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Hadum1
07-16-2015, 05:40 PM
I'm looking for a daily driver with A/C that will go 75 on the turnpike. My commute is 50 miles - am I crazy to think a Stude would be a good option? I love my Champ truck. If not a Stude, what's another old car that would make a good commuter. I can't see buying a $40,000 car that doesn't make me as happy as a Studebaker.

Thanks,
Adam

StudeRich
07-16-2015, 05:52 PM
The VERY FIRST requirement would be either a 3 Speed Manual WITH Overdrive, or a THM 2004R/700R4 GM conversion to Automatic Overdrive.
You should get 19-24 MPG and 70-75 MPH without a problem with a 259 or 289 V8 and the right Axle Ratio, probably 3.07 or 3.31 Dana Model 44 Stock Stude.

Then will come the upgrade to Disc. Front Brakes and '63-'66 11 Inch Finned Drum Rear setup for Front Disc. to handle the Speed.

This should easily be under Half the Price of a New "Plastic Bar of Soap" transportation device.

OH! You will also need a '59 to '66 Lark or Lark Type in your choice of Body Styles.

Of course 95% of the Studes. you find will need the Vintage Air A/C Conversion added to meet your requirement.

Good hunting! :)

garrilla
07-16-2015, 06:04 PM
The VERY FIRST requirement would be either a 3 Speed Manual WITH Overdrive, or a THM 2004R/700R4 GM conversion to Automatic Overdrive.
You should get 19-24 MPG and 70-75 MPH without a problem with a 259 or 289 V8 and the right Axle Ratio, probably 3.07 or 3.31 Dana Model 44 Stock Stude.

Then will come the upgrade to Disc. Front Brakes and '63-'66 Rear Drum setup for Front Disc. to handle the Speed.

This should easily be under Half the Price of a New "Plastic Bar of Soap" transportation device.

OH! You will also need a '59 to '66 Lark or Lark Type in your choice of Body Styles.
That's some very good advice. It's much more important to go from 75 to 0 than getting up to that speed quickly.

Corvanti
07-16-2015, 06:20 PM
agree with Rich (except for limiting your search to a Lark).;)

one thing i might possibly add is radial tires for a commute in most all weather, and handling.:)

StudeRich
07-16-2015, 06:28 PM
agree with Rich (except for limiting your search to a Lark).;)/Cut/

There is good reason for that, I tried to hold the cost to $20,000.00.
And for a Driver, you do not want to risk driving a Hawk or Avanti and certainly nothing Older on today's roads for 36,500 Miles a year!

Corvanti
07-16-2015, 06:42 PM
i understand your logic, Rich - but - who knows what could be found "out there" that has many of the things the OP is looking for already completed at a decent price. i was thinking Hawk more than Avanti. a Lark/Lark type would be fine, but i wouldn't just look for one model.

i hope that makes sense.:)

sweetolbob
07-16-2015, 07:02 PM
There's also the Avanti's from 66 on. Buy a good one for less than $10K, SBC powered so overdrive upgrade is cheap and easy. Comfortable with a fiberglass body and Better Dana 44 flanged axle rear end. Upgrade to Turner disc brakes for ease of replacement, you should already have a dual master cylinder etc.

Most come with AC but an upgrade is an option

All the style of a Studebaker with the ease of upkeep and upgradability of the later SBC drivetrain. Easy to make go and stop with today traffic.

jclary
07-16-2015, 07:16 PM
Well...in my younger days, I would have been right there with you. In fact, when I was the head of my own company, I drove a V8 automatic 1960 Lark. I installed the A/C myself and used the car covering several states for about three years. However, once I became an "employee" again...it soon became obvious that not everyone I had to answer to had the same admiration for my Old Car as I did. Not all people understand the intellect, hard work, and dedication it takes to keep a vintage car in good condition. In fact, some take it as a personal affront, that you are unwilling to use the good money they are paying you to use transportation that reflects well on them and the company you are working for. Even if you think it is none of their business, it is a reality we must take into account.

In the days our cars were built, a common practice was to replace points, condenser, and spark plugs every 10 to 12 thousand miles. At thirty to fifty thousand miles, it was serious "trade-in" time. At seventy thousand miles, discussions of overhaul, suspension work, and re-upholstery were taking place. And...few people commuted 50 miles, one way, each day.

