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View Full Version : Speedster & other 55s in local sale. Now updated!



52-fan
04-06-2017, 04:52 PM
Joe got a call from a lady who is about to sell her dad's estate. He was a craftsman and car guy and collected all sorts of things. Besides the various cars in the main garage near the house, he had 3 55 Studebakers, a boat and a dune buggy in a small building near a field. No one would have guessed the cars were there if they drove by.
We made the 50 or so mile trip to the farm and looked them over. They are covered with dust and sitting on flat tires, but the Speedster and the 55 Champion are very complete. The other Commander is just a parts car that must have been a hot rod in the past. There were no lights in the building and we couldn't move anything so visibility was limited. The camera flash makes it look better. The floors of the cars looked good as far as we could tell. The auction part of the sale is April 22 near Hazen, Arkansas.
BTW The Speedster is yellow and green, but the flash reflecting off the dust makes the green appear golden.

SN-60
04-06-2017, 05:17 PM
Probably decent cars berore they were 'stored' (?)....What a mess! :(

Ron Dame
04-06-2017, 06:16 PM
Back around '75 or so, I almost bought a Speedster just like that in condition and all from what I can tell. Owner pulled it out of the barn and before I got there, a neighbor's field fire got away and burnt it up. At least I still had my money.

StudeRich
04-06-2017, 06:25 PM
Looks like some kind of "Mud Flood" ruined the bottoms. This is not "Storage" this is destruction! :(

52-fan
04-06-2017, 07:21 PM
Looks like some kind of "Mud Flood" ruined the bottoms. This is not "Storage" this is destruction! :(
Funny thing is that, although we didn't expect much, the part of the floors we could see or tap on seemed solid. I would like to have dragged them out and looked underneath. Unfortunately, the dune buggy and the boat are in the way and they were waiting on an old friend of the lady's dad to move them.

TWChamp
04-06-2017, 08:39 PM
Probably decent cars berore they were 'stored' (?)....What a mess! :(

I agree. Sure is a shame what happened to the Speedster.

3 years ago I looked at what was a nicely restored 1950 Champion, but it was stored in the north woods in a metal shed with a dirt floor, and plastic over the car. The bottom foot of the car was gone and the interior was so moldy you'd need to wear a gas mask. He did get $1000 for it though because luckily the chrome was still nice.

GrumpyOne
04-06-2017, 09:08 PM
My guess would be that the frames of these cars are toast as those were not "flat" tires but some sort of water/mud came through deep enough to submerge at least the bottom of the frames. I've seen similar here in TX and believe me, the tin worm work very fast...

swvalcon
04-06-2017, 09:44 PM
Only plus is it looks fairly complete so should be a lot of good one off parts still usable.

52-fan
04-06-2017, 10:00 PM
My guess would be that the frames of these cars are toast as those were not "flat" tires but some sort of water/mud came through deep enough to submerge at least the bottom of the frames. I've seen similar here in TX and believe me, the tin worm work very fast...

The frames may well be rusted. I wondered about that too. It was hard for us to figure out where the mud would have come from as the shed is on high ground. The tires are flat even though some of them are sunk into the dirt. We figured they were mostly parts cars and may not go back for the sale, but it would be a shame for the scrap dealer to get them.

Mrs K Corbin
04-07-2017, 08:29 AM
might make one out of the 2.... The blue one looks promising if the floors aint gone.

jackb
04-07-2017, 09:10 AM
...makes one wonder about the definition "craftsman" ...... on a positive note: who's got a good frame for this car, Barry ??

52-fan
04-07-2017, 09:38 AM
...makes one wonder about the definition "craftsman"

If you had seen the large house and the other things he had built you wouldn't wonder. I think he passed away several years ago and the cars have been sitting untouched. We didn't pry into the details.

Flipper
04-07-2017, 09:51 PM
How do you sink the car halfway up the wheel....inside of a building?

52-fan
04-08-2017, 10:06 AM
How do you sink the car halfway up the wheel....inside of a building?

