Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

2 Questions: Cathcart and coupe vs hardtop wheelbase

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Bill Cathcart is no longer in the business. Our loss.
    Chip
    '63 Cruiser
    '57 Packard wagon
    '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
    '50 Commander 4 dr sedan

    Comment


    • #17
      Hi

      In Studebaker: The Postwar Years by Richard Langworth wrote that the 116.5" wheelbase cars had progressed to the point of sub-assembly tooling was in process when management decided to go ahead and also produce the C & K 120.5" wheelbase cars as well, to apply its styling details to the shorter wheelbase cars too. As such, there are no common stamping shared between the two series. For a small, conservative company to have tooled two complete sets of body stamping dies was insanely poor management. Because of the excessive cost, the initial body style selection was a poor, limited one. The shorter wheelbase cars were met appeal to the low-price, economy Champion buyers; the Commander simply became a V8 engine version of it.

      Steve

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by 56H-Y6 View Post
        Hi

        In Studebaker: The Postwar Years by Richard Langworth wrote that the 116.5" wheelbase cars had progressed to the point of sub-assembly tooling was in process when management decided to go ahead and also produce the C & K 120.5" wheelbase cars as well, to apply its styling details to the shorter wheelbase cars too. As such, there are no common stamping shared between the two series. For a small, conservative company to have tooled two complete sets of body stamping dies was insanely poor management. Because of the excessive cost, the initial body style selection was a poor, limited one. The shorter wheelbase cars were met appeal to the low-price, economy Champion buyers; the Commander simply became a V8 engine version of it.

        Steve
        Nice summary. Dick Langworth did a good job of researching that period of the company's decision-making process, as he actually knew some of the principals. But his book is only one of about 5 or 6 that treat this matter in some considerable detail, so it is not easy to briefly summarize a complex set of circumstances that evolved over many months. The problem was that the coupes and hardtops looked SO GOOD on the long wheelbase that management was unwilling to squeeze them down to the shorter WB. And contrarily, the swoopy styling didn't translate that well to the sedans, which were the foundation of Studebaker's sales.

        But as Steve said, the real sin was the company ended up tooling up two completely different sets of body stampings -- which was irresponsible for a company that didn't have the finances of a General Motors. GM, Ford, and Chrysler all made sure that their body panels fitted a whole family of vehicles, distinguished only by things like trim, grilles, etc.
        Skip Lackie

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
          Nice summary. Dick Langworth did a good job of researching that period of the company's decision-making process, as he actually knew some of the principals. But his book is only one of about 5 or 6 that treat this matter in some considerable detail, so it is not easy to briefly summarize a complex set of circumstances that evolved over many months. The problem was that the coupes and hardtops looked SO GOOD on the long wheelbase that management was unwilling to squeeze them down to the shorter WB. And contrarily, the swoopy styling didn't translate that well to the sedans, which were the foundation of Studebaker's sales.

          But as Steve said, the real sin was the company ended up tooling up two completely different sets of body stampings -- which was irresponsible for a company that didn't have the finances of a General Motors. GM, Ford, and Chrysler all made sure that their body panels fitted a whole family of vehicles, distinguished only by things like trim, grilles, etc.
          The 1953 Starliner was designed first with the Starlight and sedans "forced" from that design. Production was a different order. Studebaker management did not believe that there would be the demand for the C/K models that there turned out to be.
          Richard Langworth played some of his recordings of Studebaker people for me right after (same day or next day) he made them.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

          Comment

          Working...
          X