Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Speedster driving observations

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

  • Speedster driving observations

    Click image for larger version

Name:	8BD04C4E-7C5A-4BB8-9322-2CBC65FFA165.jpeg
Views:	550
Size:	202.4 KB
ID:	1840783 I have had the lemon lime Speedster a few weeks now. I got a chance to check over safety items and now I’ve put some miles on it. Just thought I’d share a few observations.

    First thing I found out was that it has one hell of a heater! The first day I drove it 5 miles to town it almost roasted me out. Then I found the lever under the dash that turns it off. Whew!

    The suspension appears to have been recently overhauled, and it feels like it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I am amazed at how comfortably it rides and handles. The overassisted power steering and brakes take me back to the days of driving any 50s or 60s car. It’s great on the highway, and absorbs bumps well. And corners pretty impressively, all considered.

    I was also quite surprised by the power. It goes like hell if you want to go. I bet it would squawk the tires if I was of a mind to do so. I don’t know what the gearing is, but it seems like it’s fairly low, it seems to get up into high gear pretty quickly. She is very comfortable with maintaining highway speeds. And she climbed right up to 100 mph without getting winded. Definitely had more left in it.

    I wonder if the Speedster came with first gear start. I am feeling three distinct shifts from a stop. Maybe somebody added it, I don’t know.

    The car is doing wonderfully waking up from a long sleep. She is resistant to turning over when fully warmed up, and the carburetor wants to flood when you takeoff from the start. If you push it to the floor when you takeoff she will go normally, if not it will stumble and quit, then when it starts it blows a lot of fuel out the exhaust.

    All in all I am loving driving it. One thing about it, I’m not big on a lot of crowds but you have to be ready because that car draws crowds everywhere it goes. Two different times now people have said to me wow, that’s a Studebaker? I never knew Studebaker made cool cars LOL.

    Next up will be to drop the starter and check the condition of the bushings and brushes, and make sure every connection is super clean and tight. Then the carburetor will come off and get checked. It was clearly rebuilt before it went into storage over a decade ago, but there could very well be some gumminess or corrosion in there. Among the boxes of spare parts is a carburetor rebuild kit, so that should be a pretty simple process.

    I sell a fair amount of classic cars because it’s what I love. But what people don’t realize is while I’m having fun doing so, I get attached to these cars far too easily. I want everyone for a keeper. The advantage I get is that I can at least enjoy them for a time. But this one, I especially have love for. However once the Speedster is all sorted out, she too will move along to a new home.

    Or maybe not.

    Time will tell I guess :-)
    Proud NON-CASO

    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    Ephesians 6:10-17
    Romans 15:13
    Deuteronomy 31:6
    Proverbs 28:1

    Illegitimi non carborundum

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
    Click image for larger version

Name:	8BD04C4E-7C5A-4BB8-9322-2CBC65FFA165.jpeg
Views:	550
Size:	202.4 KB
ID:	1840783 One thing about it, I’m not big on a lot of crowds but you have to be ready because that car draws crowds everywhere it goes. Two different times now people have said to me wow, that’s a Studebaker? I never knew Studebaker made cool cars LOL

    I sell a fair amount of classic cars because it’s what I love. But what people don’t realize is while I’m having fun doing so, I get attached to these cars far too easily. I want everyone for a keeper. The advantage I get is that I can at least enjoy them for a time. But this one, I especially have love for. However once the Speedster is all sorted out, she too will move along to a new home.

    Or maybe not.

    Time will tell I guess :-)
    X2, Bob. I've owned most of the more popular Studebaker cars and trucks and driven most all the post-war cars and trucks. Studes always get comments, but the Lemon/Lime Speedster is by far and away the one which draws non-car people like filings to a magnet.

    Like you, I don't care what others think of my cars, but a shy gal looking to get a guy should drive that one. She'd be talking to guys every time it slowed long enough for the crowd to catch up.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

    Comment


    • #3
      Bob, I have a '55 President Sedan which has the same drive train as your Speedster. I can tell you that the 259 w/4 bbl in these cars are wonderful and have all the power a driver could want. If the transmission is still the one that came in it (DG 250M) it is a first gear start with the lock up torque converter which puts you in direct drive. That last shift you feel is actually the converter engaging the 11" dry clutch. At that point getting up to 70-80 mph or higher is a breeze. Mine loves the highway and is a wonderful driver.
      As for the suspension on these cars, I put all new front and rear springs on mine and experienced a big improvement in the ride. The old springs had just plain worn out. The ride is smooth and she corners beautifully. I was driving on Highway 26 through the mountains around Mt. Hood one day and stopped at a rest stop. Another car pulled in right behind me and the driver got out and came over to talk to me and admire the car. He told me he had been following me for some time and had marveled at how well the car handled the curves. He had expect such an older car to lean more when going around a curve at highway speed.
      My sedan and the Speedster have the same 121" wheel base so should handle about the same so I know what you are experiencing. I know you will enjoy driving that car and the looks are just fantastic. Keep sharing your experiences with it.
      Ed Sallia
      Dundee, OR

      Sol Lucet Omnibus

      Comment


      • #4
        Per the 1955 Speedster booklet Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_2020-06-12 1955StudFld_Speedster_1-4 pdf.png
Views:	539
Size:	24.5 KB
ID:	1840793

        Comment


        • #5
          Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_2020-06-12 1955StudFld_Speedster_1-4 pdf.png
Views:	499
Size:	24.5 KB
ID:	1840796

          Comment


          • #6
            As mentioned, 1955 Presidents, including Speedsters, came with the DG 250M which has first gear start as well as a lock up torque convertor.

