There is a good post on the SDC Forum detailing the steps required for a brake re-do on a 1950 Studebaker Champion. Here is an excerpt.
1) Dual master cylinder (from Turner)
2) Hone, rebuild or replace wheel cylinders
3) Install new brake lines
4) Install new brake shoes
5) Clean up brake drums
6) Install new brake hoses
7) Install new front drum grease seals
8) Clean, inspect (replace if required), repack inner/outer front wheel bearings
9) Pull rear axles; clean, inspect (replace if required), repack rear axle bearings
10) Install new rear axle inner and outer axle seals
11) Check axle endplay and reset if required
12) Inspect emergency brake cable, ensure it is free and in good condition, replace if needed, lubricate
See the full thread about this topic.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
There is a good post on the SDC Forum detailing the steps required for a brake re-do on a 1950 Studebaker Champion. Here is an excerpt.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Here's a unique piece of Studebaker Dealer marketing history that proves that there is a market for everything. The potholder states:
A Gift for Your Kitchen
Sales and Service
H. LANDIS HILL
21 East Clay St.
Lancaster - PA.
I mapped the dealer location with Google Maps, but there isn't a "Street View" for this address. I'm curious to know what's currently in the large building at 21 East Clay St in Lancaster, PA. Is there anyone in the area that can email me a picture?
A quick "thank you" to my sister for the Studebaker collage using the Studebaker Electric buttons/glass beads.
I'm researching the origin of these buttons. An SDC member estimates that they were produced in the 1950s.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My sister and future brother-in-law gave me these vintage Studebaker Electric glass beads or buttons. Does anyone know the original purpose of these buttons? I can only think that they were for promotional use and originally set in (crimped into) button frames.
Friday, December 19, 2008
There is a fantastic editorial on the Chicago Sun Times website by Roger Ebert about his Studebaker Golden Hawk. An excerpt: "They say that when a man reaches 40 and finds some spare change in his pocket, his thoughts turn to the car he desired with all his heart in the years before he got his driver's license."
Amen. Read the full article here.
My comment to Mr. Ebert:
Thank you for the amazing journal article Mr. Ebert, and thanks to the readers for the equally indelible comments and web links.
I'm 36 years-old and our 1950 Studebaker Champion binds my Dad and me. It's a joint project that has clear outcomes; you fix it and it purrs; you drive it and see the world; you care for it and the car smiles. It moves you whilst parked (metaphorically).
A Studebaker automobile is unmistakable, and my in mind, unrivaled. Once you drive a Studebaker and take in the sounds, the mix of fresh air and American innovation, you can't shake it... you've been had.
There's an interesting article in The New York Times about the demise of Packard and its barren headquarters in Michigan.
"In its day, when Detroit was the Silicon Valley of the early 20th century, the Packard complex was a center for innovation. In 1905, the architect Albert Kahn designed Building No. 10 with reinforced steel concrete, creating an airy, spacious workspace. Such construction revolutionized the building of factories around the world.
The demise of Packard took place as the city’s industrial base was beginning to unravel. Other notable firms that folded or merged in that era included the Hudson Motor Car Company, Murray Body, Motor Products and Detroit Stove Works. By the end of the 1950s, unemployment had soared, white flight was under way and Detroit’s downward spiral had begun.
Misery has rarely been mentioned as a reason to pass an auto industry bailout. But walk through the Packard plant on a December day and you will know that once a car company disappears, in southeast Michigan at least, nothing comes along to take its place."
See the full article on NY Times.com.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'm rocking my 36th birthday with this Studebaker Red Ball sweatshirt. It may be freezing and raining outside, but I'm all set with this reminder of the Champion in the garage... ready for a ride when the weather settles down.
See this sweatshirt at the Studebaker Museum shop.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
"Auto design in the immediate postwar era was strongly influenced by the streamlined shapes of fighter planes and bombers. Studebaker pointed the way with design cues like bullet-nose front ends (a shape meant to suggest aircraft engine housings), gun-sight hood ornaments and the wraparound rear windows of the 1947-52 Starlight coupe. The windows, along with other details, make the car’s front and rear ends look so similar that it was often called the “coming or going Studebaker.”
