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Cruzzar
04-01-2018, 11:56 AM
I have had several people respond to my question as to what year of Studebaker that I have (See previous post on "1953 or 1954 Studebaker?). This car was in storage when my uncle passed away in the late '80's. His sons told me he never did anything with it although he made sure it was protected from the elements. They are not 'car guys' and therefor asked if I was interested in it since I have owned a number of different street rods. While on vacation some 20 years ago I purchased it from the estate and trailered it back to California from Wisconsin where he had moved to after retiring from working for 30 years as an engineer at Studebaker. I have just returned from a visit to Wisconsin and talked to my cousins again as to the history of this car. From what I can get out of my cousins is that Studebaker had thoughts of building a station wagon for the 1954 year and to do so they pulled 2 short wheel based cars and 2 long wheel based cars off the assembly line in 1953 and made the wagon conversions. After evaluations they determined to produce the short wheel based car starting in 1954 and to junk the long wheel based wagons. It was my uncle's responsibility to take the cars out to the junk pile. One was delivered to some place in a forest and the second one was commandeered and ended up on his property. Several years ago I started to work on making this car driveable. The engine and driveline as well as seats and other items had been removed before it was to be scrapped. Not realizing what I had I started to modify it with different driveline, custom bucket seats and a top chop since the roof appeared to me to be too tall. Here are some pictures as requested (please don't shoot me) of the car presently and a pic of the metal tag on the cowl. Sorry, but I don't have a lot of room in my shop to get good pictures. I can provide more pictures if needed to verify what I have.
71483714847148571486

8E45E
04-01-2018, 11:58 AM
Purchasing the Production Order from the Studebaker National Museum will solve a lot of the mystery.

Craig

1954khardtop
04-01-2018, 02:50 PM
My thoughts were it was somebody's custom, combining a c/k nose and a wagon body. Don't know about the story, but since you've chopped it already, finish it and enjoy it. Looks like it will be a nice ride.

Corley
04-01-2018, 03:00 PM
53 non-sedan type grill bars, who knows on the rest, but this could be really cool when done. I suggest an LS for gomation, hidden under the hood. What a sleeper!😁

r1lark
04-01-2018, 03:31 PM
71485

Body tag decode:
4H = 1953 Commander
D5 = Station Wagon with Regal trim
2 = second D5 body

Very interesting.........:)

Dwain G.
04-01-2018, 03:47 PM
I think I know the answer to this!

rockne10
04-01-2018, 04:09 PM
71488.........

abkco
04-01-2018, 04:18 PM
April Fools!

1954khardtop
04-02-2018, 08:34 AM
Dawned on me late last night, good one !

Cruzzar
04-02-2018, 10:36 AM
You guys aren't any fun. And I thought I had built a pretty good case. Hope to get this project painted this summer, wired and then upholstered by the start of next year. Sorry Corley, no LS but it will have a Coyote out of a Mustang GT (that was really a challenge to get it to fit). Just to ease people's sentiments about cutting up a good Studebaker, the wagon donor was a rust disaster from the mid body down and was destined to the scrap pile, so in a way I saved a Studebaker from the recycle, just don't ask me about the condition of the 53 coupe that inherited the wagon's roof.

Captain Billy
04-02-2018, 10:46 AM
Billy likes

junior
04-02-2018, 10:48 AM
I love it, gonna be sweet when its done! You are a brave man going with Coyote power, so much more work than an LS swap...at least from what I've read. What color are you planning to paint it? Cheers, Junior.

r1lark
04-02-2018, 10:51 AM
You guys aren't any fun. And I thought I had built a pretty good case.

So where did the body tag come from? :)

Cruzzar
04-02-2018, 12:09 PM
There is a member on here that can make or reproduce a body tag. His name is Jerry Kurtz and I want to thank him for making the tag for this car. The color of the car will be black, I am currently gapping the doors and blocking out body panels (I am getting to old for this). I figured that if they can put a Chrysler hemi in these things I should be able to put a coyote in there-------wrong. EFI intake is high and in the front requiring the motor to be as low as possible with the intake snorkel going straight forward over the radiator where the hood latch used to be. I had to move the alternator and reverse mount it on custom bracket on the front side of the engine. Also, do you know that nobody makes a set of headers to fit a coyote in a Studebaker coupe. I guess there are not enough crazy people out there like me that does these mods, so I had to make my own. I have pictures if anyone is interested. I have managed to solve these problems and look forward to putting this project back together for the last time.

Cowtown Commander
04-02-2018, 12:35 PM
Great Ptoject and wonderful April Fools prank. Keep us posted on your progress.

70Avanti2
04-02-2018, 01:08 PM
Yes more pictures

rockne10
04-02-2018, 01:55 PM
Now...if you can just get the Museum Archives to supply a build sheet that matches Jerry's body tag...;):!:

8E45E
04-02-2018, 02:08 PM
Now...if you can just get the Museum Archives to supply a build sheet that matches Jerry's body tag...;):!:

RQ can fake you one in full color!!

Craig

S2Deluxe
04-02-2018, 03:48 PM
71485


Body tag decode:
4H = 1953 Commander
D5 = Station Wagon with Regal trim
2 = second D5 body

Very interesting.........:)

Forgive me if this seems overly critical, maybe it's just the way it looks in the picture, but that body tag has a little bit more of a home made look to it, than any of the original factory tags, I have seen and it's not held on with the correct Philips head screws, that were used. It looks a little bit too rumpled and like the edges were cut with tin snips? I'm sure that I wouldn't even be able to come close to doing half as well, if I attempted to fabricate one myself?