Exactly what my brother and I were discussing yesterday. I think they look worse in the pictures, but they have been sitting undisturbed for at least 8 years. We wondered if dust from plowing the surrounding fields had contributed or if the building somehow channeled water through during heavy rain. The building sits on higher ground than the surrounding fields.

SN-60
04-09-2017, 08:54 AM
52-fan, if possible, would you please post the body & cowl numbers from the Speedster...Thanks! :)

bezhawk
04-09-2017, 09:26 AM
Dirt floors will pull moisture from the air. Especially loose dirt. I have seen a covered barn dirt floor turn to mud when heavy rains saturated the ground, and water seeps under ground. In the region of Arkansas, and Oklahoma, it is not uncommon to see 3 to 5 inch rains in a single storm. I saw 13 inches of rain in a week and a half in the late 70s when I lived in Oklahoma.

SN-60
04-09-2017, 09:33 AM
As bad as that Speedster looks, it's nice to see the pure originality of the car,...right down to the factory tach drive under the distributor cap, and the trunk mat specific to the Hialeah Green/Sun Valley Yellow models! :ohmy:

52-fan
04-09-2017, 12:39 PM
52-fan, if possible, would you please post the body & cowl numbers from the Speedster...Thanks! :)

If I go back I will get the numbers. I intended to get the info on all the cars, but it was so dark in the shed that I did not. The pictures make things look different because I was using a flash.

52-fan
04-09-2017, 12:40 PM
As bad as that Speedster looks, it's nice to see the pure originality of the car,...right down to the factory tach drive under the distributor cap, and the trunk mat specific to the Hialeah Green/Sun Valley Yellow models! :ohmy:

Exactly my first thought when I opened the hood. Everything just as it should be. I wish I could have seen the car when he bought it.

SN-60
04-09-2017, 05:44 PM
If I go back I will get the numbers. I intended to get the info on all the cars, but it was so dark in the shed that I did not. The pictures make things look different because I was using a flash.

Thanks very much!

52-fan
04-22-2017, 06:13 PM
Well, the sale was held today and the cars did not go to a scrap dealer. There were lots of people at the sale and several were interested in the Studes. The cars had been brought out nearer the house and had been hosed off. As we suspected the "Champion" was the nicest car. It actually turned out to have a V-8 with overdrive swapped in. I checked the floors on both sides and they were solid. The front fenders had a few very small bubbles showing. Unfortunately, the cars were parked in a low spot and we had lots of rain last night. There was a good 2" or more of water around the cars. I did not try to look at the hog troughs. :o
The Speedster was in worse shape than we could tell in the building. The Champion brought a $875 bid, the Speedster $900 and the parts Speedster $200, with a 10% bidders fee on each. I was surprised the bids, but several people were not Studebaker folks. The young man who bought the Speedster actually tried to sell it to me and another Studebaker person who was there. I think after we told him we felt it was a parts car he wished he hadn't bought it. :(

52-fan
04-22-2017, 06:28 PM
52-fan, if possible, would you please post the body & cowl numbers from the Speedster...Thanks! :)

The pictures I took of the serial numbers and body tags did not come out as well as I hoped. If I hadn't been standing in water, I would have gotten down close and tried to write the numbers down. The rod across the black cars body tag was stuck down and the serial number was painted over. I think the green/yellow car was 7154658 and the black car 715845_. Maybe someone else can manipulate the pictures and see if that's right.

studegary
04-22-2017, 07:33 PM
The pictures I took of the serial numbers and body tags did not come out as well as I hoped. If I hadn't been standing in water, I would have gotten down close and tried to write the numbers down. The rod across the black cars body tag was stuck down and the serial number was painted over. I think the green/yellow car was 7154658 and the black car 715845_. Maybe someone else can manipulate the pictures and see if that's right.

Both are early South Bend Presidents.

SN-60
04-22-2017, 11:10 PM
Thanks for making the effort to get those numbers......serial 7154658 is new to the roster index!.....WELL DONE!!! :!!: