View Full Version : New Member and '58 President 289 Automatic

02-11-2017, 04:35 PM
Hello, my name is Adriel from Mesa Arizona. Grew up with classic vehicals in El Cajon California, bought home in a Volkswagen Beetle my Dad has had since '68 and grew up with it. I ended up with his College friend's '71 Squareback, still have her, but needs a frame machine massage. Had a Volvo 245, Mercedes 300TD-T (older woman for no reason ran into the back of her while traversing the interstate), replaced it with a Mercedes 280TE. So, Studebacker is a bit of a departure, though did have a fondness for the odd American vehicals in my youth (still have the book that caused it).

Now onto a Studebacker story and part reason why am here. But, disclaimer: being have post concussion memory, dates are not exact, but do they really matter?

Anyway, about a year ago go down south about an hour to get help from a friend named Allen. Allen is into Mopar and has a shop crammed with at least four of them and being not interested, pay no attention, was there to get work done. Come back, mutual friend Moe says did I see the Studebaker? I said don't recall and that bugged him. Think few months later he mentions he had his Dad's black Studebaker and gave it to Allen to get back on the road. Then I remember a black '50s sedan and say think the Studebaker might at Allen's shop (he also has a lot full of Mopars somewhere as used to be a dealer until Arizona shut down the small ones through excessive taxation). Point of saying this is because now for at least six months plus, has caused Moe to really want to get it back on the road. Plus, he is older, about mid 70s.

Tom Walgamuth posted an article on this page and we got talking about it, so here I am in the research and sharing phase.

Tom has encouraged me, so got the confidence to ask questions and man, got me more interested. Especially because before this, thought it was parked because clapped out and that be a major project. However, not the case it seems, though been sitting at least seven years.

She is a '58 President, black, 289, four speed automatic (not sure how this is being has a Ford-O-Matic according to Moe), and funny thing is, glass packs. Apparently when his Dad bought it, most likely had them already on it (Moe being older and so long ago can't recall). Dad was a very conservative Mennonite, thus part of the humor to me.

In asking Moe questions, found out just before parked, he went through everything but the driveline, maybe the engine. So when got a driveshaft vibration above 45M.P.H., he knew it was the transmission's pilot bearing had gone. That is the only reason she was parked. Then didn't want her see her sit, especially as he has no garage, so Allen said he get her back on the road. The best and worst, there is less than 20,000 miles on the engine.

Now trying to get ahold of Allen and get a feeling of what is going on that end. Also, here trying to get projects done. Not going to do anything on her, if at all, until after my classes are done. If did get running, not sure where she stay as Allen is an hour away, Moe has only one outdoor parking spot, his son's vehicals take up the other two spots, there is two more of his at his home (son owns four vehicals), and I have four and a half plus a trailer.

Point of all this is sort things out by community conversation and also to say there are still some really fine examples tucked away, just have to find them.

Thank y'all in advance! :D

02-11-2017, 07:04 PM
Hello Adriel, welcome to the SDC and to the SDC Forum! :)

I happen to own a solid Black '58 President "Y" body long wheelbase 4 door Sedan, that has a lot of sentiment and History to me.
My Dad was a Stude. Salesman in Inglewood. CA. So in 1958, his Boss Frank, the owner of Frank H. Afton Studebaker Packard Mercedes drove this car as his Demo for a few months before selling it to a Doctor, and long story shorter, I later in 1969 found the Car in Hollywood and bought it.

Of course it was ordered fully loaded with Power Windows, Seat and the works so is a bit Special to any Stude. Guy, and especially ME.

So the very FIRST thing that comes to my mind is: what Body Style is yours, a Rare middle of the year '58 1/2 Starlight 2 Door Hardtop, or a 4 Door Sedan like mine?

If you need any Parts for it, I stock or sell all 1947 to 1966 Studebaker Parts that are still available... A LOT!
62017 62018

By the way, if your Automatic Transmission is the Original Column shift, it would be a Borg Warner Flight-O-Matic similar, but not the exactly the same as a Ford-O-Matic, Merc-O-Matic or Flash-O-Matic and by further driving it you will find that it is a 3 Speed that starts in Second, but Low can be selected, or a full throttle start in Drive to start in low gear.

02-11-2017, 08:28 PM
Could not believe I saw another member from Mesa AZ. I can help you with some questions. Not as knowledgeable as these guys though.

T.J. lavallee
02-11-2017, 09:23 PM
Welcome Adriel. I've always liked the 56' through 58 Presidents. Glad to hear another one has been found and will be cared for. You will find an enormous amount of knowledge from members on this forum to assist you should you have any questions about your car. Again, it's nice to have a new member and from Arizona no less!

02-12-2017, 09:11 AM
Welcome to the Baked Apple:). I live in Tucson but grew up in Phoenix. I have owned off and on since 1968 a Studebaker all post war. Love the 56-58 Presidents. Let me know what I can do to help. Also, if you get a chance post some pictures.

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ
Temporarily in Big Fork MT