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View Full Version : Looking for Studebaker restoration shops in Tri-State Area



JayArchbold
11-17-2017, 08:25 AM
Hi,
I'm new to the forum. I have a 1957 President, I have had the car for about 10 years now but was bought new by my grandparents. I have rebuilt the 289 V8 and had the Trans rebuilt but over the years I have not been able to finish the car due to not having the time or a proper garage to work on the car in. I want to finish up the car so I can drive and enjoy it on weekends. I am looking for a shop or specialist that can finish the project. The main concerns I want addressed is replacing the suspension items, disc brake upgrades, and also the interior needs a lot of work. The car is located in Hudson Valley NY so I would be looking for shops up to a 3 hour radius that have experience with Studebakers.
68627686286862968630

JoeHall
11-17-2017, 08:52 AM
Hope you have deep pockets, and do not mind waiting 5-10 years for the restoration to be completed. Much better to take the job on yourself, if you can possibly do so. You will learn a lot about your car, 'A' to 'Z', and have an appreciation for it that money cannot buy.

Michidan
11-17-2017, 08:55 AM
You sure have a nice example to start with - I like it as is!

Blue 15G
11-17-2017, 09:27 AM
You sure have a nice example to start with - I like it as is!

Agree 100%. I like your car a lot. I'd be proud to drive it as is!

JayArchbold
11-17-2017, 09:35 AM
I am not looking to do any body work or change anything I just want to get it up to safe driving condition. All the rubber on the suspension bits are original and dry rotting away (Not something I really want to do myself). I also want to upgrade to the turner disc brakes cause 4 wheel drum just doesn't inspire much confidence haha. I'd love to do the work myself but living in an apartment complex in NJ I street park and I could work on it on the street but I don't want to do that. I have put a lot of my own work into the car when I was living with my parents and did all the work myself along with a neighbor who showed me most of what I know now about cars. But I don't have time to go up there and work on it anymore so I want to get it road worthy so I can enjoy it, it is like 80% complete.

JayArchbold
11-17-2017, 09:40 AM
Thanks. I am really lucky to have an example that was well preserved with no structural rust in the north east only very minimal surface rust

70Avanti2
11-17-2017, 09:54 AM
What you want is not really a restoration. You dont need a restoration shop. Try going to a old car show or club meeting. Someone should know someone capable and willing to do the work for a fair price.

rusty nut garage
11-17-2017, 10:24 AM
Restoration from a shop will likely run 60K to 200k. Find a local garage with some old mechanics (if they call themselves technicians you don't want them), have the suspension and brakes done. Drive it and then decide how much you want to put into the interior and paint . Its a solid looking car from my where I sit at my desk.


Hi,
I'm new to the forum. I have a 1957 President, I have had the car for about 10 years now but was bought new by my grandparents. I have rebuilt the 289 V8 and had the Trans rebuilt but over the years I have not been able to finish the car due to not having the time or a proper garage to work on the car in. I want to finish up the car so I can drive and enjoy it on weekends. I am looking for a shop or specialist that can finish the project. The main concerns I want addressed is replacing the suspension items, disc brake upgrades, and also the interior needs a lot of work. The car is located in Hudson Valley NY so I would be looking for shops up to a 3 hour radius that have experience with Studebakers.
68627686286862968630

JayArchbold
11-17-2017, 10:33 AM
So I misspoke in my original post. I don't want a restoration I guess I am looking for any shops or mechanics that specialize in studebakers in the NY/NJ or PA area to get some work done. No body work or paint but possibly carpet/ reupholstery, and mostly brakes and suspension and some engine tune ups work.

TWChamp
11-17-2017, 10:34 AM
That's a very nice example of a really nice original survivor, and you are lucky that it has been in the family since new. Your brakes will stop the car just fine. If it was my car, I'd grease all the fittings, wax the paint and enjoy it as is. Are the rubber parts really bad, or do they just appear aged on the outer edges?

How many miles on the car?

JayArchbold
11-17-2017, 11:16 AM
It has around 60k miles. It still has the NY registration from 1964 I think on the windshield, It was parked I think because of a seized engine. I got the car around 2003 it had been sitting under a tarp in a barn for 40 years. I rebuilt the engine and had the block machined, I also had the transmission rebuilt, replaced all the fuel and brake lines, cleaned the gas tank, flushed the radiator changed all the rubber hoses in the engine bay. Then I went off to college and kept the car in my parents garage turning it over and taking it around the block a few times a year and now I just want to put some more work into it so I'm looking for any shops or mechanics in the area to get some work done. I have some money set aside to put into it so I'm just reaching out for some contacts/people/shops that would be able to help.


