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556063
09-21-2014, 08:30 PM
Been a long time since I've shown my cars regularly. Now that we have both in college, my wife encouraged me to take the '55 to her hometown (South Whitley, IN) for their Annual Car show.

I was always at a disadvantage back in the day because this car was so original, I never saw the need to make it perfect, like the treatment many C & K Coupes got even as far back as the 1980's. Yes, I was displaced from the top 25 by a 2014 Challenger and a 2012 Corvette. Even a 1991 Nissan Z car. But, my day was made as a couple people stuck their head in my open windows and took deep breaths to take in that original "old car smell". You can't recreate that, and it's why as long as I own it, it will stay that way.

After being out of action for six or seven years, and owning it for 35 years, it may not be a contender. But it's what getting into the hobby was all about when I got into it. The only Studebaker and car of it's type there today, it was a lot of fun. And it made the 120 mile round trip without incident:

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z281/kwolford_photos/55SW1.jpg (http://s193.photobucket.com/user/kwolford_photos/media/55SW1.jpg.html)

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z281/kwolford_photos/55SW2.jpg (http://s193.photobucket.com/user/kwolford_photos/media/55SW2.jpg.html)

StudeRich
09-21-2014, 08:38 PM
That's one fancy Champion! Looking real Good! :!:

57pack
09-21-2014, 08:40 PM
Your Studebaker is a beautiful original survivor car!:!!: In my opinion ( for what it's worth) those late model cars should be separate and judged separate from cars 25 years old and older.

sweetolbob
09-21-2014, 08:47 PM
If it was all about winning, I'd sell my Studes/Avantis and buy my SBC powered 39 Ford Standard Coupe back.

It's great you are out again with a nice looking 55. You meet a lot of nice people that way and they'll talk more about a Studebaker than the line of brand X's next to it. BTW, nice writeup.

Bob

studegary
09-21-2014, 08:54 PM
Your Studebaker is a beautiful original survivor car!:!!: In my opinion ( for what it's worth) those late model cars should be separate and judged separate from cars 25 years old and older.

I do not believe those very late model cars belong in any show except a new car show. At many shows and cruise-ins that I attend, a large number of the cars are newer than our everyday drivers (2001). The local AACA annual show is even accepting cars up through 2001. If I wanted to pay the $15 to enter the very clean 2001 Acura 3.2 CL that I drove to the show in, I would have gotten either a first or second place trophy. 1) I have boxes of legitimate trophies. 2) I do not think that my everyday cars, or anyone else's 2001, belongs in an AACA judged show. Makes me think of years ago when I took my 1958 Packard Hardtop to this same AACA show and was refused admission because my Packard was too new. Now, most of the shows and cruise-ins in this area advertise that they take any year of vehicle. I guess that they just want anyone's money and have no standards.

BTW - The 1955 sedan looks excellent!

8E45E
09-21-2014, 09:14 PM
The local AACA annual show is even accepting cars up through 2001. If I wanted to pay the $15 to enter the very clean 2001 Acura 3.2 CL that I drove to the show in, I would have gotten either a first or second place trophy. 1) I have boxes of legitimate trophies. 2) I do not think that my everyday cars, or anyone else's 2001, belongs in an AACA judged show.

Your 2001 Acura is 13 years old. In 1978, I attended a car show where there were a good amount of 1965-66 Thunderbirds, which were 'only' a 12-13 year old car at that point in time. I do not remember ANYONE having an issue of those Thunderbirds being there at the time.

I was at a car show today, I got to see LOTS of Thunderbirds from 1955 thru 1964, an '89 Turbo Coupe, and one each from 2002 and 2005.

I guess 'old' or 'vintage' is in the eye of the beholder.

Craig

sweetolbob
09-21-2014, 09:25 PM
I do not believe those very late model cars belong in any show except a new car show. At many shows and cruise-ins that I attend, a large number of the cars are newer than our everyday drivers (2001). The local AACA annual show is even accepting cars up through 2001. If I wanted to pay the $15 to enter the very clean 2001 Acura 3.2 CL that I drove to the show in, I would have gotten either a first or second place trophy. 1) I have boxes of legitimate trophies. 2) I do not think that my everyday cars, or anyone else's 2001, belongs in an AACA judged show. Makes me think of years ago when I took my 1958 Packard Hardtop to this same AACA show and was refused admission because my Packard was too new. Now, most of the shows and cruise-ins in this area advertise that they take any year of vehicle. I guess that they just want anyone's money and have no standards.

