I'm sorry to report the passing of my friend Bill Mitchell of Speedway, Indiana, on July 3, 2016. Bill is here on the left at an Indy Chapter SDC Meet & Eat at The Pit Stop in Brownsburg several years ago, with Golden Hawk 400 guru Tom Lawlis on the right:
...and at the same meeting, with yours truly:
Bill was a light mechanic / tune-up specialist at Snider Auto Service in Indianapolis, where I hung out as a teen-ager in the early 1960s. Bill showed me how to rebuild a Paxton supercharger and many Studebaker V8 tune-up tricks. He was an excellent, conscientious mechanic, the kind you'd want working on your Studebaker.
It was in Bill's "stall" at Snider that I first laid eyes on the white R2 Champ pickup that was built on special order and delivered new by Snider Studebaker. I remember my eyeballs popping out of my head when Bill said, "Come up here and look under the hood, Bob!" as I approached it from the rear.
Here's one of Bill's 1963 Business Cards:
I also remember Bill cussing the first 1965 Studebaker V8 on which he was doing a tune-up, pointing out the difficult location of the spark plugs in that engine bay, as compared to the Studebaker V8s he had worked on forever. When Snider Auto Service closed at the end of the 1966 model year, Bill went to work for a large Buick dealership on Indianapolis' west side, from which he retired years ago.
Bill was an occasional member of SDC and our Indy Chapter through the years and we thankfully stayed in touch. I was in his Speedway home late last year when he summoned me there to give me some older magazines he knew he wouldn't be needing. He seemed to be in good health but, of course, time waits for no man. I don't have Bill's obituary just yet, but will add it to this thread when it becomes available.
Update: Here is Bill's Obituary:
RIP, Bill; it was my privilege as a young Studebaker buck to be able to learn so much under-the-hood Studebakering from such a friendly, attentive man, one who always had time for a youngster poking around under the hood with him. BP