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DEEPNHOCK
10-12-2009, 07:53 AM
http://www.stillwater-newspress.com/local/local_story_283232634.html

(copy)
Cars take center street in downtown Stillwater
Chris Day

The crowds thronged to downtown Stillwater on Saturday to see the stars. And they werenít disappointed.

A 1954 Chevrolet Corvette dressed in white paint and red interior drew its fans, as did a gray hand-assembled 2004 Caterham-Lotus.

A red 1954 Studebaker Starlight Coupe also caught the crowdís attention. Owner Dave Lester of Perkins bought the car from a drag racer several years ago.

It was driveable when he purchased it, but Lester wanted to bring the classic into the 21st century.

He spent 1 1/2 years restoring and upgrading the chasis, engine and body. Then had to wait six months for the interior to be completed.

Why did he pick a Studebaker?

ďItís different. Itís something you donít see everyday. The 1955-57 Chevrolets are like belly buttons Ė everyone has one,Ē Lester said.

The Starlight Coupe has been modernized to improve handling, braking and creature comforts. he said.

He fitted a Ford Mustang IIís front suspension and disc brakes to the Studebaker. Itís got power rack and pinion steering, too. The vehicle has the electric remote controlled mirrors off a Chrysler LHS, and some parts from a Dodge Dynasty.

Larkin said he drives it in the spring, summer and fall.

ďI drive it a lot, but I spend the winter getting all the road rash off of it,Ē he said, and chuckled.

Leland Laws of Spencer drives his rare 1954 custom-ordered Packard Panama Clipper, too.

Heís put 9,000 miles on it since he discovered the Packard sitting at a filling station parking lot in Cabot, Ark.

At the time, he didnít know his discovery was rare. Itís one of only 600 Packard Panama Clipperís ever made. Itís also custom-order as denoted by special emblems inside the car.

Packard didnít want to stop its production line when it received a special order, Laws said, so, it put the additional options in boxes in the car and they were installed at the dealership.

The Packardís windows are surrounded by chrome. It has a push-button radio and automatic transmission with a transmission cooler, he said.

Laws, whose daughter and son-in-law, Robin and Marc Hensley live in Stillwater, said the car is not heavily modified. The paint on the lower body has been redone, and the 327 cubic-inch V-8 was rebuilt.

ďIíve been to four Packard national car shows and have never seen another one like it,Ē he said.

Fixing up and maintaining older cars can be expensive. Lester said he couldnít afford a Studebaker pickup and the Starlight Coupe. He sold the pickup on eBay.

Laws said he spent about $4,000 just to have the engine rebuilt.

Studebaker owner Lester has all the receipts for his Starlight Coupe in a box, but doesnít have any idea how much it has cost him.

ďIíve really never looked in the box,Ē he said. ďIf you look at the receipts as you go, you start to feel compelled to not do it right.Ē

41 Frank
10-12-2009, 09:50 AM
Good show Dave. I'm sure you made the Chevy crowd happy with the bellybutton statement:D

DEEPNHOCK
10-12-2009, 09:53 AM
Yeah... For decades, the only place you saw your name in the Stillwater paper was in the police blotter[:0];)
Jeff[8D]


quote:Originally posted by Studedude

Geez... a guy can't get away with anything anymore.
How do you do that?
I liked the reporter's taste in cars. <G>

jclary
10-12-2009, 10:04 AM
quote:Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK

Yeah... For decades, the only place you saw your name in the Stillwater paper was in the police blotter[:0];)
Jeff[8D]


quote:Originally posted by Studedude

Geez... a guy can't get away with anything anymore.
How do you do that?
I liked the reporter's taste in cars. <G>


GREAT!:) So now how about at least one picture of the car so that we can all appreciate the subject of the car!(you can leave out the police blotter mug shots)

John Clary
Greer, SC
http://i518.photobucket.com/albums/u346/jconln/HPIM0372-2.jpg
Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
SDC member since 1975

JRoberts
10-12-2009, 10:04 AM
Congrats Dave. Another confirmation of saint hood;). How many friends did you win/loose with the bellybutton remark?:D Seriously, a very good job with the interview. It certainly puts a good light on the rest of us Studebaker owners. Thanks.

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

jclary
10-12-2009, 10:38 AM
Great pics.:) Good displays add to the appreciation of the cars. I like the doll...if I was a kid and my parents had dressed me like that...I'd be hiding my face too!:(:D

John Clary
Greer, SC
http://i518.photobucket.com/albums/u346/jconln/HPIM0372-2.jpg
Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
SDC member since 1975

Chris Pile
10-12-2009, 10:49 AM
We know Dave is a "fell sweller", but so is Leland. He and his wife are both very nice folks, active in Studebaker meets in the Midwest.

Chris Pile
Editor: The Studebaker Special
http://midwaystudebakers.tripod.com/

Dick Steinkamp
10-12-2009, 11:26 AM
"Larkin said he drives it in the spring, summer and fall."

Who the heck is Larkin and what is he doing driving your car? [:0] :(



Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/dstnkmp/63%20Daytona%20done/PP026-1.jpg

Mark57
10-12-2009, 01:22 PM
quote:Originally posted by Studedude

Met another "Stud" expert at this show. He read the information sheet on the car, shook his head, and came back to find the owner, and set me straight.

"Itza '53 Golden Hawk. I know, 'cause I used to have one of them, too. Big 'ole Packard engine, ran like a scalded rabbit. Yep, I know my Studs, alright."



Well, the value on your car just went through the roof Dave... I hear that the production numbers on those '53 Golden Hawks was even lower than the '57 Golden Hawk 400 models. [:0][}:)][:0] :D
BTW congrats on the coverage! [^]:)

<h5>Mark
'57 Transtar Deluxe
Vancouver Island Chapter
http://visdc.shawwebspace.ca/ </h5>

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x153/MarkH57/IMG_0443a.jpg

Roscomacaw
10-12-2009, 01:58 PM
"Dave Lester Makes The Newspaper"

Good to hear WHF has him paper-trained![:0]

http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/30906179/aview/58_Avatar.jpg
1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

studegary
10-12-2009, 02:27 PM
That is a VERY unusual 1954 Packard with a "V8".
I was also wondering about "Larkin". Is that your new nickname?
I was watching a two hour police chase in Texas and it finally took a white police pickup to end it. I thought that maybe they had to get you to come down to TX from OK to put an end to the nonsense.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

Collection Doctor
10-12-2009, 04:22 PM
quote:Originally posted by studegary

That is a VERY unusual 1954 Packard with a "V8".
You beat me to it. The 327 is a straight 8 and as we all know the Packard V-8's did not debut until the 1955 model year.

silverhawk
10-12-2009, 06:58 PM
Congrats Dave!

Dylan Wills

http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr200/1961lark/My%201961%20studebaker%20lark/Tobeputindylansfile100.jpg
'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon