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Heavy Studebakers versus Modern Iron?

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  • Heavy Studebakers versus Modern Iron?

    The April 2008 Hot Rod arrived in yesterday's mail. Therein is a report of "pretty much" a production 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8, the new retro coupe (it's not a true 2-door hardtop; it has a B-pillar) promising much good press and excitement for contemporary-iron enthusiasts....and it is cute; I personally like it.

    Naturally, you'd expect this current-technology product to incorporate all the latest high-tech "improvements" to reduce weight and thereby increase vehicle performance, right? (Keep in mind: I've owned and preserved a "survivor" Vitamin-C 1971 Barracuda convertible over 31 years, so I'm not knocking MoPars.)

    In the article, the new Challenger's shipping weight is "projected to be 4,140 pounds." WHOA! And they used to call the 1966-1971 Hemi the elephant!

    By way of contrast, I have in front of me a copy of the shipper's order for SDC member Bill Pressler's loaded -and I mean loaded- 1963 Studebaker Daytona hardtop. Let's see: Bill's beautiful Ermine White Daytona is equipped with quite a few weighty options, per this shipper's bill of lading. To wit:

    R1 Engine (and accompanying weight additions, although not a package car.)
    Flight-O-Matic transmission (not heavy-duty, surprisingly)
    Sun Roof
    Power Steering
    Power Brakes
    Air Conditioning
    Front & Rear Bumper Guards
    Front & Rear Wing Guards
    70-AMP HD Battery (no special hold-down specified!)
    Push-Button Radio
    Climatizer
    Undercoating
    Twin Traction
    Reclining Seats
    Wheel Discs
    Service for Retail Delivery


    Now, since this is a genuine Studebaker Accounting Dept copy of the shipper's order, the actual shipping weight of Bill's car is specified: 3,311 pounds. And that would probably include a full tank of gas, since one option is Service for Retail Delivery.

    So Bill's 1963 Daytona, burdened with that obese, inefficient Studebaker V-8 and old-school, body-on-frame construction and Flightomatic and "all power" and factory air conditioning, still managed to waddle off the shipping dock at South Bend weighing 20% less than the new, high-tech Dodge Challenger SRT-8, incorporating what we may rightly assume to be 45 years of automobile technology development.

    I, for one, am glad to see the industry making such great strides in vehicle efficiency, compared to what we know was Studebaker's hopeless obsolescense and what were the company's inexcusably outdated manufacturing inefficiencies. (And thanks for sending me this copy years ago, Bill.) 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
    True. But this is an apples/oranges comparison. Can you IMAGINE what all the mandated safety features weigh on the new MOPAR? Several hundred pounds at least. Then add in all of the modern "conveniences"--another several hundred pounds.

    Comment


    • #3
      True. But this is an apples/oranges comparison. Can you IMAGINE what all the mandated safety features weigh on the new MOPAR? Several hundred pounds at least. Then add in all of the modern "conveniences"--another several hundred pounds.

      Comment


      • #4
        Would a more stout frame account for most of the added weight, Bob? Perhaps more structural support for crash areas? Honestly, I rather be clobbered in modern iron for safety sake AND my Stude's sake!

        Western Washington, USA

        Comment


        • #5
          Would a more stout frame account for most of the added weight, Bob? Perhaps more structural support for crash areas? Honestly, I rather be clobbered in modern iron for safety sake AND my Stude's sake!

          Western Washington, USA

          Comment


          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by Allan Songer

            True. But this is an apples/oranges comparison. Can you IMAGINE what all the mandated safety features weigh on the new MOPAR? Several hundred pounds at least. Then add in all of the modern "conveniences"--another several hundred pounds.
            True, of course, Alan; we're just having fun, here...or I hope we are! Although all the facts are indeed as I stated them (nothing made up), you'll note the use of the little wink icon: 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


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by Allan Songer

              True. But this is an apples/oranges comparison. Can you IMAGINE what all the mandated safety features weigh on the new MOPAR? Several hundred pounds at least. Then add in all of the modern "conveniences"--another several hundred pounds.
              True, of course, Alan; we're just having fun, here...or I hope we are! Although all the facts are indeed as I stated them (nothing made up), you'll note the use of the little wink icon: 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


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by tomnoller

                Would a more stout frame account for most of the added weight, Bob? Perhaps more structural support for crash areas? Honestly, I rather be clobbered in modern iron for safety sake AND my Stude's sake!

                Western Washington, USA
                Well, Tom, as near as I can figure out from this extensive article, the new Challenger is built on a unibody platform, so it doesn't even have the weight of a frame to contend with!

                One thing we're assured of, though: 1963 Daytona hardtops will always be rarer than 2008 Challengers: Studebaker built a total of 3,763 1963 Daytona hardtops, 6 and V-8 combined, versus Dodge's confirmed, paid-with-deposits, orders for 4,300 SRT-8 Challengers the first day they took orders last December! [:0] 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


                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by tomnoller

                  Would a more stout frame account for most of the added weight, Bob? Perhaps more structural support for crash areas? Honestly, I rather be clobbered in modern iron for safety sake AND my Stude's sake!

                  Western Washington, USA
                  Well, Tom, as near as I can figure out from this extensive article, the new Challenger is built on a unibody platform, so it doesn't even have the weight of a frame to contend with!

                  One thing we're assured of, though: 1963 Daytona hardtops will always be rarer than 2008 Challengers: Studebaker built a total of 3,763 1963 Daytona hardtops, 6 and V-8 combined, versus Dodge's confirmed, paid-with-deposits, orders for 4,300 SRT-8 Challengers the first day they took orders last December! [:0] 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


                  • #10
                    What I have noticed over the years, every Stude I have ever scaled, weighed 2-300 lbs over the shipping weight.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What I have noticed over the years, every Stude I have ever scaled, weighed 2-300 lbs over the shipping weight.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by Alan

                        What I have noticed over the years, every Stude I have ever scaled, weighed 2-300 lbs over the shipping weight.
                        That's because of all the grease and mud that has stuck to the undercarriage from the leaking oil, Alan. 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
                          quote:Originally posted by Alan

                          What I have noticed over the years, every Stude I have ever scaled, weighed 2-300 lbs over the shipping weight.
                          That's because of all the grease and mud that has stuck to the undercarriage from the leaking oil, Alan. 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


                          • #14
                            Front air bags, side air bags, collapsable steering columns, bumpers with shock absorbers behind them, doors with steel beams in them, air conditioning ducts that reach everywhere, radio speakers (with steel magnets)everywhere, catalytic converters,larger gas tanks, etc. etc., all of this adds up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Front air bags, side air bags, collapsable steering columns, bumpers with shock absorbers behind them, doors with steel beams in them, air conditioning ducts that reach everywhere, radio speakers (with steel magnets)everywhere, catalytic converters,larger gas tanks, etc. etc., all of this adds up.

                              Comment

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