See the full article on the NY Times website.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This seems like an unbelievable deal...
"Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe.
4 Door sedan. 6 Cylinder flathead 3-speed stick. Acquired this car in 1997 as an on frame restoration - not professionally restored. When purchased it had new main and rod bearings, crankshaft, ignition, exhaust, tires, complete interior, clutch disk and others items along with rebuilt starter, generator, radiator, gas tank, brake system along with some motor work and exterior paint job. No chrome work done.
I had the frame strengthened, installed new springs, electrical work, etc. A complete inspection and some recommendations for work were made by a retired Studebaker dealer in the area still active with old cars. He went over the car in detail and provided me with a list of things that ideally could/should be done.
This car has served me well for years but it's seldom used now. Stored in garage. Would be a great project car with high end potential or a great driver with minimal work. Additional pictures and information available. I'm located 30 minutes from Iola, Wisconsin.
Price - $ 5,450"
A link to this car is here. A picture is below.
Automotive History Online provides an overview of the Studebaker Corporation's history and includes photographs of many Studebaker cars post-1957.
Studebaker on Automotive History online.
Time Magazine sells reproduction covers from yesteryear. Here are two covers featuring Studebaker icons, Raymond Loewy and Harold Vance.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Let it be known that a Studebaker remains an excellent investment. RM Auctions sold a 1929 Studebaker Commander Dual Cowl Phaeton for $93,500. Not bad for a Studebaker.
See a list of collectible Studebaker automobiles at RM Auctions.
Pictured: 1929 Studebaker Commander Seven-Passenger Touring and a 1951 Studebaker Land Cruiser Sedan
Monday, November 24, 2008
An interesting article about the demise of US Studebaker manufacturing from 1963.
"Studebaker Corp. announced that it was dropping auto production in the U.S.—111 years after its founding as a carriage maker and 61 since it turned out its first auto."
"What happened to Studebaker? South Bend was too remote from Detroit to enable the company to move quickly with all the industry's new trends, and Studebaker's ancient plant there was hopelessly inefficient. The company's dealer organization was too small, haphazard and ineffectual. Efforts to revitalize the company were snarled by lack of cash and a series of incredible production snafus."
"Studebaker may be largely out of autos, but it is by no means out of business. Under Egbert's direction, Studebaker picked up so many new companies (appliances, chemicals, superchargers) that half of its $400 million sales this year came from nonautomotive divisions. These divisions earned $12 million—though the company will end the year heavily in the red because of auto losses and the cost of closing the South Bend plant. Freed from its auto losses and armed with a healthy tax write-off, Studebaker says that it expects to make an overall profit next year."
Read the complete Time Magazine article from 1963 here.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Updated 11/24/08 - We now have more than 150 signees on the petition!
Sign the Official Petition to lobby for a Studebaker in Pixar's "Cars 2" Movie.
A sequel was announced for a Summer 2011 release of Pixar's "Cars 2." Pixar's John Lasseter commented "the Cars are going international" in the sequel, but there's no reason that a Studebaker - an American icon and one of the first electric cars (1902) - shouldn't be included in the new film.
Sign the petition.
Read the forum thread on the SDC website.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
LIFE Magazine released 10 million photographs on Google Image Search today. There are 171 Studebaker images - many of them amazing historic shots that have never been seen before.
See the 170-plus Studebaker images on Google.
"LIFE Photo Archive available on Google Image Search
The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you'll see in Google Image Search today.
We're excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.
Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We're digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos."
Friday, November 14, 2008
Another great article about a '50 Champion and its owner - this time in the Washington Times.
"Murray Welsh can offer no reason why a 1950 Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe four-door sedan is parked in his garage other than its peculiar appeal.
The bullet-nose Studebaker was built in the South Bend, Ind., factory Aug. 17, 1950 and was then shipped to Philadelphia. Its whereabouts are unknown from then until Mr. Welsh and his wife, Linda, went Studebaker shopping about a decade ago."
Read the Washington Time's article about this Studebaker Regal DeLuxe.
Now Antonio's Antiques, this unassuming building was once a Studebaker Regional Office and Parts Dealer. The address is listed in the 1950 Studebaker Champion Owner's Manual.
