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View Full Version : Far be it from me to start anything, but....



BobPalma
02-04-2014, 11:28 PM
...let's consider something now that The Whistler has been documented extant. ;)

First, nobody that's been in the hobby longer than 15 minutes can forget this story from exactly 5 years ago (geeze, has it been that long?):

http://www.popularhotrodding.com/features/0905phr_1963_pontiac_tempest_super_duty/viewall.html

Now, scroll down to the end of that article and note the five original time slips posted for the car back in the day; ETs of: 12.39, 12.76, 12.15 (I think that last digit is a 5; might be a 6), 12.21, and 12.24.

That Tempest had the best available talent massaging and driving it and it had at slicks, aftermarket headers (undoubtedly tuned to within an inch of the 421's life), the best aftermarket traction setup they could engineer, and open exhaust. None of those are permitted at The Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race.

But at The 2013 Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race, an essentially rank amateur driver (John Kern of Danville IN) took a car virtually identical to The Whistler as originally manufactured (The Stude Tomato) on street-legal, DOT-approved P235/70R15 tires, optional Studebaker factory headers, only traction devices permitted at that event (not bars, by any stretch of the imagination), and full, closed, street exhaust all the way to the rear bumper, and posted a best Elapsed Time of 12.740 seconds in the quarter mile a split second after I took this photograph:


http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF5618_zps12a4475c.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF5618_zps12a4475c.jpg.html)

Now, by the time the new owner got done buying the 1963 Super Duty 421 Tempest (a never-manufactured-for-street-use car as close to a competitor for a 1963 Studebaker R2 Super Lark as there could be in 1963) and had it professionally restored, I'm willing to bet he had close to a half-million Benjamin Franklins in it.

The Whistler, sadly, is every bit as bad -maybe worse- than was that Tempest when both were found. Still, with the kind of money that was poured into the Tempest, The Whistler could look every bit as good as it did in this now-famous photo, which would include headers, open dumps, traction bars de jour, and drag slicks, as shown:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/whistlerglossy_zpsdc94c37c.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/whistlerglossy_zpsdc94c37c.jpg.html)

I am certain The Whistler could be brought back to the same level as was that Tempest for far less money...although it would be substantial, to be sure, and could hit six figures if perfect...and I mean perfect. But at least nobody started out dropping darn near a quarter-million dollars for The Whistler's core.

And with Ted Harbit given free reign to put slicks, headers, traction bars, and open exhaust on The Whistler and then practice with it, I can't imagine anything higher on my bucket list than watching Ted and The Whistler square off against that Tempest, heads-up, for a best 2 out of 3 exhibition match at The Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race...or, what the hell, if Ted is feeling under the weather that day, we'll just strap ole' John Kern in The Whistler and let him fly!

Yeah, I like all those ideas...

(Now before everybody falls all over themselves straining to appear erudite, remember: This is a pro-Studebaker forum, not an exercise room to discredit South Bend's finest and try to elevate your stature by doing so. There's plenty of places to do that but not here, thank you!

To the point, lest I be misunderstood as I stir the pot, I did NOT say The Whistler would beat the Super Duty Tempest hands-down in my hypothetical match-up...but I'd also say one would be ill-advised to bet much against it. ;)) :cool: BP

ddub
02-05-2014, 01:26 AM
Now all we need is a Stude fat cat to fund this fabulous project! I think Power Ball is up to $200,000,000 again.

BobPalma
02-05-2014, 07:47 AM
Now all we need is a Stude fat cat to fund this fabulous project! I think Power Ball is up to $200,000,000 again.

Well, Don....it does look like Dick Steinkamp is going to do well with the Daytona Wagonaire sale...and we do know how Dick loves a challenge...and he has acknowledged the car's historical significance...:D

Just sayin' ;) BP

BobPalma
02-05-2014, 07:51 AM
OMG, my every apology to Floyd Mendenhall and the guys who originally ordered and campaigned The Whistler!

What a terrible oversight on my part...after all, before the car was named The Whistler, it was:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/63whistlerorig_zpsc5778f7f.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/63whistlerorig_zpsc5778f7f.jpg.html)

Maybe they knew "all along!" :!: ;) :cool: BP

ddub
02-05-2014, 04:28 PM
Well, Don....it does look like Dick Steinkamp is going to do well with the Daytona Wagonaire sale...and we do know how Dick loves a challenge...and he has acknowledged the car's historical significance...:D

Just sayin' ;) BP


I think we can all get behind Dick in this effort.

