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DougHolverson
09-28-2017, 04:11 PM
It's interesting on how the Bullet-Nose became the pop culture image of Studebaker. It's a two year only styling gimmick that's a bit atypical for a company that made a lot of blunt and boxy vehicles. 

But, I confess that seeing an old '51 around being nine years old in 1970 is what originally planted the seed that got me into Studebakers and by extension Googie style. "Oh, wow! That car looks like a rocket-ship! That's so cool!"

Bullet
09-28-2017, 04:56 PM
Totally agree! That’s what hooked me in 76. Salmon pick starlight headed into Newport, OR. Ask my Dad what it was because it was the most beautiful/ weird vehicle I had ever seen. 6 weeks later I owned one in central CA, just to be called to active duty the day after I drove it home from Rio Vista, CA. Collected parts for 4 years and now it’s in my garage and my avatar.

Mark

studegary
09-28-2017, 09:21 PM
I wouldn't call it a "styling gimmick". It was in keeping with the hot item of the time - jet planes. I believe that you had to be old enough in immediate postwar (WW II) America (when these cars were styled) to understand this phenomenon.

Studelarkrod
09-29-2017, 09:19 AM
Until 3-4 months ago, I only knew Studebaker cars for the bullet nose. I was up on the trucks as I am more of a truck guy then a car guy.
I think a bullet nose has to be my second Studebaker I buy....

Commander Eddie
09-29-2017, 10:10 AM
I grew up with Studebakers starting in the very early '50s. My dad owned a '50 Champion Starlight and then a '51 Land Cruiser. Honestly, I never cared for the bullet nose style. My first car was a '55 Commander Starlight Coupe and that was always the style I liked the best. That being said, after a long break from Studebaker, the first one I bought when I jumped back in was a '50 Commander Sedan and I found the style really grew on me. I have a much better appreciation for this break from the styling norm. You can see my car to the left. Unfortunately, I sold it to purchase my '55 President State Sedan. I wish I had been able to keep the '50. I really miss it.

Mike Sal
09-29-2017, 01:10 PM
As a kid growing up, my life's desire was to own a '50 Stude, a '54 Kaiser, and a '57 chevy. I have the 1rst two, but never did own a '57.....
Mike Sal

Noxnabaker
09-29-2017, 04:15 PM
In 1969 when I was 9 we were on x-mas holiday in Israel & one day I saw the weirdest car ever & I asked my dad what that grey car was & he said (with a dreamy voice full of respect for the family's favorite car-brand) "it's a Studebaker..." it took me quite some time to understand, since my Studebaker experiance so far had been mostly Hawks & our Lark.
(I was kinda in love with -57 Chevies too as a kid, then sudenly in the late 70's they were everywhere & I got bored...)

harry
09-29-2017, 07:00 PM
1949, 1950 Ford had a bullet nose grille.

Studedude
09-29-2017, 07:23 PM
As a kid growing up, my life's desire was to own a '50 Stude, a '54 Kaiser, and a '57 chevy. I have the 1rst two, but never did own a '57.....
Mike Sal
Of the three, you own the best two!!

jclary
09-29-2017, 08:00 PM
For me, as a child, we lived in a rather remote area, dead end road, as we say around here...down in a holler. We didn't even own a car until 1953, so seeing any car was not a daily thing until we got one and were able to venture out more frequently. A Studebaker was rare in my little part of the south. Seeing one was a visual treat for me. I loved to draw things, and the Bullet Nose Studebaker was a fun thing to try to recreate with a pencil and paper. Especially the Starlight Coupe. I would not only try to draw it accurately, but played with making it even more radical than it was. In the Auto Manufacturing world, the 1947 through 1949 post war Studebaker's probably had the most impact on post war car design. But for the public in general, I believe it was the radical bullet nose that stuck in their minds. I have met folks that thought the only Studebakers ever made were the bullet nose models. Totally ignorant of the rich history of the company, and the contributions made to the industrial/corporate structure for so many years.

My real education into all things Studebaker...didn't really begin until I bought my Studebaker truck. (IN 1974) And then, I bought the truck because I could afford it, not because it was a Studebaker. Every Studebaker I have owned has elicited the question..."What is that?" from people of all ages.

However, with my 1951 Bullet Nose, almost every age, except for the very youngest...instant recognition... "IT'S A STUDEBAKER!":)

rockne10
09-30-2017, 09:23 AM
1949, 1950 Ford had a bullet nose grille.There's a story about how Fords got the bullet nose before the Studebakers.

kurtruk
09-30-2017, 07:14 PM
There's a story about how Fords got the bullet nose before the Studebakers.

According to Richard Langworth:
"Styling for the '49 (Ford) was a competitive operation, as Ford solicited ideas from freelance designers as well as from its own design department. One of the competitors was George Walker, who employed a young stylist named Dick Caleal. The Walker team developed a package incorporating integral fenders. However, as the deadline approached, Caleal ran into trouble with the front and rear styling. According to Robert Bourke, then chief designer for the Lowey Studios at Studebaker, Caleal approached Bourke and his assistant Bob Koto for help. The Loewy people agreed to lend their friend Caleal whatever expertise they could on their own time. Late-night sessions at the Caleal home in Mishawaka, Indiana found the three men concocting a smooth-looking clay model with a bullet or spinner-type grille reminiscent of the later '50 Studebaker. According to Bourke, the quarter-scale was submitted to Walker, who put it under his arm and took it to Dearborn. It was accepted almost without alteration. The only significant change was in the taillights: horizontal lenses were used instead of the vertical taillights the team had planned. The design, of course, had none of the Studebaker's radical lines."

studegary
09-30-2017, 07:28 PM
According to Richard Langworth:
"Styling for the '49 (Ford) was a competitive operation, as Ford solicited ideas from freelance designers as well as from its own design department. One of the competitors was George Walker, who employed a young stylist named Dick Caleal. The Walker team developed a package incorporating integral fenders. However, as the deadline approached, Caleal ran into trouble with the front and rear styling. According to Robert Bourke, then chief designer for the Lowey Studios at Studebaker, Caleal approached Bourke and his assistant Bob Koto for help. The Loewy people agreed to lend their friend Caleal whatever expertise they could on their own time. Late-night sessions at the Caleal home in Mishawaka, Indiana found the three men concocting a smooth-looking clay model with a bullet or spinner-type grille reminiscent of the later '50 Studebaker. According to Bourke, the quarter-scale was submitted to Walker, who put it under his arm and took it to Dearborn. It was accepted almost without alteration. The only significant change was in the taillights: horizontal lenses were used instead of the vertical taillights the team had planned. The design, of course, had none of the Studebaker's radical lines."

I remember Bob Bourke telling me about this with slight variations. Caleal was going to be laid off from the Loewy Studio in South Bend. Caleal applied to Ford. Bourke liked Caleal and wanted to help Caleal out. Bourke and Koto worked on the proposed design at night on the Caleal kitchen table. That design is what got Caleal hired by Ford. Ford used the design with a change in the tail lights (I think the vertical light looked better.).

Many that worked for/with Bob Bourke at Loewy Studios at Studebaker went on to work at major international firms.

paul shuffleburg
10-01-2017, 09:41 AM
Bob Bourke interview is at http://wwwe.autolife.umd.umich.edu/Design/Bourke_interview.htm
Ford reference starts page 19.