View Full Version : "The Bruise" (65 Commander) is a runner!

Steve T
09-21-2013, 02:09 PM
Hi all--

Thanks to co-owner Steve (stephenj) Porter and Russell the mechanic who makes house calls, a week ago Thursday my 1965 Commander six, currently known as "The Bruise" because it is both black and blue, was successfully fired up and run at its storage site in Glanbrook. I managed to make it up there yesterday to start and run it myself during a second round of remedial work on the car by Russell and Steve before I had to head off to work. Steve P later drove the car a little to test the brakes (which to my relief seem to be OK); two plug wires still need replacement but the old McKinnon 194, which we once thought was toast, runs quite well. I'll post some pix soon. There's a bunch of paperwork, et cetera, to follow, but there's now a chance the Commander will be on the go for Canadian Thanksgiving in early October!

Anybody wanna buy a '62 Lark for twice its actual value? ;-)

Steve T

Steve T
09-21-2013, 04:27 PM
Here's the car as it looked last winter...

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_3918_zps8b2cfe13.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_3918_zps8b2cfe13.jpg.html)

And here's mechanic Russell checking the timing yesterday morning; the McKinnon 194 six is running at a fast idle in this shot.

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_7268_zps4bd797a8.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_7268_zps4bd797a8.jpg.html)

And for nostalgia's sake...here's the same car at at cruise in July 2010...at which time it was already for sale, for some six times the eventual price after the car conked out! Good things come to him who waits...

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/Some%20Other%20Studebakers/K4BD4C602E66_1000087.jpg (http://media.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/Some%20Other%20Studebakers/K4BD4C602E66_1000087.jpg.html)


09-21-2013, 06:44 PM
Nice car! I know people are not as fond of 6 cyl cars, but I have had a 63 4 dr and a 64 convertible both with 6 cyl and thought they were quite good cars and very economical.


Steve T
11-28-2013, 03:47 PM
A quick update...several weeks back Steve P and I made an abortive attempt to take the '65 to Hamilton for its cert, but repeated stalling and an almighty clanking from somewhere up front caused me to chicken out and turn around. Russell the traveling mechanic returned and this time we removed the valve cover...to find one of the rockers was, well, off its rocker, being canted about twenty degrees from the others! The SDCer whose farm this is took the offending lifter and rod and straightened them out with a vise. The result was revelatory: the Commander now ran as well as the Lark does, and truth told it rides rather better than the Lark. This time, a week ago today, Steve followed me in a Brand X as I delightedly drove the '65 from Glanbrook to Hamilton, leaving it in the care of Neal Scobie at Paton Motors just down the street from me for its certification. It will likely be on the go for real next week sometime. (Would've loved to take it to the SDC Hamilton Christmas dinner this Saturday, especially since November 30 is the sixth anniversary to the day of my getting the Lark on the road, but it doesn't look like I'll quite make that.)

Many thanks to Steve Porter, Wayne Hamilton and Russell Newhook, for their enormous contributions to getting this old Commander back on the go. Here are a couple recent pix. Next spring I expect any number of SDC Hamilton folks will get wheel time in this and/or my '62; one of the reasons for going after this car was so there'd be a "spare" Chapter car for currently-Studeless members to show the flag with at shows. Next project will be to see if we can't get the old gal all one colour again...!

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_8380_zpsd3be8e04.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_8380_zpsd3be8e04.jpg.html)

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_8384_zps765ec1af.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_8384_zps765ec1af.jpg.html)

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_9619_zps83f1bcef.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_9619_zps83f1bcef.jpg.html)

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_9628_zpscccf0982.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_9628_zpscccf0982.jpg.html)


11-28-2013, 04:10 PM
Way to go Steve , looks ok to me !

11-28-2013, 04:28 PM
Way to go Steve , looks ok to me !

.......me too!

11-28-2013, 04:44 PM
Great story - thanks for sharing. I like hearing about these sorts of events. Reminds me of several similar situations I have worked through. :);)

11-28-2013, 05:30 PM
Its always something, isn't it?

11-28-2013, 06:05 PM
Good work Steve and Steve. Looks even better than I thought, "you done good".

