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Desert Explorer
06-06-2018, 10:30 PM
Hey everyone. Been quite a while since I have posted. I have been dealing with kidney disease (PKD) and surgeries (having a kidney removed and bring blessed with a living donor and a kidney transplant). I'm still recovering, but getting much better.
Unfortunately, this means I have not had time or ability to work on my 55 Commander (body #8). I would dearly love to be able to drive it to the International Meet in Tacoma, even if it was only partly finished, as it's only a 20 minute drive from me. So I am sending out my wish to my SDC family, to see if anyone might be able to help. Ideally local help getting it in shape, but if you are distant and want to help my friends and family have set up a "go fund me" account to help with expenses (see link below). The medical costs of course have been and will continue to be tough. Also my employer decided to eliminate my position while I was on medical leave not long before I would be cleared to return.
https://www.gofundme.com/deevyper

drrotor
06-06-2018, 11:35 PM
What area in Seattle do you live in?
What are the specific tasks and parts needed to make your car drivable for the meet?
What model is your car and how is it equipped?

Silverplate
06-07-2018, 06:29 AM
Congratulations on the Kidney Transplant. I had a life saving kidney transplant twenty years ago next month. Miracles are awesome! Thanks to donors saving lives.

Desert Explorer
06-07-2018, 08:54 PM
Congratulations on the Kidney Transplant. I had a life kidney transplant twenty years ago next month. Miracles are awesome! Thanks to donors saving lives.
Thanks so much! It certainly is a cherished gift, and I feel so blessed and am so thankful. Had been on dialysis for a while, and the new kidney makes all the difference in the world.

Desert Explorer
06-07-2018, 09:22 PM
Someone needs to actually meet this person before sending any money to this gofundme account. The wording of the request sounds a bit flowery for most people. May be legit and may be not.
I would be glad to meet with someone, SDC has always been a great people experience. I have been a member since 2009.
Also I imagine many folks on the forum will likely remember me though I have been quiet for a while. Among other things, I am the guy, with many thanks to Mike Lenyo for his help, who coordinated our access to the Proving Grounds Graveyard during the International meet several years ago. The original goal was to try and retrieve the Desert Explorer prototype, as it was thought to be one of the most solid and likely candidates by Mike and others from the team that rescued the Woodie. Sadly, as you may have seen from the post on the results I made back then, it was too far gone. I still do have the rear fenders safely tucked away for "someday". Chuck Tubins has seen my 55 quite some time back, just before my PKD got the better of me, so he has met me in person.
Anyway, my apologies if my friends and family made the gofundme text too "flowery". I had thought they did a good job at the time. Really, though the contributions there are helpful, my goal here is to see if "Old #8" as we affectionately call the 55 Commander due to its glorious single digit body number, can get some expert help in time to make the Tacoma meet.
In any case, I am more than glad to help clarify that I am a "Legit" member of the SDC family in any meaningful way that makes sense.

Big Smooth
06-07-2018, 09:23 PM
Even if you don't get the car done make sure to come to the meet. You are only a few miles away. Hope you feel great!

TWChamp
06-07-2018, 09:31 PM
If the car has mouse crap, I would use a shop vac to suck it all up, then empty it out in the field and be sure your nose is upwind from the vacuum when it's dumped. Setting for years will mean the master and wheel cylinders need to be gone through, and the 3 rubber hoses may need to be replaced. Any rubber fuel lines will likely need to be replaced also, but as far as needing a lot of mechanical repairs from setting, that may not be true, unless it was poorly stored and rusted things up.

I start with a complete brake job, check all fluids, change the oil, check the fuel pump and quality of the gas, then try to start it. I then grease it and lube all moving parts and check things over while greasing it.

Desert Explorer
06-07-2018, 11:58 PM
What area in Seattle do you live in?
What are the specific tasks and parts needed to make your car drivable for the meet?
What model is your car and how is it equipped?
I'm actually in the Bonney Lake area, close to Puyallup/Tacoma, about 40 min outside of Seattle. The car is a Regal Coupe (trim code 8106). V8, Manual w OD, wet air cleaner, Climatizer, tinted glass. Its complete and fairly low miles, but it has been out of service since the late 60s, so probably needs a fairly complete mechanical going through.
Sadly I can't even clean out the interior as it would be very dangerous for me with the lowered immune system due to the meds I ha e to take (so I don't reject the kidney).

Desert Explorer
06-08-2018, 12:02 AM
Even if you don't get the car done make sure to come to the meet. You are only a few miles away. Hope you feel great!
I will for sure go to the meet! Can't wait. Its just that I don't imagine the international meet will be back in western Washington anytime soon, so it may he a long time before I get the chance to being my car again. I am even a America's Car Musem member, great place!!

