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silverhawk
03-19-2009, 08:45 PM
Hi all,

Does any one know what happened to the studebaker #51 '51 commander race car, that is shown in pictures racing with the fabulus hudson hornet?



Dylan Wills

'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

Studeman
03-19-2009, 09:44 PM
You may be referring to the 1951 driven by Frank "Rebel" Mundy. Very interesting guy. We had the pleasure of hosting him at one of the NCSDC Tri-State meets. (sometime back in the 80's)..

http://www.legendsofnascar.com/Frank_Mundy.htm

http://www.raylinrestoration.com/Stuff/FrankMundy.jpg

Ray

http://www.raylinrestoration.com/TEMP/azavatar.gif
Specializing in Studebaker Restoration

silverhawk
03-19-2009, 09:47 PM
I have seen pictures of that one also but kind of forgot about it in my thread. But the one am thinking of was a 4 door, the biggest shock I have had looking at old NASCAR photos. What happened to both of them?

Dylan Wills

'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

jclary
03-19-2009, 09:51 PM
Hey Ray,
That was one of the best meetings I ever attended! I have that picture autographed by him. Do you know if anybody recorded that presentation?

John Clary
Greer, SC
http://i518.photobucket.com/albums/u346/jconln/HPIM0372-2.jpg
I have only two limitations ...BRAINS & ENERGY
SDC member since 1975

studelark
03-19-2009, 10:33 PM
[quote]Originally posted by Studeman

You may be referring to the 1951 driven by Frank "Rebel" Mundy. Very interesting guy. We had the pleasure of hosting him at one of the NCSDC Tri-State meets. (sometime back in the 80's)..

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The car that Frank Mundy drove in the 1951 Grand National (NASCAR) was car #23, a '51 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe. This could not be the car 'silverhawk' was asking about. Frank won his first GN race in race No. 11 on June 16, 1951. It was a 100 miler on the 1/2 mile dirt track at Columbia, SC speedway. His average speed was 50.7 mph. He won by a full lap. He won the pole at 57.6 mph. Perry Smith was the car owner.

In race No. 34, Frank Mundy won the 100 miler on the 1/2 mile track at Martinsville, VA. This race was held on October 14, 1951. But he was driving a '51 Oldsmobile rather than the Studebaker. He beat out Lee Petty who finished second in a '51 Plymouth.

Frank also won the last race of the 1951 season, race No. 41, a 150 lapper (112.5 miles) in the Studebaker. This race took place at the .75 mile dirt track in Gardena, CA on November 11, 1951 in old #23. He won the pole with a speed of 61.1 mph and led every lap in the race. Tim Flock placed second driving a Hudson Hornet.

Frank Mundy finished the 1951 season in 5th place of 50 drivers. He had 24 starts, 3 wins, and was in the top 10 in eleven races. He won a grand total of $7095 for his efforts.

I can not locate a #51 Studebaker Commander in the Grand National races for 1951. There were a number of other Studebakers that raced, but the information on them is incomplete. I did not check the 1952 season. Frank Mundy did not drive after the 1951 season as his owner, Perry Smith, died in a tragic airplane crash in December, 1951.

Frank Drumheller
Louisa, VA
60S-W6
'48 M16-52 Boyer fire truck

silverhawk
03-20-2009, 10:22 AM
Did the car eventually go out for scrap? Or did it just get tucked away some where?

Dylan Wills

'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

studelark
03-20-2009, 03:29 PM
[quote]Originally posted by silverhawk

Did the car eventually go out for scrap? Or did it just get tucked away some where? Dylan Wills

******************************************************************************** ************************

Dylan; No one knows what happened to any of the Studebakers that were raced in the early days of the Grand National Circuit. It's any Studebaker AND racing fan's fantasy to go into an old shed somewhere and find the remains of #23, or #51, under an old tarp and piles of hay. Probably will never happen, but who knows...!!!

The first reference of a Studebaker racing in the GN (future NASCAR) circuit was on October 2, 1949 in a 100 mile race. Race No.7 (of 8) for the 1949 season was held on the dirt, half mile track in Pittsburgh, PA. A 1949 Commander finished in 21st place (of 23 cars) and covered 59 laps before falling out. It was car #12 and was driven by a Ralph Zrimsek. Lee Petty won the race in his '49 Plymouth by 5 laps over the field. Dick Linder finished 2nd in a '49 Kaiser.

The next instance of Studebakers in a GN race came on September 4, 1950 at Darlington, SC. The first ever 500 mile race for stock cars was scheduled on the new and blacktopped 1 1/2 mile track. This was race No. 13 in the 1950 GN season. There were 79 cars that qualified, the slowest of which was driven by Johnny Mantz in a 1950 Plymouth. There were three (3) 1950 Studebakers that qualified in 39th, 42th and 54th places. They finished in 47th, 48th and 54th places. The Mantz Plymouth, of course, finished first, 9 laps ahead of the second place 1950 Oldsmobile. Mantz's secret-harder truck tires rather than softer car tires other drivers used.[}:)][8D]:D

The #51 car could have raced in one of the other circuits that were not attached to the Grand National Circuit. I only follow NASCAR and I do not have information for other circuits. It would be interesting to see the 4 door Commander mixing it up with the Hudsons!!:D

Frank Drumheller
Louisa, VA
60S-W6
'48 M16-52 Boyer fire truck

silverhawk
03-20-2009, 03:46 PM
I'll try to find a pic of it doing that, I know I have seen it somewhere recently.

Dylan Wills

'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

JRoberts
05-23-2009, 06:04 AM
I have seen a video somewhere of on of the Daytona races on the beach with a 4 door Studebaker among the cars racing. I wish I could remember more about that video.

Joe Roberts
'61 R1 Champ
'65 Cruiser
Editor of "The Down Easterner"
Eastern North Carolina Chapter

BobPalma
05-23-2009, 06:23 AM
quote:Originally posted by JRoberts

I have seen a video somewhere of on of the Daytona races on the beach with a 4 door Studebaker among the cars racing. I wish I could remember more about that video.

Joe Roberts


:) Joe: It's probably the video produced by Rare Sportsfilms: "The First Ten Years of NASCAR," or something similar to that title. I've got a copy of it and viewed it many times, but can't put my hands on it right now.

There's a light-colored 1951 Commander 4-door that gets off in the dirt at the top of the south turn and looks for all the world like he's going to loose it and roll the car[:0], but he recovers just in the nick of time to stay in the race. :DBP

silverhawk
08-25-2009, 10:52 AM
Hey guys, check this out. Not much of a discription, or a picture. It could be a homemade race car, but you never know.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/1341293848.html

Dylan Wills

'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon