Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

1965/1966 Engines: 13 Years' Legal Difference

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 1965/1966 Engines: 13 Years' Legal Difference

    Jacob Newkirk's recent thread about 1965 and 1966 engine usage caused me to reference a couple personal letters from Studebaker about the matter. These were both received in 1964, one before the Chevy engine decision was made, and one after the decision had been made. (They were kind of buried at the end of Jacob's thread, so I'm reposting them here in the event they might be of interest as regards this new topic.)

    These letters bring to mind an interesting point about the legality that would later haunt General Motors when a customer discovered a Chevy 350 V-8 identified as an Oldsmobile Rocket 350 in his new, 1978 (maybe 1977) Oldsmobile Delta 88. Many, if not most, of us can remember the legal brouhaha that resulted from that lawsuit, with GM dealers and the corporation itself forever (and repeatedly) disclosing engine sources from that point forward: Rarely, if ever, would The General thereafter identify an engine as "Chevrolet" or "Pontiac" or "Oldsmobile" or "Buick" or "Cadillac."

    But in 1964, The Studebaker Corporation was all too willing to gleefully identify Chevrolet-sourced engines as "The New Studebaker 283 V-8", or "The New Studebaker 194/230 Six."

    Boy, what a difference a little over a decade made in the industry! (Hmmm...now let's see, how many new lawyers were admitted to the bar during that time?[:0][?])

    On a more serious note, I've just got to figure out how to scan and post things, but until we are thus modernized around here, I'll spend a moment copying ver batim a couple letters that will be of interest to everyone that was following the 1965-1966 Engine Usage thread.

    The first is from Bill Dredge, Director of Studebaker Public Relations, in a personal letter dated February 26, 1964. He says the following, again ver batim; no alterations and in its entirety. [I cannot find a copy of my original letter to him, but it appears I had protested the rumored discontinuance of Studebaker's own engines.]

    Feb. 6,1964
    Dear Bob;

    You mis-read the Car Life article (as did several hundred other people, judging from my mail).

    What was said about American Motors engines was that our foundry and stamping plant continue to operate, supplying parts for Canadian Assembly of Studebakers and supplying American Motors V-8 engine blocks under contract. You see, we have been casting blocks for AM for some time, and are running out that contract in our foundry.

    Now -- as for future plans. We obviously must eventually shut down our stamping plant and our engine plant. It isn't economically feasible to run just a small part of this factory--otherwise we never would have made the move to Canada. We will have to seek other sources for stampings--and eventually for engines.

    What we expect to do is just what Car Life suggested some months ago--to seek the ultra-modern Ford lightweight 289 engine, or some similarily modern power plant from Ford, Chrysler, or GM to replace both our six and V-8 engines, both of which are hardly the most modern in the industry, although both are mighty tough and dependable.

    Don't give up on us yet. We may come up with some goodies that will make Studebaker a more interesting item than it is right now. All best to you. Dredge. (S.) Bill Dredge


    [Curiously, Mr. Dredge' letter was obviously hand-typed by himself on an old manual typewriter. Having received many pieces of personal correspondence from Studebaker Public relations during 1962-1965, it was sad to see the professionl nature of moder
    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
    Interesting stuff, Bob. I did not know that Studebaker had a contract to produce the castings for AMC's V-8s. I presume these were the 327 and 287 c.i. engines used in '64. I wonder if they considered the feasibility of using these engines in Studebakers and keeping the foundry open. Probably not, as it seems from the excerpts in your letters that the decision had already been made to complete the AMC contract, close the foundry, and source engines from one of the big 3. Anyway, these engines weren't that more modern than Studebaker's V-8, if at all. The 287 and 327 engines were continued by AMC through '66, so I guess they then had found sufficient capacity of their own either in house or somewhere else. Of course, by then, AMC's sales were declining significantly from the boom years of the early 60s, so capacity probably was no longer a problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting stuff, Bob. I did not know that Studebaker had a contract to produce the castings for AMC's V-8s. I presume these were the 327 and 287 c.i. engines used in '64. I wonder if they considered the feasibility of using these engines in Studebakers and keeping the foundry open. Probably not, as it seems from the excerpts in your letters that the decision had already been made to complete the AMC contract, close the foundry, and source engines from one of the big 3. Anyway, these engines weren't that more modern than Studebaker's V-8, if at all. The 287 and 327 engines were continued by AMC through '66, so I guess they then had found sufficient capacity of their own either in house or somewhere else. Of course, by then, AMC's sales were declining significantly from the boom years of the early 60s, so capacity probably was no longer a problem.