I'd recommend looking for a decent used car, with reputable/reliability, and invest in a good driver Studebaker for a fair weather fun trip when it's convenient. I love my Studebaker vehicles as good as the next, and, even when I was an "employee," used them as door openers/conversation starters that got me some of the best accounts I ever had. That said, nothing can bring the old car fun experience to an end faster than having a breakdown at a high stress, inconvenient critical moment (and they're never convenient), or worse, loosing your job because of an irritated boss.

SN-60
07-16-2015, 07:22 PM
There's also the Avanti's from 66 on. Buy a good one for less than $10K, SBC powered so overdrive upgrade is cheap and easy. Comfortable with a fiberglass body and Better Dana 44 flanged axle rear end. Upgrade to Turner disc brakes for ease of replacement, you should already have a dual master cylinder etc.

Most come with AC but an upgrade is an option

All the style of a Studebaker with the ease of upkeep and upgradability of the later SBC drivetrain. Easy to make go and stop with today traffic.



'Old SN-60' couldn't have said it better himself Bob! :!:

Dick Steinkamp
07-16-2015, 07:23 PM
I'd recommend looking for a decent used car, with reputable/reliability, and invest in a good driver Studebaker for a fair weather fun trip when it's convenient.

.....X2 :!!:

SN-60
07-16-2015, 07:24 PM
.....X2 :!!:

You are kidding of course! ;)

Dick Steinkamp
07-16-2015, 07:34 PM
You are kidding of course! ;)

Nope...I like John's idea from a cost/benefit standpoint. Bob's is a close second.

Another option is a Stude like Treblig is building over in the Tech Forum, but I'm afraid it might be over budget for this application.

6hk71400
07-16-2015, 07:58 PM
Wow! What a topic. For many years my daily driver Studebaker was either a 52 Commander with Overdrive, 62 Gt with 4 Speed and 65 Cruiser with A/T and 3.07 or a 56 President Classic with AT/3.31.
My current daily driver is a 97 Olds 88 with now 60,000 miles that I inherited from a lol (little old lady) that I drove around (miss daisy) for 15 years. I took a trip to Reno from Tucson at Thanksgiving getting 400 miles on a tank or 26 mph very smooth comfortable and all highway speeds. Of course at 63, my commute days for the job are over. Yet, I have seen both sides of the fence on this issue.

For years, I always have wanted to drive to an International meet in a Studebaker and when my 55 is done, I plan on doing that. I will plan on stopping every hour or so just for my comfort and enjoyment. My perspective on a long drive in a Studebaker has been tempered by a long trip I did take about 10 years ago. I did a marathon drive in two days 2,000 miles trip to deliver a car. I was completely worn out by the time I got there and then did a quick turnaround in another vehicle, a Dodge Conversion Van.

Nothing will make your life and job miserable if you have a car that you cannot arrive rested after the trip and knowing you have to climb in that old "sled" and head home. I could recommend a newer car that I always found comfortable and economical. I worked for a time at a correctional facility that was 60 miles one way and picked up a $900 car that was perfect for me. Comfortable, 30 mph and even though it has 130,000 miles and need paint and body work, the interior still was good. It was a Nissan Altima. Others probably have a favorite as well so check into all options before you leap into this.

Okay, I have my laser shields up and full up on dilethim crystals so fire away!

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

70Avanti2
07-16-2015, 08:29 PM
If your Champ is a v8 start fixing it like you want it.

A rear axle swap is a good start. Taller tires. Modern disc brake system. Ac. All good upgrades.

Bob Caser
07-16-2015, 08:40 PM
An Avanti is the the choice for me. I hope to finish what will become my daily driver in the next month. 64 Avanti , small block Chevy, 200 r trans, Ford 9 inch rear end, four wheel disc, Recaro seats, Air conditioning, Dynamat insulated interior, etc, etc.4574845749

Bob Caser

JoeHall
07-16-2015, 09:00 PM
Any properly geared Stude V8, or 65-66, six or eight, or Avanti II, is up to the chore you describe. If the mechanicals are in tip-top shape when you get it, all you'd need do is stay on top of the maintenance.

