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Thread: '51 Drag car from Chuck Naugle sale

  1. #1
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    '51 Drag car from Chuck Naugle sale

    Well, I bought this poor old thing. What I know so far is that it started life as a Champion, because 10Gxxxxx serial number. The 232 engine might be '53 or '54, and mounts to the crossmember with a pair of rubber cushions like later V8s are mounted, not like the real '51 Commanders did. Rear axle is out of a truck, and uses truck wheels. Found that out the hard way. It has some sort of home-made traction bars with plates mounted on the axle U-bolts, and long arms going to pivot points on the frame behind the rear spring shackles. Looks like they would control rear spring wind-up effectively? And the fact that such a thing is there makes me think the car builder did indeed race it. If the car were just for show, why add such a thing?

    There are scripts on it, but they are very, very faded on the driver's side, and totally gone from the passenger side. Left front fender: 232 [cu. in.], 120 HP, both are pretty legible, the braces are my inference. Above the fender vent: "Mini-Hamster a Little Chicken Hawk" "Hamster" and "Little" are party obscured, and one could make a case for "Monster" and "Live", too. So probably the car builder was aware of Ted Harbit's reputation.

    Driver's door: C/STOCK 777 is pretty clear. The initial "7" is directly below the "K" . Driver's name below the door window might be James O'Malley. All you can really see is "Jaxxx xxxLey"

    Rear fender: BoJo ??? Racing Team. I could see the "Jo" half come from "James O'Malley". There was another line of text below that, but it's too obscure to even guess at.

    The manual transmission has an after-market floor shift. Drive is disconnected from the rear axle, and tied up, so I'm thinking it was flat-towed some significant distance, and never put back together. Engine won't turn by hand, but clean oil shows on the dispstick. It has the WW "backdraft" carb that a '53 to '55 engine would have.


    If any of this information rings a bell, or if there any good ideas for recovering "lost" painted scripts, please let me know. Car was originally maroon, painted over with a turquoise blue, with white roof, and is a two-door sedan. Still has the small Champion front brakes on it, too.
    There is a title, and Chuck's daughter is going to try to get it notarized for me.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  2. #2
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    Use water, wet it down and look with an oblique light. Might help

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'm trying to do it in daylight, with the Sun more or less in my eyes. But some great news! I removed the spark plugs, mixed some gasoline and 30-weight motor oil, and flooded all the cylinders with the brew, Figured, "why not" and put a big Crescent wrench on the crankshaft bolt (yes, it's too long, and shimmed with spacers). A few tugs to and fro, and it broke free, and I was able to pull it through an entire revolution. Woo-hoo!
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordr View Post
    Well, I bought this poor old thing. What I know so far is that it started life as a Champion, because 10Gxxxxx serial number. The 232 engine might be '53 or '54, and mounts to the crossmember with a pair of rubber cushions like later V8s are mounted, not like the real '51 Commanders did. Rear axle is out of a truck, and uses truck wheels. Found that out the hard way. It has some sort of home-made traction bars with plates mounted on the axle U-bolts, and long arms going to pivot points on the frame behind the rear spring shackles. Looks like they would control rear spring wind-up effectively? And the fact that such a thing is there makes me think the car builder did indeed race it. If the car were just for show, why add such a thing?

    There are scripts on it, but they are very, very faded on the driver's side, and totally gone from the passenger side. Left front fender: 232 [cu. in.], 120 HP, both are pretty legible, the braces are my inference. Above the fender vent: "Mini-Hamster a Little Chicken Hawk" "Hamster" and "Little" are party obscured, and one could make a case for "Monster" and "Live", too. So probably the car builder was aware of Ted Harbit's reputation.

    Driver's door: C/STOCK 777 is pretty clear. The initial "7" is directly below the "K" . Driver's name below the door window might be James O'Malley. All you can really see is "Jaxxx xxxLey"

    Rear fender: BoJo ??? Racing Team. I could see the "Jo" half come from "James O'Malley". There was another line of text below that, but it's too obscure to even guess at.

    The manual transmission has an after-market floor shift. Drive is disconnected from the rear axle, and tied up, so I'm thinking it was flat-towed some significant distance, and never put back together. Engine won't turn by hand, but clean oil shows on the dispstick. It has the WW "backdraft" carb that a '53 to '55 engine would have.


    If any of this information rings a bell, or if there any good ideas for recovering "lost" painted scripts, please let me know. Car was originally maroon, painted over with a turquoise blue, with white roof, and is a two-door sedan. Still has the small Champion front brakes on it, too.
    There is a title, and Chuck's daughter is going to try to get it notarized for me.
    Well, I for on am not sure I can believe it exists without seeing pictures. I'm dying to see it. Post 'em, please.
    sals54

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    has the WW "backdraft" carb that a '53 to '55 engine would have.
    At least as late as '56, but the experts will have to pronounce the exact dates of the changeover.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Great stuff gord, looking forward what you find as you dig deeper. And like sal says...........pictures!
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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    Speedster Member bison's Avatar
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    Gord
    it was great to finally meet the man behind the myth , good luck with your project .
    Blake

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    Glad you just didnt haul it home and park out back for some other day. The interesting thing Gord is that I found another drag car out at Chuck's this past weekend. It is 52 starlight coupe markings on the fender and door. From what I can tell on the fender 007. Some other miscellaneous writing on the doors. No engine firewalls been cut out steering column has been moved about 2 1/2 feet back on the frame. Glad your having fun with $300 dollar drag car. Thanks John

  9. #9
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    At least as late as '56, but the experts will have to pronounce the exact dates of the changeover. jack vines
    1958 was the last year that down-draft carburetor had a 90-degree air horn on top of the fuel bowl. 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.

  10. #10
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Gord I found these on the Americana Huge String.
    Commander Race Car.jpg Commander Race Car2.jpg Commander Race Car3.jpg #2 & 3 ARE 2 Door Sedans, #1 could be, and then there is this one:
    Commander Race Car4.jpg A Starlight,
    but I remember Ted starting with a Convertible but did he EVER have a White one?
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  11. #11
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    Rich, most of those pics seem to show circle-track cars. This one was (apparently) drag-raced. It has home-made traction bars spanning the rear half of the rear leaf springs to control rear axle wind-up, which I'm thinking would be useful in drag racing, not so much in roundy-round.

    I will try to take some pics tomorrow morning when the light is better.

    Bob, I put 'backdraft" in quotes because I know it's really a downdraft, but "backdraft" sure does describe its physical appearance well.

    I'm going to need a V8 distributor if I am going to fire the engine up. Does it have to be a "2-piece" Delco, or will any V8 distributor work?
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  12. #12
    President Member Bordeaux Daytona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sals54 View Post
    Well, I for on am not sure I can believe it exists without seeing pictures. I'm dying to see it. Post 'em, please.
    There's some in an older thread here....http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...=1#post1039244

  13. #13
    President Member Deaf Mute's Avatar
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    I built "traction bars" as described using Ford big truck tie rods... in a Olds powered '32 Plymouth coupe... back in the day!

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordr View Post
    /Cut/I'm going to need a V8 distributor if I am going to fire the engine up. Does it have to be a "2-piece" Delco, or will any V8 distributor work?
    Gord, I do not see any reason a '53 to '59 Early Delco Type Dist. would not work, the '53 and '54 232's had these ONE piece units, so it should be fine.

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