            When you have the starter out, I recommend converting it to four field coils. That will make a big difference in starting. The easy way is to use a straight eight GM case. Some just rebuild/convert the Studebaker housing/case. Of course, it is just as important to check for any drag due to bad bearings/bushings or oil swelled coils.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by studegary View Post

              When you have the starter out, I recommend converting it to four field coils. That will make a big difference in starting. The easy way is to use a straight eight GM case. Some just rebuild/convert the Studebaker housing/case. Of course, it is just as important to check for any drag due to bad bearings/bushings or oil swelled coils.
              I never heard of that before. That’s an excellent upgrade. I was just going to do as you said, make sure the brushes were free and riding properly and not worn out, and make sure the bushings were good so that the armature wasn’t dragging. It would be nice to upgrade though. A 6V system needs all the help it can get. I wonder if anybody sells one of those already done?
              Proud NON-CASO

              I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

              If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

              GOD BLESS AMERICA

              Ephesians 6:10-17
              Romans 15:13
              Deuteronomy 31:6
              Proverbs 28:1

              Illegitimi non carborundum

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by acolds View Post
                Per the 1955 Speedster booklet
                I appreciate you sharing that. I’d like to read it but it’s too small and when I try to expand it it’s blurry. Can you maybe repost in a larger size?
                Proud NON-CASO

                I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                GOD BLESS AMERICA

                Ephesians 6:10-17
                Romans 15:13
                Deuteronomy 31:6
                Proverbs 28:1

                Illegitimi non carborundum

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Bob, I appreciate your driving impressions of the 7-UP car (or Sprite, or any lemon & lime flavored soda of your choice).
                  For anyone unfamiliar with this model of car, it gives them an idea of what can be expected if they should buy such car.
                  As for the carburetor flooding, it may simply need some carburetor cleaner sprayed into the fuel inlet of the carburetor. I was dealing with this issue just yesterday with a 1980 Scout, it ran terrible and had very rich, thick exhaust until I removed the fuel line and sprayed cleaner into the fuel inlet of the carburetor. Now it runs great!
                  sigpic
                  In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, we haven’t messed with it yet. My RA has gotten to the point where my hands frequently let me down so usually I have one of my guys work on it. Been busy doing a lot of other stuff, so just haven’t gotten to it.
                    Proud NON-CASO

                    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                    GOD BLESS AMERICA

                    Ephesians 6:10-17
                    Romans 15:13
                    Deuteronomy 31:6
                    Proverbs 28:1

                    Illegitimi non carborundum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post

                      I never heard of that before. That’s an excellent upgrade. I was just going to do as you said, make sure the brushes were free and riding properly and not worn out, and make sure the bushings were good so that the armature wasn’t dragging. It would be nice to upgrade though. A 6V system needs all the help it can get. I wonder if anybody sells one of those already done?
                      I do not know of anyone that sells them done. That is a good idea for someone (not me). I have just done my own.

                      If you have a commutator lathe, do a light cleaning to give the brushes a better chance.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        http://wildaboutcarsonline.com/membe...edster_1-4.pdf

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In days of yore, it was common knowledge regarding the four field coils. The surmise was that you could go to a wrecking yard and get a Delco starter out of an early 50's Pontiac with a straight eight, which came with 4FC's. I tried numerous times but found that a 1953 Pontiac was probably as rare as my Speedster was. I later found that I could just add the field coils and that's what I did when I had the starter rebuilt.

                          Back in those days of yore, I owned a bunch of Speedsters, as well as many other 55's. They were such a great step up from my first car, a 1953 V8 htp. I felt compelled to try to save all of them. Even then many folks were put off by what Studebaker had done with the front end styling. The quality of the fit and finish was simply the best of any post 1952 Studebaker that I've owned.

                          Back about 1980 I put aside a green and yellow Speedster. I had always planned to add it to my collection, which included the black and white car that I had restored during the 70's. I always loved the y/g combination, but sadly the women in my life always hated the color combination. I have whimsically wondered over the years what kind of person would pay $3300 for on of those in 1955? That was Buick territory! I was never able to put together a reasonable profile for original owners.

                          By 1990 I had just about completed the second of my two big restorations. It may have been a toss up as to who, my now X wife or I, was the most exhausted by the projects, but what was obvious was that she was not going to get on board with a car that she didn't like anyway, so I sold it. I sold it to James and Stefanie Bell (Bell Studebaker Museum). It was their first Studebaker. The President parts car that many may know to be their first Studebaker was actually the parts car that they got from me at the same time that they bought the Speedster. I hope I didn't bore you with the rest of the story!

                          Bill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lovely car! I imagine a lot of folks cannot believe the color scheme was factory!
                            Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
                              Lovely car! I imagine a lot of folks cannot believe the color scheme was factory!
                              It’s true, a lot of people can’t believe it was factory, especially from Studebaker.


                              fun story when I was bringing it home. I stopped for gas about an hour from home. The car drew quite a crowd of people, taking pictures, everything else. One guy pulled up and rolled down his window and said, I saw that thing from a mile up the road! I told him I just bought it and he said, I hope the first thing you’re going to do is paint it a better color, that is hideous! LOL.

                              it’s definitely not for everybody. But I never get tired of looking at it.
                              Proud NON-CASO

                              I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                              If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                              GOD BLESS AMERICA

                              Ephesians 6:10-17
                              Romans 15:13
                              Deuteronomy 31:6
                              Proverbs 28:1

                              Illegitimi non carborundum

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X