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  • Warren and Day Studebaker

    The annual all Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Car Drag Race is Saturday May 27th 2017 9:00 am at Brown County Dragway in Bean Blossom, Indiana. "Studebaker Drag Racing you can't beat it" For more information contact Richard Poe

  • #2
    Cool connection, Richard. Since both your car and the Collectible Automobile article car were R1s, I wonder if 'ol Gordon Williams specialized in massaging R1s? (Ah-HA! Maybe that's why yours is so fast![}]) 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


    • #3
      Could be but how do you think he got in to my garage without me catching him? He must be sneaky.
      Richard
      The annual all Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Car Drag Race is Saturday May 27th 2017 9:00 am at Brown County Dragway in Bean Blossom, Indiana. "Studebaker Drag Racing you can't beat it" For more information contact Richard Poe

      Comment


      • #4
        Richard, Gordon Williams was well known here on the West Coast, the Orange Empire Chapter had a few Gordon Williams Days at the Drags in his honor, after his young passing at under 60 I think.

        I raced at the drags with him, and his car was a H.D. Flight-O-Matic Super Red '63 Lark Standard, I think with bench seat. Gordon told me that when he ordered his car they were changing to the Power Shift and wanted to sell him a P/S Bucket Seat car, but he insisted that the P/S would be no good for drag racing because it is way too easy to miss a shift! So he got his car his way, he was running Casler Racing slicks like most all West Coast racers did. He was running a R2 at the time, and I heard it later became a R3, he was the Winter Nationals Class Winner at Pomona with the R2.

        His car may have been ordered at Warren Day, but I do not think they were the Dealer he worked for as a tune-up man at the time and were also his sponsor.

        I'll have to find my Photos to verify, but I remember the Dealer being in Ontario, CA at the time I knew him. This IS the car that Bob Palma & George Krem spotted on one of their "unofficial tours" to the Driveaway lot in South Bend! [^]

        Sorry, I know nothing of your Silver '63 Lark Custom R1.


        StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          The annual all Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Car Drag Race is Saturday May 27th 2017 9:00 am at Brown County Dragway in Bean Blossom, Indiana. "Studebaker Drag Racing you can't beat it" For more information contact Richard Poe

          Comment


          • #6
            Richard, if I remember right, we have verified from George's JT list that this car was built as an R1, and as I said the Dealer name is wrong, so this pic either is not Gordon's car, or it is before the R2 and before the R3!

            quote:Originally posted by 63larkr1

            StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

            Comment


            • #7
              Rich,
              Thanks again.
              Richard
              The annual all Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Car Drag Race is Saturday May 27th 2017 9:00 am at Brown County Dragway in Bean Blossom, Indiana. "Studebaker Drag Racing you can't beat it" For more information contact Richard Poe

              Comment


              • #8
                Back in the middle to late '60's (can't remember the exact year) Gordon Williams stayed all night at my house when I lived in Frankton, Indiana.

                He told me about he and his wife driving their '63 Cruiser to South Bend pick up his R powered Stude Lark and driving them back to California. Humorous side note is he said he thought the Cruiser was quicker than the Lark on the drive back home. For some reason I thought he said it was an R 3 but that couldn't have been since supposedly, no R 3 '63 Larks were ever made in South Bend. Maybe I'm confusing that with what Rich said about him making an R 3 out of it later.

                He told me that he had trouble breaking tail housings on the automatic (maybe he had a solid mount?) and that one year when he won the Winternationals and NHRA disqualified him for having the wrong carburetor inlet fitting. I recall us discussing how NHRA must have had a thing about not allowing a Studebaker to win if they could find someway to disqualify them (in '64, they disqualified the '51 saying the bore was .003" too big when it was not. The same year Russ Mathews was right behind me with his Buick and was too light when weighing but they let that go?).

                Gordon also said he broke a few pistons by running it on the lean side but it ran quicker running it lean. He said going through the lights it would let out a loud "bang" and he knew it was another piston broke.

                Rich, you mentioned Gordon changing the '63 R 2 to an R 3. Did you ever see it and if so, do you know if he used a side mount blower or stay with the top mount and blow through bonnet instead of the enclosed carb box?