SN-60
02-05-2014, 06:10 PM
Bad day at the track for the SD Tempest Bob?,...but truly, I think We both know what the outcome of a drag race between these two cars, as described, would be.

SScopelli
02-05-2014, 08:23 PM
Well, Don....it does look like Dick Steinkamp is going to do well with the Daytona Wagonaire sale...and we do know how Dick loves a challenge...and he has acknowledged the car's historical significance...:D

Just sayin' ;) BP


Not wanting to hijack your post with my thoughts, I started this post titled "Spawned from - Far be it for me too.."

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?78769-Spawned-from-Far-be-it-for-me-too&p=819768#post819768

It asks a very serious question..

Dick Steinkamp
02-05-2014, 09:54 PM
Well, Don....it does look like Dick Steinkamp is going to do well with the Daytona Wagonaire sale...and we do know how Dick loves a challenge...and he has acknowledged the car's historical significance...:D

Just sayin' ;) BP


I appreciate the thought, but it just isn't the project for me.

As most of you know, I don't keep my cars for very long.

The hobby to me is finding cars, restoring them or rodding them, driving them a little...then on to the next project. If I keep a car, the hobby stops for me. I do not enjoy sitting behind a car in a lawn chair at a car show (not that there is anything wrong with that ;)). In order to do the hobby "my way", there has to be break even or better when I sell. I'm not a rich guy.

I have good friends that keep their collector cars forever. One who still has the 50 Olds hot rod he had in high school in the late 50's. He enjoys the hobby as much as I do, but his way is not for me.

The Whistler is a neat car with a neat history....but, IMHO, after "doing" it (right), it would would be very difficult to sell at a price that would recoup my outlay. Tons of people interested in drag racing, a small crowd interested in Studebakers, but only a handful of those interested enough in Studebakers AND drag racing to pony up the bucks for a finished Studebaker drag race car.

I have not lost money (actual outlay only...no value to my labor) on the 30 or so collector cars I've done in the last 10 years or so. I'm afraid the Whistler would be a looser when I sold it. I won't take that chance. The hobby is too important to me to have it stop.

BobPalma
02-05-2014, 10:05 PM
You know I was just kidding, Dick; I know there are many reasons it wouldn't be "right" for you....the phrase, "Different Strokes for Different Folks" must certainly have its roots in the collector car hobby. :)

But for the rest of us, the Big Plus of your doing The Whistler would be For Sale immediately after it was done! :D BP

jclary
02-05-2014, 10:14 PM
Hey Steinkamp...that is a great response! I have no doubt that you could pull off the build. But your explanation reveals a deep intellect. Refusing to become trapped in a "dream" that belongs to others is the best way to avoid a "nightmare."

I would also like to see the car return to its former glory. For me, as others, I'll get my kicks plying my imagination while restraining any propensity to pass judgement on any future work done by anyone bold enough to attempt the task.

sals54
02-05-2014, 10:15 PM
"And with Ted Harbit given free reign to put slicks, headers, traction bars, and open exhaust on The Whistler and then practice with it, I can't imagine anything higher on my bucket list than watching Ted and The Whistler square off against that Tempest, heads-up, for a best 2 out of 3 exhibition match at The Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race...or, what the hell, if Ted is feeling under the weather that day, we'll just strap ole' John Kern in The Whistler and let him fly!"

Bob, I really dig this idea. Now its up to Ted, to see if he would want to take up the challenge. Then the Whistler can come back to life…. then, lastly, throw down the gauntlet to the Tempest and let them simmer on the challenge. The PSMD would be the perfect venue to sort out the bragging rights.

Let the games begin.

Dick Steinkamp
02-05-2014, 10:23 PM
Refusing to become trapped in a "dream" that belongs to others is the best way to avoid a "nightmare."



I like that one, John! :D

BobPalma
02-05-2014, 10:31 PM
"And with Ted Harbit given free reign to put slicks, headers, traction bars, and open exhaust on The Whistler and then practice with it, I can't imagine anything higher on my bucket list than watching Ted and The Whistler square off against that Tempest, heads-up, for a best 2 out of 3 exhibition match at The Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race...or, what the hell, if Ted is feeling under the weather that day, we'll just strap ole' John Kern in The Whistler and let him fly!"

Bob, I really dig this idea. Now its up to Ted, to see if he would want to take up the challenge. Then the Whistler can come back to life…. then, lastly, throw down the gauntlet to the Tempest and let them simmer on the challenge. The PSMD would be the perfect venue to sort out the bragging rights.

Let the games begin.

Well, Sal; we'll have to get on it right away: Ted's 79th birthday is less than three months out right now! :QQ: BP