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Postwar Studebakers

18788909293120

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    It's called "Avanti--Studebaker and Beyond" by John Hull, and can be bought reasonably on Amazon.com. There are a lot of production line and factory photos of Studebaker Avantis in there.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    edited January 2013
    I think maybe we've talked about this before, but when you bought a '63 Stude with whitewalls that weren't Firestone 500's, you got a narrow whitewall that went right up to the wheel, and I think M-B used a similar whitewall:

    http://www.ritzsite.nl/63Stude/1963_Studebaker_Lark_Cruiser.JPG

    BTW, that's my favorite four-door Studebaker. If you got the optional broadcloth interior, the seat trim was right up there with Cadillac, although the exterior size and character were decidedly European.

    BTW, that dealer postcard was photographed out at the Studebaker Proving Ground, about 15 miles west of South Bend on Rt. 2. I can tell by the brick fenceposts, which are still there when you drive by.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    Bosch now operates the track and buildings at the old Studebaker Proving Ground, and when I was last there in '07 they were testing some type of VW I had never seen before. They allowed us on the track with a Studebaker which was great fun.

    Amazingly, there are still Studebaker prototypes abandoned on the grounds there:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luOtiRTDf_g
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,940
    I don't know if I have seen a MB whitewall just like that, but they did use a wider whitewall that went up to the wheel, which I guess is kind of unique. MB changed directly, no medium width either - in 1964 they were still using 50s looking tires, then in 1965, jumped right to the modern thin whitewalls.

    I think there is a definite MB influence in that Stude, too.

    Here's a company that sells correct tires for old MB - I might treat my car to a set of these this year, as the tires on it date to when Clinton was still in office.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 678
    European influence with aero body styling and glass covered headlights doesn't get more obvious than the Citroen DS. Aside from that I was pointing out that the U.S. market Merkur/Scorpio were variants of Ford's Sierra platform. The old square headlight Avanti had no more trendsetting influence in auto design than the 1939 Mopars I linked to.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    edited January 2013
    It's a matter of opinion of course, but I do think most would agree that the Avanti is more critically respected, and always has been, than a '39 Mopar...shown in art museums, owned by creator of James Bond and other celebs alike when it was a pretty low-production car built by an old, old U.S. company, and it did absolutely throw the USAC record book away when it was at Bonneville. This isn't just me, it's all documented stuff. The fact that Studebaker built demand when it couldn't produce nearly enough finished cars, plus the constant news reports that Studebaker was on its last leg, doomed it.

    No other U.S. car at the time had disc brakes, and I'm scratching my head trying to think of how many others at the time had a quadrant P-R-N-D-2-1 that permitted manual shifting of an automatic, too.

    I think the only U.S. car that might have beat it to curved side glass was the Lincoln Continental.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    edited January 2013
    There's definitely M-B influence in the '62 and '63 Larks and Cruisers, for sure I think. I clicked the link for the tire site and I see in '63, anyway, Stude even cribbed the white trim on the wheelcovers from M-B.

    Those tires are expensive, but not as bad as I thought. Sure gives you the authentic look.

    If your current tires are that old, I hope you're not doing too much highway driving! My '64 came to me with '94-dated tires, and they were hard as rocks even though they showed a lot of tread and no sidewall cracking. I've been scared enough by stories over the years, and advice from folks supposedly in the know, that I won't go over ten years on a set of tires on an old car anymore. My Skytop's tires were bought in '03 (back when I could find 195-75-15's locally; they looked great IMHO and were very, very close to original size) and for the last couple years (before I sold it), I was getting a side-to-side 'waddle' from the rears at low speeds.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,274
    I'm scratching my head trying to think of how many others at the time had a quadrant P-R-N-D-2-1 that permitted manual shifting of an automatic, too.

    That brought back a question that I wanted to ask. Did the '2' position lock the transmission in second gear or did it just lock out third gear? That is, if you came to a stop with the transmission in the '2' position would it remain in second when you started up again or would it start in first and shift into second but not into third? The reason I ask is during that period the Ford cruise-o-matic had two 'Drive' positions with one of them providing a start in second gear. It was advertised as being for starting on slippery surfaces. My dad's '64 Rambler he same thing.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,940
    The grille and the greenhouse, while far from identical, are similar enough to not be pure coincidence. Makes sense with the partnership. Did Stude ever used body color coded hubcaps?

    I rarely take the old car on the highway much - a couple times a year, under an hour's drive - and it still concerns me. I'd like to take a small trip in it this summer, but not on the current tires. The car lives in a dry place and the tires are maintained, but age has to take its toll - and the fronts wear a little funny, likely due to some suspension component wear. I will have it inspected this spring, and hope to have new tires this summer. Radial wide whites are never cheap.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,940
    My fintail, and MB for decades (maybe even your W126) have second gear start - I can select first with the kickdown button under the gas pedal, but it is not a smooth shift. The car can also be started up from the off position in second.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,274
    Mine starts in first. But that brings up a point relevant to my last post. The positions D-3-2-1 all start in first but lock out the gears above the selection.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • berriberri Posts: 4,009
    Citroen DS

    Still a very attractive looking car IMHO
  • berriberri Posts: 4,009
    '39 Mopar.

    Were they still making the Airflow models then? If so, maybe they get some attention because of the historical significance of those cars for their time? Personally, I look at cars like music, don't car about history, just what I like! Then again I like some weird ones like the 59 Impala or 62 downsized Mopars ;) . Maybe just because they were a little different, or maybe because they remind me of something, someone or sometime. I think enjoyment should drive these kind of decisions.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,940
    Is your car able to be switched into second gear start? I had a 300SE that was second gear start only, as well. Euro models had a switchable unit.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    edited January 2013
    I'm relatively certain that the automatic floor-shift trans in the Avanti and optional on Larks and Hawks, could be held in whatever gear the selector was in (1 or 2) if desired. If put in "D", it started from a stop in second gear.

    My Lark had a bench seat and had the Flightomatic auto trans (P-N-D-L-R). It was also a three-speed automatic that started from a stop in second, although there was a way to get a 1-2-3 shift that involved shifting from L to D then back, which I was always somewhat scared to try.

    Studebaker six-cylinder automatics had first-gear start in "D".
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    Did Stude ever used body color coded hubcaps?

    No, but the '63 Lark and Cruiser full wheelcovers had a broad band of white on them, no matter what exterior color the rest of the car was.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    Did Checker taxicabs use the old Studebaker wheelcovers?

    image

    They look a lot like the ones used on the Lark.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,369
    edited January 2013
    Sharp eye, lemko! They did indeed use former Studebaker wheel covers.

    International also used Stude's '64 and '65 full wheelcovers (a favorite of mine) into the '70's:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-International-Pickup-Truck-Brochure-/350138831699

    Checkers are so goofy, I enjoy them too although they are rarely seen. They were made in Kalamazoo, MI.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,940
    There are a few Checkers hanging around my area, even a couple wagons. One of the wagons is pretty mint looking, and has to be restored.
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