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Lost another Studebaker fan

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  • Lost another Studebaker fan

    Many of you probably knew Luther Barnes. He passed away this past week after suffering a stroke. The funeral is this coming Saturday at 11:00 am in Elwood, Indiana, at the Dunnichay Funeral Home at 1113 S Anderson Street. In case anyone is planning to attend, the family has requested to drive your Studebaker. Some of you may remember him at the South Bend Swap Meets cooking beans for anyone that wanted some. Luther owned three Studebakers, a '51 Commander Convertible, a '63 R 1 Powershift Avanti, and a '72 Avanti.

  • #2
    Luther was a fun guy. Always treated me well. I had known him from the 80's. I was hoping to see him at SB this year and wondered why he wasn't outside only to find out from Daryl Lahr on Saturday of his passing. R.I.P. Luther jimmijim
    sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member


    • #3
      The first time I met Luther was on west bound I70 near the Ohio border 20 years ago or so.....we were coming back from the York swap meet in our 50 champion & saw a Studebaker stationwagon setting on the side of the freeway with someone's butt sticking up out from under the hood. We stopped & it was Luther & his wife, who were also on their way back from the meet when the car developed an ignition problem. We gave them a ride to the nearest place that had a tow truck & we remained good friends ever since. I went on a few of his road trips & shared a few motel rooms with him. I sure will miss him....
      Mike Sal


      • #4
        We will miss Luther and his beans cooking at the meets

        1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
        1961 Hawk 4-speed
        1967 Avanti
        1961 Lark 2 door
        1988 Avanti Convertible

        Member of SDC since 1973


        • #5
          Luther was on my mind several times over the weekend while in South Bend. I wanted to ask several people about him, but the time slipped away so quickly it never happened. So very sad to hear the news. I will cherish my memories of the many dealings with him, and his many stories as well. We just recently installed a set of his Chrome Valve Covers on a R1 Engine swap in a Lark.
          He truly was one of the good guys.
          May He Rest in Peace.
          Jim Sinclair
          I was STUDEBAKER, when STUDEBAKER wasn't "KOOL".


          • #6
            A unique fellow indeed.

            First encounter with Luther Barnes: September 1962, NHRA National Drags at Indianapolis Raceway Park. At the time, the east side of the north-south drag strip was simply a hill with wooden bleachers built on it. All that separated the bottom-most bleacher (closest to the strip) from the drag strip was a medium-duty chain link fence, more to keep the crowd off the drag strip than to protect the spectators from anything on the drag strip.

            Between the lowest bleacher and that fence was a pathway, perhaps 8 feet wide.

            So I'm watching the drags (age 16, mind you, having just met Ted Harbit in the pits) about halfway up those wooden bleachers when all of a sudden, the crowd of people walking along the pathway between the bleachers and the chain link fence starts to part, like the Red Sea or something.

            The crowd is parting because there is a 1951 Studebaker Commander convertible slowly driving along that path, clearly where no automobiles are supposed to be. I learned later that it was Luther Barnes driving that convertible, so I asked him what the h*ll he was doing, slowly driving along what was obviously a pedestrian walkway!

            His reply, "Well, that just sorta looked like somewhere I wanted to go!" If you knew Luther Barnes, that reply made perfect sense.

            Second memorable encounter with Luther Barnes, Summer 1965. Northeast Indianapolis: I'm working at a large, full-service neighborhood Shell gas station for the summer home from Purdue. My daily ride/beater was a well-worn 1956 Chevrolet Bel-Air 4-door sedan; 265 V8/Powerglide. I wanted a 1959 or 1960 Lark V8 with stick overdrive to build into an R2 for a daily driver / street racer.

            Luther Barnes had bought for resale an equally-worn 1960 Lark Regal 4-door in Commonwealth Edison tan with V8/overdrive. He thought he could sell the '56 Chevy easier than the 1960 Lark, so we traded even. I did, in fact, install a complete R2 setup on that Lark. With normal rust for a 5-year-old midwest Lark, it was quite a sleeper, being a beige 4-door with blackwall tires.

            Luther will be missed. I plan to drive my 1964 Daytona Wagonaire to his funeral Saturday. In the event the late-model hearse won't start (or Luther rises up from the casket to protest being hauled away in a non-Studebaker, which probably wouldn't surprise anyone), we can slide him in the back of the Wagonaire for his final trip. BP
            Last edited by BobPalma; 05-10-2018, 06:16 AM.
            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.


            • #7
              I missed Luther & several other regulars at the meet this year, but was able to meet several people for the first time. Some, like Dale McPherson, John Nemeth, John Dusky & Luther, have recently passed, and others are just getting too old to make it, possibly the case with Bob Kapteyn and a few others. Conspicuous by their absence were Ernie Loga, Verne Edigar & Milt Yoder who were AWOL this time. We also lost Luther Jackson in April. It was great to have Jim Kranek & Jim Bahr back with us this year. I just got home last night. I did not sign up for next year & doubt I will go unless I have a big load of pre-sold items as I had this time.
              Last edited by TX Rebel; 05-10-2018, 07:23 AM.
              Barry'd in Studes