View Full Version : Everybody's Report: 2015 Studebaker Nationals & Orphan Drags

05-18-2015, 06:37 PM
:!!: (UPDATE NOTE: Since everyone -including me- is posting comments and photos about the 2015 event in this thread, it made sense to change the title, rather than start a new thread.) ;) BP

Hey, hey, folks: Richard & Rose Poe are busy getting ready for this Saturday's (May 23, 2015) Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Drags at Brown County Raceway in Bean Blossom IN (Brown County), so they may not have had time to post.

But a reminder for all, everywhere: Be There Or Be Square; it promises to be another great year. We'll have The Plain Brown Wrapper there for the first time, as well as The Stude Tomato. Hopefully, others will post with their plans and other cars known to be coming; I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth. ;)

:p If you can come Friday, join the Studebaker masses for dinner at 5:30 PM Friday, May 22, at The Seasons Lodge on Indiana State Road 46 southeast of Nashville. Friday Night Prime Rib Buffet :woot:, or order off the menu. Desserts at the Poes' home afterwords; 'always a great time. Note: Traffic is heavy around Nashville Friday evening, so allow plenty of time to get there regardless of what your GPS says.

See y'all then..and thanks in advance, Richard & Rose. :!: :D :cool: BP

05-18-2015, 09:26 PM
Leaving in the morning via WVA. Just have to pack some clean socks and meds.

05-18-2015, 09:29 PM
Robin and I will be driving down in our '64 Daytona hardtop and we plan on making a couple passes down the track. We are rookies at this but who cares. This is going to be a lot of fun. We're going to drive down Friday so we can attend the dinner. We'll be driving I-69 south from the Flint, Michigan area in case anyone wants to meet up and caravan. Looking forward to seeing everybody there!

05-18-2015, 10:04 PM
We are bringing a 51 Commander. Talked to Rich Meadows and they are coming. Sounds like a lot of fun.

05-19-2015, 09:09 AM
Thanks Bob, busy we are!
The response is strong. It's hard to keep track of everyone, so if you are racing fill out an index card so we don't miss you in the articles. If you come to us it would help. We will be giving something to each racer with a car registered. We think we have enough but just in case you'll want to get signed up early. We have reserved pit space, but that will fill up fast.
The parade lap will be around 10:30. All Studebakers and Orphan cars can make the lap even if you aren't racing. The cars will stop for pictures. Bring your camera.
Come early, track opens at 9:00 and there have been long lines getting in, in the past. Rose and I will have a lot to do that day but we hope to get to meet you all. Again, be sure to sign in.
The Poe's

05-20-2015, 02:33 PM
Weather looks great Saturday, mid 70s.

05-23-2015, 11:24 PM
The Studebaker Drags were today here in Brown County Indiana. I don't have all the information for you now, but we had another great year. As usual we have recruited new members for the SDC, and a lot of new Studebaker performance fans.
Thanks to all who came to race or just watch.
See you all again next year.
Richard and Rose Poe.

Studebaker Wheel
05-24-2015, 03:29 AM
I was there! Thanks for organizing it Richard and for your hospitality. Enjoyable time. I counted 19 Studebakers in competition. A few of the photos I took.


Pat Dilling
05-24-2015, 11:53 AM
Wow, I bet you guys had a great time, would love to do this but that's a long haul for a single day event. Will continue to live vicariously through you.

05-24-2015, 12:01 PM
Likewise to Pat's #9 post. Logistics just don't work for us westerners. Keep up the great showing and lets see more pics!

Studebaker Wheel
05-24-2015, 12:58 PM
A few more images. A few unlikely pairings!


Chicken Hawk
05-24-2015, 01:09 PM
Robin and I will be driving down in our '64 Daytona hardtop and we plan on making a couple passes down the track. We are rookies at this but who cares. This is going to be a lot of fun. We're going to drive down Friday so we can attend the dinner. We'll be driving I-69 south from the Flint, Michigan area in case anyone wants to meet up and caravan. Looking forward to seeing everybody there!

