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Studebaker V8 Superiority...or, as I was saying...

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  • Studebaker V8 Superiority...or, as I was saying...

    Studeophiles with muddy St. Joseph River South Bend blood coursing through their veins, those who diligently read Hemmings Classic Car, are in for a reflective treat this month. That will be when they read the report of the 1957 Oldsmobile 98 convertible with J-2 Tri-Power in the new, October 2017 Hemmings Classic Car.

    First, however, we reflect on my column praising the sturdiness of the Studebaker V8. That column was in the March 2015 Hemmings Classic Car, available for free CASO reading here in case you missed it :

    https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hc...r/3747591.html

    Therein, regarding main bearing size to document Studebaker V8 superiority, I said, "...when introduced for the 1951 model year, the Studebaker V8 had at least 25% more main bearing area per cubic inch than did Cadillac or Oldsmobile V8s."

    Comes now (a little legal jargon, there) the article on the 1957 J-2 Oldsmobile with its 371 Oldsmobile V8, a direct descendant of the 1949 303 Olds V8 referenced in my column.

    On Page 34 of the October 2017 Hemmings Classic Car, Matthew Litwin says, regarding the newly enlarged-for-1957 Olds 371 V8 engine, "...Much of the previous performance lineage was carried over, save for enlarged main bearing dimensions...." [Bold Face mine]

    I suppose it took GM engineers that long to see that Studebaker engineers had the right idea for the 1951 model year. 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.

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing the article! i recall reading this when the mag came out.

    maybe this will give some folks a pause before tossing a good Studebaker V8 that may need a rebuild/refresh and stay away from a GM belly button 350 crate engine.
    Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

    '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

    '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Corvanti View Post
      Thanks for sharing the article! I recall reading this when the mag came out.

      Maybe this will give some folks a pause before tossing a good Studebaker V8 that may need a rebuild/refresh and stay away from a GM belly button 350 crate engine.
      We can hope, Kerry; we can hope. Thanks. 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.

      Comment


      • #4
        The truth is in the bushes; you just need to move a few branches to discover it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nels View Post
          The truth is in the bushes; you just need to move a few branches to discover it.
          WOW! Nelson Bove, the Prophetic Philosopher! 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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Corvanti View Post
            Thanks for sharing the article! i recall reading this when the mag came out.

            maybe this will give some folks a pause before tossing a good Studebaker V8 that may need a rebuild/refresh and stay away from a GM belly button 350 crate engine.
            Hear, hear!
            Mike Davis
            Regional Manager, North Carolina
            1964 Champ 8E7-122 "Stuey"

            Comment


            • #7
              Too bad Studebaker didn't bother making a head that could breathe. Then maybe South Bend V-8s would have been the choice of 50's hot rodders instead of bowtie smallblocks. You know I'm right.
              The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Corvanti View Post
                Thanks for sharing the article! i recall reading this when the mag came out.

                maybe this will give some folks a pause before tossing a good Studebaker V8 that may need a rebuild/refresh and stay away from a GM belly button 350 crate engine.
                Excellent point. My 289 is in the process of being rebuilt, unfortunately only 15k miles after its last rebuild. Cause is not completely known yet. At that point I understood why people go the crate route, which is fine for them, but not for purist me. As a musician, for me it's like rebuilding a Steinway piano with some other manufacturer's components. No!
                peter lee

                Comment


                • #9
                  Did a Chevy 283 breath that much better than a Studebaker 289?
                  I do NOT know, just curious.
                  sigpic

                  Josephine
                  -55
                  Champion V8
                  4d sedan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris Pile View Post
                    Too bad Studebaker didn't bother making a head that could breathe. Then maybe South Bend V-8s would have been the choice of 50's hot rodders instead of bowtie smallblocks. You know I'm right.
                    I don't know about that....
                    I think that the #4 automakers supporters always looked at the #4 label as a badge of honor.
                    If you are #4, you stay proud of the #4 spot and scorn #1, #2, and #3.
                    Even the marketing people use the underdog mentality as a sales tool.
                    Remember Avis? We're #2 and we try harder?