BTW - The 1955 sedan looks excellent!

Most shows around here have two purposes: Raise money for a cause or the organizers and get the local car folks together. Under that criteria, they will let most anything in that's shiny unless it's in primer or a "Rat Rod" and they come in too.

I have no problems with that criteria because at the shows that historically were only old (Pre 70's cars or so), you got the same crowd and the same winners. If I wanted a reunion, I'd plan one.

The latest criteria brings together a wider sampling of the car hobby and exposes a lot of younger folks to we old farts that still have a passion for our rides. I must admit that it's fun to walk past a tuner or hooptie and get into the same passionate car discussion with them as I do with the old farts that brought their 49 Caddy Limo or 55 BBC powered Chevy.

It's interesting that at local shows now I have about as many car guys in their 30's know me as the older folks. I'm now trying to outlive the younger ones. It doesn't get me many trophies, but I have a few with the Avanti/Studes but it keeps my passion for the hobby young and that's by far the most important criteria for me.

Next weekend, I'll be at the local show sponsored by the Corvette Club and I'll be up to my arse in late model fiberglass. I'll have a great time because we are car guys and there will any number of young and old car guys in any type of rides.

Bob

BobPalma
09-21-2014, 09:30 PM
Very nice, Kevin. That has to be one of the most expensive Champions built in 1955.

Automatic Drive or Overdrive? What is the dealer tag(?) below the trunk handle on the deck lid? :o BP

8E45E
09-21-2014, 09:36 PM
Very nice, Kevin. That has to be one of the most expensive Champions built in 1955.

Agreed, Bob.

It still looks as good as it did in 1983: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?8700-South-Bend-and-Avanti-II-production-in-1971-pics/page2&highlight=quarterly

Craig

63t-cab
09-21-2014, 09:52 PM
Very Very nice Kevin, would you happen to have any pics of the interior We could see.

556063
09-21-2014, 10:40 PM
I bought the car in June 1979 from Les Miller in Bremen, IN as it was on display at a gas station in LaPaz, IN (US6 & US31) for his non negotiable full asking price of $1800. He had reservations selling it to a 16 year old, (but, my Dad and Mom were with me, after a failed trip trying to buy a 63 Lark Daytona in South Bend that the owner backed out of selling when the front clip separated from the rest of the car as he pulled it with a tractor to try and start it). I had $1000 from mowing lawns and delivering papers, and my Dad loaned me the balance.

I had just landed a job in a grocery store, and was H**L bent on owning a Studebaker.

The car had 58,000 miles in 1979. We just flipped 71,000 today. The car was originally shipped to Burlington, IA but somehow ended up back here. Les treated it to some new NOS fenders and a lower body repaint in 1970. It still wears that same paint today.

3 spd. OD. The top Windsor Blue is almost certainly original paint. As is the all vinyl interior. I've had the seats out, and the tags on them match the build date of March, 1955.

Engine is a replacement short block, and the dealer tag is one of the reproductions of a Newman & Altman tag sold the past few years. It may have covered up one of the few scratches that are in the original paint.

Andy Molnar sold me the half fender skirts. They were originally yellow, and Andy said he got them from a Studebaker Engineer that was driving a kerosene powered yellow '55 sedan test buck (boy, the stories I've heard with this car back in the day)!

I took the time to add everything up years ago, and I figured the car would have had a retail price of about $1850 in 1955. About what I paid, and probably why I ended up with it. Got the build sheet and all that. My high school classmates made fun of me, and asked me if I knew how nice of a pickup I could have bought with the money back then. I really didn't care what they thought. (I had to skip the burnout competition today, too):

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z281/kwolford_photos/IMG_2595.jpg (http://s193.photobucket.com/user/kwolford_photos/media/IMG_2595.jpg.html)

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z281/kwolford_photos/IMG_2596.jpg (http://s193.photobucket.com/user/kwolford_photos/media/IMG_2596.jpg.html)