That's a very nice example of a really nice original survivor, and you are lucky that it has been in the family since new. Your brakes will stop the car just fine. If it was my car, I'd grease all the fittings, wax the paint and enjoy it as is. Are the rubber parts really bad, or do they just appear aged on the outer edges?

How many miles on the car?

JimKB1MCV
11-17-2017, 11:43 AM
Jay, thats a pretty nice car as it sits.
It sounds like you already have done a lot of the work it needs.
I think we all understand the time constraints a young family entail, but what I would do in your situation is first, join the Studebaker Drivers Club and a local chapter and make some local contacts to get some on the spot advise and hopefully some hands-on help.
The money you have put aside will evaporate pretty quickly at a $85 (or more!) hourly shop rate.
At 60,000 miles you may or may not need extensive front-end work, depending on how well the lubrication schedule was adhered to over the years.
Your brakes will probably need attention but be aware the disc conversion won't make it stop like a modern car. If you drive the car in traffic, you'll need to learn defensive driving skills.
All the best with the car, it looks like a good start for a driving Studebaker.
JimKB1MCV

creegster
11-17-2017, 12:38 PM
I cant provide any recommendation for shops, however I had all my suspension bushings replaced on my 59 lark for about $1800 here in Los Angeles (front and rear). That includes the parts, too. I realize that is not a direct comparison, but it should provide some context for the guys who are talking about a $200K job.

Looks like a great car that just needs some TLC.

56GH
11-17-2017, 12:38 PM
At one time, Abe Witmer and family had a repair shop in Ephrata, PA, Witmer's Automotive, 500 N. Farmersville, Rd. They are experts on Studebakers and owned a few of them, including a beautifully restored 56J. I had work done there twice long ago but I don't know if they're still in business. They were knowledgeable and fair. They used to have tables at the various Studebaker meets too. Is Ephrata too far for you to travel?

PS
I once bought a 1957 President Classic in Alabama, flew there, and drove it back to Massachusetts where we once lived. We had a motor mount fail just outside of Lancaster and limped to Ephrata where Abe took good care of us. He even had another '57 President Classic parts car in his back yard that we took advantage of!

68633

jts359
11-17-2017, 12:55 PM
Jay, Give me a call Ed Jones 732 600 3710 , I may be able to help , Ed

Dwain G.
11-17-2017, 01:16 PM
Whether you knew it or not, you are a member of a very exclusive circle! That is, owner (past or present) of a two-door President.
Go to a local SDC chapter meeting and solicit recommendations of a good repair shop.

JayArchbold
11-17-2017, 01:20 PM
I would like to find more information because I know it is almost impossible to find information about a 2-door president in 1957. I know it is out there somewhere but in all my searching it seems to be a rare body style.


Whether you knew it or not, you are a member of a very exclusive circle! That is, owner (past or present) of a two-door President.
Go to a local SDC chapter meeting and solicit recommendations of a good repair shop.

Hallabutt
11-17-2017, 02:39 PM
The front end work should be pretty straight forward. Using a shop that has a good reputation and is used to working on trucks is where I would start to look. Why do you think it necessary to "upgrade" to Turner brakes? Your car, when new, had some of the best brakes in the industry. A car with a rebuilt original brake system and driven in a reasonable manner, is safe on today's roads. Unfortunately some of the new hard brake material is just not up to the task.

Interior should not be that difficult. Shop around for bids from some small upholstery shops, for the work to be done. Taking nothing away from the Studebaker interior providers, I have found that getting your upholstery material, and having a local shop do the work can expedite the process, and probably save money. I would start by sending some samples of you original interior material to SMS, in Canby Or. These people are fantastic, world renown, and can often identically match your original.

TWChamp
11-17-2017, 06:27 PM
To learn more about your car, besides several of the smart people on this site, be sure to buy the shop manual for your car. I try to buy the body and shop manuals for each year Studebaker I own, as well as a part manual so you can find the correct parts numbers.

In fact I was looking through my 1950 shop manual this past week and learned a couple things I didn't know about my oil cap and air filter.

rockne10
11-17-2017, 06:51 PM
Whether you knew it or not, you are a member of a very exclusive circle! That is, owner (past or present) of a two-door President.
Go to a local SDC chapter meeting and solicit recommendations of a good repair shop.YES! If you have had this for ten years and not joined your local SDC chapter you are losing out on exactly the resources you appear to be soliciting.