Desert Explorer
06-08-2018, 12:15 AM
If the car has mouse crap, I would use a shop vac to suck it all up, then empty it out in the field and be sure your nose is upwind from the vacuum when it's dumped. Setting for years will mean the master and wheel cylinders need to be gone through, and the 3 rubber hoses may need to be replaced. Any rubber fuel lines will likely need to be replaced also, but as far as needing a lot of mechanical repairs from setting, that may not be true, unless it was poorly stored and rusted things up.

I start with a complete brake job, check all fluids, change the oil, check the fuel pump and quality of the gas, then try to start it. I then grease it and lube all moving parts and check things over while greasing it.
I am sure that all is very true, and sounds like a great approach. The car was stored most of its down time in a basement garage, but it did spend a year or few after that in a shed sorta near the ocean, so the motor could be locked up. As far as the rat mess (which it has to some degree) I am sure that's a good method. Sadly it's a huge risk for me to do it because of the lowered immune system. Docs have warned me against such things, could get really sick and even loose the kidney. As much as I want to be able to drive the car to the meet, I can't disrespect the wonderful gift I have been blessed with by risking it.
Part of why I am reaching out.

Desert Explorer
06-08-2018, 03:12 PM
If for some reason I can't coordinate getting it done by the Tacoma meet, would love to make it happen by IDYSD.

S2Deluxe
06-11-2018, 09:29 AM
The car is a Regal Coupe (trim code 8106). V8, Manual w OD, wet air cleaner, Climatizer, tinted glass. Its complete and fairly low miles, but it has been out of service since the late 60s, so probably needs a fairly complete mechanical going through.

It sounds, like it came nicely equipped?


"Old #8" as we affectionately call the 55 Commander due to its glorious single digit body number,

Does it still have it's rare original 224" V8?

Mark

Desert Explorer
06-17-2018, 11:12 PM
It sounds, like it came nicely equipped?



Does it still have it's rare original 224" V8?

Mark
Yes it is pretty nicely equipped. The production order even listed whitewall tires.
Yes it has its original motor, it did also come with a bunch of boxed nos Studebaker parts, a complete 289 engine and some Hawk chrome parts. I was thinking I could gift the bulk of anything unneeded and the Cool stude packaging to whomever helps.

Anne F. Goodman
06-18-2018, 11:49 AM
We would come help if we were closer. Hopefully will get to meet you in Tacoma. Surely there is help close by if not maybe a ride in a Studebaker to the Meet. For sure a ride in a Studebaker once you are at the meet. Good to hear that you are doing better,

Desert Explorer
06-19-2018, 05:30 PM
We would come help if we were closer. Hopefully will get to meet you in Tacoma. Surely there is help close by if not maybe a ride in a Studebaker to the Meet. For sure a ride in a Studebaker once you are at the meet. Good to hear that you are doing better,

Thanks Anne, appreciate the sentiment greatly. Look forward to finally getting to meet you in Tacoma. Can't wait! Would love a ride in one of your beautiful Studes.

Desert Explorer
07-04-2018, 04:50 PM
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the gofundme for my kidney transplant. It is so appreciated when the extended SDC family comes together to help each other. The fund has reached a bit over 10% of the goal. I feel truly blessed. Both because of the gracious living donor came forward and literally saved my life, and because so many caring folks have stepped up to help with the medical expenses in ways large and small. With luck we can get to the goal. More on the progress with 55 Commander body#8 soon.

Desert Explorer
07-10-2018, 09:33 PM
This is 55 Commander body #8. Several of you have asked to see photos in your PM responses and the notes with your gofundme donations to my kidney fund. I have had some feedback from folks I described the car to that think it may not be worth the restoration. Between the fact of its single digit production number, and the feedback on my other thread I'm finding it hard to bekueve, but of course want to head expert advice. I invite your thoughts as well as anyone who really wants to help.
http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu78/MadMaxCars/1955%20Commander/DriverRear.jpg

http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu78/MadMaxCars/1955%20Commander/InteriorFront.jpg

http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu78/MadMaxCars/1955%20Commander/55Commander21.jpg

studegary
07-10-2018, 10:28 PM
Good luck with your project.
The #8 would be for that particular body style, not all Commanders.

Desert Explorer
07-17-2018, 09:39 PM
Thanks Gary. Yeah it's gonna be fun. I think even though it's for the particular body style, I get the feeling that there are very few single digit body numbers on any studies still around.