11-29-2013, 01:46 PM
Great Studebaker!!
Just paint the doors and roof white, get a
roof light red or blue, LAPD! Just joking, your car is
on its way to be a very nice Studebaker. Keep up
The good work!
Is certification in Canada like a motor vehicle
inspection here in NJ?

11-29-2013, 02:27 PM
Yup 57. Every time the title changes it needs a Certificate of Mechanical Fitness. Great story, Steve. Bring it to Badenoch in April? I'll do your whitewalls :)

Steve T
11-30-2013, 01:01 PM
Thanks all! Re the squad-car-like looks of the current bodywork, actually I once had in mind doing a quasi-replica of one of the Israeli police cars. That or a taxi (I found an old taxi roof light in an antique market near here). But the intention sooner or later is overall Laguna Blue, or a modern facsimile (there's a Chev shade now that's very close). In the interim she may go overall black primer for a while.

Re the cert, actually the ownership is already in my name but without certification, so I couldn't have got the car plated. I got a call from Neal yesterday afternoon (while I was at work, unfortunately), saying the cert is done, and the insurance is already in place (and preposterously cheap!), so I missed by a hair's breadth having the '65 on the road for tonight's SDC dinner. Next week, though, she'll be an Ontario Historic-plated operational Studebaker again, and I intend to drive the car for at least a day or two before storing her for the winter...

Next spring at Badenoch I'm hopeful of having both the '62 and the '65 on site, with another SDCer driving whichever one I'm not! I really like that event, a grand way to open the season. I may even try to do York in March too, since there are some bits the '65 does still need. That'll depend on my work circumstances.

Stay tuned for a doctored pic of the '65 in overall black primer. Looks kinda sinister...


Steve T
11-30-2013, 01:05 PM
Here as promised is a look at the '65 as she might look in overall satin black...

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/65commander_satinblack_zps3311be5e.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/65commander_satinblack_zps3311be5e.jpg.html)

If those kids down at Neal's thought the '62 was "gangsta", I wonder what their opinion of this would be!


Steve T
11-30-2013, 03:27 PM
Just for fun...here's how the '65 might look masquerading as one of the Israeli squad cars from the 1960s...actually the real ones seem to have been blue and white something like an 80s NYPD car, but this black-and-light-blue combo does rather look the part. The car's call number 101 is in tribute to 101 Squadron, Israel's original fighter unit, which flew Avia-Messerschmitts in the late 40s.

I probably could get a jam jar for the roof, but Hamilton's own police department has its own re-created Studebaker squad car, and I think they might object more than a trifle to this Mideast interloper...so this doctored photo is as close as the idea will get to reality!

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/65commander_israeli_zpseb2b5d55.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/65commander_israeli_zpseb2b5d55.jpg.html)


Steve T
12-04-2013, 04:54 PM
Quick update...the '65 is now legally back on the road, but only briefly so! Got the cert and plates yesterday afternoon, drove the car a bit last evening and today, but she's now back at Neal's shop. Took the car for a wash among a few other errands, and I think a previously-undiscovered leak under the left side of the cowl may have done an injustice to some ignition wiring nearby. Or not. Either way, about forty minutes after I'd had the car at the rustproofers' to book it in for oiling, I was at my workplace in Burlington checking on whether a certain meeting was today (nope), and on my departure from there the '65 stalled and would not restart. Had to holler for a hauler. I expect I won't be driving the '65 again for at least a few days...bummer, as she really is a treat to drive, with even a heater that actually more or less works (unlike the Lark's). Did get pix, of course, including this one of both Studes together over at my parents' place earlier today...

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_9667_zps5ecbfa22.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_9667_zps5ecbfa22.jpg.html)

...She'll be sorted and reliable soon enough, just like the Lark. And of course I've got all the way till Spring now, really.


12-05-2013, 02:28 PM
Good weather for it, today, Steve, but not for long. Cold front's moving in. "They found him there on the plains, his hands froze in the reins. He'd have made it.....but he couldn't leave "old Dan". Jim Reeves - The Blizzard.