However, to find one in tip-top mechanical shape is like looking for big foot. Most folks nowdays focus far more on appearance than mechanicals. To stay on top of maintenance, figure on about an hour per week average, tinkering with one thing or another. It is basically, drive awhile then work awhile, and must become a way of life.

Also, drive-ability improvements are probably gonna be highly desirable: HD radiator (especially with AC); HD suspension; disc brakes and PS (if not equipped); auxiliary heater (if you live where it gets cold in winter); 3rd brake light; modified fuel system (to deal with vapor lock); modern seats & seat belts, etc., etc.

If you are mechanically inclined, love to tinker, have time to tinker, are willing to spend money you did not anticipate going in, then a Stude may fit the bill for you. OTOH, if you are not, it is probably not a good idea to buy a Stude for the chore you describe. Besides, its lonely out there on the road. You will be lucky to meet another Stude on the road once every 20,000 miles (excluding within a 50 mile radius of an SDC meet). But you will get lots of AOKs and "thumbs up" from folks who see you on the road :)

starliner62
07-16-2015, 09:08 PM
I drove a 1959 Brand x for six years as a daily driver, with only a generator failure in those six years. I did move up a few years as an opportunity arised to have a car with A/C. My current back up car is my 63 Lark, in case my daily commuter quits on me. My commute is 160 miles a day and the times I have driven my Lark, it has been a pleasure to drive. 25 miles per gallon at 70mph. I just can't hear the radio.......

karterfred88
07-17-2015, 09:47 AM
It's interesting that so many suggest 50-60 year old cars as daily drivers. I love-hate my Avanti, but would never use it as a commuter. For under $10,000.00 you can get almost anything slightly used, that will stop better, go better, be more comfy with A/C and other power options and deliver 30 plus MPG in a commute scenario, even with crapahol fuel. Of course it won't turn heads and distract other drivers, but that may be a good thing. Save the rest for you loved one, eat the $5k depreciation over 5 years, resell and start again-commute cars are disposable, our toys are not.

Commander Eddie
07-17-2015, 10:02 AM
You're not crazy at all. I drive my Champ 52 miles round trip to work most days. I also drive my '55 President to work now and then. Both have a 259 V8. The truck is a 3-speed with OD and the President has an automatic. They run great and make my commute much more fun. Just find a Studebaker that has been well cared for or recently reconditioned. If you find what you like but it does not have A/C it is likely possible to add that option. Just be prepared to spend a couple grand or more for it.

jackb
07-17-2015, 10:34 AM
All things "not" being equal...get a newer used car with all the comforts listed above. Have your Stude vehicle as that once a week driver for fun, loosening, and employment. When your "new" car needs the shop, turnaround will be quick, your Stude will be in "reserve" and get you there. Nobody here can seriously argue that turnaround time with a Stude being primary transportation is faster than a late model one. Don't dream if its your livelihood. Best of both worlds....

LeoH
07-17-2015, 01:16 PM
You're not crazy at all. I drive my Champ 52 miles round trip to work most days. I also drive my '55 President to work now and then. Both have a 259 V8. The truck is a 3-speed with OD and the President has an automatic. They run great and make my commute much more fun. Just find a Studebaker that has been well cared for or recently reconditioned. If you find what you like but it does not have A/C it is likely possible to add that option. Just be prepared to spend a couple grand or more for it.

+1 this comment. I do think it's important to also factor in whatever seasonal issues you may have to face, wherever it is you live. I drive my 60 Lark regularly, and thanks to this thread, have up until now, not had any issues doing so. I keep it at 65 and not 75, but otherwise, love driving mine regularly.

Another thing, if you're seriously considering a modern vehicle anywhere near $40K as being your baseline modern car; for half that amount you can get 2 or 3 Studebakers in such condition that, rotate driving them so that any one down for maintenance doesn't mean you won't have another Studebaker to regularly drive! :rolleyes:

Guido
07-17-2015, 01:27 PM
Get a vintage Harley with a sidecar, you will get the thumbs up, good fuel economy and won't need AC.

studegary
07-17-2015, 02:02 PM
I'm looking for a daily driver with A/C that will go 75 on the turnpike. My commute is 50 miles - am I crazy to think a Stude would be a good option? I love my Champ truck. If not a Stude, what's another old car that would make a good commuter. I can't see buying a $40,000 car that doesn't make me as happy as a Studebaker.