Desert Explorer
08-01-2018, 09:13 PM
Some feedback on getting is it may not be worth doing. i find that hard to believe between condition, low production number, and completeness, but I do appreciate any honest input even if it's not positive.

Desert Explorer
09-25-2018, 03:54 PM
I do love this car, and want to see it restored. Sadly, the thought of selling it has crossed my mind. As the SN#8 it deserves top treatment. I don't think there is a lower SN 55 Commander left on the planet, though I would love to hear from anyone if they know different. I welcome everyone's thoughts.

studegary
09-25-2018, 07:35 PM
I do love this car, and want to see it restored. Sadly, the thought of selling it has crossed my mind. As the SN#8 it deserves top treatment. I don't think there is a lower SN 55 Commander left on the planet, though I would love to hear from anyone if they know different. I welcome everyone's thoughts.

We have gone through this before. It is not Serial Number 8 ("SN#8"). It is number eight of that body type. Still a low number and early in the production.

StudeRich
09-26-2018, 02:31 AM
What you have to understand, is that this Body COULD have been installed on a Frame Several Hundred or Thousand Serial Numbers of all body types of Commanders later than when the Body was produced.

The CAR Serial number is what dictates how early in the Production run the Body fell on the Final Line to become a CAR.

Desert Explorer
09-30-2018, 02:36 PM
We have gone through this before. It is not Serial Number 8 ("SN#8"). It is number eight of that body type. Still a low number and early in the production.

Apologies. I do understand that from previous comments. I will endeavor to use "BN#8" to avoid any confusion going forward. So 8th 1955 Commander Coupe then (presumably unless bodies were used out of order as pointed out). Making the assumption that the trim level is not applicable at least to this particular matter.

Still leaves open my request for anyone aware of a lower "BODY NUMBER" 1955 Commander (and for my curiosity ANY body style with a single digit BODY NUMBER) to let me know its out there. Also for thoughts on the rarity and worthiness of restoring the car. Like I said I have gotten some feedback that it may not be worth the time, but if its is worth it I would love to see it restored and go to the SNM or other establishment as a bit of legacy to leave behind one day.

How many singe digit body number cars of any year and model can be left? There would have only been 9 of any given one to start with.

Desert Explorer
09-30-2018, 02:45 PM
What you have to understand, is that this Body COULD have been installed on a Frame Several Hundred or Thousand Serial Numbers of all body types of Commanders later than when the Body was produced.

The CAR Serial number is what dictates how early in the Production run the Body fell on the Final Line to become a CAR.

Agreed that is theoretically possible it could have been "Several Hundred or Thousand" off, and to a greater degree quite likely that the 8th body did not fall on the 8th frame but one or more earlier or later. I have the production order from SNM right here, however it is not clear to me how to decode the SN and determine where in the production queue of this particular body style it fell. Would love input on that to clarify once and for all.

StudeRich
09-30-2018, 04:00 PM
/Cut/Making the assumption that the trim level is not applicable at least to this particular matter./Cut/

No, this car is only #8 of the C5 '55 Commander Regal Coupe BODIES built on the Body line.

The normal Line startup was August, but the '55 startup in 1954 was a screwed up year with at least 2 UAW Strikes including? a Steel Strike making introduction for Mid Sept. late on some models and Qty's.

(1) To determine about how late in Production it is, you look at the Final Assembly Date.

(2) Look at the Serial Number of THE CAR and compare it to the Starting Serial Number of ALL '55 Commanders located in Both the Studebaker Body and Chassis Parts Catalogs to get a rough idea how EARLY the actual Car is.

UPDATE: I looked it up for you.
South Bend: .8380601

Los Angeles: 8841201

Canada: ......8957601

(3) Subtract it from Your Serial Number.

Desert Explorer
10-02-2018, 12:32 AM
Ok, so the Regal trim is also a narrowing factor? So the body number is not just for C5 Commander Coupe bodies.... OK got it. Seems really coounter intuitive, with the thought that the same coupe body could have been completed with diffrent trim if I understand corrrectly. Still I will take that as gospel, assuming I understand correctly.

Early December completion date, and using the formula above it's just over the 100th built.

So, does the body number not have any bearing on the ultimate value of the car?

Still trying to determine if this would be a worthy project to complete and donate to an applicable museum some day.

StudeRich
10-02-2018, 02:36 AM
I thought this was as clear as it gets:

"No, this car is only #8 of the C5 '55 Commander Regal Coupe BODIES built on the Body line."

I think that says it all, just happens to be REVERSE of what you are saying though.

That means that yes #8 of C3 '55 Coupes also existed when New, and yes I think it ads to your "perceived rarity" of your C5.

