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View Full Version : Studebakers @ Newport Hill Climb, now w/ video



BobPalma
10-05-2008, 08:10 PM
:) 'Just got in from The 41st Annual Newport Indiana Antique Auto Hill Climb. It was a gorgeous day with a record number of cars and many attendees of all stripes. 'Couldn't begin to enumerate all the Studebakers competing because I didn't take notes, but we had at least 20 Studes run the hill and there had to be over 50 on the premises. There were Studebaker enthusiasts from all over; two Studes running the hill were from Wisconsin!

Dale McPhearson fell a tad shy of his 22.63-second record on the hill in his wife's Black over Aqua 1955 Commander Coupe, posting a best of 23.08 today. That car now holds the postwar record, Dale having broken his own record, set years ago with his 1955 Speedster. (The Speedster was sold to be parted and the tags likely used to create another Speedster, because Dale's ultimately had too much structural rust to safely run the hill.)

Team Meadows was down from Lowell Indiana and one of their own posted just over 24 seconds(!) in his 1955(?) V-8 Stude pickup, another record.

Kevin Knoepfel of Paris IL continued dominating his prewar class; his black 1941 Champion coupe posting a 26.19 this year; unbelievable!

The Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb really is an automotive event unlike any other. The sleepy Vermillion County seat of barely 700 people along the Wabash River on the extreme west central edge of Indiana expands to what they stated was 100,000 for the Big Day's event this year. I realize that's a big number, but I wouldn't challenge it, having attended many years and watched it grow. (If there were any additional Porta-Pottys anywhere in Vermillion County today, they must have been down for repair at their respective vendors!)

Every conceivable motor vehicle imaginable as to type and style will be found somewhere at Newport...if not on the hill, then in the "car show" that is every parking place for about four blocks all around the town square...and the town square itself, of course. And if not there, then probably in the parking lot! The accompanying Flee Market probably represents 10% of China's GNP for the entire year...and I wish I was kidding.

Automotive oddities abound, but here's three that struck a chord today:

1. SDCer Harry Gaskins of nearby Farmersburg IN is in poor health and essentially unable to drive. His son drives him about, and they again brought Harry's black 1964 Cruiser to Newport and put a FOR SALE sign on it. They weren't around it when I approached the car, but two guys at least 50 years old, if not 60, were looking it over.

There is no ID on the right side of the car because Harry wrecked it a couple years ago and hastily installed a used RF fender with no script on it. These guys were looking over the car and, having first concluded it was a Rambler, were then trying to decide what model it was. I gently corrected their error and they were receptive to that.

2. The parking places assigned to each Car Show contestant are pleasantly large to avoid cars being too close together. The Crosley club took advantage of that setup and humorously had FOUR Crosleys in ONE parking place!

3. SDCer Mason Maynard of Crete IL was there, running the hill with his Auburn Boat-Tail Speedster, of all things! Mason informed me of an unexpected Studebaker connection regarding a gorgeous, unusual early vehicle we were together admiring: The only known extant, Illinois-built 1909 Economy Motorwagon. Reportedly,

BobGlasscock
10-05-2008, 08:26 PM
I cannot believe I am writing this, to this person....

pics?

'50 Champion, 1 family owner
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff019.jpghttp://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff018.jpg

Roscomacaw
10-05-2008, 08:28 PM
Man, that sounds like one FUN event! I thought about you's guys today as I read a blurb about TNHC in Hemmings Classic Car.;)

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

52 Ragtop
10-05-2008, 08:46 PM
Bob,
Just a side note, the old Economy Car Building is now occupied by no other than Bob Kaptayn (sp) of the infamous "Joliet Studebaker" Neat old building with a ton of parts!

Jim

BobPalma
10-05-2008, 08:51 PM
quote:Originally posted by 52 Ragtop

Bob,
Just a side note, the old Economy Car Building is now occupied by no other than Bob Kaptayn (sp) of the infamous "Joliet Studebaker" Neat old building with a ton of parts!

Jim


:)Jim: I think your screen must have cut off the last line of my post...or your speed-reading program is in overdrive![:0];) :DBob

BobPalma
10-05-2008, 09:20 PM
:) Here's the best I can do for pictures right now, Bob: A good You-Tube video of vintage motorcycles and a couple of cars running the hill last year.

BTW: We got to see the 1937 Rudge(!) motorcycle run the hill today, but I forget his time. 'Same bike as in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg0jiRKqKno

Keep in mind: The Newport Hill rises 140 feet over an 1800-foot length, IIRC, but is not a steady rise. The rate of rise is steeper on the last third of the hill![:0];) :DBP

Son O Lark
10-06-2008, 05:06 AM
As a footnote: The announcers claimed 255 cars ran up the Hill on Sunday. It was a beautiful day. I would like to see the organizers do a better job of not only putting some oil dry down , but also SWEEP IT UP! The cars sit so long in the front staging areas , that there are puddles of oil everywhere.[xx(]

Avantidon
10-06-2008, 09:09 AM
Bob, thanks for the post. It is always good to hear about Studebakers in events like this one.

4961Studebaker
10-06-2008, 09:38 AM
Is there a video of those who had trouble making in up the hill.[}:)]:(.....:D

ChopStu
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q14/kkad0711/IMG_5406-1.jpg

BobPalma
10-06-2008, 09:58 AM
quote:Originally posted by 4961Studebaker

Is there a video of those who had trouble making in up the hill.[}:)]:(.....:D



:) Surprisingly, Kevin; there are few problems. If 255 vehicles ran the hill yesterday, as Barry indicated he'd heard announced, there probably weren't more than 10 that had to be rescued. :DBP

wayne
10-06-2008, 09:15 PM
The Studebakers did real well. In my class the 8cyl discontinued class, Studes got the first three spots. In practice I hauled 9 people over the hill. Great fun!

wayne
10-06-2008, 09:16 PM
The Studebakers did real well. In my class the 8cyl discontinued class, Studes got the first three spots. In practice I hauled 9 people over the hill. Great fun!

laughinlark
10-06-2008, 11:36 PM
Good to hear that the Studes got the first three spots. Heck, If the Harley guy wouldn't have been worried about looking cool. He could have leaned forward to shave some time over the hill.[B)]

Gordon


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t60/laughinlark/gordsjsmk-1.jpghttp://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t60/laughinlark/11-28-07130-1.jpghttp://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t60/laughinlark/all283.jpg