Thanks,
Adam

I do not understand your proposed choices of an old car OR a $40,000 car. In between, is where I would land/recommend. You can buy a lot of nice five to 15 year old cars for less than it will cost to buy AND upgrade an old car. Another alternative is a new small/plain car for about $15K-$16K. IMO, the best choice would be to buy a two to three year old better equipped and sized (for what you plan to do) car that someone else has taken the big depreciation hit on. You will have comfort, reliability, economy and safety. Have your Studebakers for hobby vehicles (it would be different if you were only commuting a few miles).

jimmijim8
07-17-2015, 03:38 PM
Despite what the original poster was asking.This makes good sense. cheers jimmijim
Well...in my younger days, I would have been right there with you. In fact, when I was the head of my own company, I drove a V8 automatic 1960 Lark. I installed the A/C myself and used the car covering several states for about three years. However, once I became an "employee" again...it soon became obvious that not everyone I had to answer to had the same admiration for my Old Car as I did. Not all people understand the intellect, hard work, and dedication it takes to keep a vintage car in good condition. In fact, some take it as a personal affront, that you are unwilling to use the good money they are paying you to use transportation that reflects well on them and the company you are working for. Even if you think it is none of their business, it is a reality we must take into account.

In the days our cars were built, a common practice was to replace points, condenser, and spark plugs every 10 to 12 thousand miles. At thirty to fifty thousand miles, it was serious "trade-in" time. At seventy thousand miles, discussions of overhaul, suspension work, and re-upholstery were taking place. And...few people commuted 50 miles, one way, each day.

I'd recommend looking for a decent used car, with reputable/reliability, and invest in a good driver Studebaker for a fair weather fun trip when it's convenient. I love my Studebaker vehicles as good as the next, and, even when I was an "employee," used them as door openers/conversation starters that got me some of the best accounts I ever had. That said, nothing can bring the old car fun experience to an end faster than having a breakdown at a high stress, inconvenient critical moment (and they're never convenient), or worse, loosing your job because of an irritated boss.

oilnsteel
07-17-2015, 03:39 PM
You'll be greasing it every 2 weeks. Fanatical maintenance is the key to reliability. If the thought of this bothers you, consider a Toyota et.al. I drive a 3E7 daily, and work it hard. It is absolutely reliable. Keeping ahead of rust is a challenge.
After all, we are a drivers' club.

JT

RadioRoy
07-17-2015, 04:10 PM
More important than going 75 MPH, is stopping quickly and reliably from 75 MPH and possibly swerving while doing 75 MPH.

If your fellow drivers are anything like they are here, looking at the phone is more important than looking at the road and being aware of the position/attitude of other vehicles. They don't worry though, because they have four wheel disc brakes and ABS so they think they can correct from their mistakes.

Commander Eddie
07-17-2015, 04:26 PM
True enough Roy. I have a hard time maintaining a safe distance between me and the vehicle ahead because people seem to think if there is enough room between two vehicles it is their responsibility to fill it. Even if they have no need to change lanes otherwise. I watch what is going on around me like a hawk with my left foot hovering over the brake pedal.

Nox
07-17-2015, 04:57 PM
My Josephine is "MoParised" 'cause I don't live where Studebaker parts are easy to get & she have a 318 & overdrive & a rear end that REALLY makes sense on highways...
I just reckon the way to go is to see that everything is in good enough condition & if something aint then you should know your own car enough to have that thought in the back of your mind... apart from that: just GO!
45775
Otherwise I'd go for a mid 60's MoPar, not as fun but MIGHTY GOOD cars...

StudeNewby
07-17-2015, 05:24 PM
+1 this comment. I do think it's important to also factor in whatever seasonal issues you may have to face, wherever it is you live. I drive my 60 Lark regularly, and thanks to this thread, have up until now, not had any issues doing so. I keep it at 65 and not 75, but otherwise, love driving mine regularly.