Steve T
12-05-2013, 03:58 PM
Yep, the temp's plummeting right now. With the '65 out of action for the moment I took the '62 out this afternoon for a while instead. Weirdly, the heater in the '62 suddenly works...not really well, but it works! And then I noticed that the steering wheel seems to have centred itself somewhat too. Could the '62 be feeling threatened by the '65...? :-)


12-05-2013, 05:00 PM
Steve , make sure you test that antifreeze before the cold gets here!

12-06-2013, 07:46 AM
No worries about the antifreeze, the rad was in the trunk when I picked up the car! We put in all new antifreeze.

Steve T
12-07-2013, 09:48 AM
Yep, and I'll be getting and adding a bit more, as Neal has found a small rad leak. Better safe than sorry.

An update on the car, Neal thought I'd run out of gas, as none was getting to the carb; in fact the car's half-full, I refuelled the same day the car quit in Burlington, so next he thought fuel pump...turns out the problem is neither, but a blocked fuel line. Neal blew it out and the car ran fine...for a bit...then it quit again. I'm guessing there's a lot of crud in the tank and lines from all that static time--well over a year--and it's breaking off and plugging lines now that the car's being run and driven again. I'll keep everyone apprised, of course, but expect the car'll be properly operational again soon.


12-07-2013, 03:09 PM
I had the same problem in my 50 Champion. I put in an inline filter & solved that problem, I have a spare in the garage for you.

Steve T
12-25-2013, 09:10 PM
Quick update on the '65, the fuel pump was in fact faulty and has now been replaced...just in time for the nasty weather to hit. The car's running well now, and will shortly be taken to storage (as will the '62)...as soon as we get some decent weather. Today, though, seeing as the '65 does have snow tires on it, I drove it a bit, over to my folks' place for our family Christmas celebration, then back over to my place before evening. Here's a pic.

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/100_9752_zps427ae734.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/100_9752_zps427ae734.jpg.html)

Merry Christmas all!


12-26-2013, 02:01 PM
Ha Ha. Been a while since I drove a Stude in the snow. Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

12-26-2013, 06:00 PM
Merry Christmas Steve, don't let those new fenders get all rusty !

Steve T
01-21-2014, 02:48 PM
Well, the '65 is finally away for the rest of the winter as is the '62. Nice to catch up with so many of the Hamilton Chapter folks at Sunday's Jan meeting/card party. Whoever is interested in driving either car to Badenoch in April, give me a shout...I'm going to try to get that Saturday off work so as to be able to drive one of the two, but I sure can't drive both...

C'mon spring!


01-21-2014, 03:54 PM
Learn something everyday.. I was not aware that the Canadian built cars had the stove bolt 6 cylinder engines when everything was moved to Canada.. I knew and have seen the Chevy V8's in them.. I wish I had known that when I was selling GM Targetmaster crate engines..

Warren Webb
01-21-2014, 04:52 PM
Not quite Ben. The term "stove bolt" referred to the earlier Chevy 6. That engine was replaced by the new design 6 that the full line had by 63 (if my memory is correct the first Chevy II had it then it became available in the rest of the lines carrying in line 6 cylinders in 63). Studebaker used the newer design engine.

01-21-2014, 08:18 PM
Not quite Ben. The term "stove bolt" referred to the earlier Chevy 6. That engine was replaced by the new design 6 that the full line had by 63 (if my memory is correct the first Chevy II had it then it became available in the rest of the lines carrying in line 6 cylinders in 63). Studebaker used the newer design engine.

Yep brain fade!! I wasn't thinking about the old 216" series engines.. I was referring to the 194", which is related to it's big brothers, 230",250" and 292"(not available to Stude I'm sure)..


Steve T
01-21-2014, 11:18 PM

After the Stude foundry closed down (at least as far as casting Stude engine blocks) in '64, Studebaker Canada had to go in search of a new engine supplier; ultimately they settled on GM Canada subsidiary McKinnon Industries in St.Catharines, near Niagara Falls, who made Chev-design OHV sixes and V8s for Canadian Chevs, Pontiacs and various commercial vehicles. In the '65 Studebaker line the six was the 194 and the V8 was the 283; for '66 the 230 six was also available. When we thought the 194 in "The Bruise" was toast, we contemplated installing any of several replacements: another 194; a 230 as per a '66; a 283 V8; or one of the later 250 or 292 sixes as used in vans and trucks through the 1970s. We even mulled over a switch to Studebaker power, either a 170 six or a 259/289 V8, which would essentially have turned the car into a '64. As indicated above though the McKinnon 194 already in the car was actually pretty much okay, with that bent pushrod being its main issue. It now runs nicely and the car will get seen in all its variegated finery at many events in the spring!



