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Thread: The last stude out of c and b (not for purists)

  1. #1
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    The last stude out of c and b (not for purists)

    I Haven't been on this site for over a year due to the constant "bushwacking" from the purists who frequent this site. I decided to shift to Studebaker addicts only to find that they dwell there also, so I managed my disappointment in other areas in order to complete my "Holy Grail" reconstruction. I hope that it leaves quite of bit of salt in the wound for the purists who are constantly belittling us customizers . Yes that's right, I took one of your coveted pieces and made it drive able... daily, and I hope ya'll don't like it. With that, I would like to personally thank everyone who helped bring this back on the road and into view. Deepnhock Jeff Rice who actually found the truck for me and has been more than gracious with his time,Tom Lewis, Richard Gentry, Studebaker International, and anyone else who I have forgotten. I owe a lot to Bob Peterson whose veins flow nothing but Studebaker blood. Bob is the most dedicated Studebaker person I have ever met and he helped immensely with making my dream come true. All of us will miss his business supplying great cars and parts. Even though he has shut down his shop, a lot of precious parts made it to his house...some he couldn't bear to give up. I look forward to attending all the Studebaker functions with this vehicle and "proudly" displaying it for others to see, I'm quite proud of the fact that I did all myself @ 67 years old, welding, bodywork, fabrication, painting, wiring--- all of it. The "Coupex" is LT1 powered with a built 4L60E electronic overdrive, 12 bolt Chevy rear, Fatman front end with polished tubular a arms, 4 link rear with coil overs, vintage heat and A/C, power windows, tilt. This isn't your Grandpa's Studebaker, this truck drives like a new Cadillac and runs like a corvette. Thanks to everyone in the Studebaker World for your help---enjoy!


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    Last edited by StudebakerGene; 06-05-2018 at 12:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Beautiful job Gene.

  3. #3
    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
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    Robert, I must admit to being a purist when it comes to these vehicles. That said, I think you have done an absolutely marvelous job on this truck and you should be proud of it. I would drive it in a heartbeat. Your truck is still quite recognizable and the work underneath does not detract from the gorgeous lines of the original Coupe Express. I hope I get to see it sometime. Will be be attending the International meet in Tacoma?
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

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  4. #4
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    Beautiful work.

    FWIW, none of my Studes ever stayed original for very long. If I could comfortably fit in a CE, I'd be driving one similar to yours.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  5. #5
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Thanks Commander Eddie, my intent was to not distract from the original body lines other than some subtle changes i,e. 33 ford bumpers, 37 Chrysler tail lights with 50 Pontiac inerds, Rally wheels and trim. I wanted it to be a Studebaker and it is just that. It doesn't know there's a small block Chevy under it, it just wants to get out and run.

  6. #6
    President Member wdills's Avatar
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    That is a fine looking truck. I would love to see some close up pictures of the mounting bracket for your sun visor. I am trying to fit an after market sun visor on my Dad's starlight coupe and I am looking for ideas on how to make the side brackets.
    Wayne
    "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

    ‚Äč

  7. #7
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Jack if you are in Tacoma you should try and sit in it, I put a special seat from D&D concepts in it and it has way more room remarkably. I also have the ability to lower it 3 more inches or so for you tall guys, I was amazed at how comfortable it is now for me @ 5'-10", thanks for the nice comment!

  8. #8
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Wdills, the visor side and middle support pieces are welded to the truck, this one doesn't vibrate at all. Some people probably wouldn't do that because if you decided to take it off it looks like an angry bull with horns but I drive this truck fast---very fast and I didn't want to be listening to it howling and moving around, it does none of that

  9. #9
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    Awesome but there's an issue, way to few pictures. Congrats on one beautiful vehicle.

    Bob
    , ,

  10. #10
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    In a word: Slick. 'Way cool; nice job. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

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    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  11. #11
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    I also put cars back together the way they came from the factory, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate projects like yours. It is a great piece of art. And being able to drive it anytime/anywhere is a plus. I would like to have the skills to do that.
    Perry
    \'50 Business Champ,
    \'50 Starlight Champ,
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    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetolbob View Post
    Awesome but there's an issue, way to few pictures. Congrats on one beautiful vehicle.