Great to meet you Neil and Robin. Your '64 is really nice. Also, thanks for the help changing Tom's intake and carb. Look forward to seeing you in Stanton this fall.

Everyone thanks Rose and Richard for all the time, work, and expense they go through each year to put this on. It's getting more popular each year.

Ted & Mary Ann

Chicken Hawk
05-24-2015, 01:23 PM
Likewise to Pat's #9 post. Logistics just don't work for us westerners. Keep up the great showing and lets see more pics!

Realize everyone that would like to attend can't but kudos to some of those that did travel a long distance, people like George Krem (R 3 '64 Challenger), from Nebraska, Peter and Marna Sant (Kool R 2 Avanti) from Canada, Tom and Elaine Covington ('64 R 2) from Virginia, Neil and Robin Loughlin ('64 Daytona HT) from Michigan, and probably a few others I can't think of off the top of my head. Be interesting if Richard could name all the states that have been represented over the years that have attended. Amazing.


Deaf Mute
05-24-2015, 01:28 PM
Post # 8, photo #6... I want to know the story on that pickup! Is there a diesel under that hood?

Studebaker Wheel
05-24-2015, 01:55 PM
Yes, International.

05-24-2015, 05:25 PM
Robin and I just got home from the Studebaker Drags and we had a great time! As a couple of drag racing rookies, we were nervous about making mistakes at the track but there was so much help and advice from the seasoned racers we had no problems. We took turns driving our '64 Daytona hardtop and after our first passes we were both grinning and making plans for our next runs. On the drive home we discussed changes we could make to the rear axle and adding clamps to the leaf springs to reduce wheel hop (thanks for the advice Ted!).

Richard, you were correct when you told me "You'll be hooked!"

We can't begin to thank everyone for the fun, help and hospitality. We will be back. Richard and Rose are awesome hosts! Thanks for putting this together!

Neil + Robin Loughlin

05-24-2015, 09:59 PM
:D As everyone has noted above, it was a wonderful time. I'm pretty sure a record number of Studebakers turned out; perhaps Richard Poe can post to confirm when he has a moment to catch his breath. ;)

Meanwhile: Thanks so much, Richard & Rose; The camaraderie and eats were perfect and your work is greatly appreciated.

I've got more photos for later, but here are a few at random, with comments. No order to these at all:

First, the line-up: A full 1/8 mile of Studebakers, augmented by one Hudson, one prewar, flathead-powered hot rod, and a straight-axle gasser Henry J. (Chuck Kern's pretty yellow Champ stake bed truck has just passed beneath; the first vehicle in the parade):

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55912_zps9o9z07dp.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55912_zps9o9z07dp.jpg.html)

Our Masters of Ceremonies, Richard & Rose Poe....and friends. Richard is in the back row in the gray shirt; Rose is in front of him. :) We are a Happy Bunch!

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF56171_zps4ca29uww.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF56171_zps4ca29uww.jpg.html)

Keith & Tina Harp from Coatesville IN brought their cute 1963 Lark Regal Six 2-door straight axle gasser with 454 Bow-Tie power...twisting the lightest frame Studebaker made in 1963! :QQ: Keith must've just grabbed the closest available empty vessel for an improvised radiator overflow can ;):

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55841_zpsj1bzdqft.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55841_zpsj1bzdqft.jpg.html)

Keith bought the car with the straight axle conversion already done but sans engine. I had seen it at the Danville IN First Friday Cruise-In two years ago, so I know it is street-able. We loaded up Keith and Tina with information to join SDC and he said he was going right home to do so, they had had such a nice time. Welcome, folks! :!:

Somebody must've alerted Harvey Beeler that Dick Quinn would be in attendance, looking for prewar Studebaker products. So Harvey drove his 350-crate engined 1929 Erskine up from New Albany IN:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55811_zps3b4e8g7o.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55811_zps3b4e8g7o.jpg.html)

The Bean Blossom Gendarmes wanted a group mug shot of the usual suspects before rounding them up and loading them into the paddy wagon for disturbing the peace, but their equipment budget had been stretched thin this year and they couldn't afford a camera, so I obliged.

