Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: 1937 Dictator - converting LHD to RHD

  1. #1
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    33

    1937 Dictator - converting LHD to RHD

    Hello I am new to the forum. I am restoring a 1937 Dictator and keen to change the vehicle from Left Hand Drive to Right Hand Drive. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has successfully done this type of conversion any/or any advice or tips from anyone on the most effective way for me to go about this, including any leads on obtaining the parts I will require to give me the the most effective outcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Silver Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC, USA.
    Posts
    5,896
    As I'm sure you know, there are companies in Australia that know how to do this. But if you want to use as many genuine Studebaker parts as possible, then you would be well advised to buy a parts book for your car. Studebaker sold enough vehicles to the British Empire countries in those days that they built RHD vehicles for them. The parts book shows every part that was unique to RHD cars. Stude Intl sells a reprint of the 34-46 parts book for $45 US.

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa, USA.
    Posts
    14,061
    I would definitely proceed as Skip suggested. Every unique part for a right hand drive car will be listed in the chassis parts catalog and labeled RHC (right hand control). Even if you have someone else do the work they will find it a good reference.
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

  4. #4
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    I would definitely proceed as Skip suggested. Every unique part for a right hand drive car will be listed in the chassis parts catalog and labeled RHC (right hand control). Even if you have someone else do the work they will find it a good reference.
    Thanks for the information on the parts catalog which I will buy a copy of .
    Regards, Peter

  5. #5
    President Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    1,275
    Best to find a 1937 parts car for the RHC dash and other parts.

  6. #6
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    , , United Kingdom.
    Posts
    644
    Hi,
    personally I would just keep it Left Hand Control and save the bother. Getting a bunch of warn out old parts to install will give you a few headaches as Australian cars tended to have hard lives. So they will all need restoration.

    Driving LHC in a RHC country is no bother and since you sit so high in a 37 you can see over everything. Except I suppose if you end up behind a Toorak Tractor.
    I have driven our Australian assembled RHC car around Spain, France, Netherlands and Germany and it has given me no bother driving on the other side of the road in a LHD continent.
    The later model Studebakers that I have, where you sit lower which are LHC that I drive regularly here in the UK are no bother either, except when it comes to overtaking. But it's never much of an issue anyway - it just means you hang back a bit more before pulling an overtaking manoeuvre.

    Parking a LHC car in a RHC country, especially if it is a big 30's old banger is much easier as you are by the curb side. So it gives you a better view and you dont tend to scrub the whitewalls that much when you manhandle the car into a tight spot. It's not so much a problem with the Dictators, but with the straight 8 cars I have, it can be a real bear

    However, if you cant live without it being RHC you need to find a RHC Dictator and salvage the steering, bell housing, the master cylinder, clutch, brake pedals and all the other linkages for RHC

    You can always try Harold Ireland in Brisbane for this (he has the parts inventory for Howards and also has a lot of 1930's parts he sells. He really knows what he is talking about) or perhaps Gerald Hurkins in Victoria. He has about 4 1937 Cars, but I am not sure he sells things. The dashboard glove box and instruments just swap over into the appropriate slots.

    The other club you should join is Rotating Spokes which is an information newsletter for pre war Studebakers edited by Dave Pink in Melbourne.

    I do understand that some people have a huge fear of driving a LHD car in a RHD country and cant possibly fathom doing anything but converting a car.
    However, I have spent so long now with both I just jump in and drive no matter where the wheel is and get on with it.

    The choice is yours, but as I said when I opened up, personally I would just leave it LHC. For the amount of miles you do in the car per year it really wont matter. You just have to get your mind around it.

    Good luck. A 37 is a great car and the Dictators are a lot peppier than the Presidents. Hopefully the car has overdrive. It makes all the difference on them and lets you cruise comfortably at 70mph without issue.

    Happy Christmas
    Greg
    Last edited by go-studebaker; 12-24-2017 at 11:04 AM.
    Greg Diffen

    Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

    Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

    1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
    1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
    1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
    1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
    1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
    1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
    1988 Avanti Convertible

  7. #7
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    33
    Hi Greg, thank you very much for your detailed response. As it turns out I actually spoke to Gerald Hurkins today and will arrange to visit him as soon as possible. I also joined the Rotating Spokes club a couple of weeks ago. My car doesn't have an overdrive but I have been told I might be able to find one and have it fitted . I'm not sure how involved or expensive this would be but I will do some more research. For now I will concentrate on getting the restoration underway and if it turns out I can convert to RHD without too much expense or difficulty I will do this.
    All the best , Peter

  8. #8
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    33
    Thanks, will do

  9. #9
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    , , United Kingdom.
    Posts
    644
    Hi
    nice one. The other people you need to get in touch with is the Shrock brothers who reproduce the rubber parts you will need for that car and perhaps the steering wheel if you have a bango one.
    Tom is in his early 80’s and I am still waiting to get parts for my 37 President from him after a year or more. They are great people but when they eventually stop making a 1930’s Stude look original and decent will then be a problem.

    The Shrock’s should be your first priority if you want original. If not then do anything.

    I think 36 and 37 are overdrive units unto themselves as a 38 one does not fit. The OD is great for long distances. If you are just banging around town you won’t need it. That said, I couldn’t live without it. But that is just me.

    How about a fed pictures of your machine???

    regards
    Greg
    Greg Diffen

    Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

    Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

    1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
    1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
    1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
    1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
    1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
    1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
    1988 Avanti Convertible

  10. #10
    Commander Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    33
    Hi Greg, and thanks again.
    i am having a look at some RHC parts tomorrow and hopefully will be able to get what I need.
    I would be happy to send you some photos of my car via email.
    Cheers, Peter

  11. #11
    Commander Member oldkystude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Waddy, KY, USA.
    Posts
    51
    I may have a 1937 dictator OD trans. I'm getting the engine, trans, axles from a coupe that was rodded on Tuesday. All parts are available. Please be aware that if you go ahead with a 12 volt change it will be another issue to deal with.

    Please bear in mind that the Russian army beat back the nazi hordes using 6 volt Studebakers in a Russian winter. Your service needs will not be as severe I hope.
    34 Dictator
    47 M5 Pickup
    48 Commander Convertible
    50 2R10 Pickup
    56 Packard Patrician
    63 Avanti

    Herb Phillips: A lesser known product of the Studebaker Corporation.

  12. #12
    Commander Member oldkystude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Waddy, KY, USA.
    Posts
    51
    I’m now in possession of the 37 Dictator parts. No od trans however.
    34 Dictator
    47 M5 Pickup
    48 Commander Convertible
    50 2R10 Pickup
    56 Packard Patrician
    63 Avanti

    Herb Phillips: A lesser known product of the Studebaker Corporation.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •