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History The "lost" pics of my Dad's '53 Studebaker

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Sinister, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,851

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    There is a similar Stude at a wrecking yard in north Texas. I saw it quite a while back but I think it's fair to assume it's still there. Would take a lot of work, but it looks like someone else had a lot of fun with it years ago. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A few more pics here.
     
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  2. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Gotgas- very cool photos! Someone needs to save that car. They all have a soul and a story to tell. Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    I took a minute to do a mild photo restoration and add a hint of color. The factory color was called Maui Blue, so I used it as a base.

    I remember him saying the car was put in Lt blue primer after he had paid a lot boy to wash it, only to come back and notice he had scrubbed 3/4 of the car with Ajax cleanser.
     

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  4. sals54
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 21

    sals54
    Member

    Hey Swede... my buddy has a 53 Studebaker Hardtop for sale. Its complete and in decent shape. I'm sure he would take $3000 for it as it sits. We could get that to the shipping port for you.
     
  5. SwedeVedette
    Joined: Feb 15, 2008
    Posts: 368

    SwedeVedette
    Member

    That sure does sound interesting, got any pics of the car? Driveable?
     
  6. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    In doing my research I began my quest for the August '59 issue of Rod builder & customizer magazine. I came up empty handed at the Portland swap & expo, but got lucky to find one on eBay. Received it today, and much to my surprise it was is perfect shape for being over 50 years old, and it was also a full-size issue. This completes my collection of all the car magazines my dad's cars were in.
     
  7. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    A update of sorts-

    I took a chance and emailed the photos of the Stude to Doug Robinson of Horsepower Engineering. He was a close friend of the family and was the co-builder of the car. I was hoping he could give me more info about the car.

    My phone rings- It's Doug, and the first thing he says "I haven't seen photos of that car in over 50 years...".
    We spent almost two hours catching up, sharing info about the car, and I got to hear the story about how Doug and My Dad met.

    Doug says " I was working at a service station near S. Pasadena and one night I saw cops everywhere. Your Dad had been street racing and they were looking for him. They had the main streets blocked, and he pulled into the station to hide. I gave him directions to get around the police and make it home."

    Anyway, Doug was thrilled to hear from me and he is making up a list of everything I need to know to recreate the car. He is giving me some pointers on some stuff he would have done differently.I would love to have him be involved as this this progresses. He promised to keep in touch and we made a deal to trade photos and info as he's starting a scrapbook for his kids/grandkids.

    Incase you're wondering- I have a lead on a '53 that NONAME is taking me to look at sometime next week. I will update this thread as things progress.
     
  8. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,843

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Awesome let us know how it goes.
     
  9. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,361

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    I got a kick out the line in the article that says "the Chrysler fitted perfectly". It'd be nice if they all did.lol Those Studes are just such nice looking car.
     
  10. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,454

    Thor1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey Sinister,

    I used to have a '37 Studebaker Coupe-Express so I spent a fair amount of time lurking over on the Studebaker Driver's Club forum and other Studebaker forums. A couple years ago a guy there (I cannot remember his name now, but it seems to me he was from Maryland) had purchased a Hemi-powered Stude like your dad's. He was cleaning it up and debating whether to flip it or not. As I think about it he had either bought it on eBay or was going to list it there.

    It is almost certainly not the same car but it may be worth investigating a little. How cool would it be to find your dad's actual car after all this time.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    Thor
     
  11. Alex Yohnk
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 828

    Alex Yohnk
    Member

    man, those were way ahead of their time...........such a great looking car.
     
  12. gordspeed
    Joined: Jul 9, 2013
    Posts: 216

    gordspeed
    Member
    from Oregon

    That car is cool! I love the pinstripe flames! I wish you the best with your search and build! :)
     
  13. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,210

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D From another Studeaholic.OUTSTANDING.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  14. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Thanks everyone for the interest and words of encouragement, It's much appreciated.

    Thor1- I've thought about attempting to track it down many times, but if were to spend that kind of time I'd rather try to find the '56 'Vette (my avatar) since he designed and built all the suspension for it while working at Blair's. My wallet would commit suicide if I actually found it. :)

    Knowing that I'm going to need a 354 hemi for the Stude is stressful enough. I will continue to remain cautiously optimistic and if it's meant to be, it will happen.
     
  15. I need an update about your dads old partner and added info
     
  16. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    I really hate it when I open a thread called " I just scored a XX @$#%^" and there's no photo.

    So, I'm going to do just the opposite ...

    Yes, it's a '53. And the one buried behind it is a '54 HT.

    Stay tuned...
     

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  17. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Just another day in paradise...

    NONAME took me with him to help with a glass job on a '41 Hudson for a friend of his named Rusty, who happens to own the '53 Stude. He's a young 76 yr old who has a passion for destroying tires. Rusty was kind enough to allow me to snap a couple photos of some of his cars. Thought I'd share my adventure with everyone...

    The white '63 'vette only has 52k original miles. It's been auto-crossed and street raced, and he complains because the front end starts to float at 135mph.

    The two-toned Stude has a 375hp small block, a three speed, and only weighs 2800lbs. Tells us a hard 1-2 shift will make it drag the tail pipe that exits just in front of the rear wheel.

    The blue ford is a beautifully done car. Notice the '55 Chevy trim on the rear quarter that been flipped.

    He had a bunch of other cars I couldn't get photos of due to lack of room. I had a great time talking with him and getting the details on the '53 that will be finding a new home.
     

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  18. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    The Loewy Coupes are the epitome of factory zoom design that no other make ever competed with in the showroom.
     
