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Speedster convertibles...any survivors?

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  • Speedster convertibles...any survivors?

    I recall reading a short item, probably in the "Driving Around with Walt Woron" section of Motor Trend, in 1955. ( I was 12, had already been a subscriber for a year or two!)

    A company (west coast?) was modifying Speedsters into removable hardtops. A few years later, there was a classmate at my high school in Manhattan Beach, CA who occasionally cruised about town in one of these. It belonged to his dad, a motion picture producer. The car was beautiful. I would guess it had all the torsional rigidity of overcooked pasta. (Never forgot the first time I used a bumper jack on my old '55 Commander coupe at school and discovered the doors wouldn't close.)

    Any idea if any of these have survived?
    Gil Zimmerman
    Riverside, CA

    1955 Speedster
    1956 Golden Hawk
    1958 Packard Hawk
    1958 President
    1963 Avanti R2

  • #2
    Never heard that story, but it sounds like a cool car. It could also be one reason why Speedsters are rather rare today.

    Between these folks on the West Coast, and Bill Frick on the East Coast, all sorts of interesting things were happening with Studebakers in the '50's... [:0][8D]

    Matthew Burnette
    Hazlehurst, GA


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    • #3
      Would an inquiry to Motor Trend be able to recover the article?
      "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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      • #4
        I have some 55 Motor Trend magazines but I haven't seen the article.

        Do you know what month it was in?

        Leonard Shepherd
        http://leonardshepherd.com/

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        • #5
          Not sure if I still have it, either. I'll rummage for it this weekend and share the reference if I find it.

          As I recall, the company had started this conversion with the '53 or '54 K bodies. I remember a photo of long rods anchoring the top to the windshield pillars.
          Gil Zimmerman
          Riverside, CA

          1955 Speedster
          1956 Golden Hawk
          1958 Packard Hawk
          1958 President
          1963 Avanti R2

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          • #6
            I remember the car. It was in the Auto-ship class a couple of times there (Mira Costa High School). For the life of me I can not remember the persons name though. I also remeber that he had a Chysler 300D.

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            • #7
              Yup, it was Mira Costa. I'd forgotten all about the Chrysler 300. The guy was nice enough. He survived driver's training class (including my misadventures in a really terrible 'tan 57 Ford Six 3-speed stick training car) in reasonably good humor. The "good" training car was a white '59 Galaxy. I had recently transferred to Mira Costa from a very small midwestern high school. Maybe the old "Mustangs" yearbook is around here somewhere. Would be great to know what happened to that lemon/lime Speedster removable hardtop.

              (Class of '60)

              .
              quote:Originally posted by gthawkguy

              I remember the car. It was in the Auto-ship class a couple of times there (Mira Costa High School). For the life of me I can not remember the persons name though. I also remeber that he had a Chysler 300D.
              Gil Zimmerman
              Riverside, CA

              1955 Speedster
              1956 Golden Hawk
              1958 Packard Hawk
              1958 President
              1963 Avanti R2

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't have anything in my files about the '55 convertibles appearing in Motor Trend. Walt Woron did do about a half page on a stock Speedster in the September '55 MT. I think the article you remember is this one from May '55 Motor Life. It was also reprinted in January '76 Turning Wheels.




                Dwain G.

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                • #9
                  I wonder if the pricing quote is still accurate? I could have a car down there tomorrow for the treatment. Anyone have the number? I can't find him in on Mapquest.

                  sals54
                  sals54

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                  • #10
                    I have the old TW with the '53-'54 convertible conversion explaining who the Los Angeles shop was who did the swaps. I'll try to dig it out. The removable hard top worked on so many cars out there..Gotta love So Cal, only there can you take a heavy hard top off without a soft top as back up and not worry about rain for 8 months. We can't go three days up here..

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                    • #11
                      You're right about the rain up here in Sacramento too. It has stopped raining here and we don't expect any more appreciable rain till November. We may get a smattering here or there, but for the most part, it's done. The way I like it. Much of California is considered desert anyway.

                      sals54
                      sals54

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