    Bob
    Bob, I will post finished pictures when I get through wet sanding and buffing---uuuggghhh. I have spent the last year and a half every Saturday,every Sunday, all my vacation time bringing this back to life. The last 2 weeks were 16 hour days to finish and get out of Bob's shop. I used the 33 ford bumpers because i felt the originals kind of cut that beautiful grille into. I like the ways it accents it. all the body panels were media blasted and epoxy primed and painted and "Raptor" lined. I sprayed the bed with Raptor liner as well except color tinted, I'm gonna use that bed--- alot. Howdy Ledbetter is going to sew the interior with red leather from top to bottom, it's going to be a good driver! everyday




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    Last edited by StudebakerGene; 06-05-2018 at 01:16 PM.

  13. #13
    President Member j.byrd's Avatar
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    Absolutely gorgeous ! I probably will not be able to own one of these, but rest assured, I would not leave it stock...drivers are good !!! My 1st change would be the little square back window, but haven't decided for sure what the replacement would be from. Congratulations StudebakerGene, you "done good" !!!

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone complained much about this one, almost identical:

    37 Coupe Express2.jpg 37 Coupe Express.jpg It really IS about whether or not you destroy a Rare and Valuable excellent condition, Original, antique or a Smashed, Rusted Junkyard piece.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  15. #15
    President Member Colgate Studebaker's Avatar
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    Very nice work and it turned out beautiful. I like Jeff Rices as it is so yours should be exciting to see and drive too. I hope to see it at a meet somewhere here in the S.E. zone. Congrats on being 67 and still working at it that hard, I'm 69 and trying to get the last GT Superhawk made put together, and it isn't going to be factory either. Time to work on it is scarce until next year when I finally retire. Enjoy that truck and drive it like you stole it!!!! Bill

  16. #16
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    I don't think anyone complained much about this one, almost identical:

    37 Coupe Express2.jpg 37 Coupe Express.jpg It really IS about whether or not you destroy a Rare and Valuable excellent condition, Original, antique or a Smashed, Rusted Junkyard piece.
    Truth is Studerich, I warned Jeff that I was stealing all the cues I could from his truck because I always thought it was and still is the most "Badass" Coupe Express I had ever seen. I actually tried to buy his and he wouldn't sell it to me. He did put the deal together for me to buy this one and I am forever in his debt. I wanted one of these from the first time I laid eyes on one @ the Orlando international meet, a silver one owned by Mr. Ernst I believe. He spent some extra time with me explaining all he knew about them and I have appreciated it to this day. I just hope I can do the same for someone who really has the vision like I did to finally be able to be the caretaker of such a magnificent work or art, I smile all the time now driving it!

  17. #17
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    Gene, those that might have been detractors would probably not have the stamina to do one tenth or less of what you have accomplished. I am in awe of what you have done to what began as a beautiful work of art & making it modern & sooo much better, leaving the best parts & improving what was needed. KUDOS!!
    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
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  18. #18
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Webb View Post
    Gene, those that might have been detractors would probably not have the stamina to do one tenth or less of what you have accomplished. I am in awe of what you have done to what began as a beautiful work of art & making it modern & sooo much better, leaving the best parts & improving what was needed. KUDOS!!
    Thanks so much Warren, my hands are so tired and hurting from sanding and wrenching. I literally have spent the past few months of going to work everyday, going to Bob's shop every night and every weekend to get it done. It was also very expensive even though I did it myself. Every time I got a piece completed it gave me the strength to go on to the next one. This truck is as nice underneath as it is on top! It will be in Tacoma----

  19. #19
    President Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    I'm just happy when ever I see someone who's made his car into his car!
    Most people seems to think about what others may think or how much it would be worth for sale & that's good enough for them & boring enough thoughts for me.
    Your car is YOUR car ! ! !


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  20. #20
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noxnabaker View Post
    I'm just happy when ever I see someone who's made his car into his car!
    Most people seems to think about what others may think or how much it would be worth for sale & that's good enough for them & boring enough thoughts for me.
    Your car is YOUR car ! ! !

    Thank you very much noxnabaker, I sure hope most everyone enjoys how it turned out but, the most important part is that it's back on the road "Standing Tall" and representing one of the finest marquees ever. When people see it they can't believe it's a Studebaker!