      Comment


      • #4
        One would almost wonder why Studebaker didn't try and sell their engines to Checker, which was right nearby in Kalamazoo! After all, Checker switched to GM for the 1965 model year as well. If they started selling Stude engines to Checker, some economies-of-scale could have been realized from that arrangement. In this way, the foundry could have remained open, and Studebaker could have kept their own engine for 1965 and later.

        Craig

        Comment


        • #5
          One would almost wonder why Studebaker didn't try and sell their engines to Checker, which was right nearby in Kalamazoo! After all, Checker switched to GM for the 1965 model year as well. If they started selling Stude engines to Checker, some economies-of-scale could have been realized from that arrangement. In this way, the foundry could have remained open, and Studebaker could have kept their own engine for 1965 and later.

          Craig

          Comment


          • #6
            You have stated what was in the letters you received, but what I want to know is what you said in your letter to Studebaker's management and why you wrote them?

            You seemed much more dedicated than I was back then. When I heard that Studebaker was using Chevy engines, I figured that the coffin was sealed, even though I was going to put a SBC in my 53 Commander hardtop and also in my 62 GT Hawk. I actually found a wrecked 63 Corvette and bought the engine and installed it in my 62 GT Hawk.

            I had mixed feelings about putting a Chevy engine in my Hawk, but I did these drawings of it. (I hope I don't hijack your thread)





            It was the Attorney General of my state (Virginia) who initiated the lawsuit against GM. (He later became Governor) I never could fully understand the lawsuit. Chrysler and Ford had used various division's engines in most of their models for years. I guess because GM had made such a big deal of each division engineering their own engines, that it made a difference.

            By the way, scanners are relatively cheap. You can get one for about $100.00, but you also need a software like Photoshop to be able to reduce the size of the pictures to post them on the forum. Photoshop Elements is about $100.00 also, the last time I checked. You can get both at a place like Best Buy.




            Leonard Shepherd
            http://leonardshepherd.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              You have stated what was in the letters you received, but what I want to know is what you said in your letter to Studebaker's management and why you wrote them?

              You seemed much more dedicated than I was back then. When I heard that Studebaker was using Chevy engines, I figured that the coffin was sealed, even though I was going to put a SBC in my 53 Commander hardtop and also in my 62 GT Hawk. I actually found a wrecked 63 Corvette and bought the engine and installed it in my 62 GT Hawk.

              I had mixed feelings about putting a Chevy engine in my Hawk, but I did these drawings of it. (I hope I don't hijack your thread)





              It was the Attorney General of my state (Virginia) who initiated the lawsuit against GM. (He later became Governor) I never could fully understand the lawsuit. Chrysler and Ford had used various division's engines in most of their models for years. I guess because GM had made such a big deal of each division engineering their own engines, that it made a difference.

              By the way, scanners are relatively cheap. You can get one for about $100.00, but you also need a software like Photoshop to be able to reduce the size of the pictures to post them on the forum. Photoshop Elements is about $100.00 also, the last time I checked. You can get both at a place like Best Buy.




              Leonard Shepherd
              http://leonardshepherd.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by 60ragtop

                Interesting stuff, Bob. I did not know that Studebaker had a contract to produce the castings for AMC's V-8s. I presume these were the 327 and 287 c.i. engines used in '64. I wonder if they considered the feasibility of using these engines in Studebakers and keeping the foundry open. Probably not, as it seems from the excerpts in your letters that the decision had already been made to complete the AMC contract, close the foundry, and source engines from one of the big 3. Anyway, these engines weren't that more modern than Studebaker's V-8, if at all. The 287 and 327 engines were continued by AMC through '66, so I guess they then had found sufficient capacity of their own either in house or somewhere else. Of course, by then, AMC's sales were declining significantly from the boom years of the early 60s, so capacity probably was no longer a problem.
                Hi, Frank: The historical context (something I always relish) would have been late spring/mid-summer 1964 when Studebaker made the formal decision to use Chevrolet engines. After all, they had to get the components up and running to begin building 1965 model-year Studebakers late in the summer of 1964.