The Body number has NO bearing on the Cars Value at all, the Serial Number does have some importance and effect on value, because after all, it IS THE CAR, but not really a Huge amount.

What matters is the Cars CONDITION, Condition, condition.
Just like a House's Location, is THE most important factor to determine value.

mbstude
10-02-2018, 06:25 AM
So, does the body number not have any bearing on the ultimate value of the car?



None whatsoever. It’s a neat bit of trivia, but that’s about it.

Skip Lackie
10-02-2018, 06:56 AM
Stude's car production system was not a black box -- lots of people worked on the line and some have written about it. Bodies were stockpiled in advance of needs; more of the popular body styles were made in expectation of greater demand. They were stored (vertically) on special racks and pulled from storage as needed. To make assembly easier, the line normally assembled short runs of the same model before switching to a different model. Because of the way the bodies were stored and pulled, the order was not keyed to body number. The only thing that can be said is that bodies built early in the year would tend to get used early in the year, since the company did not have an infinite amount of storage space. Bodies were numbered solely so the company could keep dealers informed of running changes to bodies that might effect which replacement part to use on a given vehicle.

Desert Explorer
10-04-2018, 04:15 PM
None whatsoever. It’s a neat bit of trivia, but that’s about it.

Kinda Sad. Not totally surprised though. It is not uncommon to find that something is different in the Stude hobby than it is in any other branch of classic car collection.

- - - Updated - - -


Stude's car production system was not a black box -- lots of people worked on the line and some have written about it. Bodies were stockpiled in advance of needs; more of the popular body styles were made in expectation of greater demand. They were stored (vertically) on special racks and pulled from storage as needed. To make assembly easier, the line normally assembled short runs of the same model before switching to a different model. Because of the way the bodies were stored and pulled, the order was not keyed to body number. The only thing that can be said is that bodies built early in the year would tend to get used early in the year, since the company did not have an infinite amount of storage space. Bodies were numbered solely so the company could keep dealers informed of running changes to bodies that might effect which replacement part to use on a given vehicle.

Makes a lot of sense.

mbstude
10-04-2018, 05:16 PM
Kinda Sad. Not totally surprised though. It is not uncommon to find that something is different in the Stude hobby than it is in any other branch of classic car collection.


Aside from high performance or certain top-of-the-line models, almost all of the real world value on any Studebaker that exists is entirely dependent on its condition. Most potential buyers are looking for rust problems or how well the car drives, not a silly little firewall tag.

I once owned a '57 President Broadmoor station wagon with body number 16. It was an "oh, that's neat" moment when I saw the tag, but the car was still a '57 Broadmoor wagon, just like every other '57 Broadmoor wagon that the factory built.

If your '55 coupe isn't a complete rust bucket, it's worth restoring simply because it's a V8 powered coupe. That in itself makes it a desirable car.

Reminds me of something Jim McCuan once said... "My Avanti is the most rare out of all Avantis... It's the only one with this serial number!"

Desert Explorer
10-09-2018, 12:46 PM
Aside from high performance or certain top-of-the-line models, almost all of the real world value on any Studebaker that exists is entirely dependent on its condition. Most potential buyers are looking for rust problems or how well the car drives, not a silly little firewall tag.

I once owned a '57 President Broadmoor station wagon with body number 16. It was an "oh, that's neat" moment when I saw the tag, but the car was still a '57 Broadmoor wagon, just like every other '57 Broadmoor wagon that the factory built.

If your '55 coupe isn't a complete rust bucket, it's worth restoring simply because it's a V8 powered coupe. That in itself makes it a desirable car.

Reminds me of something Jim McCuan once said... "My Avanti is the most rare out of all Avantis... It's the only one with this serial number!"

That is funny stuff. Curious how many subtle little differences there is between Studebakers vs other branches of the car collecting hobby. Rare options, or combinations thereof, low production numbers and similar things make quite a notable difference in most other 'genres' of the collecting hobby. Here with our lovable Studes, not so much.

Desert Explorer
10-16-2018, 04:33 PM
Gotta send out many thanks to the folks who are reaching out to me directly. I think I have responded to you all but if I missed someone, let me know!
To answer the general questions that seem to come up regularly:

YES any help or advice is appreciated.
YES the car will be committed to eventual Museum life (SNM or elsewhere based on who will get the best use of it), assuming it gets restored through our efforts (community or otherwise).
YES still (and likely will for a long time) dealing with medical bills for the Transplant (but saying thanks every day for the donor), so you are still welcome to contribute to the GOFUNDME if you like here:
https://www.gofundme.com/DeeVyper

It is wonderful to be part of such a great group of people with similar interests. Thanks for that guys and gals!