From the left: Ted Harbit (The Stude Tomato in competition), Richard Poe (Screaming Green 1964 Challenger 2-door in competition), Peter Sant (1963 R2 Avanti in competition), Wayne Iseminger (1951 Commander 4-door in competition), Rich Meadows (1964 R4 Challenger in competition), John Kern (assisting father Chuck with 1963 R2 Avanti in competition), and Matthew Kern, also assisting John and "Grandpa" Chuck:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55791_zpsupluph6u.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55791_zpsupluph6u.jpg.html)

(It was really hot and several ladies were clad in minimalist garb, so it was difficult to get John Kern to look at the camera :ohmy:....geeze, you can only waste so many frames trying to get everybody on the same page, you know...) :o

Chuck Kern's Avanti takes on Rich Meadows' 1964 R4 Challenger:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF56361_zpsih9wbmfl.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF56361_zpsih9wbmfl.jpg.html)

"Newbies" Neil & Robin Loughlin with their drop-dead gorgeous Laguna Blue 1964 Daytona hardtop. :!!: 289 / 225 / 4-speed. Really pretty. We're happy they had such a nice time on their first trip down from Michigan. (And if their Daytona hardtop doesn't have you taking the vapors, know that they also own a twin 1964 Daytona convertible in the same color!) :!!::

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55711_zpsuwnxqwtw.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55711_zpsuwnxqwtw.jpg.html)

Yes, father Richard and son Josh Pitcher's 1953 2R Pickup from Morgantown IN (maybe 12 miles up the road) was a real hit with its 360 International Six Diesel power:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55601_zps3431gdzk.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55601_zps3431gdzk.jpg.html)

What an "attitude," eh? They said the rear end is a 4700 series from a school bus application! :eek:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55581_zps5txsvx6d.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55581_zps5txsvx6d.jpg.html)

Golden Hawk owners have a knack for finding each other, especially if their cars are painted in the same color scheme. Comparing notes here are George Krem and driver Larry Main of Parker City IN. Remarkably, Larry bought his 1957 Golden Hawk brand new in 1957 :woot:, when he was 20 years old! It has never left his hands. There can't be but a handful of Golden Hawks of any year still in the hands of the original owners, but Larry is one of them. His car was built with Flightomatic, but he converted it to column-shift overdrive years ago. Larry's engine room is not cluttered up with power steering or power brakes, either:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF56451_zpsxizsulys.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF56451_zpsxizsulys.jpg.html)

Larry's car is white with gold fins, just like George's 1958 Golden Hawk with overdrive. (George's car originally had the 1958-issue gold roof, too, but he opted for gold fins only when the car was refinished, to look like a 1957 model...and just like Larry Main's.:))

Stay tuned for more photos and commentary Monday. (It's been a long weekend, what with getting The Plain Brown Wrapper to The Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Drags for the first time and then watching the grandkids all day while Family Nurse Practitioner / daughter Kate had medical duties at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield hospital during today's 99th Indianapolis 500 Race and son-in-law Michael was working the LifeLine Helicopter all day. 'Gotta get some sleep.) ;) :eek: :cool: BP

05-24-2015, 10:06 PM
Half way home in "Wild & Wonderful West Virginia" A few photos at the Poe's and the track

05-25-2015, 09:54 AM
:D OK, I am going to take a stab at listing all the Studebaker competitors who were there, with their Studebakers (or orphans). If the person(s) and their car are not in some of the previously-posted photos, I'll try to find and post a photo of them. ('Sorry, no times and speeds; we'll leave that to individuals to post if they'd like.)

