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Whats different about the sound of a Studebaker

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  • Whats different about the sound of a Studebaker

    I have read remarks, in several different threads, that nothing sounds like a Studebaker.

    As most of you know, I am new to Studebakers (Got mine in Jan 2009), and believe it or not, I havent actually heard a running Studebaker. I've only been to one show (York), and none of the cars were running when I was around. Any others I have seen, were also just sitting there, not running.

    So anyway, my question is, Whats different about the sound of a Studabaker, and what is the reason for it?

    Note: I have had mine running on several occasions, but it is running so badly, I dont think it counts.

  • #2
    if you have it set up with dual exhausts and no crossover (there was no crossover pipe on any cars except for Avantis with the "quiet tone" exhaust) it has a very distinctive exhaust sound - a little "sharper" than a typical SBC. I don't know the true reason for this, but the one notable difference between a Stude engine and pretty much every V-8 designed since the introduction of the SBC is that the Stude uses siamesed center exhaust ports (similar to an early OHV Caddy or Ford flathead.) I have no idea if that makes the difference or not, but it's a reasonable explanation.


    55 Commander Starlight
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      One point, the firing order is different from Ford or Chevy V8. Cyls No. 5 and 7, both on the left side, fire in sequence, one after the other. This breaks up the smooth sequence of alternating banks, giving Studebakers a different sound.

      Tom Bredehoft
      '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
      '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
      (Under Construction 617 hrs.)
      '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
      All Indiana built cars


      • #4
        I think they do sound different, but remember, I guess we're
        talking V-8's here and not 6 cylinders.

        I've always thought they sounded alot like Mopar V-8's and
        not Chevies.

        What I really like now are the sound of the OHC Ford and Dodges.
        I've got a 4.7 in my Dakota with loud exhaust and I really have
        alot of fun with it.


        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by jeryst

          So anyway, my question is, Whats different about the sound of a Studabaker, and what is the reason for it?
          I will say the lifters are more audible in a Stude V8 over a competive make at the time. Studebaker engines never used hydraulic lifters in their own engines, and they needed to be adjusted at regular intervals.



          • #6
            When I first got my Speedster running, my non motor head neighbor came walking up through the woods, listened for a minute, grinned and said "Its got that sound". We exchanged pleasantries and he left.

            Its different and I always wondered why.


            • #7
              there are many engines thar sound different when using open exhaust or glasspacks.

              ford y-block
              chevy 409
              dodge 426 hemi
              packard straight 8 and v-8
              honda 4 cylinder
              ford flathead
              i'm sure there are more but these come to mind.

              i started running stock cars in 65 when we had open exhaust,and belive me you can tell the difference my favoriye was the 409's and 426 hemis rhey had a sound like no other.

              and put a set of smithies glass pack if you want a sweet sound. the y-blocks are so sweet with them on.


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by Tom B

                One point, the firing order is different from Ford or Chevy V8.
                Not so. Chevy and Stude are both 18436572

                Quite frankly...I can't tell the difference between V8's with a similar exhaust matter if the firing order.

                My '63 Lark with a Chevy V8 has relatively quiet mufflers for a hot rod, no crossover, no heat riser. It sounds exactly like my '63 Hawk with stock duals.

                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA

                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA


                • #9
                  After reading this post, I went to youtube and did a Studebaker search...there are alot of videos of Studes running...

                  I love the gutsy sound they have!



                  • #10
                    When I bought my Lark I started it up and me and my buddy both looked at each other and said whoa! It had a single exhaust and a 259. Sounded cool to me.


                    • #11
                      One of the nice sounding ones was the motor in the
                      rustfree Lark named Oscar advertised here
                      some time ago(photo and audio on You Tube)

                      I always thought the Chrysler v8's have a distinct
                      sound when revved more than " normal"
                      driving would require.

                      All V8's sound good, but it's sad if they only
                      " talk the talk, but won't walk the walk",
                      to quote the tough marine from the movie
                      Full Metal Jacket


                      • #12
                        Here is the sound of my 52 Commander. I have adjusted the valve since the video.


                        Leonard Shepherd


                        • #13
                          I own Oscar now and it does sound good.


                          • #14
                            Try this
                            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