StudeRich
11-17-2017, 07:02 PM
I would like to find more information because I know it is almost impossible to find information about a 2-door president in 1957. I know it is out there somewhere but in all my searching it seems to be a rare body style.

Really there is nothing to learn about a 2 Door '57 President that is any different than the "W" Body 4 Door Sedan, unless you are working on the Rear Quarter Windows, and that info is in the 1956 Shop Manual and the 1957 Supplement Shop Manual.

The rarity of course IS what it is, there could not possibly be more than 10 remaining in the entire World!

My Son and I have collected Six '57 Sedans and Wagons, including a F2 Custom Champion 2 Door Sedan and a F4 Deluxe Commander 2 Door Sedan, but no President 2 Doors, only a President Broadmoor 4 Door Wagon.
We know of (3) F6 President 2 Doors in the U.S. and your Coppertone one makes 4.

Your Body Tag on the Right side of the Firewall under the Hood, most likely says: 57H-F6, "Regal".
The F6 is the fancier Trim Level 2 Door with better Interior, there were 836 Total Built including Export, Canada and South Bend.

The Deluxe Presidents F4, (Lower Trim Level Interior) only had Production of 8 Total.

Here are 2 of the 3, The 2nd. one is "Taupe" (Actually Rose and White:
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studegary
11-17-2017, 07:36 PM
In the Hudson Valley, there use to be a shop in Cold Spring that primarily worked on Studebakers, but it and its operator are both now gone. There is a guy in Pawling that works on Studebakers exclusively, but his name does not come to me at this minute.

63t-cab
11-17-2017, 08:22 PM
Gary, are You thinking of Ted Jensen ?


In the Hudson Valley, there use to be a shop in Cold Spring that primarily worked on Studebakers, but it and its operator are both now gone. There is a guy in Pawling that works on Studebakers exclusively, but his name does not come to me at this minute.

studegary
11-17-2017, 08:43 PM
Gary, are You thinking of Ted Jensen ?

Yes, thank you. His name just didn't come to me at the moment.

Studebaker1965
11-17-2017, 09:52 PM
Witmer Automotive on Farmersville rd is very much in business and working on Studebakers. I'd recommend them for the work you're looking for.

Nate

56H-Y6
11-18-2017, 07:28 AM
Hi

What a nice, original, well-preserved and RARE '57 President two door sedan you're fortunate to have! As noted, only 836 total were built and seem to have a low survival rate. How you choose to preserve this gem should take some careful consideration. Unlike years ago, preserved original unrestored cars, with their factory applied paint, upholstery and chrome gently aged, are more appreciated and valued than ever before, your car is an ideal candidate for that. Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) even has a judging class for preserved, original cars: Historic Preservation of Original Features (HPOF). Your President is a prefect fit to that class.

Restoration shops are in a word, Expensive! Unless you have very deep pockets and a car of very high value when completed, sending your President off to one for full restoration would be a good way to deplete the family fortune in a hurry. There are shops that appreciate the original car, will do just what is necessary to keep the car functional and assist in its preservation, your best route here. One that can be recommended is Ross Miller in Parkton, MD. He is a highly knowledgeable, first class mechanic with both Studebakers and Packards, owns many himself.

One more proviso: although your '57 President two door sedan is a rare car, rarity doesn't always guarantee high resale value as a collector car. A full restoration on it would very quickly put you under water in value versus restoration cost. Of the sedan and wagon series from 1953-'58, your President two door sedan would be one of the higher valued but only in comparison to other body styles in that series. No '57 President, be it the long wheelbase Classic, standard wheelbase four door or your rare two door is a high demand collector car. This is true of most all sedan series from the years cited. As such, they are a great value for the collector who recognizes their intrinsic values, is not concerned with ultimately a large return on any investment made.

Anyway, go carefully with your rare President, drive and enjoy it, share it with other Studebaker folks who know and appreciate what it is. Good luck and keep us apprised of your progress with it.

Steve

JayArchbold
11-21-2017, 12:58 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I will be looking into/ reaching out to the different people some of you have recommended over the next week or so. I will keep you all posted on the progress of my President and will maybe meet some of you at future meets.

Thanks,
Jason

jackb
11-22-2017, 06:37 AM
how about a school shop ?