View Full Version : Dale McPhearson pix LIVE in Brownsburg 1/28/2012

01-28-2012, 03:32 PM
Woo-Hoo! SDC's Indy Chapter met today at Brownsburg's Pit Stop Barbecue.

And who should grace the meeting, under his own power and looking good?
None other than our very own Dale "Lark Parker" McPhearson:


Dale is holding a "gift" passed along from Iowa SDCer Duane Miller. It's intended as kind of a traveling trophy, if you will, to be installed on walkers or other ambulatory devices for folks on the mend.

Duane forwarded this some time ago, to be given to Dale for his recovery. Today was yours truly's first opportunity to bequeath it to Dale for use and safekeeping. So, Duane, it is now in Dale's care and custody.

Dale is doing well and reports being back up to 155 pounds. That's a sizable increase from a year ago, heading for 180, he hopes. He's walking a little slower with only a cane for assistance. Further, he ordered the full rack of ribs with all the trimmings and left so few scraps that most mongrel dogs wouldn't interrupt a nap to retrieve them.

Dale said he has been following much of our goings-on on the forum and such... but his computer has been down and out for repairs a couple weeks. So feel free to post greetings and he'll see them sooner or later.

He is doing well, with dialysis continuing "as advertised" and few additional problems. If he isn't all the way out of the woods, he's certainly at the edge of the clearing. Dale's wife Barbara, "The Lovely Daytona" from the tales of Lark Parker, was also in attendance, having a good time attacking her own rack of ribs.

We had another welcome visitor at today's meeting, the guy who was on the business end of this calling card at Snider Auto Service, authorized Indianapolis Studebaker dealer until the last 1966 model was sold:


And here was that very gentleman (Bill "Slim" Mitchell) today, on the left, viewing a photo album with restoration progress on SDCer Tom Lawlis' (R) 1957 Golden Hawk 400:


Bill took a moment to pose with yours truly before sitting down. About 49 years ago, almost to the day, I was 17 years old, watching this man at his immaculate work station at Snider Auto Service, overhauling the first Paxton supercharger I had ever seen disassembled:


(I've been in touch with "Slim" through the years, but it had been a few before today's encounter. He and his wife still live in the same home in Speedway Indiana, barely a mile SW of The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as when he worked at Snider.)

Finally, Brownsburg's Pit Stop Barbecue eatery has a racing theme decor. All manner of racing memorabilia adorn the walls, including the framed poster of Ted Harbit and The Chicken Hawk, of which many SDCers have a copy.

The Pit Stop's copy is permanently displayed at an eye level even comfortable for youngsters. Today, Ted posed to the left while Pure Stock Drag Racing mechanic John "Ace" Kern posed on the right of the poster as displayed at The Pit Stop:


Overall, it was a great "Meet & Eat" today with many good friends, attendance being somewhere north of 40. The remark was made that sick bay report was unsually small in that "they're all here!" The promise of food and fellowship in Brownsburg IN can do that to you, and especially friend Dale "Lark Parker" McPhearson.

'Good to see you out and about, Dale; lookin' good and eatin' well. BP

Warren Webb
01-28-2012, 04:23 PM
Great to see Dale out & about, making a good recovery! Your pictures of the others is an added bonus too Bob! So many of us far away dont have the honor being so close to those who have made such contributions to the Club so it's great to see them too. Thanks again Bob.

01-28-2012, 04:26 PM
It doesn't get any better than this!

Great news, great report!

01-28-2012, 04:52 PM
Hope to see you all in South Bend this summer. Good luck.

01-28-2012, 05:06 PM
Glad to see that Dale is "Out and About!"

Thanks to you, Bob, for letting us know.

01-28-2012, 08:10 PM
Wow! Great story, Bob, and sure is glad to see Dale looking so hale.

Tell him we miss his humor around here and can't wait 'til he graces us with his return :)

R3 challenger
01-28-2012, 08:53 PM
It's great to see and hear that Dale is doing so well. Keep it up, Dale, and hi to Barb. And a big "Hello" to Bill Mitchell, who I haven't seen since the summer of 1965, when he did the first tune-up (at Snider Studebaker) on the newly-installed R3 engine in the Plain Brown Wrapper. Afterwards, he accompanied me on a ride around the block to "check it out". I still remember him shaking his head and saying "It broke the tires loose at over 4,000 rpm!" We all pronounced the tune-up successful.