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z281/kwolford_photos/IMG_2594.jpg (http://s193.photobucket.com/user/kwolford_photos/media/IMG_2594.jpg.html)

RDWEAVER
09-22-2014, 05:52 PM
Wow! Kevin what a beautiful car! I would say that you could draw an extreme amount of attention at any car show. One thing I have noticed when I go
to any car show is people (car people) tend to pay more attention to what is not as common something the have not seen in a while. Or in a Studebaker's case maybe never seen. There is lots of Camaros and Mustangs at the shows we take our Studebaker to but, when the cars are judged by the people attending they almost always pick one that is out of the ordinary.This can only be due to the attention drawn because it is not so common.
Keep showing that car!
It deserves it.

556063
09-22-2014, 06:18 PM
Thanks everyone for the kind words. One other original detail I forgot to mention is that even as a Champion Regal, it's floors have the black rubber mat in front, with carpet in the back. For years, I wondered if that was an owner's customization? There was a discussion either on the Forum, or maybe before the Forum, that sedans left the factory that way back then.

This car has always been fun to show. Ladies have always loved it (colors). I could spend hours talking about how show attendees and participants have changed the last 35 years. I've run the gamut, from guys coming up to me saying they put the fenders on it, to people now who kind of know what it is but have never seen one before. This car would be the last one I would ever sell, but I don't want to be buried in it. Maybe one of my girls will marry a guy who will take it from where I left off.

Corvanti
09-22-2014, 06:18 PM
great job showing the Studebaker "flag", and a great car!:!:

most of the multi-make car shows here are for 25 years or older, but i've been to a few that showed newer models. some had separate judging, some didn't.

to all, i can only say - keep showing them!!! i'll never forget one rather large show a few years ago where my '40 was parked between a '69 road runner and a modded t-bucket. guess which one had the largest crowd all day!!! the one below...;)

BobPalma
09-22-2014, 09:57 PM
Thanks everyone for the kind words. One other original detail I forgot to mention is that even as a Champion Regal, it's floors have the black rubber mat in front, with carpet in the back. For years, I wondered if that was an owner's customization? There was a discussion either on the Forum, or maybe before the Forum, that sedans left the factory that way back then.

This car has always been fun to show. Ladies have always loved it (colors). I could spend hours talking about how show attendees and participants have changed the last 35 years. I've run the gamut, from guys coming up to me saying they put the fenders on it, to people now who kind of know what it is but have never seen one before. This car would be the last one I would ever sell, but I don't want to be buried in it. Maybe one of my girls will marry a guy who will take it from where I left off.

'Nope, Kevin; the front rubber mat / rear fuzzy carpet was not a prior owner's customization; it was factory issue on 1955 Champion Regals for some reason. The first Studebaker I ever bought with my own money, my 1955 Champion Regal Coupe, was exactly that way and I purchased it directly from the original woman owner (in 1963, when I was 17).

Also, don't be surprised if one of your daughters does just that; marries a guy who is interested in keeping and maintaining the car.

To wit: I spent a happy couple hours getting caught up with an old Ford friend at The Hoosier Auto Show & Swap Meet this past weekend; we really hadn't spent that much time in conversation for many years, and I appreciated getting caught up.

Among other things, he related to me that he recently gave his nice 1930 Model A Ford Tudor to his youngest daughter and her husband. He bought the Model A in 1962 so, yes, he had owned it continuously for 52 years :ohmy:, well before she was born,and gave it to her and her husband just a couple months ago. 'Still in the family! :!: BP

BobPalma
09-22-2014, 10:44 PM
Well, Kevin, you know how I love a challenge.

The $1,850 MSRP sounded too low for a car so well-equipped, so I got out my February and March 1994 Turning Wheels and tried to come up with a much closer MSRP, based on Fred Fox's pricing. Some items were dealer-installed, so labor is not included...and I had to interpolate a couple prices, too, so this is supposed to be a close approximation, not an exact figure....but I think this is pretty close to what would have been the original MSRP:


1955 Champion Regal 4-door sedan: 1,993.00

Tinted Glass all windows: $23.65
Front Bumper Guards (est): 6.00
Oil Bath Air Cleaner: 7.26
Clock: 18.45
Electric Wipers: 9.68

