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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. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Thanks much for the kind words and info, 296! I don't bump this thread much, thus the reason you might have missed it.

    If all goes well (fingers crossed) I should have the car and at least a block by this summer. I'd like to have Doug make the exhaust for it (again), so I'll need to get the car to Cali at some point, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

    Since I'm here- how about another quick story…

    One night running the Rapid Rat he crept too far forward after his burnout, so he threw it in- what he would call "R- for race"- and backed it up a bit. The tree guy lit the lights and dad dumped the clutch…. with the car in "R". He said when he looked in the mirror he was headed straight for the track ambulance- while the paramedics were throwing the doors open to get out because they thought for sure he was going to hit it.
     
    Al T likes this.
  2. Rockerhead
    Joined: Nov 16, 2006
    Posts: 321

    Rockerhead
    Member Emeritus

    I am a little late seeing this thread

    I remember Danny Roberts when he was at Don Blair's and with Doug Robinson. Later I visited him occasionally at the car lot he was running on Brand Blvd. in Glendale.

    I am sorry to hear that he is no longer with us.

    296Ardun - I used the photo in my book of Don Blair's Mercury with the track roadster on the trailer. Don and Bruce had sold the roadster to the Granatelli Bros. and were getting ready to deliver it. The photo was in front of the Arroyo Seco shop. Don was a good friend and was kind enough to loan me numerous photos that I used in my books. You have a good memory.
    Don
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  3. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Thank you for chiming in, Rockerhead! I will be updating this thread often as soon as I can get the ball rolling, as they say. If you have any info or stories to share, please feel free to post them.

    I'm going to need all the help I can find to get this right. Knowing I have you guys here to help answer my many questions as the arise will be a HUGE asset to me.

    Thanks again!

    Chip
     
  4. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,230

    296ardun
    Member

    Thanks, Don, I should have remembered it was in your books...(I posted this picture of you and Gene Mooneyham at Colton today on the "drag cars in motion" thread..one of the great shots in drag racing history:

    [​IMG]
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  5. cometman98006
    Joined: Sep 4, 2011
    Posts: 221

    cometman98006
    Member

    Love the '53, '54 Studes. Had one as a daily drive while I built my '34 ford back in the day. It had the little Stud V8 that went pretty good and got great mileage. Unfortunately a drunk in a big Hudson spun out into me and totaled it. For a long time I thought of getting another but they are hard to find.
     
  6. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Every now and then the clouds part, the stars align, and good things happen…

    This time it happened to me. I'm now the proud owner of a '53 Studebaker! :D

    The car I bought is one I looked at about four months ago. I ended up calling Rusty (the owner) and he still had it, so I jumped on it. I took a few bad photos but it doesn't show the quality of the car since it was stuffed in a shed half disassembled and buried in other parts. I'll repost the photos but the car is much farther along than the photos show. He has hung the good doors and quarters, replaced the M/C, and gotten it more presentable. It still needs a interior (only piece he has is a back seat) so I have some hunting to do.

    I will post better photos once I get the car home in a couple weeks (waiting on a garage vacancy) and maybe a video of it running…

    My friend Jim (NONAME) even donated a set of '53 Oregon plates for it! Thanks, buddy!

    Once I get my bank account out of ICU I'll be in search of a 354.

    Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked right now.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  7. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    One more thing to add…

    I called Doug Robinson (who built the car with my dad) to let him know I bought the car. We talked about the motor for the car and he gave me details on what I should look for since the Hemi they built for it was a well hollowed-out 331. He said to give him a couple weeks to make some calls to see what he could come up with.
     
  8. studebaker eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,514

    studebaker eric
    Member
    from Diablo Ca.

    Glad you scored one. They are beautiful cars. Just when I thought I had kicked the habit, one started peeking its nose through its ancient Tarp near my house. I keep trying not to look, but -----
     
  9. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Thanks, Eric.

    I was thinking it wasn't going to be easy but I found several that were local to me through friends.

    Maybe the one peeking at you is trying to tell you something? Probably the same reason I can't go to the Humane Society without bringing home a new family member, hahaa!
     
  10. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,701

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    Congrats on the '53. Owned a few and they are just plain fun.
    Will be following your build


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  11. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Got a chance today to pull the Stude out of storage. Rusty had got the nose 1/2 way assembled but he's been super busy so that's as far as he's come with it. Still needs the passenger door swapped for the good one and sort out all the other parts that go with the car.

    Anyway…. Not much to add other than some (slightly?) better photos of the car. A long way to go, but the journey is half the fun, right?
     

    Attached Files:

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

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Here is some info for the Studebaker "geeks"…

    According to the vin tag, out of 14,752 of this style and option produced, this car is #1002.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Reverborama
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 192

    Reverborama
    Member
    from Minnesota

    If you contact the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend:
    http://www.studebakermuseum.org/
    you can order a copy of the original build sheet for your car.
     
  14. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Very cool!- Thanks for the link and info.

    Rusty said he bought this car (and several others) that were donated to a museum. Now I'm curious if this is where it came from. I'll need to ask him next time I see him.
     
  15. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    For those of you following, here's a small update- 53 Stude.jpg 53 Stude1.jpg
    Rusty delivered the Stude to NONAME's shop yesterday and these are the "Fresh off the trailer" photos. We got the paperwork done last week, so I now have a clean & clear title and registraition along with a set of 1953 plates for the car. With a makeshift fuel cell strapped to the front and a battery balanced on the inner fender I was able to drive my new hot rod for the first time. I'll have to get Jim to take some video the next time we pull it out of the shop.

    The car needs to be completly rewired, but for now we will go through the brakes and check al the other mechanical to keep it moveable. I have a set of slots I'm going to put on the car for now until I can get the proper wheels and tires. Lots to do, for sure!
     
