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Why'd they do that? A question on the '65-66s

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  • Why'd they do that? A question on the '65-66s

    More probable than the fit were the following three reasons, listed in my humbly-suggested order of importance:

    1. Ford did not have the production capacity to produce enough of their new "small-block" 221/260/289 V-8s for their own products, much less entertain selling them to anybody else.

    This was a primary motivation behind the edgy "Six and The Single Girl" Mustang advertising campaign for 1966 Mustangs. Ford's difficulty producing enough 289s for Mustang production, much less anything else, resulted in that specific advertising campaign to try to boost the sale of six-cylinder Mustangs.

    My father was a franchised new Ford/Mercury dealer from Spring 1964 through the 1966 model year. Not only have I seen this explanation ("Six and The Single Girl" campaign) in print, but Dad reported at the time how difficult it was to get V-8 Mustangs, even after the initial "any Mustang; I just gotta' have one" frenzy had subsided.

    2. There were undoubtedly nationalist/tarrif issues that made it easier to source GM engines in Canada for Canadian-production Studebakers, than having to ship them across the border and endure whatever ramifications there might have been from that.

    3. GM tooling for the 194/230 sixes and, especially, the 283 V-8 had probably long-since been amortized by that time, so they were in a better position to offer Studebaker a good price for what few engines Studebaker would be buying as Studebaker phased themselves out of the new-car market.

    (Personal Opinion: I doubt the bean-counters "helping" Studebaker engineers "decide" what engines to use could have cared less about the famous "Letter to Studebaker Owners" that caused such a furor among the Studebaker faithful, although it did make for entertaining conversation....) 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
    More probable than the fit were the following three reasons, listed in my humbly-suggested order of importance:

    1. Ford did not have the production capacity to produce enough of their new "small-block" 221/260/289 V-8s for their own products, much less entertain selling them to anybody else.

    This was a primary motivation behind the edgy "Six and The Single Girl" Mustang advertising campaign for 1966 Mustangs. Ford's difficulty producing enough 289s for Mustang production, much less anything else, resulted in that specific advertising campaign to try to boost the sale of six-cylinder Mustangs.

    My father was a franchised new Ford/Mercury dealer from Spring 1964 through the 1966 model year. Not only have I seen this explanation ("Six and The Single Girl" campaign) in print, but Dad reported at the time how difficult it was to get V-8 Mustangs, even after the initial "any Mustang; I just gotta' have one" frenzy had subsided.

    2. There were undoubtedly nationalist/tarrif issues that made it easier to source GM engines in Canada for Canadian-production Studebakers, than having to ship them across the border and endure whatever ramifications there might have been from that.

    3. GM tooling for the 194/230 sixes and, especially, the 283 V-8 had probably long-since been amortized by that time, so they were in a better position to offer Studebaker a good price for what few engines Studebaker would be buying as Studebaker phased themselves out of the new-car market.

    (Personal Opinion: I doubt the bean-counters "helping" Studebaker engineers "decide" what engines to use could have cared less about the famous "Letter to Studebaker Owners" that caused such a furor among the Studebaker faithful, although it did make for entertaining conversation....) 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


    • #3
      I thought it mostly had to do with the sump position?

      Mark Anderson
      Member SDC and FMCA
      Keeper of the Studebaker Cruiser Registry
      http://home.alltel.net/anderm

      My next Studebaker is in the future, but now getting my hair messed up in a Sebring ragtop!
      Almost as fun as a Studebaker!

      Comment


      • #4
        I thought it mostly had to do with the sump position?

        Mark Anderson
        Member SDC and FMCA
        Keeper of the Studebaker Cruiser Registry
        http://home.alltel.net/anderm

        My next Studebaker is in the future, but now getting my hair messed up in a Sebring ragtop!
        Almost as fun as a Studebaker!

        Comment


        • #5
          Why'd they do that? A question on the '65-66s

          After shoveling all that snow and aggravating my back (not too badly, but I am sore), I had some time to do some thinking, so please folks, bear with me.

          In re-reading Richard Quinn's fine Collectible Automobile article on the Wagonaire, I noted that Studebaker's engineering staff tested both GM and Ford engines for use in the '65-66 models.

