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View Full Version : Avanti Fans: Who thought of the reverse opening hood?



Stude-Preferred
08-26-2016, 09:03 PM
Howdy Avanti fans, here is a question I have thought about for years, but never asked anyone.

I don't remember any Tom Kellogg drawings showing an Avanti sketch with the hood open.
Of course you cannot tell from the 1/8th-scale clay model, as to how the hood would open.

Does anyone know the answer?
Was it just something Bob Doehler's team thought about doing?
Did Loewy ever specify wanting it ?
OR was it just because... that is the way the Corvette hood opened. :eek:

Personally, I have always thought it was a cool feature.

Did any other Studebaker have a reverse opening hood? I don't think so.

Still pondering about Studebakers..... 50 years later.

Keeping Studebaker's alive.

Stude-Preferred
Atlanta GA

StudeRich
08-26-2016, 10:16 PM
Who knows, maybe the Plans were given to Engineering to make the Mechanicals' work, and they came up with the Cross flow Radiator, air bleed valve and Thunderbird Fill Tank to help cool the high Compression Engines, so the Hood just HAD to follow that line of thinking. :ohmy:

OR, the Design Team came up with the Forward opening hood and Engineering had to come up with a way to make it work!

8E45E
08-26-2016, 11:12 PM
Hudson did from 1942 thru 1947, until the step-down models came out in 1948.

Craig

GrumpyOne
08-26-2016, 11:45 PM
I guess that I'm in the "don't really care" as to who did what but in general prefer a rear opening hood. My ancient non-Studebaker daily driver has this feature but the next generation went to front opening hoods, computers etc... I love living in the past!

Warren Webb
08-27-2016, 03:50 AM
57/58 Ford's had the reverse opening hood too.

Skip Lackie
08-27-2016, 07:20 AM
Maybe stating the obvious: most sports cars had/have reverse opening hoods, as it eliminates the possibility of a hood opening by accident at speed. That's why the Corvettes were built that way. On the Avanti it may have been a styling touch or real concern about high-speed problems.

Quentin
08-27-2016, 07:58 AM
Who thought of the reverse opening hood? [/B]

Atlanta GA
Probably one of the poor benighted factory workers who had to fit hoods on to Studebaker Hawks..........during one of their regular concussions inflicted by whacking ones head on the Hawk hood locking mechanism spike, they had a flash of inspiration during recovery !!!

jclary
08-27-2016, 08:57 AM
Speaking of reverse opening...the one that immediately comes to mind, for me, is those '57/58 Fords. Reason being, there were so many of them! Not only did they have a reverse opening hood, but if you bought the "hide-away" Hard Top Convertible (Skyliner), it came with a reverse opening hood & trunk!:cool:

spokejr
08-27-2016, 09:35 AM
Mercedes 190 & 300 SL hoods opened the same as an Avanti but the Germans had a safety latch. When Dad bought his 190, I thought that feature a bit carried away but when I bought the Avanti last year, the lack of a safety seemed wrong somehow. My how perceptions change over a third of a century

BTW, the 58-60 Lincolns (a.k.a. The Slant Eyed Bastard) had a rear opening hood as well. I was only a new born when Mom & Dad bought their '58 off a repo yard in the fall of '61 so I don't remember if there was a safety or not.

karterfred88
08-27-2016, 09:58 AM
All in the aerodynamics. A rear opening hood can't be accidently opened at speed, air forces it closed even if unlatched. The access area is about the same either way, common maintenance items reached easily either way, unless you move the distributor to the front as Fords had. Second, as a front opening hood requires a place to put you hand on the front of it to lift, the Avanti's header panel design did not allow for easy access to the front edge to lift it, not having a grille opening. IMHO anyway-just made sense.

spokejr
08-27-2016, 10:38 AM
Agreed Fred, on the Avanti, there really isn't a need for the extra latch (unless the car is spinning on black ice at a high speed...in that case it'll be the least of your problems). On the 190 SL the latch is on the left side, easily reached while lifting the hood. When Dad bought that car I just thought of it as being Germanic over-kill (and still do) but after all these years of front opening, I was used to looking for the second latch.

Buzzard
08-27-2016, 11:48 AM
Also the late 40's early 50's Buicks opened from the SIDE.

