Harold & Phyllis Ireland – Studebaker Story
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 16:06

Harold and Phyllis Ireland.

In 1946, after the 2nd World War, cars and light trucks were a scarce commodity. At that time, my father Walter started to rebuild cars and utilities for people in the South Pine Area, where he rebuilt early Chevs, Fords and other makes for the farmers in the area. 

My father’s family car then was a 1930 model Oldsmobile tourer which he bought new. He later bought home on the back of one of his trucks, a 1938 Studebaker four door sedan, which from new had been an Ascot Taxi in Brisbane City. It had been sold stripped down, so it was a ground up restoration, and was put back on the road in 1946. He later sold it to me in 1952, before my marriage to Phyllis in 1952. After close to 100,000 miles of family motoring I sold it to a friend in North Queensland in 1957. I found another Studebaker 8A sedan, which after minor restoration, entailing new upholstery and paint I put on the road in 1958.

This vehicle was a day to day and week to week transportation for our young family. Phyllis had learnt to drive, acquiring her licence thus becoming the family chauffeur for school and sporting activities. I was very time poor because I was operating three trucks in my daily transport business and Mobil Fuel Agency. I supplied the local farming community with their farm fuel tanks and kept them topped up.

We upgraded for our family needs with a 1958 V8 Studebaker Commander sedan which we acquired from the original owners in 1966. They had bought the car new in Brisbane before moving to Maryborough. In 1968 we were able to purchase one of the last four Studebakers sold by Howards in Brisbane. This car was fitted with the Chev motor.

In 1972 I was able to upgrade to a 1964 Studebaker Cruiser, which was a low mileage car, sold by Howards in Brisbane, not long before Studebaker stopped production in the USA with the 1965 models. Our 1964 Cruiser did a lot of interstate trips when we were breeding and showing our German Shepherd dogs, travelling to Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne on a yearly basis.

After selling my transport run and fuel agency in 1984, I started helping my aged father in completing cars that were at the restoration stage, and making repairs on other makes of vehicles, on a full time basis.

Other Studebakers that I have restored since then have been  Studebaker Champ utility, a 1963 Lark sedan, a 1948 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser four door sedan and at present a 1947 Starlite sedan two door which I hope to finish in the latter half of 2022.

My father Walter bought the 1948 Studebaker LandCruiser from NSW twenty years prior to my completing the restoration. I wanted to restore this car and so it had been a project for many years, in my workshop, at Narangba, when I had a little extra time to do the restoration. I took the body off the chassis, and started from the ground up, converting it over to right-hand drive. I was fortunate to have a new right-hand drive dash panel in stock, which made the job a lot easier.

I attended to all the mechanicals, even overhauling a replacement for the missing motor. It has turned out well, and it is now registered on Club plates. I managed to replicate the original peacock blue colour from the Studebaker recipe, made up for the paint-job. In some lights it seems to favour the greenish colour, and in shade light the bluish tint is more obvious It has many admirers and is a fairly scarce model here in Queensland. I had all the wood-graining of the interior redone, which turned out well.

Harold Ireland

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