Another thing, if you're seriously considering a modern vehicle anywhere near $40K as being your baseline modern car; for half that amount you can get 2 or 3 Studebakers in such condition that, rotate driving them so that any one down for maintenance doesn't mean you won't have another Studebaker to regularly drive! :rolleyes:

Another +1 here. The joy of daily commuting in my Champ is priceless, and when I get my Lark up to driver standards again, It, too, will be part of my daily commute. Yes, it takes a well-preserved or reconditioned car to start with. Yes, there will be headaches. Count the cost, do the math, be prepared for repairs and lot of maintenance. But these cars were made to be driven. DRIVE THEM.

Mohr HP
07-17-2015, 06:07 PM
Driving vintage cars daily is a lifestyle approach thing. Having people identify me by my car makes me happy. When Iwas stuck in a jellybean late model as my commuter, I was just another minion drone in traffic; it put me to sleep. I look forward to doing upgrades and figuring out how to keep it alive. If i wanted to just experience what old cars look like, I'd just get a poster of one. less money. I do believe in having a spare car available though.

jclary
07-17-2015, 07:25 PM
One of my best daily commutes was when I had a home office. Outta bed, short detour for my morning "constitutional," and across the hall to work. The main downside was convincing my young daughter, wife, and poodle, that my "work" time was more important than helping to mop up a kitchen spill, smash a bug, or rescue the "squeaky" toy from under the couch.

There were times (unknown to them) when I commuted to the quietness of the local public library to compose important letters, work up quotes, and complete reports.

Back to the subject of commuting in vintage cars. Back when I was doing it, cell phones were in their infancy. In fact, they were first referred to as "car" phones, because they were hardwired into the vehicles. Next, came the "Bag" phone. I still have one of those, leather bag and all. I know there are now "hands free" phones/devices, etc. But...from my observation, the highways are cluttered with drivers, charging down the highway, one hand with a phone pressed to the ear. It is much more dangerous with distracted drivers than it was fifteen years ago.

This past Wednesday, I had to make a 238 mile trip to a VA facility to pick up a CPAP unit. (Something that could have been done within 12 miles of my home if the VA could get their act together.) I have a GPS unit that gives you an arrival time computing traffic conditions, speed limits, etc. I managed to cut eight minutes off the travel time. Not so much by intentionally speeding, but attempting to maintain enough speed to keep from being run over. The speed limit was 70 for most of the trip, but, given the closing rate of "on the phone" drivers, it just don't feel safe. Most of the trip, I was between 76 and 80. Even then, I kept getting passed as if I were sitting still.

This fall, I would like to drive my six cylinder (with overdrive) truck to our Maggie Valley N.C. meet. Those of you who have been there, know there are some pretty long steep grades. I'm not sure, given today's conditions, if I'm up to such white knuckle driving, even if my wife follows with the fourways blinking on the steep hills. We can tout how well built, durable, and simple our old cars are. But to trust our safety to the mind numbed JAY WALKING intellects, "TEXTERS," JUDGE JUDY LITIGANT type, "outta my way" crowd...not worth the risk!

Today, it is well over 90 degrees here. I drove my '55 E5 seven miles to my Mom's nursing home. I did get a couple of "thumbs-up," but the best part was seeing the temp gauge stay normal, and returning home safe. "Thumbs-up" from total strangers don't carry the weight they once did. It is getting the thumbs-up from fellow car nuts at meets and cruise-ins that I value more.

Regardless of all the opinions...mine included...the decision to commute is certainly the right of the original poster of this thread. I hope, if we ever cross paths while you are doing it...I'm not too distracted to give you a big "THUMBS UP!":!:;):!:

56H-Y6
07-18-2015, 10:15 AM
Hi

What type of traffic density and what weather condition you encounter year around should be your primary considerations for your safety and personal comfort. Your enjoyment of daily driving a 50 year old car will quickly evaporate when you find yourself in dangerous situations which arise quickly in today's dense, high-speed urban traffic, exacerbated by adverse weather conditions. Cars of that era required more frequent maintenance and adjustment to keep them operating in optimum condition, so be prepared to commit more time to do so if you take the plunge.

If you want something rarely seen for a daily driver, with A/C, comfortable ride, 75 mph capability and disk brakes for a cheap price, seek out a '68-'74 AMC Ambassador with the largest engine and disk brakes. Those that appear on CL are usually cheap for year and condition, though you might have to transport one from a distance if you live in the rust-belt. You will pay more for fuel which offsets the low entry price but still leave funds to improve your Champ for less harried, more enjoyable pleasure driving.