Manual-tune 6-tube radio: $58.70
Vinyl Upholstery: 43.00
Climatizer: 59.75
Front Fender Top Ornaments: 8.75
Two-Tone Paint: 18.28

Oil Filter: $14.37
Cigarette Lighter: 3.15
Overdrive: 105.35
Exterior R/V Mirror: 4.35
WSW Tires (est): 20.00

Directional Signals: 17.17
Wheel Covers: 13.89
Fender Skirts: 14.50
Front Bumper Fog Lamps: 29.65
Freight (est): 25.00

Estimated Total: $2,498.95

(Yes, that would have been a helluva deal for $1,850 out the door!) :D BP

EssexExport
09-23-2014, 07:29 AM
Sometimes you just scratch your head with these judges. They don't know or appreciate the older rides. Of course a 2014 ride should have better paint, but this is not fair regarding something 40 to 60 years older. The best thing is when they do have proper classes.

Nox
09-23-2014, 06:09 PM
Gee THAT's some extremely nice ride in my opinion!!!
My Josephine is/"was" also a Champion but I found her in a quite worse condition & now after 4 years she's finaly get'n out on the roads, & as a year-around daily driver.

37952

I wanna see more 53-55 sedans!!!
:)

556063
09-23-2014, 07:25 PM
Well, Kevin, you know how I love a challenge.

Estimated Total: $2,498.95

(Yes, that would have been a helluva deal for $1,850 out the door!) :D [SIZE=3][B]BP ]
No argument at all Bob. It may have been even higher if it rolled off the lot new with all it has, because it's a pushbutton radio with rear speaker and crank up antenna. Plus, I put a gas door guard on it.

To make the story of the car even more interesting, the previous owner told me he bought the new front fenders, radio and accessories, and many of the other goodies now on it at Standard Surplus while they were still selling everything by the pound. He said he drove to Standard Surplus and came home with a pickup bed full of parts for around $50. Those were the days! (circa 1970).

I paid Andy $65 for the fenderskirts about 1980.

There is a section in the service manual that I recall that says certain geographical areas should have the oil bath air cleaner for some reason. I think Iowa was in the shaded area.

Invoice and factory list would have been much less, as the production order indicates, it left South Bend for Iowa with much less gingerbread on it:

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z281/kwolford_photos/img036.jpg (http://s193.photobucket.com/user/kwolford_photos/media/img036.jpg.html)

BobPalma
09-23-2014, 08:42 PM
Wow, Kevin; it was built without overdrive and shipped to Iowa, where people generally had long, flat roads with many miles between towns and farmer-induced frugality.

I'd say a two-tone Regal shipped to Iowa without overdrive is one rare order...more so in that the oil bath air cleaner suggests it was destined for dusty rural roads, too. :cool:

An interesting car, for sure. 'Nice to see it being so pleasantly preserved and displayed. :!: BP

Deaf Mute
09-23-2014, 08:49 PM
The information I have found for my 1953 was that if the car was sold EAST of the Mississippi, it got a dry air cleaner. If it was sold WEST of the Mississippi (like mine was) it was equipped with an oil bath air cleaner.

JRoberts
09-23-2014, 08:50 PM
Beautiful car. Glad to see it being shown like you do it. Drive it the show, show it, drive it home from the show.

556063
09-23-2014, 09:27 PM
With Burlington being right on, but west of, the Mississippi, it did just sneak into the oil bath area.

I may be wrong, but I used to check the old list of Studebaker Dealers to see if the name of the Burlington dealer ever appeared. Been a while since I've looked, but never saw it.

As far as the atmosphere at shows today and judging, people's tastes have changed dramatically. The highest point score I ever attained at an SDC meet with this car was 364, which was just after a lot of scrubbing and painting in the 80's when I had the time, patience and physical flexibility to get in the nooks and crannies. Cleanliness is THE #1 thing these newer judges look for. They have no clue what is original or came from the factory. If it shines, it's a winner.

It's amazing how long term storage, even on an insulated and concrete floored building, can negate such details. But just like my memory, 35 years is long enough to make everything fuzzy.

People's Choice at this show was awarded to a 1976 Maroon Corvette. It didn't even come close to reaching out and grabbing me as the obvious contender. I've always found that vintage of Vette boring. There was a frame off 1958 Vette, orange and white, that would have got my vote before the '76. My wife wanted to put the 1960 King Midget in the trunk and take it home.