                The all-new AMC 290/343 engine was actually introduced midway through the 1966 model year in the American series only, so development had to be well underway during the summer of 1964. While AMC would keep the larger, old 287/327 in the bigger cars through the entire 1966 model year, by the summer of 1964, when Studebaker was building out the AMC contract, AMC undoubtedly had plans to produce the new 290/343 in-house, so the loss of Studebaker's foundry capacity would have been of little concern to them.

                True, they had to cast the 287/327 blocks somewhere for another 18 months, but it probably wasn't that big of a deal for them, planning to use only the 290/343 in the entire 1967 AMC line.

                And you are correct, the 287/327 wasn't much more modern than Studebaker's own V-8, and it was every bit as large on the outside, if not moreso, making clearance issues a problem that wouldn't exist if the physically smaller Chevrolet V-8 was used.

                'Glad you enjoyed then letters. [8D]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 60ragtop

                  Interesting stuff, Bob. I did not know that Studebaker had a contract to produce the castings for AMC's V-8s. I presume these were the 327 and 287 c.i. engines used in '64. I wonder if they considered the feasibility of using these engines in Studebakers and keeping the foundry open. Probably not, as it seems from the excerpts in your letters that the decision had already been made to complete the AMC contract, close the foundry, and source engines from one of the big 3. Anyway, these engines weren't that more modern than Studebaker's V-8, if at all. The 287 and 327 engines were continued by AMC through '66, so I guess they then had found sufficient capacity of their own either in house or somewhere else. Of course, by then, AMC's sales were declining significantly from the boom years of the early 60s, so capacity probably was no longer a problem.
                  Hi, Frank: The historical context (something I always relish) would have been late spring/mid-summer 1964 when Studebaker made the formal decision to use Chevrolet engines. After all, they had to get the components up and running to begin building 1965 model-year Studebakers late in the summer of 1964.

                  The all-new AMC 290/343 engine was actually introduced midway through the 1966 model year in the American series only, so development had to be well underway during the summer of 1964. While AMC would keep the larger, old 287/327 in the bigger cars through the entire 1966 model year, by the summer of 1964, when Studebaker was building out the AMC contract, AMC undoubtedly had plans to produce the new 290/343 in-house, so the loss of Studebaker's foundry capacity would have been of little concern to them.

                  True, they had to cast the 287/327 blocks somewhere for another 18 months, but it probably wasn't that big of a deal for them, planning to use only the 290/343 in the entire 1967 AMC line.

                  And you are correct, the 287/327 wasn't much more modern than Studebaker's own V-8, and it was every bit as large on the outside, if not moreso, making clearance issues a problem that wouldn't exist if the physically smaller Chevrolet V-8 was used.

                  'Glad you enjoyed then letters. [8D]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
                    quote:Originally posted by 8E45E

                    One would almost wonder why Studebaker didn't try and sell their engines to Checker, which was right nearby in Kalamazoo! After all, Checker switched to GM for the 1965 model year as well. If they started selling Stude engines to Checker, some economies-of-scale could have been realized from that arrangement. In this way, the foundry could have remained open, and Studebaker could have kept their own engine for 1965 and later.

                    Craig
                    [ Craig: Good thoughts. My take on that would include three factors:

                    1. Both Studebaker and Checker probably knew the Studebaker 170/OHV six wasn't tough enough to haul around the heavy Checker cab in steady taxi service, because, in all honesty, it wasn't. The cylinder head durability issues were well known by then, and were exacerbated by heavy-duty service, as Studebaker found out when they put them in Champ trucks.

                    2. Keeping Studebaker engines in production, even if some could be sold to Checker, would require keeping not only Studebaker's foundry open, but Studebaker's machine shop and related assembly areas as well. Even with sales to Checker, the numbers simply wouldn't be there to make all those facilities profitable.

                    3. Again, we are faced with the reality of Studebaker's ultimate desire to exit the automobile business. History has shown the production shift to Hamilton to be an interim measure to keep dealer lawsuits for failing to supply product to a minimum, per dealer agreements. The sooner they could close more facilities the better, so there would be less incentive to keep anything open in South Bend when that reality is paramount. [V] 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


                    • #11
                      quote:Originally posted by 8E45E

                      One would almost wonder why Studebaker didn't try and sell their engines to Checker, which was right nearby in Kalamazoo! After all, Checker switched to GM for the 1965 model year as well. If they started selling Stude engines to Checker, some economies-of-scale could have been realized from that arrangement. In this way, the foundry could have remained open, and Studebaker could have kept their own engine for 1965 and later.

