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Excalibur was a Studebaker!

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  • Excalibur was a Studebaker!

    I was reading a new book about unusual cars. Fascinating bit of history I didn't know:
    The original Excalibur was a Studebaker. George Stevens took a '64 Daytona chassis, lengthened it, moved the 289 Stude 18" and crafted a fiberglass body. His intention was to market it as a Studebaker but got shot down, so he formed a company, named the car Excalibur and since Stude couldn't supply engines because they were out of business, he put a Chevy 327/300hp in his 1968 model.
    If you look at the dash of a '68 or '69, you will find all the gauges are from a '62 - '64 Hawk GT.
    Very interesting!
    How did Studebaker survive as long as it did with so many bone headed decisions?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Randy Bohannon View Post
    I was reading a new book about unusual cars. Fascinating bit of history I didn't know:
    The original Excalibur was a Studebaker. George Stevens took a '64 Daytona chassis, lengthened it, moved the 289 Stude 18" and crafted a fiberglass body. His intention was to market it as a Studebaker but got shot down, so he formed a company, named the car Excalibur and since Stude couldn't supply engines because they were out of business, he put a Chevy 327/300hp in his 1968 model.
    If you look at the dash of a '68 or '69, you will find all the gauges are from a '62 - '64 Hawk GT.
    Very interesting!
    How did Studebaker survive as long as it did with so many bone headed decisions?
    That would be Brooks Stevens. I believe the entire original series was built on Studebaker chassis, with the first one being a 1963 convertible. I do not remember it being lengthened. It was originally to be a Studebaker show car, but was pulled at the time of the New York Auto Show. Brooks showed it as his own and then went into manufacturing them on a very small scale. I do not consider it to have been a "bone headed decision". This is all from my memory, no book.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

    Comment


    • #3
      That car is still owned by the Brooks Stevens' family. It was in his museum until it closed right after his death in 1995.

      I posted a photo I took of it here----------->
      https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....ight=Excalibur

      Craig

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      • #4
        Yes Brooks not George Stevens. Sorry

        Comment


        • #5
          The first Excaliber SS was shown at the New York Auto Show in early 1964. Studebaker banished the car from their display area because their business plan had totally changed from early in the 1964 model year (Fall 1963). It was to be called the Studebaker SS and I believe it still had that name on it at the show. I was there and happened upon the car, but my memory of details is fading these days. I think that only the first Excaliber SS used a Studebaker engine.

          Histories about Studebakers written by Studebaker historians are much more accurate than those written by general-purpose automotive writers. Quite a bit has been written about the early Excalibers by the experts.
          -Dwight

          Comment


          • #6
            It’s good Studebaker never really got involved with the thing. Talk about retooling! We forget the national mental depression following the Kennedy shooting, ....people weren’t thinking frivolous funny cars then.

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            • #7
              In 1973 or 1974 I attended a Milestone Car Society national meet where Brooks Stevens, Bob Bourke and Bob Andrews were the speakers and each related to their experiences at Studebaker. The audience was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop. I also took a group photo of the three of them in front of a GT Hawk.

              When the Steven's gang, (father & son), displayed the Excaliber at NYC Auto Show, the son set off on a "mission" later returning, "Pop, I've secured 17 orders for these cars," thus the die was set and rest is history.

              This is how I recall the account of this story and how thankful that I had the opportunity to meet Stevens, Andrews and especially Bob Bourke who I saw socially several times through the years. Most memorable was in the late 1980's when following a local meet in Norwich, CT Bob and I proceeded to go down to the Groton Submarine Museum and tour the Nautilus which was the first nuclear powered submarine. We traveled in style he driving his famous Loewy Commander and me driving my not-so-famous 1956 Power Hawk...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Randy Bohannon View Post
                I was reading a new book about unusual cars. Fascinating bit of history I didn't know:
                The original Excalibur was a Studebaker. George Stevens took a '64 Daytona chassis, lengthened it, moved the 289 Stude 18" and crafted a fiberglass body. His intention was to market it as a Studebaker but got shot down, so he formed a company, named the car Excalibur and since Stude couldn't supply engines because they were out of business, he put a Chevy 327/300hp in his 1968 model.
                If you look at the dash of a '68 or '69, you will find all the gauges are from a '62 - '64 Hawk GT.
                Very interesting!
                How did Studebaker survive as long as it did with so many bone headed decisions?
                Here is something you might find interesting:

                1966 Dr. Pepper Commercial Studebaker Excalibur by Brooks Stevens Donna Loren - YouTube

                Donna Loren is now 74 and doing a pod cast! A picture on Wikipedia of her in 2015 shows she still has what it takes

                Bob Miles



                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GrumpyOne View Post
                  In 1973 or 1974 I attended a Milestone Car Society national meet where Brooks Stevens, Bob Bourke and Bob Andrews were the speakers and each related to their experiences at Studebaker. The audience was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop. I also took a group photo of the three of them in front of a GT Hawk.

                  .
                  I was at that first Milestone meet, too. My memory of the rapt audience is the same as yours. It was in Sep or Oct 1974 along with the first Carlisle Pa flea market. The flea market itself was called "Postwar 74" to distinguish it from the AACA meet held the following week at Hershey.

                  Skip Lackie

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post

                    I was at that first Milestone meet, too. My memory of the rapt audience is the same as yours. It was in Sep or Oct 1974 along with the first Carlisle Pa flea market. The flea market itself was called "Postwar 74" to distinguish it from the AACA meet held the following week at Hershey.
                    I was also there, with my 1953 Commander Starliner. I only spoke with Stevens and Andrews a couple of times after that, but I became friends with Bob Bourke and we had many good times together at garages, bars, Playboy Club, meets.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dwight FitzSimons View Post
                      I think that only the first Excaliber SS used a Studebaker engine.

                      Histories about Studebakers written by Studebaker historians are much more accurate than those written by general-purpose automotive writers. Quite a bit has been written about the early Excalibers by the experts.
                      -Dwight
                      For true, Dwight. As an aside, when the Excaliber went into limited production, The Stevens' are on record as being sad about losing the supercharger but very glad about using the SBC engine. "Being lower, lighter and having more power, it made everything about the car better."

                      jack vines
                      PackardV8

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