- SCCQ Club Member – Jim Dack’s Studebaker 1955 Speedster Restoration Story

1955 Speedster – Jim Dack – SCCQ

I was introduced to Studebakers by a work colleague when I was doing my apprenticeship as a fitter and turner.

In 1973 at the age of eighteen I purchased a 1964 Cruiser, unfortunately this car was written off less than a year later when I was T boned at an intersection. I replaced the Cruiser with a 1963 two door Lark that I purchased as a rolling chassis. This car was an ex police car from Victoria. I transferred all the running gear from my Cruiser to the Lark. Between the years 1976 to 1978 this car was used extensively for drag racing as well as my road car.

A process of continuous improvement meant that I became well versed in getting the best performance out of the Studebaker V8. The two door was fitted with a 5.4 ratio differential and a wide ratio top loader gearbox. The car was competitive on the track and proved to be dependable providing 7,500 rpm was not exceeded. Typical launch revs and gear changes were within the 6,500 – 7,500 rev range.

I purchased a barn find 1965 Cruiser with the Chevrolet engine from John Venema in 1982. After recommissioning this car was a reliable family car for the next nine years. I was looking for a project car in 2007 and found an advertisement for the Speedster which had been put up for sale by Bob Clark of Victoria. By chance when browsing through a Just Cars magazine in the workshop crib room.

A Speedster was a worthwhile project even though the condition of the car would ensure that it was a major project requiring a nut and bolt restoration. A top of the line Studebaker product that had seen only a little over two thousand cars built this car appealed to me as the only extensive restoration project that I am likely to undertake. My 1955 Speedster was a Californian car that was ordered on the 16/12/1954 and completed final assembly on the 30/12/1954.

Body number 177 and serial number 7805763.

The original owner of the car was shot dead in the car in Lennox California in 1989. I have saved the right hand rear side glass complete with two bullet holes as a memento of the car’s history. The car was sold on the18/10/1989 and again on the 07/11/1989 when it went to an Arizona purchaser. On the23/05/1998 the car returned to California to a new owner.

Judging by the poor condition of the car when I purchased it, I do not believe that any of these owners actually drove the car. I purchased the car on the 13/08/2007. The car was registered in Queensland on the 07/08/2014.

When I received the car, it was overall in a very poor state and the engine was seized. However, it was almost complete, and was pretty straight in the body. Rust repairs required the replacement of the front floor plates and door sills. The front and rear mudguards on the Left hand side required repair panels to be welded in. The chassis also required repair.

My work as a heavy equipment diesel fitter provided me with access to well equipped workshops where I could work in my own time on the car. These facilities were not available to me in my own garage. Had I waited until my retirement to complete this project the work would have been much more difficult and time consuming.

It was my intention to do as much as possible of the restoration work myself. The more work that I could do myself the more satisfaction that I would feel in the completed project. I progressively disassembled the car and restored all the parts as I went along. When it came to rebuilding the engine, I applied the experience I had earlier gained with Studebaker V8’s. I wanted a car with better highway driving characteristics than was available from the standard 259 Cubic inch motor.

I installed a camshaft of my own specification, and the heads were ported and polished. Roller lifters and heavy duty valve springs were fitted. I switched from the original carburettor to a Holley 600 4160 that uses a vacuum secondary system. It worked straight out of the box and has been a very good option for not a lot of money.

I also fitted an engine oil cooler. I rebuilt the automatic gearbox and the differential. I sent all the gauges out to Otto Instruments here in Brisbane for refurbishment and I was happy with the outcome. When stripping the car, I confirmed that the original paint work was Pimlico Gray and Congo Ivory. I prepared the car for painting and painted it in my home garage. The result was very satisfactory from my perspective and well worth the time and effort.