71484

I don't see the gas filler door in this picture, where's the filler pipe located now?


71486

I don't see pictures that show either of the doors? I assume, you do have them, don't you? It looks like it still has the original coupe wheelbase. it's hard to tell for sure from just these pics though. Does it? This seems like such a Cool project! Thank you so much for sharing what you have. Please, keep posting your progress and sharing as much of the details as you can?

Mark

thunderations
04-02-2018, 05:39 PM
The first 2 pictures show it with doors.



I don't see pictures that show either of the doors?

S2Deluxe
04-02-2018, 06:21 PM
The first 2 pictures show it with doors.

You may be correct, but I can hardly even make them out.

Mark

Cruzzar
04-02-2018, 10:49 PM
The body tag is a very good recreation. I shot it with some flat black paint and sprinkled it with some bondo dust to make it look old and attached it with two screws that I had laying around. The edges are very clean and unbent. Jerry did a nice job on it.
The gas filler door has been filled in. I made the driver's side rear taillight to be released and pivoted to the side with hinges from an old VW bug's glovebox (like my old '56 Chevy). It is released by a small lever that is partially hidden under the taillight itself. The gas filler neck is out of a 2013 Mustang GT (I bought a wreck to get the engine). Ford has a "no cap" filler neck, you just put the nozzle into it and pump the gas. This means you don't have to reach down inside the fender area to unscrew a cap. There is not enough room to get your hand down there and twist a gas cap off.
I had to move the alternator from it's stock location because of it interferring with the frame rail. I made an aluminum bracket that positions it to align with the inner belt. It barely fits between the electric fan shroud and the block.
I have gone to a newer style, electric outside mirror. I could not get the vent windows to be operational, so they will be mounted stationary. I will have a Vintage Air AC/heater and the outside air vents in the fenders will be electrically operated.
Here are some pictures of the taillight, alternator and side view of body with doors.

715087150971510

53 Commander
04-03-2018, 12:31 AM
The Conestoga was produced for the 1954 & 1955 model years, The 54 & early 55 had the straight w/s. The C/K like front would be the 54 and the front clip is like the sedan. Keep your pics coming.

56H-Y6
04-03-2018, 11:18 AM
Hi

I would like to see someone build a '54 four door station wagon based on the Commander Land Cruiser, that would be an interesting custom.

Steve

jpepper
04-03-2018, 12:58 PM
Good choice of the Ford motor. It is dimensionally (bore and stroke) nearly identical to an R3.

Alchemist
04-03-2018, 02:08 PM
Hello Cruzzar; Just wondering how the quarter panels come off. Can you include a picture of a panel and one from the rear? I have a '55 Conestoga and did not realize that the quarters were removable. Any one else?
Thanks
Francis Prefontaine
Rolly View, Alberta. Just a bit South of Edmonton

Cruzzar
04-03-2018, 10:08 PM
The quarter panels on all Studebaker wagons ('54-'58) are part of the body structure and do not unbolt. The reason mine unbolts is because it is basically a '53 coupe (which the rear fenders unbolt) with a wagon side windows, roof and tail gates adapted to fit. I am using a '64 GT frame but still had to do a lot of internal bracing to put rigidity back into the wagon's structure. Another point regarding the rear fenders is that the 'scallop' or whatever you call the recessed sheet metal detail on the wagon, stops in the rear quarter panel while mine stops in the door area like all '53-'55 C and K cars. Take a look at the previous posted door picture.

Cruzzar
04-03-2018, 10:33 PM
I would like to thank Radio Roy for letting me take measurements on a coupe and wagon that he has. It allowed me to take and compare measurements before I ever started on this project. I was at his house with a friend to pick up his radio that Roy had rebuilt and he graciously allowed me to take as many measurements as I needed. He probably doesn't even remember me.

Captain Billy
04-04-2018, 08:10 AM
Great build...I wish I had thought of doing this...I love wagons of all types.

I too have motorized the vent doors in the fenders as well as the fuel filler behind the tail light. I am using actuators in a couple of other places as well and hope to get this all sorted out in the next few weeks.

Keep the progress posted

Alchemist
04-04-2018, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the explanation Cruzzar. I have examined my wagon and likewise the body manual and, as you explain, there is no evidence that the panels on a wagon might be removable. Look forward to future pictures. Certainly is an above average creative build.
Regards
Francis Prefontaine

1953champcoupe
04-04-2018, 10:27 AM
I like it and am impressed with your fabrication skills, nice job. That's a station wagon that I could own!

Cruzzar
04-05-2018, 10:50 PM
I have had several PM sent to me regarding a desire to build their own version of this style of wagon. This was not an easy build. The most problematic area is the interface of the windshield, roof and door frames. This interface required me to relocate the roll up window tracks slightly. While this does not sound too drastic it took a ton of time. Please call me and I will be glad to discusss what problems that you can expect to encounter if you take on a project like this. Here is a picture of the headers that I built for this project. I will get a picture of the engine installation sometime in the next few days.
7155871559

pinehurstbob
04-06-2018, 10:09 AM
Nice job on the headers. You can borrow my mig and do my welding any time. And thanks for sharing. It is a unique and interesting custom.
Bob