First two photos by Craig Parslow.
After being Studebakerless since selling my '52 pickup in January, I managed to buy one of my favorite Studes this week, and just hired a transport company yesterday to bring it home from Oregon. The 289, auto trans (converted to 1st gear start), brake system, front suspension and steering have all been rebuilt by Chuck Tubens in Portland. There are a few cosmetic issues I'll have to tend to, but overall I think it's going to be a pretty decent car.
I met Joe and Nancy Bacon in 2007 at my first national meet in South Bend, and quickly learned that Nancy's late father, Earl Drews, had owned a '56 Prez two door for several years. He first bought the car in the early 70's, drove it to Dallas in '75 to put in the bid for the '76 meet in Indy (where he was chairman), and in the '80's he sold the car to George Rietenour. George repainted the car from it's original yellow to black to match the interior, and at some point sold it. Earl found the car for sale on a car lot around Indy in the late '90's, bought it back, retired to Florida soon after, and kept it until his passing in 2004.
Tom Hart in Oregon purchased the car, flew to Florida, drove it to Charlotte, NC for the national that year, and then had it shipped home. The next year he drove it to Spokane for the national, and on the way home the engine gave up. It sat for a few years after that until he hired Chuck to go through everything. Tom has used the car as an everyday driver for quite a while and says the car is ready to drive anywhere. I happened to see his tiny for-sale ad in the latest Turning Wheels a couple of weeks ago, and couldn't resist.. I'm looking forward to putting some miles on it.