01-22-2014, 01:58 PM
Mmmm. Badenoc. Coffee and doughnuts and Studebakers.

01-22-2014, 03:06 PM
Don't forget the Hotdogs !!

Captain Billy
01-22-2014, 03:16 PM
I've had one of Paul's hotdogs, and they won't let you forget.

01-22-2014, 03:22 PM
I've had one of Paul's hotdogs, and they won't let you forget.

Like Larry the Cable guys says......I don't care who you are ...that's funny <g>

01-22-2014, 03:28 PM
I had a 65 Commander 2 Dr with 194 and 3spd back in HS, when I wore the 194 out, the #1 piston was actually slapping around in the cylinder, I put a 250 from a 1/2 ton truck and a full syncro 3spd from behind a 327 into it with a 3.07 rear axle. Took it a bit to get rolling, but would cruise over 70 all day long and get decent mileage. I drove that car all through college, but being an old Iowa car that had been re-built multiple times, it finally rotted out to the point it was not worth fixing. Great car, and fun to drive. I am a big fan of those Chevy 6 Cyl's. Very reliable and nice to drive. I always wanted to put the split exhaust or headers on it and a 2 carb intake, but never got there. Might be a good project for down the road!

Steve T
04-01-2014, 02:07 PM
She's baaaaack...Here's "The Bruise" at Flamborough Canadian Tire yesterday. Stalled once, after coming back onto a regular street following her first spell of highway driving in who knows how many years...otherwise is running fine...and that isn't rust on the hood, it's dirt...haven't even washed the car yet. Hope to drive the '65 again today.

http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/My%2065%20Commander/101_0064_zpsc3e2b01d.jpg (http://s290.photobucket.com/user/StudeSteve/media/My%2065%20Commander/101_0064_zpsc3e2b01d.jpg.html)


04-01-2014, 02:15 PM
Attaboy. Only two more feet of snow to melt and mine will be free, too!

04-01-2014, 02:18 PM
I put a different front clip on my Lark, different color of course, and drove it for years. Everyone wanted to know when I was going to paint it. "It is painted, two-tone. Just front to rear, not top to bottom as usual" Finally got it painted.

Steve T
04-01-2014, 02:27 PM
Yeah, now I've got two of these old beasts for people to ask me when they'll be painted... ;-)

Actually now having found some rattle-can light metallic blue (surprisingly tough to locate!), I'm going to get the '65 at least more nearly all one colour again, starting ASAP with the replacement left rear fender. Am now mulling two-toning the two black front fenders and leaving the hood black...to which would be added a large SDC Hamilton Chapter crest. Eventually though the intention is overall blue, whether an approximation of Laguna as per original or dark Executive Blue. Much else has to happen before that, though...

Dave W...two feet of snow...bleccchh! Man I hate winter. Yesterday, finally, was sheer heaven. But we're supposed to get snow Thursday.


04-01-2014, 04:00 PM
Must be tough. It's 73 here as I write this, but I remember how hard it was when I lived in South Dakota. We would have snow on the ground and I knew at home my parents trees were turning green. Hang in there.

04-01-2014, 07:56 PM
Why not Paint it the original '65 Tahitian Turquoise GREEN! P6476 ?


That is an unusual color and not bad looking.

04-02-2014, 02:17 PM
I like the double bumper guards! It looks cool

Steve T
04-04-2014, 11:31 AM
That turquoise resembles Timberline, the hue of the final '66...nice colour, but it would shout at the '65's unequivocally-blue interior!

Hey, somebody besides the '65's previous owner likes the quad bumper guards! I'd been thinking of taking all four off, actually; maybe I should leave 'em, it gives an already-distinctive car that little bit more extra character...

04-05-2014, 11:27 PM
Two of the Bumper guards mounted inboard as they should be fit and continue the body line created by the inward canted sides of the Grille and look Great, FOUR, well...not so much! :(