710 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Friday, November 7, 2008
There was a wonderful "Studebaker Story" in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday. Here's an excerpt and an image:
"My ride is a 1952 Studebaker Commander, four-door sedan, "Tahoe" green, with suicide rear doors. In the 1950s, when we kids could identify any car at a distance by year, make and model, I was fascinated by Studebakers. We didn't see many of them, but a neighbor of ours in Los Angeles had a 1948 yellow Commander sedan. What a beautiful, modern car that was!"
Read more of this Studebaker story on SF Gate.
Photo copyright the San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I love it when a plan comes together.
We're finished with the door panels, headliner, sun visors, carpet and seat covers. We've encountered a minor snafu with the window U-channels and guides - rusted and just plain poor. So, we'll tackle the windows before applying the window frames, door handles and window cranks.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
"Mr. Hayes, a retired travel agent, says his collection of automobile pamphlets now numbers 13,000. They fill six cabinets in his apartment, and a few boxes under his bed. He says his collection is worth thousands of dollars, but that is not why he is a collector."
See Steve Hayes' Studebaker car brochure collection.
Read the NY Times article about Steve Hayes and his amazing car brochure and advertisement collection. (log-in required; free)
The Studebaker-Packard regalia is gone, but it's known that this hardware store in my hometown of Los Gatos, California, was once a Studebaker-Packard dealer. More can be seen at the "Los Gatos Car Dealerships: Selling the California Dream" exhibit. See the link below for more information.
Monday, November 3, 2008
From the Los Angeles Times:
"Look beyond the nostalgia factor in this film produced for Studebaker dealers. Listen to the comments. The Studebaker Lark was, according to this film, intended to give consumers what they wanted: a low-priced, fuel economy car. We know today, of course, that Studebaker failed for many reasons. But these executives were positive they had read the market correctly."
See the full article about Studebakers and fuel efficiency.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Our Australian readers can head out 12 hours from Melbourne to New South Wales to see a 1963 Champion Pick-Up and a 1961 Hawk. Never mind the 12-hour trip to Maitland, the drive from South Bend, Indiana was a killer. ;-)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Concert Productions International created a "Remembering the 1950s" blog that features a ton of great old car ads, including many Studebaker ads like the one below.
See many 1950s Studebaker car ads here.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Below is an interesting article from Old Cars Weekly about the inadvisability and dangers of using radial tires on old wheels .
Monday, October 20, 2008
US News and World Report is comparing a possible GM-Chrysler merger to the Studebaker-Packard merger of the '50s.
"While several industry analysts have panned the idea of a merger, not everyone sees only downsides. Detroit News Columnist Ray Windecker writes that while the merger may seem to be "two drunks leaning on each other . . . what is missed is what happens when the less inebriated drunk picks the pocket of his partner."
"He compares the merger to the Studebaker/Packard merger of the 1950s. "Studebaker had a larger number of dealers," he writes, "an interesting but overpriced collection of smaller and sporty cars and a decent line of light and medium trucks. Packard only had moderately updated luxury cars, but it did have cash." In this case, "GM has the dealer and product advantages, while Chrysler (through its majority owner Cerberus) has spare cash."
Read the full article on US News and World Report.
"A black Studebaker Commander bearing Ohio license plates rolled to a stop on Jackson Street. With Dillinger were Harry Pierpont, 31, and Charles "Fat Charley" Makley, 44, Indiana State Prison escapees who had killed Sheriff Jess Sarber while freeing Dillinger from the Allen County, Ohio, jail in Lima 11 days earlier. The fourth gang member was prison parolee Harry Copeland, 37, who helped Dillinger rob two Indiana banks and one in Bluffton, Ohio, during the summer."
Read the full article here.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
A fun listen from June 29, 2002:
NPR's Scott Simon talks with Studebaker collector John Poulos about the 38th annual Studebaker Drivers Club International Meet. Over 1,000 Studebakers showed up for the event in South Bend, Indiana, where Studebakers were made until 1963.
Click here to listen to this story from 2002.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
"Doc," our 1950 9G Studebaker Champion, is at Gonzalez Upholstery for his headliner, door panels, and other interior installation work.
Below is a picture of the interior sun visors. The material is too warn for repair, but the cardboard backing and the framing will take to new covers just fine. Also shown is the backseat in its current condition. The original material was tan mohair.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Yesterday, we began the restoration of our Studebaker Champion's interior in earnest. We scraped, wire brushed, and applied Rustoleum to areas that had trace amounts of surface-level rust, and areas where we expect moisture to occur/settle.
Below are a few pictures on the floorboards and ceiling. Next steps, rubber, jute padding and carpet.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
True to their word, the wrecker mailed me the radio for our 1950 Studebaker Champion. I wrote about the Studebaker Philco Model S-5123 here.
Below is a picture of the worn radio pre-restoration.
Friday, October 10, 2008
A few giving Studebaker loyalists have helped me source the questionable parts on my Champion.
In May, we solved the engine block/head question here.
Today, we solved the question of the diamonds on our '50 Champion's fender side air vents. The triple diamonds on our Stude's fender side air vents come from a '47 - '49 Commander or Land Cruiser. They were apparently factory Regal trim. So, either the previous owner of our Stude added the diamonds to the vents, or he swapped out the air vents somewhere along the way.
See the previous post on this topic here.
See the thread on the SDC Forum.
Amazon.com features a good selection of books about Studebaker cars and trucks. I love to flip through the glossy photographs in books, as well as page through the articles and images in the SDC's Turning Wheels.
View books about Studebakers (including repair manuals) at Amazon.com.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Below is a nice '50 Stude Champion for sale in Iola, Wisconsin, that could prove to be a great driver in short order.
See more about the 1950 Studebaker Champion below.
Or, see a list of Studebakers for sale on CarsOnline.com.
Hemmings.com has a dated yet relevant article that notes more than one dozen Studebaker parts suppliers.
A few great finds:
YnZ's Yesterdays Parts
333 Stuart Avenue, Unit A
Redlands, California 92374
The Bumper Boyz
2435 E. 54th Street
Los Angeles, California 90058
Classic Flat Glass
The Glass Man
4512 Missouri Flat Rd
Placerville, CA 95667
See the Hemmings article about Studebaker parts suppliers here.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I'll be driving my 1950 Studebaker Champion in Sacramento, California, on Drive Your Studebaker Day 2009.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
One of the motivators for our buying Doc (the Studebaker Champion) was my daughter's love of the movie Cars. We'll always have a soft spot for the Fabulous Hudson Hornet and for Paul Newman's portrayal of Doc Hudson.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The New York Times published a light article discussing which type of car Don Draper's character on Mad Men would buy. Here are some excerpts and a link to the article.
"Among the other comments, there were many excellent suggestions for potential Drapermobiles: Thunderbird, Studebaker Avanti (though I doubt that Don would tie himself to a clear commercial loser) and even the Facel Vega, thanks to its associations with existentialist Albert Camus. (He died in one, and what is more existential than that?)"
"I was intrigued by the suggestion of a Studebaker Hawk GT, which Rob Kneen called “the quintessence of understated, but macho.”
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Ray's Auto Stereo in Sacramento, CA, did a bang-up job retrofitting the Studebaker-Philco S-5130 radio.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Wolfie_53 posted more than 1,000 photographs on Photobucket from the 44th Annual Studebaker Drivers Club Meet. There are hundreds of wonderful car shots, as well as some pictures of wares being sold, e.g., Shrock Bros. collectible cars.
See the photographs here.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The 44th Annual Studebaker Drivers Club meet in Lancaster, PA, is in progress. We wish that we were in attendance. Below is a great picture from the SDC Swap Meet, posted on the SDC Forum.
View the SDC Lancaster Meet website here.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The 2009 Studebaker Pacific Southwest Zone Meet is sponsored by the Karel Staple Chapter of the SDC and will be held at the McClellen Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA. Click on the flyer below for more information.
Or, visit the Karel Staple SDC chapter website here.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Here's a quick list of upcoming Studebaker Car Shows and Swap Meets:
September 14-20, 2008 - 44th SDC Meet in Lancaster, PA. Information: 763-420-7829.
October 5, 2008 - Beachwood 2008, Beachwood, NJ. Garden State Chapter. Information: 732-240-6758.