                We are planning to make the Tomato into a clone R 3 but I don't see any way to use the side mount blower without having to cut the radiator surround to move it forward and I don't plan to do that so will stay with the top mount and carb bonnet (there is not room for the carb box with the top mounted blower).

                I wonder what the factory had in mind if they had built an R 3 '63 Lark?

                I was saddned to hear when Gordon had passed away. Like most Stude people he was a true gentleman and all around great guy.

                Ted

                quote:Originally posted by 63larkr1

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a couple of notes abt. the Gordon Williams '63 Lark. I was always under the impression that both this car and his wife Jerry's 63 cruiser were ordered at the same time from Warren and Day and they picked up both from the factory. Gordon had specifically ordered the std SANS undercoating to keep weight down, but since Studebaker always gave more than they promised, and he was such a good customer, they undercoated it FOR FREE! Took him and son Ron two weeks of torching and scraping. Ron's probably still got the burn marks on the back of his hand! Wish I could find him. Last saw him in '79, but he's probably still going fast at some strip in So Cal. Warren and Day closede almost immediately after the factory, whereupon most of their parts were bought at Crown Motors in Ontario. Gordon didn't work for a dealer- he worked graveyard shift in the motor pool at the old Kaiser Steel plant in Fontana- gave him lotsa daylit for building and tuning. Saw a couple of the broken tailshafts- that car left HARD, the trans was a 6cyl taxicab trans and d/l and traction bars were STOCK. At the time of his death he was building the 60 Lark that Jon Meyer calls spooky, 'cause he was going 11s too often and the 63 had no rollbar. thanx for listnin.

                  Ken Pyle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Ken,
                    Welcome to the forum!
                    Glad to see you on here!

                    George
                    Grants Pass, Oregon
                    64 Station Wagon with fixed roof (Canadian Car)

                    64 Wagonaire sliding roof South Bend car.

                    63 GT Hawk

                    51 Champion Starlight Coupe
                    George King
                    Grants Pass, Oregon
                    64 Station Wagon with fixed roof (Canadian Car)

                    66 Station Wagon with fixed roof. Project car, complete For Sale...

                    64 Wagonaire sliding roof South Bend car. For Sale...

                    63 GT Hawk

                    51 Champion Starlight Coupe For Sale...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Ted and welcome Ken. These high performance/racing posts are the most entertaining for me. I am in the process of building a 289/304/who knows for my 63 2 door sedan, s keep the memories coming.
                      When I got my Lark/Custom, in the back seat was a large binder with most of the writings from Dick Datson, some form George Krem and quite a bit from Ted. I now have the history of the Chicken Hawk and I have really enjoyed reading about it.

                      Jamie McLeod
                      Hope Mills, NC
                      Jamie McLeod
                      Hope Mills, NC

                      1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
                      1958 Commander "Christine"
                      1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
                      1955 Commander Sedan
                      1964 Champ
                      1960 Lark

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by starliner62

                        Thanks Ted and welcome Ken. These high performance/racing posts are the most entertaining for me. I am in the process of building a 289/304/who knows for my 63 2 door sedan, s keep the memories coming.
                        When I got my Lark/Custom, in the back seat was a large binder with most of the writings from Dick Datson, some form George Krem and quite a bit from Ted. I now have the history of the Chicken Hawk and I have really enjoyed reading about it.

                        Jamie McLeod
                        Jamie: Be sure to find a copy of the March 1996 Turning Wheels for your collection, if you don't have one. It contains the most comprehensive biography of Ted Harbit that's ever been published, to the best of my knowledge. 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
                          The annual all Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Car Drag Race is Saturday May 27th 2017 9:00 am at Brown County Dragway in Bean Blossom, Indiana. "Studebaker Drag Racing you can't beat it" For more information contact Richard Poe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Richard, was your "63 ever a dark blue? If so, I might know the car from So. Cal.

                            Ken Pyle

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The annual all Studebaker Nationals and Orphan Car Drag Race is Saturday May 27th 2017 9:00 am at Brown County Dragway in Bean Blossom, Indiana. "Studebaker Drag Racing you can't beat it" For more information contact Richard Poe

                              Comment

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