  19. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Not much of a update but thought I'd share my journey with those who are interested.

    A couple months ago I was looking through the classifieds here and found an ad for a '53 for sale. The ad was over two years old but local to me so I figured I'd call and see if the car was still for sale. The gentleman is Bob Drury who runs a B'ville Stude from Vancouver Wa. We spoke on the phone and when I mentioned my buddy Jim (NONAME on here) Bob said he was in need of some glass work and invited us to his place to see the car, talk shop, and check out some of his "treasures". We had a great time and Bob is a wealth of knowledge on anything and everything racing. I even scored a autographed photo (Thanks Bob!) of his 238.75 mph run. Too cool...

    I didn't buy the car he has for sale as it was a bit more of a project than I'm looking for. I still have my '49 A.D. Chevy truck that I've owned since '96 waiting for me to do something with, but it's 400 miles away and I have no place to keep it here since I'm stuck in a apartment at the moment. I'm in the process of shopping for a house to buy so I can finally have a garage to work out of, but the housing market in Portland is like Rosanne Barr on a three-day crack binge.

    Anyway, As soon as I figure out where I'm going to buy, and get my long lost truck back in my possession, then I can pull the trigger and buy a Stude.

    I know y'all like pics so here are a few I took for your enjoyment.

    Chip
     

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  20. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    … these didn't want to load the first time.
     

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  21. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,292

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    When i was a young pup my dad had a 53 commander. He painted it royal blue with the side body coves painted white. Nosed & decked, frenched the headlights. Put blue & white tuck & roll interrior. Pulled an engine out of a highway patrol car (cant remember what make would reconize it if i heard it ) with a 4 speed & 4:11 gears. It was a fun car. I would love to have one. My boss had 1 pro streeted with a 425 nailhead & 6-2 barrel carbs.
     
  22. Cool story! Sounds like yer dad was a wildman! Gotne more runnin from the cops stories?hahaha.... Hope ya find yer Stude do not give up!!!!R~R P.S. Ima Stude guy.....42 Champ,owned 30 years or so....
     
  23. You might have some trouble locating four Weiand carburetors. If you do, then finding someone to relieve an early Hemi should be easy.;):D
     
  24. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Very cool, lostone. I've heard lots of stories from many people who either owned one, or knew someone that did. I'm really looking forward to recreating this car but I'm going to need more help than I deserve to pull it off. This will probably be the longest build thread in HAMB history, hahaa!
     
  25. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Redline- Your stude is flat f'n cool! I'll have to go back and see what I've posted so far- I have a few stories about him and this car…

    Carl- I doubt I will be able to recreate this car EXACTLY like it was. Getting it close with minimal use of modern parts will probably be what happens. We'll see when the time comes.
     
  26. Tanks Sinister! I see you are a retired steel worker...Did you work inna steel mill? Just wonderin cuz I yam a retired Ironworker...hung tons of steel....
     
  27. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Ok- A story I have yet to share…

    One night my dad was out looking for trouble not long after he had moved to SoCal. He pulled into the local burger joint (I think it was a Bob's Big Boy) and ran across a group of guys with their cars. My dad asked who the "big dog" was and wanted to run 'em. One of the guys stepped up and told him he needed to start at the bottom and earn his right to run the fastet car. My dad said "fine, send him out". I guess he he laid a whoopin' on the guy because when he pulled back into the burger joint all the other guys were long gone. My dad asked someone there where they ran off to because he was 'sposed to race his way up to run the big dog….

    ...The guy told him he just beat the big dog. :)
     
  28. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    I spent almost 20 years working for a company that manufactured HUGE pre-fab buildings (like stadiums, riding arenas). About five years ago I suffered a career ending injury on the job and was forced to retire. I'm now disabled and attempting to fight off an inevitable back surgery. It only has a 37% success rate, so one surgery will turn into three, and then I'll end up in a chair for the rest of my life.

    I'm still mobile for the most part, but very limited on what I can do. Building a hot rod is going to take me much longer than most folks. I'm also going to need to become highly creative to save the rest of my spine, so it's going to be interesting to say the least.
     
  29. Love the story bout yer dad handin out the ass whoopin!!!!TOOO COOOL!! Sorry to hear about yer injury that sucks!!!!!!Keep on keepin on my friend!!!R~R
     
  30. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,230

    296ardun
    Member

    Sinister just steered me to this thread, have no idea how I first missed it.

    His dad was Danny Roberts, whom I worked with at Blair's in the '60s. Danny was a first-class engine guy-driver, and helper to guys like me who were just starting out learning how to build engines. The other guys would just yell when I did something stupid ("you dumb ass, you're supposed to re-torque the heads after you warm the engine!!") but Danny would just say "you did remember to torque the heads??" He was a great driver who drove the red '55 Chevy "Tabasco" straight-axle gasser that made the front cover of Hot Rod Magazine a long time ago (Though Karnig Karadisian did start calling him "red light Roberts" after a few red bulbs, but it never happened after that!). I was very sorry to learn of Danny's passing from Phil Lukens.

    The other guy involved in the Studebaker was Doug Robinson, who left Blair's to start Horsepower Engineering. Doug could weld paper, was a great craftsman who build a B/fuel dragster for me and Bob Keilty, ran a blown DeSoto. It was sort of a twin to Doug's own KRLA Horsepower Engineering Special AA/FD, which has now been restored.

    Both Danny and Doug were old-school hot rodders who built their own stuff, took great pride in workmanship, and made a lot of friends along the way.

    Sinister, this Stude will be a great tribute to Danny, glad you are building it (sorry about the back, hope you can avoid surgery!!)
     
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