November 7th & 8th, 2008 - Reedsville 2008, Reedsville, PA. Manhattan Chapter Studebaker Drivers Club. Information: 717-513-8251.
November 8, 2008 - The Beach Cities - Inland Empire Chapter Old World Village Studebaker Car Show. Information: 949-492-8393.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Here are the specifications for our Studebaker Champion DeLuxe 4-Door 9G sedan:
W3 - DeLuxe 4-door
$1,597 retail cost
Weight: 2,755 lbs
Wheelbase (inches): 113
Overall Length (inches): 197.25
Front Tread (inches): 56.4
Rear Tread (inches): 54
Fuel Tank (gallons): 18
Cooling System (quart): 10; 11.5 with Climatizer
Construction Layout: Front Engine, Rear-wheel Drive
Type: Body on Frame
Body Material: Steel
Type: Inline L-head 6-cylinder
Material: Cast-iron Block and Heads
Bore and Stroke: 3.00 x 4.00
Displacement (cubic inches): 169.6
Horsepower (@ rpm): 85@ 4,000
Torque: (lbs-ft @ rpm): 138 @ 2,400
Compression Ratio: 7.0:1 (standard); 7.5:1 (optional)
Main Bearings: 4
Carburetor: 1-bbl Carter
Valve Lifters: Mechanical
Transmission: 3-Speed Manual, Synchromesh on 2nd and 3rd Gears, Column-mounted Shifter
Crankcase (qt): 5, 6 with Oil Filter
Electrical System: 6-Volt, Positive Ground
Suspension, Brakes, Tires and Wheels:
Front: Independent coil spring and wishbone
Rear: Solid Axle; Semi-elliptic Leaf Springs
Shock Absorbers: Tubular
Brake Type: 4-wheel Hydraulic, Cast-iron Drums
Tire Size: 6.40 x 15
Wheels: Steel Disc
Saturday, September 6, 2008
"Studebaker Building (1920), Bedford Avenue and Sterling Place. Now an apartment building, the terra-cotta structure was designed by Tooker & Marsh. There is still a Studebaker sign outside." Source: New York Times
The image comes from a little Google Maps detective work. You can (barely) see the Studebaker logo at the top of the building.
From the NY Times Automobile section:
"The Packards of 1958 were simply Studebakers dolled up with some horribly contrived styling touches. In the case of the Hawk, the pretty Studebaker grille was replaced by a low, wide fiberglass intake that made the front end look like a catfish. The rear deck had an embossed fake spare tire, and the pièce de résistance was a padded leather armrest on the outside of the door, exposed to the elements."
And I ask, "Isn't being a Studebaker remarkable enough?" ;)
See the full article about the 1958 Packard Hawk at NY Times.com.
Friday, September 5, 2008
"Three on the Tree" is definitely for me. I took "Doc" out for a pre-work drive this morning and found that after many months of practice, I'm pretty damn good at H-pattern shifting. While the clutch release is high and the gears are pretty unforgiving, driving "three on the tree" is a whole lot more fun than automatic... even if I'm not driving a performance sports car.
Below is a scan from the 1950 Studebaker Champion Owner's Manual that shows the shift pattern for the car. I leave overdrive engaged for any speeds over 35 mph.
See the full 1950 Studebaker Champion Owner's Manual here.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Quick digression. There is an amazing Packard Dealership neon sign in Grass Valley, CA. A co-worker graciously agreed to photograph the sign for me.
Click on the image below to see a larger version of the Packard sign.
Roadside Peek has an excellent collection of classic neon signs. The sign for the Bantam Chef Restaurant in Chesnee, SC, caught my eye... it features the nosecone of a 1950 Champion. See below.
See all of the neon signs at Roadside Peek.
Image copyright Richard Weiss.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Bob Coolidge publishes a one-of-a-kind website about Studebaker racing. Here's an excerpt and image.
"Frank Gise from New Point, Indiana raced in two NASCAR events. He raced a 1951 Studebaker V8 Commander Starlight Coupe in the Southern 500 at Darlington, South Carolina on September 3, 1951. He started 9th but finished 65th out of 82 starters after the right front wheel broke on lap 215. On September 8, 1951 Frank raced the Central city Speedway in Macon, Georgia."
See the full Studebaker Racing website.