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    Well Gene, I have often wondered where you went. Now I know as you've been damn busy. It truly is beautiful, just as Jeff's is. You guys are very talented, lucky guys who have done Studebaker very proud.
    Gene I'll be looking for you in Tacoma. On your thread is a red Champ. Is it the truck featured in Turning Wheels a couple of years back with that absolutely gorgeous Studebaker motor with Jeff's intake, finned valley and covers?? If so that is what has spurred me on to replicate the motor(with huge assistance and guidance from Jack & Jeff) for my '63 GT which I've owned since I was 18. At my ripe age I figured it was about time to get the old girl back on the road after 51 years and go cruising again. It's still got the original paint, which although not perfect will still polish out pretty well. Thanks to Nitro Cellulose Lacquer (where are the greenies?)
    Congrats and keep the pics coming.
    Cheers, Bill

  22. #22
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzard View Post
    Well Gene, I have often wondered where you went. Now I know as you've been damn busy. It truly is beautiful, just as Jeff's is. You guys are very talented, lucky guys who have done Studebaker very proud.
    Gene I'll be looking for you in Tacoma. On your thread is a red Champ. Is it the truck featured in Turning Wheels a couple of years back with that absolutely gorgeous Studebaker motor with Jeff's intake, finned valley and covers?? If so that is what has spurred me on to replicate the motor(with huge assistance and guidance from Jack & Jeff) for my '63 GT which I've owned since I was 18. At my ripe age I figured it was about time to get the old girl back on the road after 51 years and go cruising again. It's still got the original paint, which although not perfect will still polish out pretty well. Thanks to Nitro Cellulose
    Lacquer (where are the greenies?
    Congrats and keep the pics coming.
    Cheers, Bill
    Thanks very much Bill, yes my Champ was in turning wheels right after I finished it. Unfortunately my Daughter has taken possession of it and wont surrender it unless I replace it with a Wagonaire or the Coupex. She absolutely loves the Champ and it is such a nice driver with the 5 speed and 4 link rear and Volare subframe and of course that fine intake that Jeff Rice made for it. It runs so sweet and drives fantastic. Most people don't realize how much different a ride you get when you loose those rear leaf springs, sloppy bushings and antiquated shocks. I ran that truck around Lake Tahoe a bunch and it cornered like a Porsche plus it's rust free with the original floors and body panels, I love my Champ also!

  23. #23
    Speedster Member R_David's Avatar
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    WOW, that truck is so sharp I cut myself looking at the pictures. I WANT IT IN MY GARAGE!

    1961 Flamingo Studebaker Hawk

  24. #24
    Commander Member Big Smooth's Avatar
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    Beautiful job. Looking forward to seeing it in person. I saw one 2 years ago at a local car show in Mukilteo WA. My bet the owner is a member and when I saw a CE for the first time my jaw dropped.

  25. #25
    Speedster Member avanti-hawk's Avatar
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    It looks fabulous. That will keep the Studebaker name in front of anyone who sees it!

  26. #26
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    Wow! I love it. The 37 Coupe Express is the Holy Grail that I never expect to own. I just have to make do with my die-cast model that sits on my desk in front of me every day.
    If I was ever to modify anything on the body of a 37 CE, it would be the rear window...that little rectangular piece of flat glass looks like an after-thought compared to the beautiful curves everywhere else.
    Cheers,
    Jim
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    Jim Mann
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  27. #27
    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    Gene - I look forward to seeing your masterpiece at Tacoma. I will be there with my 48 Champion. The mods you have done are quite different from what I did, but seem absolutely appropriate, considering it is after all a truck. Over the last 30 years or so, new American pickup trucks are more and more luxurious and drive more and more like cars. I am sure yours is right up there with the best of them.

    I am sure some of the people who meticulously restore their cars to original condition must derive a lot of satisfaction from the finished product. But they never have the experience of driving a classic car with modern driveability, handling, braking etc. As you said, many people just don't understand how much of a transformation you can get with a well thought out restomod.

    I do agree with Studemann - a large oval window would fit in well with the shape of the fenders. I can't think of anything else I would change on the body.
    Last edited by 48skyliner; 06-05-2018 at 08:40 PM.
    Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
    See more of my projects at stilettoman.info

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzard View Post
    Well Gene, I have often wondered where you went. Now I know as you've been damn busy. It truly is beautiful, just as Jeff's is. You guys are very talented, lucky guys who have done Studebaker very proud.
    Gene I'll be looking for you in Tacoma. On your thread is a red Champ. Is it the truck featured in Turning Wheels a couple of years back with that absolutely gorgeous Studebaker motor with Jeff's intake, finned valley and covers?? If so that is what has spurred me on to replicate the motor(with huge assistance and guidance from Jack & Jeff) for my '63 GT which I've owned since I was 18. At my ripe age I figured it was about time to get the old girl back on the road after 51 years and go cruising again. It's still got the original paint, which although not perfect will still polish out pretty well. Thanks to Nitro Cellulose Lacquer (where are the greenies?)
    Congrats and keep the pics coming.
    Cheers, Bill
    I don't quite follow. If your "'63 GT" still has "original paint" it is enamel, not "Nitro Cellulose Lacquer (sic)".
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  29. #29
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48skyliner View Post
    Gene - I look forward to seeing your masterpiece at Tacoma. I will be there with my 48 Champion. The mods you have done are quite different from what I did, but seem absolutely appropriate, considering it is after all a truck. Over the last 30 years or so, new American pickup trucks are more and more luxurious and drive more and more like cars. I am sure yours is right up there with the best of them.