Repairing the chrome and stainless was a major expense and involved a lot of time and effort. I polished all the stainless myself. The drip rail mouldings had a lot of tiny dents that required a lot of work to remove before polishing. All of the chrome required redoing. Finding a good chrome plater and dealing with him involved many trips to his premises and some difficult discussions before the work was completed.

The pot metal parts were severely pitted prior to chrome plating and as expected the result was less than perfect. However, given the material and the condition of these parts the result was probably the best that could be hoped for. The front bumper had to be redone a couple of years later as blisters developed in the chrome.

Shortly after starting the restoration, I ordered an interior kit from Phantom Autoworks in the US. The kit was not cheap but worth it in for the quality provided. I fitted this kit myself. All this aside, the kit sat in large boxes in the shed for two years before my wife noticed their presence. As this kit was the largest single purchase for the restoration this delay in learning of the cost softened the impact somewhat of the high cost of the purchase.

As an active member of the SCCQ the Speedster gets out and about on a regular basis. The money, time and effort have been well worthwhile.

- SCCQ Club Member – Doug Murphy’s Studebaker Story

Doug Murphy – 1947 Champion and 1989 Avanti Convertible

I was about 10 years old when a Studebaker first grabbed my attention. It was the rear of a grey 47 or 48 parked in the open doors garage of a sheep and wheat property ‘Bull Plains’ near Corowa. We pupils were on a holiday stay, coming from ‘backwards Balmain’. Our teacher had taught at the one teacher school at Rennie.

Then, when I was about 19, I spotted a 47 or 48 in a car yard on Oxford St in Sydney. The Bank of Dad said he would not lend me money to buy the Studebaker and so I was saddled up with a Fiat 1400. This had the benefit I learned a lot about rebuilding an engine, gearbox, brakes and more. All was quiet for many years till a young friend of mine, Carl, who was really interested in art, fashion, design and style, waxed lyrical about Studebaker styling and he reignited my interest. As Coco Channel said style endures, fashion doesn’t. Well, my EH Holden had to go, and I bought a 63 Lark Cruiser. It was a terrific family car. But I wanted a Hawk, Harold Ireland had one, a 62, and I bought it. It was a British Racing Green colour with half roof black vinyl. It’s engine just loved oil. Another 62, a cream one came up for sale and this one became my daily driver (something I wouldn’t do now, but that was the era). Dale Fisher in Sydney had a 62 Hawk parts car for sale, so I flew down and drove it back. Cautiously. Then a 1960 Lark convertible came up, it was a project car and needed a lot of work. I was in the chips at the time.  It was a good lesson in restoration, it took about seven years and happened because Mike Cosgrove knew every nut bolt. There was a freelance panel beater around at the time, Peter the Dutchman, and he did a splendid job as did Ralph the motor trimmer.  A few years later it was finished, and I drove it for a couple of years, but fell on hard times and had to sell it.

So, for some time, I had no Studebaker, but Mike Brazier had a restored 47 he wanted to sell it. It had been fully restored by a Mr Doug Cribb. I suppose the chance to buy this 47 was like meeting up with a long lost friend, the grey one in the garage all those year ago. It brings me great pleasure driving this car, it’s high set and it’s really 1930’s mechanicals beneath late 1940’s styling. This Raymond Loewy styled car changed car styling forever, now cars had straight sides, headlights in the mudguards (and not between the guards and radiator).

I had always thought restoration of one car would be a cure-all, but no, being a beggar for punishment, I bought a 1959 Simca Vedette project car. I have always been the ‘go for’ and I bought parts in Canada, France, NZ, the US and Aus. It was fun. It would never have come together without the expertise of Studebaker Mike (as the kids called him), Peter Davies the magician with metal and fibreglass, and Ray Clayton who spent his working life with DC current on boats. Restoration of the 47 has involved a respray (paint work in parts was blotchy over time) and a changeover to electronic ignition (still 6V).

Around 2019, I got to thinking about an Avanti, a convertible. I joined the Avanti Owners’ International Association and learned a lot. A 1989 convertible came up for sale in NY, it had two previous owners, one lived in Chicago, and this was his daily driver. For the second owner who lives in NY, this was his Sunday best car. Through the AOAI, you can learn a lot about any Avanti. Before buying, I had the car inspected and it got a B+ grading. The inspection in retrospect got an N. Previous owners had spent a lot on it, but when it arrived, it was in poor shape. Part of the underneath was badly rusted, these were the skis or paddles which attached the fibre glass body to the chassis (earlier ones were called ‘hog troughs). It was odd, the chassis itself was rust free but the paddles had rusted through.

I have seen some odd restorations over time, like a $20-30k paint job but without replacing fuel hoses and brake hoses etc. The same with old electrical wiring, it’s a recipe for a most disastrous fire.

So, I’m saying, it’s not only wear and tear that affects a vehicle, things like rubber bushes, hoses and plastics are affected by age. Part of the appeal is the 87-89 models sit on a Chev Caprice chassis with a Chev small block 305ci engine, with a TH700R4 auto transmission. So, the car has overdrive, power steering and air conditioning. This combo makes for a modern car. For a time there, I think I must have been one of Rockauto’s best customers. Studebaker Mike worked wonders as did Peter and Ray and I would like to acknowledge and thank each for their contribution. For my part, the Studebaker journey has been exciting, and I think the 47, 53 and Avanti styling by Raymond Loewy are real icons. For me, the association has been a great pleasure.   

- SCCQ Club Member – Ross Oldman – Restoration of 1960 Studebaker Hawk

Ross Oldman – 1960 Hawk

I am a New Zealander, born in the town of Balclutha in Otago in 1953 and the oldest of thirteen children, six boys and seven girls from my father’s two marriages. My father was an absolute car nut who I am sure owned more than a hundred cars over his lifetime. Whenever he had a car in good running condition that seemed to be the time to sell it and start another project. He was a very good self-taught mechanic, and he actively passed these interests on to his sons and daughters. To his disappointment only three of us caught his disease.

We were living on Bank Peninsula when he taught me to drive at the age of fourteen as in New Zealand you can sit for your driver’s licence at fifteen. The vehicle of choice was a 1938 Ford V8 three tonne truck that was fitted with cable brakes and a four speed crash gearbox.

For those not familiar with Banks Peninsula it is made up of two adjacent volcanic cones and the roads are steeper than any you are likely to find in most of Australia. Dad was a hard taskmaster. I was taught to double clutch and to change gear both up and down without using the clutch. The brakes were to be used only when absolutely necessary. He was very concerned with teaching me mechanical sympathy and as a result I have hated to see a vehicle abused ever since. All this is by way of explaining my interest in cars and why the engineering and styling are important to me.

My interest in Studebakers started with my joining the All American car club in Cairns. At the time I was driving a 1972 Mercedes coupe, which while it was a lovely car was definitely not American. Pauline and I decided to join the American contingent by buying an American car in late 2002. The club had about a hundred members and all the popular makes and models were well represented. None of them really aroused my interest. I had spotted a Hawk on the tablelands at a car show near Mareeba around 1988 and this car had made a positive impression.

Further research showed that while Studebakers were significantly cheaper than more popular makes and models, they offered well engineered cars with great style and parts support was excellent here in Australia. I was discussing my options with a good friend, and I mentioned to him the virtues of the R series of engines when coupled with a four speed close ratio gearbox. A few weeks later he alerted me to a 1960 coupe on eBay in Tucson Arizona. The car was fitted with an R2 engine, close ratio gearbox and the limited slip differential.