Steve

TWChamp
07-18-2015, 11:50 AM
It's interesting that so many suggest 50-60 year old cars as daily drivers. I love-hate my Avanti, but would never use it as a commuter. For under $10,000.00 you can get almost anything slightly used, that will stop better, go better, be more comfy with A/C and other power options and deliver 30 plus MPG in a commute scenario, even with crapahol fuel. Of course it won't turn heads and distract other drivers, but that may be a good thing. Save the rest for you loved one, eat the $5k depreciation over 5 years, resell and start again-commute cars are disposable, our toys are not.

I agree, but it also seems like a later Avanti could fit the bill. If safety of air bags, etc. is primary, then go with a newer used car. My 1999 Olds 88 is the best for handling, comfort and fuel economy. As much as I like my Studes I don't want to use them as daily drivers due to rain, road salt, and risk of damage from being hit.

SN-60
07-18-2015, 12:06 PM
I agree, but it also seems like a later Avanti could fit the bill. If safety of air bags, etc. is primary, then go with a newer used car. My 1999 Olds 88 is the best for handling, comfort and fuel economy. As much as I like my Studes I don't want to use them as daily drivers due to rain, road salt, and risk of damage from being hit.

You 'nailed it' choosing a later Avanti!

To be more specific, an 'RQB' model, in good condition, REALLY fills the bill here....... just "ASK THE MAN WHO OWNS (and daily drives) ONE" :!!:

studegary
07-18-2015, 03:02 PM
There is currently a 22K mile 1987 Avanti on eBay that is currently only bid to $9K. If you could get it for around $10K, it would be less than buying and upgrading an older car, it still has the Avanti coupe look and mechanical parts (from engine to brakes) are Chevrolet.
disclaimer: I bought a 1987 Avanti new and drove it more than 500 miles in a day.

SN-60
07-18-2015, 06:17 PM
I have my eye on that one also! :!:

SN-60
07-19-2015, 09:22 AM
There is currently a 22K mile 1987 Avanti on eBay that is currently only bid to $9K. If you could get it for around $10K, it would be less than buying and upgrading an older car, it still has the Avanti coupe look and mechanical parts (from engine to brakes) are Chevrolet.
disclaimer: I bought a 1987 Avanti new and drove it more than 500 miles in a day.


Yes, that 22 thousand mile '87 Avanti coupe is a honey. One could EASILY get at least twenty years of dependable transportation (with proper maintenance) with this car. (summer AND winter!)

Heck, it even has the easier-to-care-for Chevrolet frame, with the plus of more modern suspension, etc! :!!::!!:

Hadum1
07-19-2015, 09:33 AM
Great suggestions, thank you, everyone. If I was wise, it seems, I'd keep commuting in my Accord and toodle in on Fridays in something fun. I'll keep my eye open for that perfect Lark or Avanti.

SN-60
07-19-2015, 10:36 AM
Great suggestions, thank you, everyone. If I was wise, it seems, I'd keep commuting in my Accord and toodle in on Fridays in something fun. I'll keep my eye open for that perfect Lark or Avanti.

Best of luck with that quest!....The best way of keeping Studebakers 'remembered'....... is to get out there and DRIVE them! :!:

63t-cab
07-19-2015, 11:33 AM
I know driving conditions vary around the Country,but I'm good to go driving My Champ on the Highways at about 65mph.

jclary
07-19-2015, 01:24 PM
Best of luck with that quest!....The best way of keeping Studebakers 'remembered'....... is to get out there and DRIVE them! :!:

I agree with that. Yesterday evening, I drove a Studebaker to a charity event. It was mainly a motorcycle event. There were thunderstorms about. I just didn't feel like dragging my motorcycle outta the barn and dodging thunderstorms. About an hour and a half before the event, a storm rolled through, rained a bit, and moved on about as fast as it arrived. The best thing about it was that it dropped the temperature from over 95 F. down to 75 F. I was thanked for bringing the Studebaker, and told that it increased onlooker traffic that made donations. It was probably less than 18 miles round trip. Time well spent.:):!::)