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  • Found a trunk key that works

    Being off work for a while has provided me with more time to poke around in my garage and do some maintenance on my '54. I found something during my cleanup that I forgot I had: A huge bunch of keys, mostly automotive, all linked together by numerous rings, fobs, etc. Probably over 200. I paid a few dollars for this collection at a flea market years ago and forgot that I had them. Now, my '54 came without a trunk key, but since it has a twist type latch that can be left unlocked, I didn't rush to correct this. Looking through the huge bunch of keys revealed several that were stamped with the '50s Studebaker logo. I tried one that I found in the assortment on my trunk lock, and to my surprise I now have a working trunk key. What were the odds? I wondered how many lock combinations Studebaker used in a given year? The other thing is, it is a Yale key marked Studebaker on one side, Yale on the other and with a code number. But the code number isn't the same one I see listed for the trunk lock on my car's Production Order. I suppose the lock could have been changed through the years but I doubt it. Is it common for more than one key number to work on the same lock?
    Whatever, I was pleased with my luck in finding the key I needed in such a random way.

  • #2
    Trunk/Glove Box Keys of the correct Blank Type and brand: Yale or Hurd, usually take about 4 to find a "Fit", sometimes one or more tumblers are wrong but they work anyway sometimes not so smoothly but do open the lock.

    The 4 Tumbler Locks are not nearly as precise as the 5 Tumbler Ignition and Door Locks that you VERY rarely can find a key match for.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Have all the uncut keys shown here. Send me a pm if interested. Click image for larger version

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      Richard Quinn
      Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Studebaker Wheel View Post
        Have all the uncut keys shown here.
        I don't suspect you have one of these, do you, Richard? Click image for larger version

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        "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.
        '33 Rockne 10,
        '51 Commander Starlight,
        '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
        '56 Sky Hawk

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        • #5
          30 or so years ago, when I was driving "Demo Derby", I found an ign key for a '57 Chev. that fit about 15 or 20 G/M cars from the late '40's 'til they went to the double edge keys. So much for security! -Jim

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          • #6
            Funny thing about trunk keys. I’ve got a key that opens the side windows of my old camper shell. I’ve had it since 2003. It also opens about 80% of all Stude trunks I’ve tried it on. As an added bonus it also opens most of the sliding glass cabinets at my local hardware stores. The bad news... I tried opening the glove box lock on my 37. It only made half a turn. It’s currently stuck in that lock and soaking with WD40. I can’t lose that key. I’ll sacrifice the lock before I give up the key.
            sals54

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            • #7
              Two stories:

              1. At the 1981(?) intl meet in Gettysburg, the aluminum key broke off in the trunk lock of my 64 Daytona, capturing my suitcase, the ice chest with the day's beer supply, and other essentials in the trunk. We got the stub out, but we could not get the lock to turn all the way. Dan Webber, who had bought out a number of DC-area Stude dealers, walked around the field and borrowed keys from about a dozen owners. The third or fourth one we tried opened the trunk.

              2. Until around 1958, Stude trucks only came with a lock on the passenger side door. When I restored my 54 model 3R6, I drilled a hole in the driver's door to add a lock to that side -- but I needed a lock. Vern Ediger had one and I bought it. I assumed that I would have to modify it to match my existing key, which also fit the ignition switch. But Vern's lock fit my key perfectly. He has been known as a miracle worker for Studes, but didn't know he had the ability to read my key from 1000 miles away.
              Skip Lackie

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
                Two stories:

                1. At the 1981(?) intl meet in Gettysburg, the aluminum key broke off in the trunk lock of my 64 Daytona, capturing my suitcase, the ice chest with the day's beer supply, and other essentials in the trunk. We got the stub out, but we could not get the lock to turn all the way. Dan Webber, who had bought out a number of DC-area Stude dealers, walked around the field and borrowed keys from about a dozen owners. The third or fourth one we tried opened the trunk.

                2. Until around 1958, Stude trucks only came with a lock on the passenger side door.
                Dual door locks were an option right until the end of production, at least on the 1-ton & larger trucks. My '63 doesn't have a driver's door lock.

                At the zone meet in 2005, a member accidently locked his keys inside his 1976 Avanti II. We all did the same thing; stood in line with our Studebaker key to find one which would unlock the door. The second person in line unlocked it with his key.

                Craig


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                • #9
                  Thank you all for your comments to my original post. Very interesting. I suppose that trunk and glove box security wasn't as big a concern compared to door and ignition security back in the day. The key blank I found looks like # 5 in Richard Quinn's chart.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 8E45E View Post

                    Dual door locks were an option right until the end of production, at least on the 1-ton & larger trucks. My '63 doesn't have a driver's door lock.

                    At the zone meet in 2005, a member accidently locked his keys inside his 1976 Avanti II. We all did the same thing; stood in line with our Studebaker key to find one which would unlock the door. The second person in line unlocked it with his key.

                    Craig

                    That was me! I thought if my key worked I won the AVANTI!! I guess I was wrong...
                    Evan Davis
                    Prince Albert, Sk

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                    • #11
                      This reminds me of two stories as well...
                      - In the mid-70's , one of my brothers had an AMC Hornet. His girlfriend a the time had purchased an AMC Gremlin. Turned out their keys worked in each other's cars! We all figured it was a sign that their relationship was "meant to be". Unfortunately, they broke up a few years later..
                      - Also around the same time, I could not find the key to my Cushman scooter (that I still have). I looked at the key to my parent's garage and it looked similar. Turns out it worked in the scooter! Felt pretty lucky with that, and did eventually find the actual key.
                      -Matt

                      1963 GT Hawk
                      1960 Metropolitan Convertible
                      1972 AMC Javelin/ AMX
                      1956 Cushman Eagle

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                      • #12
                        Back in 1970 while in high school I had a '65 Rambler Classic 550 and worked at the newspaper in the mailing / production room. Another kid who worked there who was two years older had a '65 Chevy Impala two door that was the pride of his life. He always parked it away from the rest of our cars but he would pull it into the space nose first. Just out of curiosity I tried my key in his door and it unlocked. I then tried the ignition and it worked. Just to mess with him I'd back out his Chevy and then back it into the same parking space. Kept my mouth shut and I can't tell you the number of times he would come in saying, "I thought for sure I pulled my car into the parking space but when I go to leave I guess I backed in & didn't realize it."
                        I never did tell him what was going on.
                        Last edited by dleroux; 04-07-2020, 12:30 PM.
                        "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
                        R.W. Emerson

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                        • #13
                          That's funny about the Rambler. I drove a 65 Chevelle in high school. My friend had a 57 Chevy pickup. One day while at the hardware store, I heard my car start and drive away. In a panic, I ran out the door to see it roaring down the street. My friend's pickup was parked next to my empty parking space. I suspected foul play on his part. I tried my key in his truck and it started. We were off to the races. We chased each other around town for about half an hour.
                          In a completely different situation, while driving my 54 Coupe, I got off work at the mall rather late to find a young woman locked out of her Volvo. It was a 70s or so. I was about to get a coat hanger, but decided to try my Stude key to find it opened her car door. Stude key to the rescue.
                          sals54

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                          • #14
                            The trunk keys for both of our GTs are interchangeable, can also use the ignition key in either of them, but takes a bit more jiggling.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
                              I don't suspect you have one of these, do you, Richard? Click image for larger version

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                              Well yes I do have a few Rockne (and Erskine) keys but they are cut.
                              Richard Quinn
                              Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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