Chas Bond and Carmel McLoughlins’ Stories For The Clubs 40th Birthday Year 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009 22:14

CHAS BOND’S STUDEBAKER STORY

Chas and Robin Bonds 1963 ex Police studebaker Lark 2 door.

My first knowledge of Studebaker vehicles was when as a Primary school kid in Western Victoria I saw one of my schoolmates fathers, the local publican, driving about in a Black Land Cruiser, about 1950. It was difficult to tell from a distance wether it was coming or going.
In 1965 arriving home after 2 years overseas with RAAF, I scored a posting to Amberley, Qld. 1400 miles from my family home in Victoria. I felt the need for a vehicle with Long Legs and reasonable Economy if I was to make the trip at all often.
A mate and I went to Melbourne with the mission to buy such a car after searching the Age one Saturday and seeing Noel Tishler Motors advertising a Studebaker Hawk.

It was a nice car but not at a price that I was prepared to pay so I was then shown the car that the aforesaid Tishler was himself driving. This 1963 ex Police Studebaker Lark 2 door had 40,000 miles showing and had been out of service for some time due to minor accident damage, facts verified by Police Garage where repairs had been done. Money changed hands after our investigations and test drive had proven ok. I was pulled over by police who were curious as to whether this was a car that they
had driven and to make the acquaintance with the new owner, but never for the wrong reason. Lucky Me. I soon realised that so much attention from The Law was maybe not such a good thing so decided to forego the Powder Blue with Grey Top colour scheme in favour of Valiant Metallic Charcoal with Cream Top, much less conspicuous.

While at Amberley I found that a Grease and Oil Change every Pay night, Thursday Fortnightly, was necessary to keep pace with my driving routine. A round trip to Victoria over a 4 day Weekend or to Canberra and back in 2 or 3 days was quite the norm, fuel was cheap and ‘Lizzie’ did have Long Legs and was Economical at 25 mpg if not hurried, that was stay below 70 mph.

A posting to Newcastle found Lizzie and me making the round trip to Brisbane on Pay weekends, always without incident and with 2 or 3 passengers to keep me awake.
Robin and I married in 1967 and Lizzie took us caravanning to North Qld. On our honeymoon then back to Newcastle with all that we owned. So ended the regular trips but at any opportunity we used to load up Friday pm and not return home until late Sunday having been to ‘who knows where’ in between. Lizzie became well known along the East Coast as the Studebaker with the Shepherd dog in the back seat.
Another memory is driving about with no 1st or reverse gear, Cunninghams Gap in Bumper to bumper traffic with a smoking clutch is no fun.

Soon after Andrew was born, I was posted to Richmond, 40 miles west of Sydney. So a return trip to Newcastle each weekend except when rostered for duty was the go.
One Sunday night late I found that I could not make more than 40 mph up the Tollway after Hawkesbury Bridge.Next Morning I found that the distributor points rubbing block had disappeared and the distributor lobe were acting as the points. Late night, but it did not destroy my faith in Studebaker reliability.

Once we had settled into South Windsor married quarters we found that a 2 door car with a young baby and a large dog competing for space and attention was not a great situation, so when one Saturday a ’65 Cruiser became available we checked it out and after some refurbishment ‘Goldilocks’ came to stay. Life was good. Lizzie needed Gearbox replacement and later on an engine swap, all without any great drama, Studebakers were like that.

Late 1971 I was on pre Discharge posting back at Amberley and job hunting. Metropolitan Fire Brigade seemed to offer more challenges than Hunter Bros. at the same wage which was 1/3 reduction per the RAFF, What price freedom??

In 1972 or 73 I became aware of SCCQ meeting at Hamilton Library Hall once a month, Night Navigation Runs, BBQ’s, Gymkhanas, kids picnics, National Meets, Concours’ etc. There was always something happening. We even discussed Studebaker mechanical problems at times. The collecting bug was alive and well at most meetings, I have no idea who holds the record for most Studs rescued, that is a story of many volumes, I wonder if John V., Terry K., Mike W., Des S., to put a few on the spot could come forward with some Stude Tales, Tall, True Or Otherwise but nonetheless interesting.

As time permitted over the next several years I filled the roles of Treasurer and Newsletter Editor in the process making many lasting Friendships and Acquaintances both within SCCQ and further afield. While our $A was ahead of $US early 70’s I was given a Life Membership Sub to Turning Wheels and still look forward to each months offering. I was surprised and pleased to
see that the seven Australian Clubs have been given Chapter Status within the SDC and now look forward to lots more local news in one of it not the Best ONE MAKE CAR CLUB Magazines ever printed.



CARMELS STORY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carmels Dad, Gordon McLoughlin Club President in the early ’70s, makes her trophy presentation.