It is fun to get out, but the more I get out I realize how old I'm getting, and how much the hobby has changed. Seeing how the average age of people walking through and voting was 25-40, that '76 Vette was a car they lusted for in their teens. People are drawn to what they remember in their youth.

57pack
09-24-2014, 03:14 AM
Hi, couldn't sleep, read post about Studebaker dealer in Burlington Iowa.
I checked Bobs Studebaker Dealer Resource page and found a dealer by the name of
Neihaus Motors. Could that have been the selling dealer of your Regal Regal?

556063
09-24-2014, 06:34 AM
Hi, couldn't sleep, read post about Studebaker dealer in Burlington Iowa.
I checked Bobs Studebaker Dealer Resource page and found a dealer by the name of
Neihaus Motors. Could that have been the selling dealer of your Regal Regal?

Wow, that list is up to 11,000 names! Hadn't checked it since it was moved to Bob's page. Quite a list.

In 1942, it looks like Burlington Motor Sales was established (higher up on the list). Then, in 1951, it looks like Burlington Motor Sales changed owners. No dates given after the Neihaus Motors listing. I doubt there were two dealers in Burlington at the same time. I would guess Neihaus took over and did not precede Burlington Motor Sales. They were likely the dealer in the 60's. One of the two names would have been the dealer in February - March 1955.

Thanks for the info!

packardHawk58
09-24-2014, 07:49 AM
Nice car Kevin! I actually just bought a coupe in the same colour combination with 60,000 mls on the clock.
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae194/packardhawk58/56%20Golden/IMG_2575_zpsbe076fb6.jpg (http://s971.photobucket.com/user/packardhawk58/media/56%20Golden/IMG_2575_zpsbe076fb6.jpg.html)

DEEPNHOCK
09-24-2014, 08:24 AM
They just did a 70's Caddy in that two tone shade of green on the reality show 'Counting Cars'.
Looked good on the Caddy. Looks great on the Stude.
Maybe you were the inspiration they were copying on that show! :!:

jclary
09-24-2014, 08:38 AM
Some time ago, I was looking for something (don't remember what), anyway, I was deep in the back of a closet. I uncovered a large box and opened it. Inside, a huge collection of long forgotten trophies. That was when I realized, all those hard earned awards, were of value mostly to me. To my wife, just more clutter to be dusted (and in her defense, rightly so.)

Since then, I've done my best to relax and enjoy car shows, cruise-in, and club meets. I try to keep my vehicles presentable, but not tie myself in knots with angst. I've seen too many folks "come & go" from the hobby because they have unrealistic expectations, overextend themselves in money, emotion, and finally burnout. I am just cantankerous enough to enjoy showing up in a Studebaker, and standing out among a sea of "me too" vehicles.

At our most recent event, I drove my old Land Cruiser. After arriving at the meet, I realized that, after pulling the old gal from the barn and giving her a quick wash job at dusk the night before...I hadn't done a very good job of cleaning. A quick trip to K-mart, and I was back at the motel...CLEANING THE CAR WITH CLEANER WAX!:ohmy::eek: Not a very common sight for me. The second place trophy was nice, although I was late to the awards and missed the presentation. Years ago, that trophy would have been proudly displayed on my coffee table, but now, it is still out in the barn, lying on the back seat.:)

For me, the "real trophy" was the safe trip, fellowship, and good time.:!:...and the smug irritating (to some) assurance that "anybody can buy a Ford or Chevy"...But a Studebaker?...that's special.:):D;)

ken-renda
09-24-2014, 10:08 AM
Decades ago, I gave up the idea of acquiring a trophy when at a show after a just completed kit 60's Cobra, won in a class with my 57 GH. When I voiced a concern that the Cobra was, in affect, a "new car" the show sponsor agreed but did nothing. That coupled with the realization that a marginal big 3 car, will almost always win over a Studebaker and that many judge's credentials are suspect lead me to this conclusion. I, for many years now, leave before trophies are announced and concentrate on enjoying one of the best, most interesting cars ever produced and talking to spectators, who, in many cases, have never seen one. Ken, Deltaville, Va