Didn't Columbo drive one of those in one of the series? When you look at the Hawk and the Avanti, you have to wonder why it was the Stude went to the wall and not some of the other clowns.
I had to look up Columbo's car to see what it was. It was a Peugot 403. The Hawk and Avanti were both beautiful cars and were available with powerful engines. Studebaker's V8 was a huge hunk of iron with more main bearing surface area than a contemporary Cadillac engine. They put superchargers on them and were getting around 1hp per cubic inch. Toward the end they came out with what they called the R-3 engine. It was a 305 CID that put out 335 bhp. They were working on a version they called the R5 that had 2 superchargers and put out 638 bhp from the same 305 CID but not enough people cared by then and they didn't last long enough to bring it to market. You are right. Just looking at the cars they built, its amazing that they went under and some of the others stayed afloat.
I also seem to recall the Sanchez Brothers(?) setting all kinds of Bonneville speed records in a chopped and channeled Hawk with the Fastback rear window (years before anyone else thought that would be cool). Had a picture which needless to say I cannot now find that showed an early version of their rod with eight deperate exhaust pipes sticking out the back! Love Studes!
Hadn't heard about those guys. I'll have to look them up. I do recall that the Avanti held a record for the running mile at Bonneville for a fairly long time. Seems like it was 169 mph or thereabouts. I don't recall whether that was an R2 or an R3. Back in the 80s, when I was more into all things Studebaker, one of the club magazines did a feature on a guy who had taken an R3 block and built it into an R5 for a run at Bonneville. He was pumping so much pressure into it that he had to keep changing the clutches on the superchargers. He had made a few runs and the engine started missing. While tinkering with it trying to diagnose the miss, someone came by and suggested that he go to a bigger carburetor instead of keeping the pressure so high. He swapped out whatever he had on it (a Carter AFB is my guess) for a Carter Thermoquad that had been modified to flow around 1,000 cfm. He managed to break 200 mph (or maybe it was 199) and called it a day. Later, when he got a chance to really figure out what the miss was, it turned out to be a dropped valve. He had broken 200 mph on seven cylinders. It sounds like one of those stories a drunk buddy would make up at the huntin' camp but I swear that I read it and it happened that way!
Hi Lantry,Go here:http://www.rodandcustommagazine.com/featuredvehicles/1953_studebaker_coupe/For lots of older pictures of the Sanchez Bros Studebaker. I believe this eventually went over 260 mph and still exists (and competes) today
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