8E45E
08-27-2016, 12:15 PM
Agreed Fred, on the Avanti, there really isn't a need for the extra latch (unless the car is spinning on black ice at a high speed...in that case it'll be the least of your problems). On the 190 SL the latch is on the left side, easily reached while lifting the hood. When Dad bought that car I just thought of it as being Germanic over-kill (and still do) but after all these years of front opening, I was used to looking for the second latch.

International Scouts had the secondary latch on the RH side. What a PIA!

Craig

8E45E
08-27-2016, 12:22 PM
BTW, the 58-60 Lincolns (a.k.a. The Slant Eyed Bastard) had a rear opening hood as well. I was only a new born when Mom & Dad bought their '58 off a repo yard in the fall of '61 so I don't remember if there was a safety or not.

Lincoln kept that front-hinged hood until 1969.

Craig

8E45E
08-27-2016, 12:24 PM
Speaking of reverse opening...the one that immediately comes to mind, for me, is those '57/58 Fords. Reason being, there were so many of them! Not only did they have a reverse opening hood, but if you bought the "hide-away" Hard Top Convertible (Skyliner), it came with a reverse opening hood & trunk!

So did a Ferrari Testa Rossa from the same year.

Craig

jclary
08-27-2016, 12:37 PM
So did a Ferrari Testa Rossa from the same year.

Craig

Yeah but...you never saw one of those parked in front of the pool hall or Iron City Soda Shop, in Blacksburg, S.C.;)

8E45E
08-27-2016, 01:18 PM
Yeah but...you never saw one of those parked in front of the pool hall or Iron City Soda Shop, in Blacksburg, S.C.;)

No, but then again, I haven't seen ANY car in Blacksburg as I've never been there!!

I actually do have one of those parked on a shelf in my front room. :)

Craig

48skyliner
08-27-2016, 04:16 PM
I did the front hinge on my 48 Champion because the stock hinges would not allow the hood to open far enough to reach things conveniently, and its main function seemed to be as a head banger. The older cars with the front of the hood hanging down so far were a real pain unless they tilted up almost vertically, and of course none of them did. I personally can see no reason for any car to have the hood hinged at the rear, purely for safety reasons.

57750

Noxnabaker
08-27-2016, 04:42 PM
Just as many others, the Volvo PV (444 & 445 for you guys) had it from -47 & the Duett (210) a few years later as it came in production later & when I've had them I sometimes didn't even bother closing them unless they weren't a wee bit open by the pressure of the spring.
They only open a bit in speed 'cause the wind presses them down, ought to work the same way on Avantis.

j.byrd
08-27-2016, 05:19 PM
I have a couple of front vs. rear opening hoods stories...Our 56 Sky Hawk with the front opener not only dented the roof, but nearly broke loose from the hinges when it flew open. The replacement hood and a bicycle / motorcycle lock (cable type) solved the problem from happening again.

Our Sunbeam Tiger (rear opening) came loose at about 65 mph due to a faulty 2nd latch, flew up about 15-18 inches due to the wind eddying after hitting the windshield, and stayed right there until I got slowed down to less than 30 mph. No damage, but I was really scared for a few minutes....glad the top was down so I could stretch up and see over it ! (that is why the backwards opening hood scoops work so well, quite a bit of "backwards" high pressure at the base of the windshield)

Our Anglia hood(s) open from each side, but no events to report from it yet...probably don't get fast enough to blow them open anyway wit that screaming 23 horsepower and 5:80 to 1 rear gear, ha !

studegary
08-27-2016, 06:47 PM
57/58 Ford's had the reverse opening hood too.

I owned a 1958 Ford that my father-in-law bought new. It's hood randomly unlatched while driving, including the initial trip home from the dealer. Recently, while leaving a local car show, Cathy and I came upon a 1958 Ford that had pulled over on the state road in order for the driver to get out and close the hood. Cathy and I broke out laughing. I traded our 1958 Ford in on a 1961 Lark VIII Regal sedan, an excellent car. Later the dealer told us how much he liked our Ford - - it brought him a lot of service calls.

studegary
08-27-2016, 06:51 PM
Just as many others, the Volvo PV (444 & 445 for you guys) had it from -47 & the Duett (210) a few years later as it came in production later & when I've had them I sometimes didn't even bother closing them unless they weren't a wee bit open by the pressure of the spring.
They only open a bit in speed 'cause the wind presses them down, ought to work the same way on Avantis.

