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  • New Guy in Ohio...

    Hello all, figured I would join up and say hello since I have been lurking around.

    I'm in Dayton, Ohio and jumping head-first into my first Studebaker experience. I'm a long time hot rodder/metal fabricator with a strong slant towards traditional builds, so that has kind of led me here.

    I am part of a car club, and we are building a race car to hopefully compete in the rail class at The Race Of Gentleman this October in Wildwood, New Jersey. To gain a "unique factor" and to represent our midwest roots, we have chosen a 1950 Studebaker Champion Six as our powerplant. It was removed from what looked like a pretty nice original car that was being hot rodded. We haven't ran it yet, but initial inspection revealed an engine that seemed to be in pretty good shape internally and a good candidate to be built.

    That being the case, I figured what better place to soak up some knowledge and tips than from the folks here. I realize a early-style stripped down speedster may not be everyone's cup of tea, but we are really pumped about bringing the flathead Ford boys some heat from something a little unexpected!

    So thanks in advance for having me, and hopefully some of y'all might be into what we got going on over here. Motor on!

  • #2
    The Champion six is a tough engine that was used in some oval track racing in the early days of its production. I am not familiar with the rules for the TROG organization, but if it fits the rules it would be a fun engine to play with.
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

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    • #3
      Too bad its not an economy build, you'd be starting at their 'high mark' ...... The Champions were famous for 28 MPG and beyond! Welcome to the forum!

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      • #4
        A great deal of experience was had in Studebaker "stripped down" speedsters in the early years, both racing and endurance. You might consider it a "heritage class."
        We look forward to seeing progress on your project.

        The Studebaker Drivers Club International Meet will be held less than 150 miles from you this coming September.
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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        • #5
          Thank you for the welcome, gentleman!

          The Champion fits the TROG engine rules perfectly - Pre-1953 sidevalve. We are hoping to get a little more oomph from it with a port & polish, valve relief and a reground cam. This car will be for the Rail Class, so with no sheetmetal and a barebones chassis it should scoot along pretty good.

          Speaking of the chassis and TROG rules, all Rail Class cars must be based on a Ford chassis, so we are going with a highly modified Model A unit. We have already narrowed it as much as possible, and filled it full of "lightening holes" to put it on a diet. A good bit of engine setback should help with weight distribution on the sand, so it is going to sit just forward of the centerline.

          So that's where we are at right now, getting everything for the chassis mocked up and in place. I am sure I will have some drivetrain questions when that time comes. I will try to get some pictures up on here as soon as it starts looking like something.

          So thanks again, and I hope some folks on here will dig what we are doing!

          -Benny

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          • #6
            Welcome! It is so very nice to see that someone is giving these Champion sixes some respect and consider them worthwhile enough to build up. It seems so frequent that upon discovering a heady flathead six under the hood, a prospective owner will shove in anything resembling a V8, as he unwisely considers the six cannon fodder. Good on you and keep us notified on your progress.
            Jake Robinson Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

            1962 GT Hawk - "Daisy-Mae" - she came dressed to kill in etherial green with a charming turquoise inside. I'm hopelessly in love!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
              The Studebaker Drivers Club International Meet will be held less than 150 miles from you this coming September.
              It will definitely be a time crunch, but I would LOVE to have it up there for everyone to check out!

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              • #8
                That Champion flathead six has even been seen in at least one Corvette.
                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SouthBendShaker View Post
                  I realize a early-style stripped down speedster may not be everyone's cup of tea, but we are really pumped about bringing the flathead Ford boys some heat from something a little unexpected!
                  I would hope that when you say 'flathead Ford' you have in mind the flathead Ford 4 bangers, or perhaps the 136 cubic inch V-8 60.
                  Taking on the famous Ford 'flathead' V-8s of 221-239+ cubic inches, would certainly be a tough row to hoe for a 169, or even a 185 cubic inch flathead Stude.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jessie J. View Post
                    Taking on the famous Ford 'flathead' V-8s of 221-239+ cubic inches, would certainly be a tough row to hoe for a 169, or even a 185 cubic inch flathead Stude.
                    Tough rows to hoe are our specialty. Many a bigger inch engine has been surprised by the right combination...

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                    • #11
                      I see no mention of body design, or the type of racing. These engines were often used in midgets, in the 40's and 50's as well as stock cars during the era. Neither is applicable, so what are we looking at?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
                        I see no mention of body design, or the type of racing. These engines were often used in midgets, in the 40's and 50's as well as stock cars during the era. Neither is applicable, so what are we looking at?
                        Originally posted by SouthBendShaker View Post
                        This car will be for the Rail Class, so with no sheetmetal and a barebones chassis it should scoot along pretty good.

                        Speaking of the chassis and TROG rules, all Rail Class cars must be based on a Ford chassis, so we are going with a highly modified Model A unit. We have already narrowed it as much as possible, and filled it full of "lightening holes" to put it on a diet. A good bit of engine setback should help with weight distribution on the sand, so it is going to sit just forward of the centerline.
                        ^^ This may clarify a bit. If you aren't familiar with The Race Of Gentleman, it's well worth checking out. You can also Google "TROG Rail Class" if you want to see some examples of the specific type of build we are doing.

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                        • #13
                          Welcome Benny! Your very lucky to have a great active Dayton Chapter of the SDC, the Tri-State Chapter. I am a long distance member, these are great folks. Seek them out you will love it...Mike
                          Mike
                          Fort Worth, TX


                          1964 Avanti R2 #R-4986

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