In no particular order:

1. Larry Kennedy, Indianapolis IN, red 1951 Hudson Super Six Coupe.

2. Tom Covington, Richmond VA, multi-colored 1964 Commander 2-door with warmed up R2.

3. Neil & Robin Loughlin, Ortonville MI, Laguna Blue 1964 Daytona hardtop.

4. Wayne Iseminger, Westville IN, robin-egg blue 1951 Commander 4-door.

5. Peter Sant, Quinte West ON, maroon 1963 R2 Avanti.

6. Josh & Richard Pitcher, Morgantown IN, black primer 1953 2R truck w/ IH diesel.

7. Rick Donahue, Janesville WI, red 1972 Avanti II.

8. Steve Donahue, Janesville WI, black 1955 Commander HT w/ 350 Chevy.

9. Gene Little, Creal Springs IL, silver/red fin insert 1961 Hawk w/ 289 vortec supercharged Ford.

10. Cecil Meadows, Lake Village IN, red and white 1955 Commander station wagon.

11. Rich Meadows, Perrysville IN, Jet Green 1964 Challenger R4.

12. George Krem, Holdredge NE, Bermuda Brown 1964 Challenger R3.

13. Harvey Beeler, New Albany IN, maroon 1929 Erskine w/350 Chevy (not in competition).

14. Ted Harbit, Summitville IN, Regal Red 1963 Lark Custom 2dr.

15. Keith & Tina Harp, Coatesville IN, dark blue 1963 Lark Regal 2dr straight axle 454 Chevy

16. Chuck Kern, Martinsville IN, white 1963 R2 Avanti

17. Chuck Kern, Martinsville IN, yellow 1962 Champ stake-bed (not in competition).

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55891_zpsjn3ooljc.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55891_zpsjn3ooljc.jpg.html)

18. Richard Poe, Nashville IN, bright green 1964 Challenger 2dr w/ high-output Studebaker 340 V8?

19. Andy & Terri Schwartz, Indianapolis IN, tan 1962 Lark Six 4-dr. (not in competition).

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55881_zpsoyuvqqd3.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55881_zpsoyuvqqd3.jpg.html)

20. Bob Parker, Nineveh IN, white 1959 Lark VIII hardtop (not in competition).

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF55821_zpsumrztley.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF55821_zpsumrztley.jpg.html)

21. Larry Main, Parker City IN, white/gold fin 1957 Golden Hawk.

(I am sorry; I did not learn the identity of the folks with the white 1963 GT Hawk with 350 Chevrolet engine.)

I AM SORRY IF I MISSED ANYONE THERE WITH A STUDEBAKER; let me know without biting my head off, please! :D BP

05-25-2015, 10:58 AM
I'm going to post soon, but we are still trying to catch up. I'm enjoying reading all the comments.
It was a big day for Studebaker any way you look at it.

05-25-2015, 12:56 PM
I was waiting in line to turn in about 15 minutes or so and my R1 Cruiser started to overheat and the points? stuck in the voltage reg. and was max charging the battery, so I turned around and went back home to work on it. Should have driven my 66, I guess. It was the first time I'd driven the 63 more than a few miles. Still got some bugs to work out.
Disappointed I wasn't able to attend, hopefully next time.

05-25-2015, 04:31 PM
Just got home and had a good time. Thanks to everyone who put it on. Car did not run very good at track but it run over 4oo miles to get there and back so that is the most importent thing.
Thanks again!

05-25-2015, 05:49 PM
:) An interesting aside is that Richard & Rose had an award for the driver who posted the fastest reaction time. The driver who won was 80 years old!

That would be Ted Harbit, of course, who won the contest with one reaction time of .536 (sometimes referred elsewhere as .036 at other strips) in his Stude Tomato, followed with a .541 in The Plain Brown Wrapper. :woot: BP

05-25-2015, 07:23 PM
I had a .539 and I am 77 years old. Maybe in a couple of years I too may be as quick. It does get better with age doesn't it?


05-25-2015, 07:56 PM
I had a .539 and I am 77 years old. Maybe in a couple of years I too may be as quick. It does get better with age doesn't it? Peter

;) That's correct, Peter. If you note, Ted is 80 and clipped off a .536.

You are 77 and got a .539.

That means you will do .538 when you are 78
and .537 when you are 79.

At age 80, you'll finally get down to .536, just like Ted.