Thanks for a great report, Bob.


01-29-2012, 01:04 AM
Bob did Bill get his 400 out of California a number of years ago? was it white? if so I know the person he got it from.

01-29-2012, 06:05 AM
Bob did Bill get his 400 out of California a number of years ago? was it white? if so I know the person he got it from.

Hi, Bob: Please re-read the caption; it is Tom Lawlis who is restoring the 1957 Golden Hawk 400, not Bill Mitchell.

Tom's 400 did not come from California; it came from a service station parking lot in Speedway IN in 1960! Tom was a youngster not quite old enough to drive when out riding his bike one day. He came upon the 400 parked for sale at a gas station near the family's home in Speedway, where he was growing up with his brothers.

One older brother, Gerry, had a drivers license and they liked Studebakers. Tom hurriedly peddled home and told Gerry about the 400 for sale. Gerry went and bought the car (yes, in 1960) and it has been in the family ever since; this is now the 52nd year they've owned it! Gerry and then Tom drove the car extensively. Although it got well-salted, well-used, and rusty, it remained in the family continuously.

Ultimately, Tom drove it to the SDC National Meet in Cincinnati OH circa 1978 before it was taken out of service just a few hundred miles short of 200,000 total; the odometer read 99,XXX and was on its second time around! It is one of the few solid-color 400s; Inca Cream, the soft yellow/gold color.

It was set aside, inside, to be restored shortly after the Cincinnati SDC National Meet. Tom acquired a western "tub" and a ton of NOS parts for the car over the next 20 years. He began the restoration in earnest maybe 10 years ago and, today, is most of the way through the most meticulous, body-off, rotisserie restoration I think any Studebaker has ever seen; it is just beautiful.

Tom and his older brother Gerry were close; Gerry having used the 400 a few more years than Tom. Sadly, Gerry passed away after a premature bout with cancer several years ago, and was thus not able to see the car fully restored. While that saddens Tom, he knows Gerry is keeping an eye on the project!

Meanwhile, Tom Lawlis became SDC's authority on 1957 Golden Hawk 400s. Years ago, I helped Tom comb all the 1957 Golden Hawk production records to verify (with Phil Brown's blessing, before he passed away) the count of 1957 Golden Hawk 400s built; 51. Phil had counted them earlier but welcomed the confirmation of his tally. That is why all Golden Hawk 400 Serial Numbers are known, to authenticate a car when someone claims to have discovered a 400.

Of course, I had Tom proof and approve my facts and figures before introducing the 1957 Golden Hawk 400 to the hobby at large in my March 2012 column in Hemmings Classic Car! Because only 10 of the 51 are confirmed extant, we hope the Hemmings exposure might smoke out another one or two.

Oh, and Bill Mitchell: While Bill has no collector cars now, in 1964 and for a year or two thereafter, he bought and drove one of the 1964 Studebaker R1 Pursuit Marshal "demos" Studebaker assembled for potential police sales. Bill's car was Indiana State Police Blue with a white top, zipper headliner, bolsters sewn into the seats, etc; the whole nine yards. We do not know what became of it; he sold it in the late 1960s. BP

Bob Andrews
01-29-2012, 06:46 AM
Wow, great to see Dale up and about. Would be GREAT to see you at the IM if you're up to it, my friend!

01-29-2012, 05:25 PM
BP, I can finally see this on my computer and reply. Thanks for making my week. It's great to hear that Dale is able to get around and get out of the house again. I cannot wait to see him at the International meet, which he assured me he would be at.

Thanks for the picture too. He's starting to look like himself again.

Or is that Cary Grant?

Deaf Mute
01-29-2012, 05:56 PM
The STUDEWALKER sign originated from Jim Pepper. It was a gag gift for his 60th birthday. After I broke my leg last year, Jim sent it my way with the note that it needed to be passed on to a worthy recipient.... Dale was the logical choice.
Remember... when you least expect it.... this sign could end up on your doorstep!
Nice to see that smile on your face, Dale!