    I am sure some of the people who meticulously restore their cars to original condition must derive a lot of satisfaction from the finished product. But they never have the experience of driving a classic car with modern driveability, handling, braking etc. As you said, many people just don't understand how much of a transformation you can get with a well thought out restomod.
    Thank you 48Skyliner, I followed your build, excited with every post. Your build makes mine look like a walk in the park. I know what it takes to accomplish what you did and I was amazed. The thought process was definitely up there. I'm just an ole country boy who likes to make them streetable, fast, and comfortable as well. The last thing I wanted to do was spend @ 100k on a Hot Rod and trailer it around. I sure hope to see your fantastic Studebaker @ Tacoma!

  30. #30
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Suspension

    couple shots of the suspension, I will have to give credit to the previous owner for the initial running gear install, I rebuilt the front end and went through all the motor, transmission and cooling system. I also have to thank my buddy "Moon" for welding up the 4 link and bumper brackets. I'm a "Gorilla Welder," and I know it, my welds are ugly but strong. We didn't grind and smooth them perfectly because we didn't have 3-4 years to do this build and we're driving it!




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  31. #31
    Speedster Member tomlewis's Avatar
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    Hi Gene. I, too, wondered what might have happened to you. I'm glad I was able to help in that small way. Your truck looks fabulous. I especially like the bumper treatment. I think that is slick.

    i note that you retained the two-piece windshield. Did you do that so you'd have a place to mount the rear view mirror? Chris Piazza posted recently about fabricating a mirror mount for the windshield divider. That is on my list of things to do because I like that little rear window.

    In any case, your truck looks great. Congratulations on getting to this stage of the project.

    Tom

  32. #32
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=tomlewis;1112895]Hi Gene. I, too, wondered what might have happened to you. I'm glad I was able to help in that small way. Your truck looks fabulous. I especially like the bumper treatment. I think that is slick.

    i note that you retained the two-piece windshield. Did you do that so you'd have a place to mount the rear view mirror? Chris Piazza posted recently about fabricating a mirror mount for the windshield divider. That is on my list of things to do because I like that little rear window.

    In any case, your truck looks great. Congratulations on getting to this stage of the project.

    Tom[/QUOTE

    Thanks Tom, that beautiful fender was a blessing, it was so straight Bob Peterson thought it was NOS. Been a long year and a half long ass whipping. It has been people like yourself that really reached out and helped me get the parts that were desperately needed. I in turn sent some of my parts that I didn't use to others as well, that's why Studebaker people care. I have a great rear view mirror that mounts perfectly for the little window height, didn't know any different combo existed. Thanks again for your help!

  33. #33
    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    "It really IS about whether or not you destroy a Rare and Valuable excellent condition, Original, antique or a Smashed, Rusted Junkyard piece."

    I disagree with your choice of words. I don't think I or Gene destroyed anything. If you take a really nice old classic and make it more driveable and safer, that seems to me to be a legitimate thing to do. Of course I would not put a Chevy engine in an old Ferrari that is worth a million dollars, but I am not aware of anything manufactured by Studebaker that I would not consider as a candidate for a restomod. If I want to upgrade or restomod a classic car, I will buy the best example I can afford as a starting point.

    I paid $6000 for my 48 Champion, but I can recall at the time seeing a couple of cars close to museum quality for $15-20, 000. If I had it to do over, I would probably buy one of those. An extra year of my life is worth more than that to me.
    Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
    See more of my projects at stilettoman.info

  34. #34
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    Hey Gene, Hope to see you and the truck at the BBQ in Petaluma.

    Though I made it to Bob's shop only a few times, I enjoyed seeing the progress and chatting with you.

    -- Scott
    64 Avanti R1 R5529

  35. #35
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    BED

    The bed was the hardest part, it was total junk and I cut it totally apart and started with only the outside skins. It took about 6 months of every Saturday and Sunday to get it ready for bodywork. I welded every seam on the bed continuous which was probably about 500% more than factory. I wore out so many grinding and cutting blades, it was difficult but somehow rewarding.