I contacted the membership officer of the Studebaker club in Phoenix Arizona who gave me the phone number of a member who was inspecting the car for fellow club members in the Western states. We spoke for about an hour and a half going through the comprehensive report that he had prepared. Those who had commissioned his report had lost interest because the car is not original. A home made dashboard had been installed. This was of a high quality, wood grain veneer and was chock full of all sorts of gauges including temperature gauges for the supercharger, the gearbox, and the differential. He reported a good paint job, and I have kept the colour because it suits the car. The interior was black and in good condition. He was not able to drive the car off the property, but he believed that mechanically the car was in good condition. He did say that the car had been sitting undercover and unused for an unknown period of time.

Currently the car was in the ownership of a man who had a collection of cars that qualified for the Pure Stock and Nostalgic drag circuit. He had purchased the car from an owner in Texas who had built the car in the early 1970’s and had sold it due to advancing age. A recent heart attack had resulted in an ultimatum from his wife that he must reduce his collection down to a minimum of eight cars and the Studebaker did not make the cut to stay. Probably because a close ratio gearbox and 3.31 differential ratio are far from ideal for drag racing.

The car was heavily modified, and it is possible that it was a six cylinder, automatic when built. The records of the Jetthrust Registry showed that engine was out of a Black 1963 Super Hawk that was delivered with an automatic gearbox. The close ratio T10 gearbox was mounted to the engine using the correct bell housing, so it is likely that it came out of another Studebaker. It came with a Hurst shifter that has since provided very good gear changes.

The differential was a Dana limited slip with 3.31 gear ratios so it may have been removed from the Super Hawk. I somewhat nervously decided to bid for the car based on the information provided from the inspection. Due to the location in America and the time difference I remember being on line at an ungodly hour when I won the auction. I arranged shipping via Long Beach California using a company and the car arrived without too many issues in October of 2003.

When taken out of the shipping container the car presented very well and Pauline and I were reassured that the risk we had taken buying the car sight unseen had paid off. Our hopes of driving the 1600 kilometres back to Cairns were dashed by brake problems so instead the car made the first of many visits to Mike Cosgrove’s in Jimboomba and we flew home. Mike overhauled the entire braking system, installed seat belts, and completed a comprehensive review of the car, repairing anything that required attention.

When finished we arranged shipment to Cairns. For the next two years we drove the car a lot on club runs. In Cairns a club run is by necessity often a long run and we clocked up a lot of miles. Late in 2005 Pauline and I decided that we would tackle a body on refurbishment, and this started in October 2006.

Pauline’s role was parts co-ordinator. My role was do everything else. We had negotiated a paint job that included any necessary panel repairs with a friend for $12,000. Pauline and I put together a budget of $20,000 which proved to be an under estimate of at least $20,000. I was given one side of a two car carport and set to work removing the motor and gearbox. I stripped the interior and set to work removing all the panels for paint stripping to bare metal.

The interior floors and boot were in very good rust free condition, so I ground off any surface rust and applied copious amounts of PR15 paint. This was followed by Dynamat on all the floor surfaces, in the doors and under the roof. The bare body and panels were then delivered for painting. The gearbox was fitted with new bearings, synchromesh and seals but was found to be in excellent condition.

Harold Ireland supplied a new clutch and pressure plate. I stripped enough of ancillary items off the engine to ensure a good paint job. The sump and valley cover were re-chromed. Chris Skinner supplied 1961 bucket seats, centra console and a replacement dashboard that included all the correct gauges. He also secured a Delco Remy combination generator and power steering pump which Mike Cosgrove rebuilt to ensure reliability. This unit was necessary because two years without air conditioning in Cairns had been a real trial and discouraged use of the car on very hot days. Without the expertise of Chris, we would not have known that such an option existed, and the unit has provided trouble free service since fitting.

Pauline and I found that the parts suppliers were most helpful, and we bought something from most of them. A Vintage Air system was secured and supplied our first expensive lesson on the American way when it comes to shipping. Despite extensive consultation between us showing that we wanted the cheapest shipping method possible, and that time of delivery was not an issue the system turned up on air freight at a greater cost for shipping from Florida than the system itself cost. It is a good thing that the air conditioning has proven to be trouble free and very efficient, but you do not forget or forgive these things.