                    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                    Jeff


                    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Noxnabaker View Post
                      Did a Chevy 283 breath that much better than a Studebaker 289?
                      I do NOT know, just curious.
                      No, stock-for-stock, the 283" Chevrolet and the 289" Studebaker engines made essentially the same horsepower and torque below 5,000 RPMs.

                      Yes, the Small Block Chevy had more potential to breathe better and when the valve train was modified to live at higher RPMs, the SBC made more horsepower than the Studebaker could. Once the small, light, high-revving Chevy became available, literally everything else in that cubic inch range became obsolete. I had several long conversations with Ed Iskenderian about the history and development of the SBC. He said, "Once we put the first Chevy V8 on the dyno, it was obviously going to be the future of hot rodding. We immediately cut back our orders for cam cores for every other engine and ordered all we could get for the Chevy. We still had Studebaker and Packard cams left on the shelf forty years later.

                      As better OEM heads became available from GM, the SBC performance gap grew. Once the aluminum aftermarket heads became available, the SBC got even stronger.

                      Today, the LS-series and aftermarket heads for other engines have surpassed the 23-degree SBC in power production, but with more than 100,000,000 made, many are still out there and an infinite supply of hot rod parts still kicking around at swap meets for scrap prices.

                      I understood why people go the crate route, which is fine for them, but not for purist me. As a musician, for me it's like rebuilding a Steinway piano with some other manufacturer's components. No!
                      Agree. Bottom line for CASOs, we build our Studes because we love them, not because it's cost-effective horsepower compared to the SBC.

                      jack vines
                      Last edited by PackardV8; 08-12-2017, 10:03 AM.
                      PackardV8

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good words in Post #11, Jack, thanks. I felt I gave the SBC its due in the opening paragraph of my Hemmings column. My column was not about cost-effectiveness or anything other than outright toughness.

                        Ted Harbit once told me he had a worn-out 232 Stude V8 with oil pressure so low he couldn't believe it ran, much less how quiet it was. He said he took it out and intentionally tried to blow it up...and couldn't. (Who says we all didn't do some pretty stupid things in our youth, so I suppose that story documents Ted having been younger than his current 82 years at one time! <GGG>)

                        I rest my case: My column testifies as to why it is so. 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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Unfortunately, the line QUICKLY crosses between horse power vs. cost in the Stude engine vs. just about ANY of the big four engines. Speaking of the small Chevy, Ford and Chrysler engines.

                          Even back 20 years or so, it was cheaper to get, say...450 - 500hp. out of a 283/302 Chevy, or Ford vs. a Studebaker (normally aspirated !). As Jack notes, today the gap is even wider, even dealing with just the (small inch) 23 degree engine. 20-25 years ago you could build a 306 Chevy to over 500hp with off the shelf, iron 23 degree heads. I know, we ran a dragster with a 306 Chevy, one carburetor, automatic trans., it ran in the high 7sec. / low 8sec. area. According to the weight vs. track times, that equaled in the 540-550 hp range.
                          We'd be hard pressed to get a 289/305 Stude up that high with just a carburetor...even with R3 heads.

                          So what...even now that we have a few folks that are willing to experiment a little. Roller cams, adjustable cam drives, better intake manifolds, better capability of building proper headers, and somewhat better cylinder heads between a few of us. But as noted, the cost vs. power crossed a long time ago (advantage to the big four).

                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            The Stude V8 is not a bad motor for being over 50 yrs since the last one was built. Time does march on and so does technology. The Stude V8 is nothing to be ashamed of for sure. I'm not at all embarrassed to have one under my hood; in fact I'm rather proud of it!

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                            • #15
                              A Studebaker V8 can be a nice, quiet, smooth running engine.
                              Here's one that is going to be a pain to some small block Chevies


                              HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                              Jeff


                              Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                              Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                              Comment

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