's escapades, at least before the decent weather turned dark and stormy...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  11. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

  12. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    As I said earlier, the car is at the shop of JS Customs, and it has already had the seats and 'carpet' pulled out to assess what's still there. Frankly, the floors are as good as I could have expected, they are still at least 90% in tact!

    Jerry should have the car back to me within a week or so with the few patches needed. Until then I just have to keep myself from getting too silly thinking about lowering springs, blocks, skirts, wheel covers, and all that other 'un-important' kustom stuff, and keep my mind on track with the more mundane things like brakes and wiring...

    In any rate, I headed out to pull the wheels and tires off the car so I can clean up the wheels and mount my wide-whites over the weekend.
     
  13. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,196

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Looks like a nice solid car.Had a 53 starlight coupe for my first car.Loved it.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  14. How could you not love a Stude........even if it's out of pitty:D:D
     
  15. Good save! That will make a stupendous daily driver.
     
  16. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    So the Stew came home last night, in nearly perfect weather, downpour and all. While treated well for the first time in a long time by Jerry at JS Customs, she put up a few shenanigins. Both front brakes locked up while backing out of the garage and toward the trailer. Apparently its scared of the trailered life. We had to remove the bumper to get it in Jerry's enclosed trailer.

    In any rate, the car is home now and should start being happy living the un-neglected life. Here it is with in its new home, with its new tires, and with its new stable-mate...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As for what had to be done for sheet metal, only two tiny patches had to be made for the front floor boards, one on the left, and one on the right. Essentially a whole new trunk floor from about halfway-back had to be fabricated and put in. The spare tire well will be replaced once its replacement comes in the mail. Here's pics of the floor work...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...I forgot to take pics of the trunk, but I'll get around to it.

    And to bring us up to date, I was going to start digging into the front brake problem, but kinda got side-tracked by an excavation job...

    [​IMG]

    ...literally every single piece of the front suspension was caked with clay and mud anywhere from a 1/4 to 3/4 inches thick. I think before we try to fix anything a deep clean is in order.
     
  17. Super cool!

    I LOVE bringing them back to life!!!
     
  18. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Thanks everyone. We are really looking forward to getting this thing on the road. So far, the clean-up has been consuming us. The interior is now completely stripped and we have taken to scrubbing every nook and cranny. We even found a few filbert shells behind the back seat, confirming this car's original home to be that old codger's filbert orchard. We have some NOS seat covers coming and I'm waiting on some other samples to come in before we're ready to start reassembly of the interior. When it comes time though, pictures of progress will be forthcoming.

    Looks like we are going to need trunk hinges, both are cracked and bent pretty badly, and the pair that I pulled off of a '51 commander in a nearby yard weren't any better. I did get an NOS righthand hinge ordered, but a left might be a problem. I might just have to take what I have down to a fabrication shop and have something made, if I can't find a good original that is.

    I spent the moring replacing the heater core in one of my other, off topic, cars. Then it started to pour and I retreated inside. Since I'm holed-up and still waiting for parts, I figured that maybe you'd like to see some of the car's ephemera...

    Here's a stack of papers, a swatch of the upholstery, and one of the few filbert shells that came with the car:
    [​IMG]

    The Original Invoice:
    [​IMG]

    The Thank You Letter from the Dealer to the Original Owner:
    [​IMG]

    And the Original Warranty and Service Pamphlet:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. yetiskustoms
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,932

    yetiskustoms
    Member

    that is awesome. the engine looks like the one in my 54 plymouth. i love the odd cars. nice work and keep us posted!
     
  20. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,718

    farmer12
    Member

    What a great find, well done. Going to be one nice ride!
     
  21. rkapteyn
    Joined: May 15, 2011
    Posts: 1

    rkapteyn
    Member

    Most parts for this car are available from Joliet Studebaker Service.
    There is a 1952 Service bulletin regarding the brakes locking up in reverse.
    Even though this car was sold when the 1953;s were coming out it must have been an early car with the brake problem.
    If you have a parts book and give me part numbers ,I have over 20.000
    parts inventoried by number on my computer.
    The hardest parts to find for this car is the pot metal pieces.
    The Korean war made chrome being replaced by a very thin layer of chrome with clear coat over it.
    These pieces corroded very fast and are hard to replate.
    Robert Kapteyn
    Joliet Studebaker Service
    studebaker@mac.com
    815 722 7262
    I am old and slow!!
     
  22. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Thanks again everyone, I may have to take you up on some of the parts finding rkapteyn, at least once I get a chance to strip what ever of value off of a couple cars in yards around me, and I finish the projects that I have already sourced parts for.

    In the meantime, my NOS seat covers came in. I'm going to have to re-pad the seats still (that sould be obvious), but I couldn't help but go for a "trial fit"...
    [​IMG]
     
  23. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,360

    belair
    Member

    Cool stuuf. I really liked the letter and price sheet. Keep us up to date.
     
  24. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    I came home today to three packages waiting at the door. The parts have finally started to arrive! Work will commence this weekend...

    [​IMG]

    (I know it doesn't look like much, but the numbers on the invoices sure do!)


    Also, here is my NOS right hand trunk hinge. I still need the mirror image of this:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you have one please let me know. It doesn't have to be NOS, just not cracked or bent-up like the ones that came with the car, or the car that I have been robbing at the yard.
     
  25. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    No real exiting updates, I've unfortunately been neglecting the Stude until today for various reasons.

    A while ago I went through the brakes and ended up diagnosing a few problems. First, both front wheel cylenders were frozen, and to make that worse, the driver's side drum was bent and pretty badly scored. After looking for an eternity for a decent pair of front drums, I ended up deciding to bite the bullet and upgrade the fronts to the Larger V8-Commander setup. I found a complete set of drums, hubs, and backing-plates from a guy in the SDC down in Cali. But I'm in a holding pattern until they show up.

    I took my attention off my Tub, and today I started installing interior...
    [​IMG]

    The insulation is from LoBucRod here on the HAMB, and the carpet is from AutomotiveInteriors.com Both are great products for the money, and I'd recommend them. Don't take that pic as final fitment on the carpet, I've still gotta get it under the firewall mat and do the final trimming and fitting around the pedals. All those lumps should go away once I get that done and put the sill-plates back in.

    Now to get the seats complete with my NOS covers, and get them installed maybe this weekend or so...
     
  26. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Its been a while since I've made any progress on the Stude, but last night I decided to hammer out the front seat, and this moring I finally got around to 'finishing' the carpet install. Here it is as of a few minutes ago...
    [​IMG]

    The NOS (I think they are Western Auto) seat covers look good, but I couln't get all the wrinkles out no matter how hard I stretched 'em. I guess it would've been the same back in the day, so I'm happy overall. Now to get the back seat done...
     
  27. Wowcars
    Joined: May 10, 2001
    Posts: 1,023

    Wowcars
    Member

    I cut up a '52 Hard top a few years ago for the roof. door handles down was nothing but rot. Interesting that your dash is so different than mine. I saved the dash because it was nice shape, but it has three large round gauges clusters. I like yours a lot more. Good luck on the trunk hinges. They are the same as my '50 Champion and I think they came from the factory cracked like that.
     
  28. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,842

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Way cool. By chance don't have spare headlight bezels do you?
     
  29. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,060

    texasred
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Houston

    $2400.00 in 1952 money for a 4dr. stude, I think farmer Bob took it up the ol pigpen on this..
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.