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My '64 Daytona Wagonsire is finally out of the barn after a long rest

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  • My '64 Daytona Wagonsire is finally out of the barn after a long rest

    Related to my post about getting rid of a bunch of parts, I also needed to get the Wagonaire out of the barn. Why was it there so long? Long somewhat sad story. In 2003 seven couples of us drove from Virginia to the end of the Santa Monica Pier following old Route 66 as much as possible. I was driving a '64 R-2 Avanti (also a long story). Several years ago another coast-to-coast cruise was planned. I decided to take the Wagonaire (had since new). It was getting a little tired, but everything worked just fine on the car. I decided to take the car to one of the Route 66 drivers who had rebuilt several Studebaker V-8s including his own truck. He wanted to do the "refresh" as he was getting early Parkinson's and wanted to keep his mechanic skills alive. His brother said "don't do it", but I did. The "friend" pulled the engine, took it to the machine shop, had me order several thousand dollars in parts and work. The poor always-garaged car sat under pine trees in southeast Virginia for six months (water leaks, new rust). In pulling the engine he had knocked off one of the AC compressor fittings and destroyed the overdrive kickdown switch. He hadn't been able to get it started so he cut the wire to left horn on the fender apron and wired in an electric pump. When I went to drive it on to my trailer, I couldn't get the clutch disengaged enough get in any gear. It was running very poorly, but after turning the clevis on the clutch linkage almost to the last thread I finally got the clutch to let me get in gear with minimum grinding. This was with a new clutch disc, pressure plate, new throwout bearing (which was howling) and a refinished flywheel. Even with 126,000 miles there was nothing wrong with the old clutch at all, but to be safe... As it turned out he had bored the engine to .101 (yes, .101). And the timing was WAY off. I was so disgusted that I just pulled the poor thing in to the barn and left it.
    I know, I should have preserved it until I could get on it, but I didn't. I did pump most all the stale gas out and out and added five gallons of pure gasoline before I tried to get it out of the barn. Faithfully it did start fairly easily and sounded pretty good- good oil pressure, all gauges reading OK. I backed it out of the barn and started for the trailer at which time the front disc brakes wouldn't release. Took some maneuvering to get it on with the front wheels sliding instead of rolling.
    Yesterday I took the Wagonaire on a 121-mile ride to Abe Witmer's shop near Lancaster PA and told him to fix it. I didn't think it was necessary to tell him what to do. Those of you who know Abe and his son know why I could do that.
    Attached Files
    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

  • #2
    'Bummer, Paul, but I'm glad you have it back in your custody and are having it done right. All the best. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "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.


    • #3
      Nice looking Wagonaire, hope you get her bugs worked out.
      Had a similar experience years ago with my 1941 Buick 41SE Special. Car had but 30k on her and clutch started to slip.
      Tried adjusting it to no avail. Took it to a shop where they said they could do the install and had a good reputation.
      Well a few weeks later I got the Buick back, back with a terrible vibration in the drivetrain. Took it back with no positive results. I ended up attaching wheel weights to the clutch pressure plate bolts and by trial and error got the vibration eliminated.
      sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

      "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
      Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
      "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan


      • #4
        Looks really great with those Magnum 500s on it Paul!
        Winston-Salem, NC
        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


        • #5
          Thanks. I like them on about anything. Used them on my Daytona convertible when I had it. And, I don't lose wheel covers from those wheels.
          Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
          '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine


          • #6
            What a nice looking Wagonaire- I know you will be happy when it is sorted and reliably back on the road. I hope to own a wagonaire someday- hopefully I will be lucky enough to find one as nice as yours! And I agree on the Magnum 500 wheels as well- they look good on anything!
            Evan Davis
            Prince Albert, Sk