View Full Version : Ramblings on Studebaker Lenses

12-30-2011, 10:06 AM
I have been inventorying some of my parts and the past few days I have been inventorying lenses. Some would say this is not the way one should spent vacation time but I know I am wierd and actually enjoy digging in the parts. While doing this exercise several questions came to mind. I found I have 24 NOS lenses for 53 sedans. I also know the vendors sell these lenses for around $10 which tells me they also have lots of them in their shelfs. I know these have to be the fastest sellers in town. I bet there are enough 53 sedan lenses out there to fit all the 53 and 54 sedans that survived and each would also have a couple spare pairs. This made me wonder why Studebaker whom always was looking for ways to use left over parts, changed the lens for 1954? I think the 53 lens with the chrome dress up pieces looks nicer than the 54's. And also, why did they change from 3 screws to hold on the lens in 53 to only 2 in 1954? The savings of the extra screw they saved on each one had to be much less than the cost of retooling the tail light housing to move the mounting holes. Thus the change in this case cost them money.

Another wierd one they did was why did they change the parking light lenses in 1952 so that they have two versions?

Yet another wierd one was why did they have 3 different tail light lenses in 1958? Would it not have been cheaper to use the president lens on all cars and make them look a bit more dressy?

And also why would they have different lenses for 1964, 1965 and 1966? You can interchange these lenses and the differences are so slight you wonder why they did not stick with the 64 lens.

They used the same parking light lens on the late forties cars as they did on the early fifties trucks thus using up left over parts. They used the same head light rims on the late forties commanders, transtar trucks and on the avanti. ( it was an internal rim on the avanti). The front bumper on my 47 champ was also used on the packard hawk. We saw this type of parts reuse over and over yet if they had done a bit more would they still be here?

As you can see doing through lenses can also get one side tracked thinking about the what ifs.

Happy New Year and thanks for providing enjoyable & relaxing reading on this forum for lurkers like myself

12-30-2011, 11:46 AM
It would be easy for you to track-back and find the answers to your questions! All you need it time & access to the Studebaker National Museum Archives!:rolleyes::D

First you would look up the Engineering drawing of a specific part number lens. In an upper corner of that drawing you will find what is called a "change block." In the change block will be an Engineering Master Change Notice (MCN) number or numbers. Then go to the MCN files and pull that MCN numbered form. Each MCN form has a box titled "REASON " ...meaning the "reason" why the action (be it; added, changed, or deleted) was taken.

For example: Part number 1314805-W. Pull that Engineering drawing and you will find the MCN is 22312. Pulling that MCN form will show that "V-8 ornaments" were added to the front fenders of 1956 models. The reason stated on that MCN was: "To comply with management's request (Keller & Churchill)"

And a Happy 50th SDC Year to you!!!:cool:

12-30-2011, 09:47 PM
/Cut/And also why would they have different lenses for 1964, 1965 and 1966? You can interchange these lenses and the differences are so slight you wonder why they did not stick with the 64 lens./Cut/

I can answer this one for you. None of those actually interchange. :)
(1) The Red '66's only fit the bottom opening because of the staggered screw locations.
(2) Of course the '64 Red lenses only fit the Top of the Bezels.
(3) The '65 Red lenses were improved to emit darker Red near the bulb by putting that glob of red Plastic in front of the bulb.

All clear Back-up Lenses and Amber export Turn Sig. Lenses only fit the Lower half of the Bezels.

Could the opening in the housings all have been made the same, possibly but then you would have the possibility of someone doing it wrong, like all these fools do with these newer cars that require AMBER Bulbs in the rear Turn Signal only lights, and nothing stops them from using illegal CLEAR bulbs! :mad:

12-31-2011, 04:23 PM
I've ruminated on this before. What WERE they thinking when the did the LEFT and RIGHT TS/Parking lite bodies for '64-'65-'66. You REALLY have to look close to see which is which. How the heck did that get by anyone with a hand on the purse strings? ONE fixture and lens could have done nicely.