Our research showed that Phantom Autoworks provided the best quality interior kits, so we went ahead with a purchase. Unfortunately, we found that at the time of the purchase ownership had changed and when it came to fitting the kit it was found that the fit was less than ideal, and our upholsterer had some difficulty with the installation. The painting was completed mid-year and I started to put the car back together. The most difficult jobs for me was installing the door mechanisms and the mouldings around the fins.

I had bought fastening kits and I found these kits to be a godsend. I was surprised when stripping the car to find that not a single nut or bolt was rusted up and seized. This showed to me that the car had been pretty much completely stripped during the rebuild in Texas. Towards the end of 2007 I was informed that I had a new position in Brisbane and therefore a permanent move was necessary. The pressure was on to finish the Hawk ready for shipment in November. The car was made roadworthy two days before shipment. Surprisingly, we were able to drive the car reliably and without too many teething problems straight away.

Once I was able to attend club meetings and get to know the resources that are available around SEQ I realised just how much cheaper the refurbishment would have been in Brisbane and how many errors and complications could have been avoided. Having said that I have no regrets. This was likely to be the only time that I get involved with such a comprehensive project. The project was finished in a very short time period and no major setbacks were met. Pauline and I worked with a lot of very helpful people when looking for parts and were provided with very good advice along the way.

In 2009 the engine was completely rebuilt and at the same time Michael Cosgrove rebuilt the supercharger. It was agreed that the supercharger rebuild would be done with sufficient tolerances to ensure both reliability, lower operating temperatures and a longer life. The supercharger produces 2 lb to 3 lb of boost at 2,500 – 3000 revs. Maximum is 5 lbs at 5,200 revs which of course the engine never sees. I view the Paxton more as an interesting example of Studebaker’s engineering than a true performance enhancement.

At the time of writing, I have bought an electronic distributor which is currently having the timing curve calibrated to suit the R2 engine. It will be interesting to see if this proves to be an upgrade over the standard dual point distributor. I have had persistent issues with hesitancy on acceleration that we have been unable to eliminate. The current distributor seems to work best with a lot of advance but has to be dialled back to manage “pinging” and engine over run on shutdown. Studebaker blogs seem to have as many opinions as there are options on timing the R2. A persistent theme is that the engines need a lot of advance and that it should come in fairly early in the rev range. The new distributor will be set up for 12o on the crank and with the balance coming in around 2,500 revs. Trial and error will tell us what the total advance will be.

The hawk has given years of pleasure to both Pauline and I, and we have no intention of ever selling the car while we can still drive it. Currently we have done over 31,000 miles in the car since the restoration was completed.

- SCCQ Club Member – Gus Trouchet – 51 Bullet Nose Studebaker

By January of 2021, my Studebaker collection included a Champ, 1961 Hawk and a 1963 Hawk GT. The car that I felt was missing was a bullet nose V8 coupe or convertible.

I started looking around Australia for a suitable car to purchase and soon discovered that these models were rare in Australia and that my chances of finding one that was a driveable car in good condition were not good.

I was very concerned about the risks associated with importing a car from America at a time when it would be impossible to personally view a potential purchase due to Covid 19 travel restrictions. Like everyone else in the classic car hobby, I was well aware of the horror stories attached to cars arriving here in Australia in much worse condition than the buyers had been led to believe during the purchasing process.

During my research when looking for a suitable car I had developed a trusting relationship with Vas who owns a Caloundra, Queensland based company, “Iconic American Imports”. Vas provided me with a very detailed proposal to manage the inspection of the car using the services of a network of experienced mechanics to prepare a condition report, transport to Los Angeles for preparation for shipping, shipping and management of import paperwork and port and custom clearances in Brisbane. Once I had selected a suitable car for purchase, Vas would firm up this proposal and provide a fixed cost for his services.

I found this car in early February of this year on HaggleMe, a web based service that specialises in selling cars for clients who prefer to have an agent manage the selling process. The car was advertised as being located in Indiana, in very original condition and had been used as a daily driver by the family for a long time. The photos provided indicated that the car deserved further investigation. I asked Vas what his experience with HaggleMe was and he assured me that he had previously had good dealings with the company.

On that basis I commissioned a report on the car. The cost of this report was higher than I would have expected to pay in Australia, but the scope of the inspection and report was to be very detailed. I commissioned the report a couple of days after finding the advertisement and the report arrived about ten days later.

When it arrived, the report ran to some sixty pages and included numerous photos. The substance of the report was that the car was an honest and original car that has been well cared for by the owner. The faults identified were not major and were to be expected in a car that was seventy years old.

Vas offered to assist me with negotiating a purchase price that was acceptable to the seller and myself. Once the purchase price was agreed between us, I paid a deposit in mid-February to reserve the car. Early in March the purchase arrangements were completed.

The car was transported to Los Angeles and an asbestos inspection was completed. The front brakes shoes needed to be removed as a result of this inspection and the car was left with rear brakes only for shipment. A bio clean was performed and the car was transported to port for transhipment. At this time shipping out of America had been significantly slowed by the impact of Covid 19 on the operations of both ports and shipping schedules. Unfortunately, prior to shipment America Customs selected the container of cars that included mine for a random inspection.This inspection resulted in my car missing the ship and further delays resulted as a new ship was found.

As a result of these shipping delays it was August before the car arrived in Brisbane. At this point Australian Customs discovered a discrepancy in the shipping documents that appears to have been related to incorrect recording of chassis or engine numbers in the US. As a result, the car went into the bond warehouse for several weeks while “Iconic American Imports” resolved the issue.

My first impressions of the car when it was delivered to my home were very positive as the car exceeded my expectations. The car is in excellent original condition as the condition report had indicated. Until this could be verified in person I was of course prepared for some disappointment. Since delivery, the faults that were identified have been verified, but no significant new faults discovered.

I intend to keep the car as close to original and as delivered as possible. However, I have had disc brakes and electric power steering fitted to all my Studebakers as these changes improve safety, improve driveability, and do not in my view compromise the integrity of the cars. Fitting the power steering will require changing the column gear shift to a floor shift. Fitting the disc brakes will require the use of Ford wheel rims. I intend to protect and preserve the existing paint work as much as is possible, despite some cracking and weathering.

Despite my original reluctance to import a car sight unseen I am very pleased that I persevered. My faith in Vas and his support team in America has been justified by the outcome achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- SCCQ Run to Macleans Bridge Car Festival at Belmont – May 2021

A handful of SCCQ members made the best of a beautiful sunny day to display their cars at the annual Maclean’s Bridge Sports and Classic Car Festival at Belmont Rifle Range.
Member Bill Beverley took out the trophy for “Best in Show American Car”  with his 1937 Packard Convertible.
Photo of SCCQ Members cars at the display. Left to right:
Bill Beverley – 37 Packard,  Dennis Jewsbury – 63 GT , Gus & Carol Touchet – Champ, Dennis Jewsbury – Hawk,  Phil & Sheree Copelin – Lark,  Jim McKinnon – Thunderbird.

- “My 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk Project” by Member John Cosgrove

My 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk Project

The Hawk project started in 2002. It was purchased from Melbourne and transported to Queensland. The condition can only be described as “unassembled”.

 

There was lots of rust and what we thought was most of the car was only a very small part of what was required to get it on the road.

I started by getting the chassis and the body dipped in a tank to clean the metal and remove paint. The body came out with less metal and lots of holes. The job was getting bigger and more expensive.