                      Craig
                      [ Craig: Good thoughts. My take on that would include three factors:

                      1. Both Studebaker and Checker probably knew the Studebaker 170/OHV six wasn't tough enough to haul around the heavy Checker cab in steady taxi service, because, in all honesty, it wasn't. The cylinder head durability issues were well known by then, and were exacerbated by heavy-duty service, as Studebaker found out when they put them in Champ trucks.

                      2. Keeping Studebaker engines in production, even if some could be sold to Checker, would require keeping not only Studebaker's foundry open, but Studebaker's machine shop and related assembly areas as well. Even with sales to Checker, the numbers simply wouldn't be there to make all those facilities profitable.

                      3. Again, we are faced with the reality of Studebaker's ultimate desire to exit the automobile business. History has shown the production shift to Hamilton to be an interim measure to keep dealer lawsuits for failing to supply product to a minimum, per dealer agreements. The sooner they could close more facilities the better, so there would be less incentive to keep anything open in South Bend when that reality is paramount. [V] 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


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by lstude

                        You have stated what was in the letters you received, but what I want to know is what you said in your letter to Studebaker's management and why you wrote them?

                        It was the Attorney General of my state (Virginia) who initiated the lawsuit against GM. (He later became Governor) I never could fully understand the lawsuit. Chrysler and Ford had used various division's engines in most of their models for years. I guess because GM had made such a big deal of each division engineering their own engines, that it made a difference.

                        Leonard Shepherd
                        http://leonardshepherd.com/
                        Yes, Leonard, I have copies of only a few letters I (and, sometimes, cousin George Krem and I together) wrote Studebaker back then. We were genuinely upset that Studebaker was going to discontinue their own V-8, which we had grown to know and love. I guess it is better that I saved all of Studebaker's replies and failed to keep copies of my letters that initiated the replies! I have others regarding discontinuing the Hawk, so as soon as I get a scanner, etc, up and running, I'll post those, too.

                        IIRC, the GM lawsuit originated because GM had an air cleaner decal on those Chevy engines, when installed in Oldsmobiles, that said Oldsmobile Rocket 350. That clearly implied that the engine beneath said air cleaner was, in fact, an Oldsmobile Rocket 350...which, of course, it was not.

                        I guess that's where GM's rabid desire for brand identification and loyalty bit them in the butt. [:0]

                        Good sketches! 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 lstude

                          You have stated what was in the letters you received, but what I want to know is what you said in your letter to Studebaker's management and why you wrote them?

                          It was the Attorney General of my state (Virginia) who initiated the lawsuit against GM. (He later became Governor) I never could fully understand the lawsuit. Chrysler and Ford had used various division's engines in most of their models for years. I guess because GM had made such a big deal of each division engineering their own engines, that it made a difference.

                          Leonard Shepherd
                          http://leonardshepherd.com/
                          Yes, Leonard, I have copies of only a few letters I (and, sometimes, cousin George Krem and I together) wrote Studebaker back then. We were genuinely upset that Studebaker was going to discontinue their own V-8, which we had grown to know and love. I guess it is better that I saved all of Studebaker's replies and failed to keep copies of my letters that initiated the replies! I have others regarding discontinuing the Hawk, so as soon as I get a scanner, etc, up and running, I'll post those, too.

                          IIRC, the GM lawsuit originated because GM had an air cleaner decal on those Chevy engines, when installed in Oldsmobiles, that said Oldsmobile Rocket 350. That clearly implied that the engine beneath said air cleaner was, in fact, an Oldsmobile Rocket 350...which, of course, it was not.

                          I guess that's where GM's rabid desire for brand identification and loyalty bit them in the butt. [:0]

                          Good sketches! 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
                            Yes, as for economies of scale by selling engines to Checker, it must be noted that in a GOOD year Checker was only producing 8,000 cars a year, if that. Proabably not enough to help with the dollars.

                            Dave Bonn
                            Valencia, PA
                            '54 Champion Starliner

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, as for economies of scale by selling engines to Checker, it must be noted that in a GOOD year Checker was only producing 8,000 cars a year, if that. Proabably not enough to help with the dollars.

                              Dave Bonn
                              Valencia, PA
                              '54 Champion Starliner

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X