          What I want to know is, why did they go with the GM engines, particularly when Ford's then-almost-brand-new Windsor small-block V8 and Falcon six were lighter and more compact (lighter for sure, smaller I think)? Was it a matter of price, a matter of availability, or was it a slap at Ford over the "A message of interest to Studebaker Owners" letters that FoMoCo sent out in early '64?

          Having had a fair amount of experience with both Chevy and Ford V8s, I have found over the years that I much prefer the Ford small-blocks to the Chevy. I know, I know, it's just my opinion, but they are SO much easier to perform routine maintenance on (i.e., plugs). I'm not as familiar with the Falcon six, but everyone I know who's had one swears by them on a level nearly equal to partisans of the legendary 300 "Big Six" used in Ford's pick-em-ups through 1996.

          And the Fords are indeed lightweight; the fully-dressed, fuel-injected, smog-equipped 302 in my '87 F-150 tips the scales right around 500 pounds, according to some of my friends at Ford-Trucks.com. And the Ford "Challenger" 289 was even lighter than that, with some sources stating a weight around 450 pounds or so. Imagine what a four-barrel Ford-289-equipped (or, Lord help us, a K-code 271-horse) '65 or '66 Daytona could do! Given the right equipment, it could've given many a stock Mustang a run for its money in a street race. And slicing 200+ pounds off the front end (vs. the Stude 289) would've made any Lark-type a stellar handler, what with the improvement in weight distribution.

          If anyone can help me figure all this out, I'd really, REALLY appreciate it.

          Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

          KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
          Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

          KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe because the Chevy was a better fit all the way around and without any clearance issues.

            JDP/Maryland
            64 R2 GT (Sid)
            spent to date $62,839.60
            63 Daytona HT/4 speed
            63 Lark 2 door
            57 Wagon

            JDP Maryland

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe because the Chevy was a better fit all the way around and without any clearance issues.

              JDP/Maryland
              64 R2 GT (Sid)
              spent to date $62,839.60
              63 Daytona HT/4 speed
              63 Lark 2 door
              57 Wagon

              JDP Maryland

              Comment


              • #8
                The GM engines purchased by Studebaker were actually GM-McKinnon industrial engines. I've heard various opinions and stories over the years, but evidently a factor that sealed the deal was the McKinnon industrial engines were built to closer tolerances even than regular production automotive engines built for and used by the GM divisions in their cars. A very proud and now departed former Stude employee and local owner of a '66 used to tell me that every time we talked about how much he hated everyone calling his car a "Chevybaker".

                When it's all said and done, the fact the engines could be sourced from Canada, the fact GM could produce 30,000 extra engines in their sleep, the good fit, and the fact the McKinnon engine was a premium product all helped to eliminate a Ford program pretty quickly. If one primary reason can't be determined, I'd guess it's just that there were more good reasons to go with a GM program than there were with any Ford program.

                Kevin Wolford
                Plymouth, IN

                55 Champion
                60 Lark VI Conv.
                63 Avanti R1

                Comment


                • #9
                  The GM engines purchased by Studebaker were actually GM-McKinnon industrial engines. I've heard various opinions and stories over the years, but evidently a factor that sealed the deal was the McKinnon industrial engines were built to closer tolerances even than regular production automotive engines built for and used by the GM divisions in their cars. A very proud and now departed former Stude employee and local owner of a '66 used to tell me that every time we talked about how much he hated everyone calling his car a "Chevybaker".

                  When it's all said and done, the fact the engines could be sourced from Canada, the fact GM could produce 30,000 extra engines in their sleep, the good fit, and the fact the McKinnon engine was a premium product all helped to eliminate a Ford program pretty quickly. If one primary reason can't be determined, I'd guess it's just that there were more good reasons to go with a GM program than there were with any Ford program.

                  Kevin Wolford
                  Plymouth, IN

                  55 Champion
                  60 Lark VI Conv.
                  63 Avanti R1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bob, you're more than likely right on all counts. I did some checking, and Ford was already supplying AC (for that little roadster Carroll Shelby called the Cobra) and Rootes (for the Sunbeam Tiger) with V8s at that time, so I can imagine, despite their limited production, they'd have been hard-pressed.

                    Mark, I don't know about the sump position issue. I know that there is still today discussion of that nature on the Ford truck forum I'm a member of, as some of our members have used Mustang engines in their trucks, but it seems to be a fairly easy change to make. Now, whether Studebaker wanted to make such a change can be debated. I'd say they wouldn't have wanted to invest that kind of money.