See how that works? :!!: BP

R3 challenger
05-25-2015, 08:43 PM
I had a wonderful time, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Thanks so much, Richard and Rose, for all the work you put into this event. Rose is also known as a Champion pie-baker (near pun intended). Thanks, Rose--delicious stuff!


R3 challenger
05-26-2015, 12:27 AM
:) An interesting aside is that Richard & Rose had an award for the driver who posted the fastest reaction time. The driver who won was 80 years old!

That would be Ted Harbit, of course, who won the contest with one reaction time of .536 (sometimes referred elsewhere as .036 at other strips) in his Stude Tomato, followed with a .541 in The Plain Brown Wrapper. :woot: BP

Nels's comment about Ted winning the reaction time contest went something like "Think of how good he'll be in another 20 years."


05-26-2015, 08:34 AM
Yes, great time and great fun. Everyone should try and go at least once in their stude life time. Fast or slow just go and enjoy.

Made it home safely Monday evening. So for my wife and I it was a full 7 day adventure of fellowship, great food, lots of hilarius laughs, and greasey hands work. Going to the metal yard with Richard and buy $135 of aluminum stock by the pound for my mini lathe and minimill was for me a great joy. Working two days on a front disk drag problem I have had from day one on my Commander was also satisfying fun and adventurous. We truly spent two days solving this problem and locating a replacement master cylinder that freed up the rotation just great. But the comedy and horsing around with Richard and Peter was for me better than a sit comedy. Richard had me laughing so hard under his car lift you would have thought he missed his comedy calling. We were tying up a loose muffler and checking the rear suspension over. We later took the car out on the main road for some response testings.

At the track I made a total of 8 runs and wanted more but they didn't like me hot lapping and got sent to the pits. First run got no time slip. But the 2nd and 3rd run while very consistent were off the mark. Car was running only 9.44 @ 74-75. This was using an untested aluminum intake and carb so with with help from Ted and Neil we installed a R iron intake and different carb I had brought along over this possible problem. With that change the Lark was able to run some high 8's. The engine did not like the large port and plenum design.

Best reaction time for me was .058 and the cars best run was 8.717@80.06 on a 2.072 for the 60 ft. After the event I discovered we had left the vacumn advance line off the carb base port by oversight. This is the first long distance trip I had made in years because of spine problems but if my health can hold I do hope to do this again and add a full extra day because I didn't get to see any of the Nashville attraction shops or parks and there truly is a lot to see and do.

A few photos.

05-26-2015, 09:36 AM
At first count looks like we had 23 drivers that were racing 19 cars and trucks entered for the race. As it is every year, we all lined up in the staging lanes for the parade lap. Whether you are racing or not, if you have a Studebaker or orphan car you are invited to make a lap down the track for pictures.
The cars stretched for over an eighth of a mile starting at the burnout box about three car lengths before the start line, and ending about four car lengths past the finish line! While we were all lined up in front of the spectators, we stopped for pictures. The Brown County Democrat had a local reporter on hand that interviewed several people during the event for the newspaper
I need to thank my wife Rose. She worked with me but really she did most of the work, to get ready and all day at the track. We were up and down the entire length of the pits making sure to welcome everyone. We sure hope we didn't miss anyone. Thanks Rose.
As Tom just said, Tom, Peter, and I spent a couple days working in my shop before the race and we made some improvement that will pay off at the track for Tom. It was great having Tom and Elaine, and Peter and Marna Sant here to visit for a couple of days before the race. BTW the counter guy at AutoZone went to extremes that we have never seen before to get us the correct Master Cylinder for Tomís car. I couldnít find the receipt or the part# for the MC I had on my car and we needed to get the same one for Tom. It was late and we needed it quick, so he went through all my purchases back to 2007 and checked every part number until he found it. We had the correct part at 9:00AM the next day! It was a lot of digging and he did it with enthusiasm. He wrote all the part numbers down and typed them in one at a time until he found it. It was the last one on his list.
Thank for all the positive commentsí on this form.
Richard and Rose

05-26-2015, 07:50 PM
I put this video on the racing site. It's Peter Sant and Tom Covington. Go to the racing site and take a look.