View Full Version : Whats different about the sound of a Studebaker

06-14-2009, 08:51 PM
I have read remarks, in several different threads, that nothing sounds like a Studebaker.

As most of you know, I am new to Studebakers (Got mine in Jan 2009), and believe it or not, I havent actually heard a running Studebaker. I've only been to one show (York), and none of the cars were running when I was around. Any others I have seen, were also just sitting there, not running.

So anyway, my question is, Whats different about the sound of a Studabaker, and what is the reason for it?

Note: I have had mine running on several occasions, but it is running so badly, I dont think it counts.

06-14-2009, 09:11 PM
if you have it set up with dual exhausts and no crossover (there was no crossover pipe on any cars except for Avantis with the "quiet tone" exhaust) it has a very distinctive exhaust sound - a little "sharper" than a typical SBC. I don't know the true reason for this, but the one notable difference between a Stude engine and pretty much every V-8 designed since the introduction of the SBC is that the Stude uses siamesed center exhaust ports (similar to an early OHV Caddy or Ford flathead.) I have no idea if that makes the difference or not, but it's a reasonable explanation.


55 Commander Starlight

06-14-2009, 09:19 PM
One point, the firing order is different from Ford or Chevy V8. Cyls No. 5 and 7, both on the left side, fire in sequence, one after the other. This breaks up the smooth sequence of alternating banks, giving Studebakers a different sound.

Tom Bredehoft
'53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
'55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
(Under Construction 617 hrs.)
'05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
All Indiana built cars

06-14-2009, 09:24 PM
I think they do sound different, but remember, I guess we're
talking V-8's here and not 6 cylinders.

I've always thought they sounded alot like Mopar V-8's and
not Chevies.

What I really like now are the sound of the OHC Ford and Dodges.
I've got a 4.7 in my Dakota with loud exhaust and I really have
alot of fun with it.

06-14-2009, 09:26 PM
quote:Originally posted by jeryst

So anyway, my question is, Whats different about the sound of a Studabaker, and what is the reason for it?

I will say the lifters are more audible in a Stude V8 over a competive make at the time. Studebaker engines never used hydraulic lifters in their own engines, and they needed to be adjusted at regular intervals.


06-14-2009, 09:27 PM
When I first got my Speedster running, my non motor head neighbor came walking up through the woods, listened for a minute, grinned and said "Its got that sound". We exchanged pleasantries and he left.

Its different and I always wondered why.

06-14-2009, 09:38 PM
there are many engines thar sound different when using open exhaust or glasspacks.

ford y-block
chevy 409
dodge 426 hemi
packard straight 8 and v-8
honda 4 cylinder
ford flathead
i'm sure there are more but these come to mind.

i started running stock cars in 65 when we had open exhaust,and belive me you can tell the difference my favoriye was the 409's and 426 hemis rhey had a sound like no other.

and put a set of smithies glass pack if you want a sweet sound. the y-blocks are so sweet with them on.

Dick Steinkamp
06-14-2009, 09:39 PM
quote:Originally posted by Tom B

One point, the firing order is different from Ford or Chevy V8.

Not so. Chevy and Stude are both 18436572

Quite frankly...I can't tell the difference between V8's with a similar exhaust system...no matter if the firing order.

My '63 Lark with a Chevy V8 has relatively quiet mufflers for a hot rod, no crossover, no heat riser. It sounds exactly like my '63 Hawk with stock duals.

Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA


06-14-2009, 09:42 PM
After reading this post, I went to youtube and did a Studebaker search...there are alot of videos of Studes running...

I love the gutsy sound they have!


06-15-2009, 12:05 AM
When I bought my Lark I started it up and me and my buddy both looked at each other and said whoa! It had a single exhaust and a 259. Sounded cool to me.

06-15-2009, 08:11 AM
One of the nice sounding ones was the motor in the
rustfree Lark named Oscar advertised here
some time ago(photo and audio on You Tube)

I always thought the Chrysler v8's have a distinct
sound when revved more than " normal"
driving would require.

All V8's sound good, but it's sad if they only
" talk the talk, but won't walk the walk",
to quote the tough marine from the movie
Full Metal Jacket

06-15-2009, 08:16 AM
Here is the sound of my 52 Commander. I have adjusted the valve since the video.


Leonard Shepherd


06-15-2009, 08:44 AM
I own Oscar now and it does sound good.

06-15-2009, 09:12 AM
Try this