I started by coating the chassis with POR Chassis paint then welded up the cracks in the front crossmember and chassis. Rear springs bushes replaced and springs fitted to the chassis. Front end rubbers replaced and fitted to chassis. My brother Michael then designed and fitted discs and callipers to the spindles. This involved designing an adapter plate for the spindle assembly to attach the PBR callipers. A dual master cylinder was fitted to the chassis in the same location as the original and new brake lines fitted. I had a stainless fuel tank made and fitted it to chassis. The diff was cleaned and assembled with new brake shoes etc. and fitted to the chassis. At this point the chassis was nearly completed and only needed a steering box.

   

 The next job was the body. For many years the body was like a permanent fixture on Gordon Thallon’s shed ceiling. It had coloured lights draped in the floor and when turned on the light shone through the holes and created a disco pattern on the floor at many a Christmas party.

At different times in this 18 year saga, it was lowered to the ground and put on a rotisserie and rust and panel pieces repaired.

For the length of the project I spent many hours researching what parts I needed and I found and brought many NOS parts. This was a hell of a job considering we were not sure how it was meant to go together. Gordon and I have learnt a lot about hard top Hawks and Golden Hawks in particular.

 I have to thank Ian McKellar for directing me to the wiring harness company in Melbourne that made his harness. All I had to do was send my old harness to them and they already had the pattern and used some parts of my harness and they promptly sent back the finished product-Yippee!!

As the body work was being completed I thought it was close enough to get the engine assembled. It was a rebuilt short block 15 years or more ago so I got Neil Black from Maryborough to disassemble and check the work and then rebuild the engine to a long block. I had the heads machined and valve guides replaced and new valves seated about 15 years before they were required. I got it back to Gordon’s place and unloaded it onto a wheeled frame to move around only to have the engine fall off the frame and the front supercharger pulley landed on the concrete and broke. Lucky for me Nathan Kramer (from Newcastle) had reproduced the pulley in aluminium alloy and I purchased one and we were back in business. It took another few months before we got ready to put the engine into the car. It would another 1 1/2 years before the car was able to be registered.

It’s now Jan 2021 and the car has virtually sat for 11months because of COVID-19 and other commitments. A friend George Udovicich inspired me to get working on the car again and with his help we have just finished replacing the front springs as the original springs sagged badly. I couldn’t get a floor jack under the front of the car. I read a forum in America about possible substitute springs and purchased them from Rockauto. I also got a couple of ½” spacers from another supplier. After they were installed the car lifted 3½” and looks good. The back of the car also went up ½”.

Now it’s onto the next job in the list of problems that need attention and hopefully the car will be truly finished in 2021.

John Cosgrove

PS – This is the short version. The long version has lots of swearing, wrong parts brought – new parts that didn’t fit – oil leaks – chipped paint, hard work and perseverance. I don’t want to remember some of it so I left it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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- Harold & Phyllis Ireland – Restoration of 1948 Studebaker Commander LandCruiser

Our 1948 Studebaker Commander LandCruiser….It is finally close to being finished, is registered and is ready to road-test…It has been driven to Strathpine and back, the morning we registered it, at the Dept of Transport Office…..They don’t come out and inspect them anymore and rely on the information given on the road safety certificate, and the Third Party Insurance Certificate to issue the registration…

Quite a few people came out of the Office to have a look  and were suitably impressed….All being well I should be able to show it at Redcliffe in September at the Club Concours…which I did & won President’s Choice Award!

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Congratulations Harold & Phyllis

It has been a long-term project, started back in the early 90’s. I converted it from left hand drive, which wasn’t too difficult because we had a parts-car of the same year, which had the right-hand drive parts needed for the conversion.

When purchased, it was minus the engine and gear-box and some panels on the front section nose-cone, were missing also…I was fortunate enough to locate a right hand drive dash panel new from USA, because the donor car had been converted and still had the dash panel as left-hand drive…We removed the body and all the undercarriage and components were over-hauled and painted before the body was re-fitted.

