Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturday Studebaker

The 1950 Studebaker Champion.

The first year of the "bullet nose."

Take your bullet nose Stude to any generic car show and try to keep track of all the bullshit that know-it-alls sling about it.

Within 15 minutes you will be told that the bullet nose was the biggest mistake that Studebaker ever made and it drove them out of business.  (The 1950 was actually one of their highest selling models in the entire history of the company.   They went out of the car business 16 years later.  Labor costs and economies of scale made them get out of the car business).

Within 30 minutes you'll be told that all Studebakers were powered by Continental Red Seal engines.  (Studebaker built all of their own passenger car and light truck engines until the 1965 model year.  They only stopped because their foundry was too large to operate economically with the small numbers of cars they were building by then.  Kaisers and the Graham-Paige used the Red Seal).

Within the first 45 minutes, you will be told that the cars originally had a third headlight that was linked to the steering and the bullet is actually an aftermarket gizmo sold by Western Auto to replace the headlight when the linkage to the steering broke.

If you are really lucky, by the end of the first day you'll be told that all Studebakers used Perkins Diesels.    (Some of their heavy trucks did but never their cars and light trucks).

 The 1950 Champion used the Champion 169.92 CID flat head six and produced 85 brake horsepower.   The Commander used the larger Commander flathead six.  Funny how that worked out.   In 1951, the Commander six was gone; replaced by a spiffy new V8.   The bullet nose feature ran for just two years but is probably what more people think of when they hear the name "Studebaker" than anything else.


Phil said...

I think the only old cars that I liked more than these for looks was the Wyllis.
So many of both were Hot Rodded that it's hard to find any that haven't been modified.

They do make sweet Hot Rods though.

Lantry said...

Come to think of it, Willys did make some nice looking cars. I think I may have only seen one that was stock.