                    One more little nugget I thought of: I presume Studebaker was still getting a better deal from Borg-Warner on transmissions, as the (to my mind) obvious choice of transmission behind a Chevy engine would be a Turbo-Hydramatic or Powerglide, or GM's own synchromesh three-speed. I'm glad they stuck with B-W, for tradition's sake, but I've always thought that was a little odd.

                    Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                    KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
                    Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                    KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bob, you're more than likely right on all counts. I did some checking, and Ford was already supplying AC (for that little roadster Carroll Shelby called the Cobra) and Rootes (for the Sunbeam Tiger) with V8s at that time, so I can imagine, despite their limited production, they'd have been hard-pressed.

                      Mark, I don't know about the sump position issue. I know that there is still today discussion of that nature on the Ford truck forum I'm a member of, as some of our members have used Mustang engines in their trucks, but it seems to be a fairly easy change to make. Now, whether Studebaker wanted to make such a change can be debated. I'd say they wouldn't have wanted to invest that kind of money.

                      One more little nugget I thought of: I presume Studebaker was still getting a better deal from Borg-Warner on transmissions, as the (to my mind) obvious choice of transmission behind a Chevy engine would be a Turbo-Hydramatic or Powerglide, or GM's own synchromesh three-speed. I'm glad they stuck with B-W, for tradition's sake, but I've always thought that was a little odd.

                      Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                      KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!
                      Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

                      KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am sure all of the reasons Bob Palma & JDP have mentioned WERE factors, but also consider this:

                        (1) All of the GM/Chev. small block V-8's AND Sixes bolt to the same bellhousings, Std. and Automatic.

                        (2) There was no tooling cost for the bellhousings, as the Jeep Wagoneer used the same Borg Warner Automatic to Chev. housing!

                        StudeRich
                        Studebakers Northwest
                        Ferndale, WA
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am sure all of the reasons Bob Palma & JDP have mentioned WERE factors, but also consider this:

                          (1) All of the GM/Chev. small block V-8's AND Sixes bolt to the same bellhousings, Std. and Automatic.

                          (2) There was no tooling cost for the bellhousings, as the Jeep Wagoneer used the same Borg Warner Automatic to Chev. housing!

                          StudeRich
                          Studebakers Northwest
                          Ferndale, WA
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by 556063

                            The GM engines purchased by Studebaker were actually GM-McKinnon industrial engines.
                            Sorry, Kevin, but that myth has been debunked many times over. McKinnon Industries was part of GM since the 30's. They were just another engine plant like Saginaw, Flint, or Tonawanda. No "special" engines were built there. They were a "K" code (McKinnon plant) as opposed to an F code or T code. That's it. K code 283's found themselves in Camaros to trucks...just like F code engines or engines from any other part of the GM network. GM did some stupid things, but they did not make different "flavors" of a 195 HP 283. If the McKinnon engines were "special" in some way, please provide the parts that were different, the difference, and the part NUMBERS.

                            In fact, there is evidence that the engines supplied Studebaker were in fact from the Tonawanda plant due to GM's desire to add cost to Studebaker production (duty) after agreeing to suppling the engines from Canada.

                            We'd all like to think the engines in the 65 and 66 Studes were something special somehow, but unfortunately it just isn't so.


                            Dick Steinkamp
                            Bellingham, WA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by 556063

                              The GM engines purchased by Studebaker were actually GM-McKinnon industrial engines.
                              Sorry, Kevin, but that myth has been debunked many times over. McKinnon Industries was part of GM since the 30's. They were just another engine plant like Saginaw, Flint, or Tonawanda. No "special" engines were built there. They were a "K" code (McKinnon plant) as opposed to an F code or T code. That's it. K code 283's found themselves in Camaros to trucks...just like F code engines or engines from any other part of the GM network. GM did some stupid things, but they did not make different "flavors" of a 195 HP 283. If the McKinnon engines were "special" in some way, please provide the parts that were different, the difference, and the part NUMBERS.

                              In fact, there is evidence that the engines supplied Studebaker were in fact from the Tonawanda plant due to GM's desire to add cost to Studebaker production (duty) after agreeing to suppling the engines from Canada.

                              We'd all like to think the engines in the 65 and 66 Studes were something special somehow, but unfortunately it just isn't so.


                              Dick Steinkamp
                              Bellingham, WA

                              Comment

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