I had the dash panel and other components re-done in the wood-grain finish, which many of the cars in those years were finished in this way. The engine which I rebuilt also came out of the donor car, but had to be completely over-hauled,  it was sound and was a good power-plant to keep the car original.   All the brakes were overhauled, new tyres fitted to sand-blasted and painted wheels. 

 The chrome work was quite expensive with both front and rear bumper bars, four overriders and tail lamp bodies, plus other items and so became one of the most expensive parts of the restoration.  A new front windscreen was installed and the rear glass we converted to a one-piece unit. The off-white upholstery with grey carpet was done locally at Morayfield.  The paint-work was also done locally with the original colour of Peacock blue, which was made to the original formula,  I had managed to get from the USA…

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I also rewired the complete car and changed it over to a 12volt system, keeping the signal lamp system in its original form.  The 6 volt horns are fairly loud connected to the 12volt system, but you don’t have to use them often, so they are not a big drain on the battery.

We originally purchased the car from a guy in Newcastle, who had imported it from America and had advertised it in the Stude News and my father Walter bought it from a photograph.  He had it transported up to Brisbane by a local friend who had a new Chev Truck  and was anxious to try it out on a long trip..   My father Walter passed away in 1992 before the restoration was started,  I feel he would be quite pleased with the final result.

Harold and Phyl Ireland

SCCQ Club Members

- Happy 60th Wedding Anniversary

Long time members of our Queensland Studebaker Car Club, Harold & Phyllis Ireland celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on 12th March, 2015. Congratulations to both of them, what a wonderful celebration.

Harold &  Phyllis

 

- Members Stories – Part 3. Gwen McLoughlin And Lorna Venemas’ Studebaker Memories Written For The Club’s 40th Birthday Year 2009

Qld Studebaker Club Members, Gwen McLoughlin and Lorna Venema remember stories from their early days for our Club’s 40th Anniversary Celebration Year of 2009.

As a past club President Gordon and Gwen McLoughlin have lots of Studebaker moments to remember.

John and Lorna Venema have many tales to tell. Lorna particularly remembers when they found their M16 Studebaker truck.

A short story by Gwen McLoughlin

Gordon, Carmel and myself attended the Studebaker Meet at Cooma. There was a large gathering from many other clubs and great cars on display. Sunday we set off for Thredbo with Lindy and Mike West. While in the Chalet at Thredbo it started to snow, a wonderful sight. Carmel came back to tell us she was staying awhile longer with Lindy and Mike. We were all ready to go in our 1959 Silver Hawk when Gordon wound down his window and got a lap full of snow off the roof of the car. The others came back to the Motel with a bag of snow in Mike West’s Ambulance. Monday morning on the point of leaving, Mike called out to the other club members to say goodbye. As they were coming off the balcony, Mike threw snow balls at them.

Don’t think we’d be welcome back there again!!

Last years 40th Anniversary Celebration Year was a great opportunity for members to write their Studebaker stories. Lorna Venema has added a special memory of her early Studebaker days.

Hi, Old and New Stude members. I was just going back in time… WOW!
A good memory of one of our tripa to my hometown Beechworth Victoria, was when we were at Bob and Joy Gpdleys home having a sing along and a BBQ.

Somebody told John about Mr Cronin in Dayesford, he had some old trucks so we ended up going there and buying our M16. It had carted wheat for many years, so we checked the oil and brakes and headed for Brisbane. We arrived at Jerilderie and the timing chain broke.
I wanted to leave M16 there but it ended up with ME towing it with a rope of many knots 300 miles to Dubbo behind my Rambler Rebel. I went on strike and left it at Mr Bells!

We went through Narrabri and John had to buy a Stude Station Wagon which also broke down several times as well. Bill Cunnington went back with John and towed the M16 with the Stude Station Wagon.
John did not talk to me for weeks, I told him I would help with Studies but I was not going to die for them!

Thank you all for many years of great friends and lots of great times.