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1955 Studebaker Speedster II

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  • 1955 Studebaker Speedster II

    The November/December edition of AACA's Antique Automobile has a great article on Vic and Connie Oliver's beautiful Studebaker.
    "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional." author unknown

  • #2
    It was on the show field at Fall hershey as well. A great example of what Bob Bourke thought a Speedster should look like. Drawings were made but none were built until these folks undertook finishing one that someone else had started. Bob is correct it ia great article
    sigpicSee you in the future as I write about our past

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    • #3
      How about a picture?
      Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
      '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
      '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
      '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

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      • #4
        Here you go: http://apexautomag.com/2017/08/the-s...hat-never-was/

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        • #5
          The most polite thing that I can say is, to each his own and it must have taken a lot of effort.

          To me, it doesn't look like a Bob Bourke design or anything that would come out of Bob's pen or mind. The car that John Bridges built is similar to a Bob Bourke design.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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          • #6
            I like it, a lot. Hopefully, the display at the museum, will include the concept drawing, and an explanation of how it came to be.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by studegary View Post
              The most polite thing that I can say is, to each his own and it must have taken a lot of effort.

              To me, it doesn't look like a Bob Bourke design or anything that would come out of Bob's pen or mind. The car that John Bridges built is similar to a Bob Bourke design.
              FWIW, designers don't have total control; even the '53 K was not produced exactly as BB envisioned it. The Studebaker management dabbled with several details, including the door posts and roofline. Then, does anyone think BB would have done the nose of the '55 or the '56J fins without direction from the suits?

              Bottom line, styling is in the eye of the beholder. Some get more votes than others, but popularity lets the great unwashed have a vote.. The 1957 Fords outsold the 1957 Chevrolet. The 1958 Thunderbird outsold the 1957 almost two to one. Which is today considered the better design?

              I've closely examined this car at the South Bend IM and found it to be gorgeous. There are a few details I'd change, but that's true of the '53K as well.

              jack vines
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                FWIW, designers don't have total control; even the '53 K was not produced exactly as BB envisioned it. The Studebaker management dabbled with several details, including the door posts and roofline. Then, does anyone think BB would have done the nose of the '55 or the '56J fins without direction from the suits?

                Bottom line, styling is in the eye of the beholder. Some get more votes than others, but popularity lets the great unwashed have a vote.. The 1957 Fords outsold the 1957 Chevrolet. The 1958 Thunderbird outsold the 1957 almost two to one. Which is today considered the better design?

                I've closely examined this car at the South Bend IM and found it to be gorgeous. There are a few details I'd change, but that's true of the '53K as well.

                jack vines
                The first thing I would do, if this car was mine, is put the hood hinge cross bar isolators in place.
                Jerry Forrester
                Forrester's Chrome
                Douglasville, Georgia

                See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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                • #9
                  Thank you (Steve Brown) from one Brown to another (Howard Brown). I now remember seeing the car at least twice at SDC International Meets. VERY nicely done.
                  Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                  '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                  '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                  '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by studegary View Post
                    The most polite thing that I can say is, to each his own and it must have taken a lot of effort.

                    To me, it doesn't look like a Bob Bourke design or anything that would come out of Bob's pen or mind. The car that John Bridges built is similar to a Bob Bourke design.
                    I think this is about the 3rd custom I have seen claiming to be inspired by Bob Bourke's drawings. As for me, I appreciate all of them for the creativity, hard work, and dedication required to produce these works. To me, all of them stand alone as individual expressions of art. My observation is the design engineers have enormous imaginations that often produce outlandish results that offend the senses, are not marketable, or are beyond the of reach of manufacturing technology of their time. Sometimes, they are just downright gaudy... Not restricted to the drawings from the studios of Lowey/Bourke, or limited to auto design.

                    I can't recall if it was just an article or a book, but years ago I recall reading a publication titled "Design Disasters." Much of the examples included cars of the early to mid-fifties. A lot of it appeared to me to be from a designer failing to anticipate the public mood, taste, fad/phase (faze) of their times. It is not just the designers, but like most things in life requiring cooperation, failure in corporate teamwork from all decision-makers required to bring anything to market.

                    If someone has the information in their possession (not me), a very worthwhile exercise would be to establish a very exclusive registry of the existing examples of these "Bourke" visions so we could appreciate them side by side. From what I have observed, so far...I have a much more positive reaction than negative.
                    John Clary
                    Greer, SC

                    SDC member since 1975

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Bryant View Post
                      The November/December edition of AACA's Antique Automobile has a great article on Vic and Connie Oliver's beautiful Studebaker.
                      I would very much like to get my own copy of this issue mentioned above. Can anyone tell me, the most effective way of going about it? I believe it must not be the same article as the link, below, leads to?

                      Originally posted by 5brown1 View Post
                      The author of this article makes some statements, that I find somewhat erroneous! First he claims that this car started out as a '53 Starlight and he refers to it as such, a couple of times. Although I don't know enough about it to be 100% certain, it seems to me, much more likely, that it was a Starliner to start with! I'm sure, that most of us are well aware of the differences, so I won't get into the details? But it seems that this author, like such an overwhelming majority of the general public. Has never been aware, or interested enough to learn, that Studebaker, used these two very similar, but different names. For two very similar, but different, model cars. particularly during the '53 - '55 model years. He states that Vic Oliver told him that, "he wanted to put himself in the mindset of the Studebaker engineers. He wanted to build the car the way that they would have done it", and ""The Speedster II" emblems are the only custom parts on the car"! If so, then where's the 160 mph speedometer, what are the grill bars, the front fenders with dual vents in them, the deck lid with the Continental spare tire bulge, and the rear bumper with the double tail light housings incorporated? Then there's this following section.

                      "The idea for the convertable Speedster II came from a conceptual drawing by legendary car designer Bob Bourke. The drawing was of a conceptual sports car design fashioned from production steel panels. It was meant to have the sporty, racy appearance similar to the styling feature used on Continental Mark Vs and Ford Thunderbirds of the time, according to the book*Bob Bourke designs for Studebaker*by John Bridges, where the original design can be found. One of the only main differences between that design and Oliver’s finished design is he made his convertible – something you would not find on Studebakers between 1953 and 1959."

                      I've read John Bridges' books as, I'm sure, others here have as well! As for the sketch, my recollection of it is that, it was of a convertible. John Bridges also built his own physical interpretation of this sketch, and I believe it's a much more accurate representation of it. As for not finding any Studebaker convertibles between 1953 and 1959. There was one! It was and is a prototype convertible, built in 1953, and it was converted and upgraded to 1954 spec's for 1954. I believe it still exists today and always coud have been found if one was willing to put the effort into looking! So far, pictures of this car are all I've seen, and I haven't any that show a top. I suspect that maybe, this car doesn't have one? If this is the case, is it actually correct to use the term convertible, for it?

                      Please, don't get me wrong, I love this car and would like to know as much about it as possible! I also, just love looking at pictures of it! Seeing it in person, would definitely be preferable. I'd be in heaven, for every moment, if I'm actually ever able, to own it, or even just able to drive it a little, on some sunny day? I imagine that most of the general public, wouldn't even have a clue that it wasn't an actual production model?

                      Mark
                      sigpic

                      S2Deluxe = (5H - C3).

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