    Okie Pete likes this.
  16. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,067

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    This is a great story. I'm following.
     
  17. HLB
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 20

    HLB

    Great car, I own a 1954 studebaker commander Hard top,I have a 1963 stude 289 C.I. carter 4-Barrel a R-1 cam with duel exhaust,painted 1958 turouise with white scallops,rewired with painless wire kit. American racing wheels. Have owned it for 30 years.I'm new to the HAMB and as soon as i figure out how to post a picture i will!
     
  18. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Welcome to the HAMB, HLB. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos. Sounds like it's a screamer. Don't stress over the photo posting process. The board just went through a complete redesign and we are all still learning the new format.

    I got the last of the parts for the car this week. A flawless hood, a set of factory bucket seats from a Hawk, front door panels with useable stainless trim (will need to make new panels, but they will work well for patterns) a extra passenger door and a extra rear end that's from a 6 cylinder car that I have no use for (or maybe a Stude trailer?).
    I tried to put my slots on the car last week but 8.5's are too wide. I also learned that these are like Chrysler cars with reverse wheels studs on the left side. At some point someone swapped out the front drum with one from the right side so now only the left rear has reverse studs. Looks like I'll be in the market for four 15x6 steel wheels in the near future. I should bite the bullet and get a set of chrome wheels from the wheel kid here on the HAMB.
     
  19. HLB
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 20

    HLB

    Just had a fellow "studebaker nut" put new rocker panels on for me look great got em from Classic Enterprises also check those axles on the stude rear ends,they are Dana with tapered/key semi floating axles check for cracks right behind the hub,a known problem, i still have a Dana,but i periodically check them.You need a monster wheel puller to get them out. your car looks great,i can't tell if its a commander or champion,can't see tail lights or grill inserts,Champion's were the 6 cyl. and commander's were the v8's You should join the National Studebaker Driver's club real good magizine alot of good articles
     
  20. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    HLB- Thanks for the info on the axels. i'm going to check everything before I attempt to drive this car goes anywhere.
    I joined the SDC forum just this last week and received a warm welcome even though I'm not going the restoration route. A local gave me the link to the website for the chapter here in Portland but I have yet to join- it's on my to-do list.
    My dad's car was a Champion but this one is a Commander. According to the Vin# this was a heavily optioned car. Most of the stainless trim is long gone and since dad's car didn't have it I wasn't going to use it anyway.
    I'm fortunate that the P.O. had done most of the body work already. My rockers need attention also (the drivers side has a slight crease and is a bit thin in the rear) and the front pan needs to be done, but all the major panels are ready for a second coat of primer and a good blocking.
    Right now the most important issue is the electrical. I will need to get the car rewired before I go crazy on anything else. I want to try it myself, but I want shit to work and not burn it to the ground, so I'd be better off farming it out.

    I'm headed to the shop today, so If I get anything accomplished then I'll take some more photos (everyone loves photos) and post them later.
     
  21. HLB
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 20

    HLB

    Rip that old wiring out,i used a basic Painless wiring kit,don't have elect. windows or air cond. keep at it Studes are "COOL"
     
  22. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    I enlarged the interior pic from the magazine and noticed the steering wheel isn't stock- can someone ID it for me? Interior xx.jpg
     
  23. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Progress is good.

    Got the new windshield installed (temporarily) and removed the horrible ill-fitting fiberglass grill so I could move the "Ghetto Plastic Moon Tank" behind the bumper so we could put the hood on. Had to pull the dash just to remove the three pieces of trim off the cowl. Replaced two inline fuel filters, but the one closest to the tank had more shit in it than the bottom of a fish bowl so I will need to drop the tank and get it cleaned out before I attempt to run it.

    Looks much better with the hood on... Hood on.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
    Animal likes this.
  24. Sinister
    Joined: Jan 19, 2004
    Posts: 710

    Sinister
    Member
    from Oregon

    Progress to report.

    I got the tank out a couple days ago to get it and the fuel lines cleaned out to eliminate the ghetto plastic fuel can and pump we needed to move the car around. I knew the tank was in good shape so I figured we would get a fair amount of rust scale, but I wasn't expecting a cup-full of GRAVEL. Not pea gravel, but more like 5/8 crushed driveway-sized gravel. After several theories of how that much got into the tank we got it cleaned and reinstalled. The photo only shows half of what we got out of it. The Stude now runs under it's own fuel delivery source. Next will be brakes and electrical- lots of cool issues to show you there, too. Stay tuned!
    Stude tank.jpg
     
  25. Nice. Was hoping your dad's original would drop out of the sky for ya'.....but this is the next best thing for sure. I love big engine Studes.....this will be a fun build for you.....and me !!
     
  26. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,172

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am truly envious...a whole clique of friends had '53 and '54 Studeys at one time...I converted the top loader Borg Warner 3 speed boxes to floorshifts, with Stude pickup towers.
    Six of 'em in all...but one became a Studillac, one got a 'new Chevy V8'...
    It wasn't until 1965 that I installed a long bellhousing 331 Chrysler hemi in one.
    Like the O.P. said: It slipped right in.
     
  27. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,843

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looking good so far.
     
  28. bigorangetruck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2012
    Posts: 54

    bigorangetruck
    Member
    from TX

    Awesome story! Nice you found one and good luck with the hemi part...And the $$$ part!
     
  29. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,230

    296ardun
    Member

    Good progress, thanks for the updates...this is going to be a great tribute car when its done
     
  30. wayfarer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,787

    wayfarer
    Member

    Nice progress, Chip. Hopefully, you'll be driving it next summer.
     

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