I owned a PV 444. Most people in the US do not know about them. They do know of the following model, the PV 544.
I have a friend that bought a new 1959 PV 544 as her first car. She has only purchased new Volvos since. She has only kept her 1972 1800 and her current car, a 2012.

57pack
08-27-2016, 11:18 PM
My 1941 Buick Special SE (Compound Carburetors) had side latches with safety catches.
I would call my brother over when doing engine work, to help me lift hood off. In those days I could put it back on by myself. No way today!
Worked a lot on a 1958 Edsel and a 1959 Lincoln Premier, both with rear opening hoods.

Lou Van Anne
08-27-2016, 11:23 PM
The same guy who thought of the suicide doors?

8E45E
08-28-2016, 08:53 AM
I owned a PV 444. Most people in the US do not know about them. They do know of the following model, the PV 544.
I have a friend that bought a new 1959 PV 544 as her first car. She has only purchased new Volvos since. She has only kept her 1972 1800 and her current car, a 2012.

How about a rare Duett?

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8007/28667786323_91cf5a5ee6_b.jpg

Craig

52hawk
08-28-2016, 10:20 AM
Also the late 40's early 50's Buicks opened from the SIDE.
I was just thinking about that! Actually,they could be opened from either side. A little bit of a complicated latch system! You could also remove the hood by unlatching both sides at the same time.[I helped a guy I worked with do a lot of work on a '48 or '49.]

52hawk
08-28-2016, 10:25 AM
International Scouts had the secondary latch on the RH side. What a PIA!

Craig
I remember those too! Did a restoration for the local IH dealer years ago[just about every body panel on it was rusted away!]-walked around that Scout so many times I finally took the safety latch off 'till I was done with the body and paint work!

Sdude
08-28-2016, 04:25 PM
I drove a 25 Franklin and the hood hinged in the front.

njonkman
08-28-2016, 04:26 PM
Well after 50 years of replacing water pumps and pulling rads I certainly appreciated the front opening hoods more than the rear opening.
Them Fords were a pain to work on when it came to the front end work on the engine but otherwise the work on the sides was very good. Since I worked alone from about 1975 on I seldom had any one around who could help me take the hood off the front hinges.
Nick

Xcalibur
08-28-2016, 10:05 PM
It was a masochist who wanted that worthless hood support to drop it on our heads when a gust of wind blew by! That's why they make struts, hehehe!!!

Gunslinger
08-29-2016, 07:48 AM
It was a masochist who wanted that worthless hood support to drop it on our heads when a gust of wind blew by! That's why they make struts, hehehe!!!

That's why a hole is present in the support where you can insert a 1/4" bolt to keep that from happening! :D

thunderations
08-29-2016, 11:59 AM
55-57 T-Birds had the rear opening hood, probably because Corvette had it, but that style hood allows one to "pop" the hood while driving to allow hot air to escape the tight engine compartment. Just like the Avanti, there is no space for air flow and temps will build and new air can't flow past the radiator to cool the engine. The solution is to let the hood rest on the latches and gives about a 1 inch gap all along the back edge for air to escape. If you don't think it works, try it the next time you're Avanti starts running warm on the highway. Doesn't do much in parade mode, but that's another story/problem.

48skyliner
08-29-2016, 01:42 PM
People have asked me about the air vent doors on the front fenders of my 48 Champion, and I have explained that it was not until the 1950s that someone figured out that there is a high pressure area at the base of the windshield on almost all cars, so they started putting the air intake there. About 12 years ago I put a Ford V8 in my 1984 Mazda RX-7, and I had to put a raised area in the hood to clear the carb air intake. I cut out the center piece of a Nissan 280Z hood and welded it to my hood, giving just enough clearance for the carb intake. This reverse scoop was open at the back, and I thought that would be good for cooling. When I first drove it in hot weather I noticed that my heater would not shut off. I assumed the water control valve was not closing, but then I found that the heater core was cool. Only then it dawned on me that the hot air from the engine was being dumped right at the opening of the fresh air inlet for the interior (see the photo). I blocked off the outlet of the hood scoop and the problem was solved. I felt pretty silly about this obvious mistake, what with a masters degree in Aero engineering. Perhaps if I had gotten my Ph.D ------------

57866