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  36. #36
    Speedster Member StudebakerGene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48skyliner View Post
    "It really IS about whether or not you destroy a Rare and Valuable excellent condition, Original, antique or a Smashed, Rusted Junkyard piece."

    I disagree with your choice of words. I don't think I or Gene destroyed anything. If you take a really nice old classic and make it more driveable and safer, that seems to me to be a legitimate thing to do. Of course I would not put a Chevy engine in an old Ferrari that is worth a million dollars, but I am not aware of anything manufactured by Studebaker that I would not consider as a candidate for a restomod. If I want to upgrade or restomod a classic car, I will buy the best example I can afford as a starting point.

    I paid $6000 for my 48 Champion, but I can recall at the time seeing a couple of cars close to museum quality for $15-20, 000. If I had it to do over, I would probably buy one of those. An extra year of my life is worth more than that to me.
    This is what I started with and believe it or not I had 40k in it before I got it out to California. That's more than most of these guys want for totally restored cars. You just have to be able to discern what is practical and what you are really striving to achieve. Mine had the LT1, transmission and 12 bolt installed along with the fatman front end. The previous owner had that much in it with his original purchase price, plus new engine, transmission, rear end and most people wouldn't recognize that. I'm with you,I would have started with a better body---whatever the cost!
    Last edited by StudebakerGene; 06-05-2018 at 11:12 PM.

  37. #37
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    What an amazing build! I don't have any problem with customization - especially making it more drivable. That's what the resto-mod movement is all about - keeping the classic lines while bringing everything beneath the skin (brakes, suspension, drivetrain) up to date. You do good work! Enjoy it and I hope to see it on the road some day!

  38. #38
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Gene,

    Congratulations from a fellow "Visionary". I too am building the car of my dreams. That dream started in 1966 when I bought my first car a 1959 Silver Hawk. Re-creating it has been a labor of love and since George Barris passed away I decided to dedicate the build to his memory. I watched him build many a car as I was growing up and yes I pushed around and picked up a lot of masking paper and bondo dust in order to see the action up close. I will have to see your truck in person to be sure but I think that George would have loved your truck. While I am staying with the Studebaker engine everything else is about comfort, ride, handling and making my wife a fine tribute that she can drive and enjoy and most importantly trust on the road after I am gone. I am praying that God will let me finish it and I am planning to be in Tacoma and I would consider it an honor to park my "Creation" next to yours. Our vehicles are not just a car and a truck they are works of art and products of our dreams.

    Once again I say a hearty thank you for staying the course and following your dream. You have done the coupe express proud.
    Dan

  39. #39
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lafayette in
    Posts
    4,369
    Great CE! Congrats on getting it finished. The color is very close to my CE and I did double takes every time I looked at it from the rear. I have to admit now that i have it done and running and driving I might one day pull the diesel and put in an LS.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  40. #40
    Silver Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Castro Valley, CA, USA.
    Posts
    6,292
    I have known Gene for about 3-4 years as he lives in North Carolina when he is not working construction here in the Bay area, when he got the CE he knew I had the shop and asked if he could do some minor work on it but need to leave it in the shop at some point when it needed to be off the road, he also knew that I was down seizing to get out of the shop but was moving slow at doing it so we went ahead and became shop mates for a while, it was2 years ago at South Bend May swap that I picked up the bed floor , fender, front nose piece and a few other items to bring back for his project and at that time I knew we were if for a longer haul but it was an easy choice to hang on to the shop longer and work at getting my things out of the shop, as Gene has stated he has put in many hours along the way. It was November of 17 when I got notice that they wanted me out or double my rent so guess what one I took? (time to get out) For the first time in about 25 years of renting the shop the landlord worked with me and gave me till June 1 with a rent increase of only $100.00 a month and so at the time the work really started to move ahead for every one Gene, myself and others with things in the shop. Every one had notice that things had to move ahead and Gene kicked it in gear and made a plan on making it work for him, while other wanted to hang around until the last minute and make my life a little uneasy. Once Anthony and I got back from South Bend on May 9th **** started to fly, and Anthony and I did our thing on clearing out every thing and Gene keep at his plan and the grind of getting it done by the 1st, others did finely get their things out and the building was empty on the 1st, Gene and his friend Moon did not even leave a speck of dust for me to deal with ( thanks Gene).
    Last edited by candbstudebakers; 06-06-2018 at 10:56 AM.
    Candbstudebakers
    Castro Valley,
    California



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