Carmel gave this presentation at the recent Qld Club 40th Birthday Concours Party

Hello everyone, my name is Carmel McLoughlin, daughter of Gordon and Gwenda McLoughlin who were members of the Studebaker Car Club of Queensland for many years. I will be 47 this October and we joined the club when I was 9. I wish Mum and Dad could have been here tonight but Mums body is failing her and it would have been too much for her to travel. Dad very rarely goes anywhere now if Mum can’t go too. Even though not a member anymore I would not have missed this night for anything so I could represent Mum and Dad and be able to tell them all about it.

Dad was known as El Presidente’ for the years that he was President. I can best fill you in on the comical side of the club as seen through a child club member. All the serious stuff can be told by the serious members. I am glad that this night was held now and not in 10 years time as my memory probably would have failed me and I would have just made up a whole heap of stuff, but what I am going to tell you tonight is all fair dinkum. As frightening as it sounds.

Mum would drive the Silver Hawk every day to pick me up from school and all the kids knew it as the Bat Mobile. I just saw it as another strange car that Dad owned. I can remember when I was little driving around in Jaguars, SV1 Valiants and finally ending up droving many different Studebakers myself (not that he ever let me drive the Hawk – even when I waw 25).

Dad loved his Hawk and that guy at the Rocklea Markets who rested his fruit crate on the fin of the Hawk went home with a sore jaw that day. All Dad said after clobbering him was ”You won’t do that again will ya Mate”.

Every friday night we would go to Bert and Jan Sievers house on the other side of town for Chinese, games of pool and copious amounts of alcohol (that’s the adults – not us kids). Dad would leave slightly under the weather and drive all the way to Camp Hill. Now, in between their house and our house there were three major hills that followed one after the other. Well, we were air borne over each and every one of them every Friday night. Dad would plant it (much to our excitement – I loved it) and he would change from a driver to a pilot for a few seconds. Of course to me this was totally normal. Im sure every Dad drove like that.

Then there were the day trips to many different places and of course on the way home after many stubbies and cans had been consumed ‘socially’ it would be nothing to see 4 or 5 Studes passing 4 or 5 normal cars at once on the Bruce Highway or any highway or back street in Australia for that matter. There again, that’s normal isn’t it?

Once Dad was driving down to Melbourne in the Hawk for work and he was stopped by the Cops alleging that an aerial radar system had clocked him at 240kmph. Dad stood in front of the shiny chrome plaque on the side of the Hawk which read ‘Supercharged’ and proceeded to say to the Police that the car was built in 1959 and it couldn’t possibly go that fast. He said they should check their equipment. The Police must have believed him as he never heard another thing about it. Actually the capacity of the engine and the supercharger combined made the car quite capable of those speeds and that’s exactly the speed that Dad was doing at the time. What a legend!

How about those Easter holidays, heh? What kids get to go to Adelaide, South West Rocks, Cooma, Wagga Wagga, Newcastle and I am sure there were more but I cant remember. I dont think I ever complained, even when Mum and I would tell Dad we were bursting and he would fly past the only service station or shop for miles and tell us its only another 100 miles or so and we’ll stop for petrol then. Ah!…those are the memories that warm the cockles of my heart (or my bladder). Thanks Dad.

The kids Christmas parties were fantastic too. I can remember the Plantation was a great venue. Always heaps of food and treats and good old Santa. It was very hot in that suit so the condition for being Santa was they had to keep their fluid intake up, so every Santa had to have a stubbie or a largie so they wouldn’t dehydrate while giving out the gifts. I think I sat on Santas knee up until I was about 18. Dirty Santa!!

Finally there was the educational input to my upbringing that I thank Mike West and his parties for. There I was probably 10 or 11 years at their home at Holland Park at the Stude parties belting out over Holland Park the beautiful tunes of the woodpecker song, or the hair on her dicky dido hung down to her knees song. I had no idea they were dirty at all, but of course no one told me to stop swinging. Ahh….what a well rounded education I had. I am sure there were many more but thankfully my mind has deleted them from the memory bank. They were the best parties.

There were so many stories and good times that I would be here all night, so as Mum and Dad couldn’t be here tonight I would just like to say on their behalf, if it wasnt for the special friendships and life time friends and places the club has given us, it would have been pretty bloody boring growing up in Rocklea. The Studebaker Car Club of Queensland was and I am sure still is a real family and not just a club. I thank each and every one of you for taking in the McLoughlins as part of that family. thank you again for having me here and thanks for the memories!

Gordon and Gwenda restored this multi award winning 1959 Studebaker Hawk in the late 1970’s. With its new owners, members of the Qld club, it remains in excellent condition still today .

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