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2 Questions: Cathcart and coupe vs hardtop wheelbase

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  • studegary
    replied
    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.

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  • Skip Lackie
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • 56H-Y6
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • raoul5788
    replied
    Bill Cathcart is no longer in the business. Our loss.

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  • PackardV8
    replied
    The Board of Directors chose the conservative, safe way to go broke and get out of the automotive business. They knew they were going broke anyway, but we'd have appreciated them more for going down reaching for the best instead of settling for mediocre.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lou Van Anne
    replied
    Guess I didn't make myself clear.....what was the reasoning for putting a 6 passenger 4dr. sedan on the smaller wheel base and and the 5 passenger 2dr. on the longer wheel base?....doesn't seem logical to me.
    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
    Have you ever noticed the LENGTH of the Hood and Deck on the long, low Sport Coupes, Hardtops and Hawks?
    There is no way you are going to put a 116 Inch W/B under ALL that car!

    That is why it took a 4 Inch LONGER Sedan Body Rear seat area, to fill the Coupe/Hardtop Frame on the Luxury Sedan "Y" Bodies.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]66819[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]66820[/ATTACH] Here's a "Coupe/Sedan">[ATTACH=CONFIG]66821[/ATTACH]

    Leave a comment:


  • StudeRich
    replied
    [QUOTE=55 56 PREZ 4D;1072773]
    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
    This Chart in Post #1 and the Actual Cars.

    The chart calls out 116 1/2" and 120 1/2" for all models from 1953 through 1958.
    The actual cars are 116 1/2" and 120 1/2". Correct ?
    Of course they are, center to center from the Front Axle to the Rear Axle.

    Leave a comment:


  • 55 56 PREZ 4D
    replied
    [QUOTE=StudeRich;1072724]This Chart in Post #1 and the Actual Cars.

    The chart calls out 116 1/2" and 120 1/2" for all models from 1953 through 1958.
    The actual cars are 116 1/2" and 120 1/2". Correct ?

    Leave a comment:


  • junior
    replied
    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
    Have you ever noticed the LENGTH of the Hood and Deck on the long, low Sport Coupes, Hardtops and Hawks?
    There is no way you are going to put a 116 Inch W/B under ALL that car!

    That is why it took a 4 Inch LONGER Sedan Body Rear seat area, to fill the Coupe/Hardtop Frame on the Luxury Sedan "Y" Bodies.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]66819[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]66820[/ATTACH] Here's a "Coupe/Sedan">[ATTACH=CONFIG]66821[/ATTACH]
    Interesting to note that the artist's conception of the 'Y' body car has suicide rear doors with no vertical bar in the windows. I've seen this ad before but never noticed. cheers, junior

    Leave a comment:


  • tbredehoft
    replied
    If memory serves, the '50 Land Cruiser was on a 124" wheel base frame. That Commander 2 and 4 door on a 120". So the CK's weren't all that long.

    Leave a comment:


  • StudeRich
    replied
    Originally posted by 55 56 PREZ 4D View Post
    From where are the 116" and 120" wheelbase figures coming ?
    This Chart in Post #1 and the Actual Cars.
    If you want to be extra precise, actually: 116.5 and 120.5.
    http://carnut.com/specs/gen/stud50.html

    Leave a comment:


  • StudeRich
    replied
    Originally posted by Lou Van Anne View Post
    I have never understood why a 4 Dr. sedan would be put on a 116" wheel base and a 2 Dr. c/k on a 120" ?
    Have you ever noticed the LENGTH of the Hood and Deck on the long, low Sport Coupes, Hardtops and Hawks?
    There is no way you are going to put a 116 Inch W/B under ALL that car!

    That is why it took a 4 Inch LONGER Sedan Body Rear seat area, to fill the Coupe/Hardtop Frame on the Luxury Sedan "Y" Bodies.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Champion Auto Corona3.jpg
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ID:	1716281 Click image for larger version

Name:	54 Champ Starlight Yellow_Black a.JPG
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ID:	1716282 Here's a "Coupe/Sedan">Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by StudeRich; 09-07-2017, 11:50 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lou Van Anne
    replied
    I have never understood why a 4dr. sedan would be put on a 116" wheel base and a 2dr. c/k on a 120" ?

    Leave a comment:


  • 55 56 PREZ 4D
    replied
    From where are the 116" and 120" wheelbase figures coming ?

    Leave a comment:


  • AllstonEP
    replied
    Sorry - I should used C/K rather than "Hardtop". I assumed hardtop.


    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
    Not sure how you read the word "Hardtop" into that chart, because I see it nowhere!
    They listed "Coupe" to indicate BOTH "Hardtops" and "Coupes", but no mention of the "Hardtops".

    For 1953 to 1957, there are only:

    116" W/B Sedans (2 & 4 Door F & W Body) includes 2 & 4 Dr. Wagons D & P.
    120" W/B C & K (Coupes & Hardtops)
    120" W/B "Y" Bodies = Long W/B Luxury 4 Door Sedans; Land Cruiser, President State, President Classic.

    Leave a comment:

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