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New to the club, where to start

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  • New to the club, where to start

    Well I am new to the club, just wanted to say hi. Also I have a 51 Studebaker Commander that was my grandfathers. I have no experience restoring cars, and want to know the where to start.


  • #2
    Jeff, Welcome.
    You have one of, if not the most identifiable icon of Studebaker history in your possesion. I suppose the first question we could have for you is, What condition is the car to start with? Does it run drive or is it a major restoration project? And also, what do YOU want to do with it? Daily driver, Show car or Hot Rod? Let us know how we can help. One thing for sure, you are in for a lifetime of fun and enjoyment with that car. I've had mine since high school... 1971. It's been a lot of fun.



    • #3
      You say, "new to the club,' I assume that means you've joined? That's a good thing as the club newsletter is a treasure-trove of information and contacts. One of the first steps you might want to take is to get a parts catalogue from Studebaker International (317-462-3124) and also give Dennis a call at SASCO (800-722-4295). These are the largest vendors available. There are any number of others, some of whom post here in the forum and advertise in the 'Wheels'.

      Welcome to the addi... um, club.[:I][)]

      Oh, I almost forgot! Don't forget to join the local chapter as well. The national club is excellent, however, a local chapter puts all of the benefits of the club right at your doorstep. Benefits like experiance, and resources to keep your car on the road.

      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
      Lotsa Larks!
      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
      Ron Smith
      Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
      Ron Smith
      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?


      • #4
        Hi Jeff;
        Welcome to the club. The best place to begin is to locate a local chapter of SDC and join. You can go to the SDC website and click on the icon for SDC chapters and locate the one nearest to you. The next best step is to buy shop and chassis manuals from one of our vendors listed in Turning Wheels. I know that Studebaker International has the manuals.


        • #5

          Seek out your local SDC chapter...if your experience is anything like mine's been here in Hamilton, you'll find these folks are gold! I've only been in SDC since last fall, but have received all manner of encouragement and help with my Lark in those few months, not to mention the good company. I'm actually mulling over trying to find a location to work on the Lark myself, and for an utter "un-mechanic" like me, that's a sea change; but the folks in the chapter, combined with the inherent simplicity of older cars, are convincing me it's probably doable. And, though this Lark's a good old car, there's an awful lot I could do to improve her.

          That's great that you've got your graddad's '51...wish I could say the same. My grandfather also had a Stude for a while, which was the car my parents drove away from their wedding in in 1958; the only photo I've seen of it (from the wedding) proves it's a 47-52 two-door, and Mom thinks it was a bulletnose, making it a 50 or a 51. Gramps had a tendency to buy cars on their last legs for specific trips for $50 or so each, then "flip" or junk them afterward, but there were a few cars he kept longer and the Studebaker seems to have been one of those. Wish it were still around!



          • #6
            Hi Jeff,

            I see you're in the "Zone". The Grand Canyon Chpt is located in
            Phoenix and here is the link to their web site which features the
            newsletters and everything else that you would want to know about
            us: The membership ranges
            from Yuma to Phoenix/Mesa/Sun City/Scottsdale/Tempe/ up the I17
            corridor to Prescott and like me: way east of Chino Valley. If you
            are in the Tucson area there is a chapter and it is reached by
            calling 520-297-6145. By the way the big international meet, in
            2010, will be in Glendale at the new Renissance Hotel next to
            Cardinal Stadium.


            • #7
              Welcome to the Forum and the SDC Jeff![8D]

              '57 Transtar Deluxe
              Vancouver Island
              Mark Hayden
              '66 Commander
              Zone Coordinator
              Pacific Can-Am Zone


              • #8
                Welcome aboard! You've got a big learning curve in front of you. Just don't be shy about asking us those "dumb questions" you're afraid you're gonna embarrass yourself with. We's here to help - not make fun of you.
                51 Commander! First year of Stude's V8. Great car!

                Miscreant Studebaker nut in California's central valley.

                1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                1960 Larkvertible V8
                1958 Provincial wagon
                1953 Commander coupe
                1957 President two door

                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


                • #9
                  I am not sure if it is still in print, but there was a plastic bound book that speaks to everything you need to know about restoring and repairing a Studebaker.

                  Nice to have you on board.


                  • #10
                    Wow! The things you learn on this forum! I didn't know we had a newsletter!! When are we supposed to get it? I get TW, but that's all. Who do I call about a newsletter?

                    '50 Champion, 1 family owner


                    • #11


                      I too started with a Studebaker I got from my Grandfather thirty-eight years ago.

                      Here's a really great primer to get you started. It's from the Tech Tips section on the SDC Home Page.

                      Brad Johnson
                      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                      '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight
                      "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"


                      • #12
                        Welcome to the forum Jeff.

                        Atlanta Ga.


                        • #13
                          Welcome Jeff! Good to see another desert dweller on the site. Although, I don't have the rich history behind my '52 Champion that you have, I love her nonetheless. I am currently in the process of tearing down/building up "Betty". I'm no gearhead, but I've surprised myself so far. I know you can do the same.
                          I'd be happy to chat with you offline about your ideas/progress.


                          PS. the AZ chapter is great!


                          • #14
                            Hope we didn't overload you with too much information just to get started and you bailed already. Maybe you're lucky and your grandfather was one of us and you can turn the key and just drive. If not, get it going safely and see how much money you have left after that. Good luck.


                            • #15
                              Sometimes when you have a question, others have had the same inquiry. Be sure to try the "search" function at the top of the page. It seems the new members don't always see the very small functions there.