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  • the Stugatti

    I'm not the purveyor of Eye Candy but I had to post this slick looking '34.

    First seen at the Grand National Roadster Show '06. There's a small write-up that accompanied the photo.


    During the early '30s, in the heady atmosphere of a world emerging from the privations of the Great Depression, the ambassador of Uruguay, then the financial center of South America, conceived an automobile project for the world market. His intention was to build a unique luxury car for the affluent few that included kings, princes, maharajahs, and the like. The ambitious ambassador hit upon the idea of wedding the American Studebaker company with one of the most prestigious companies to ever build a car-the French Bugatti Automobile firm. A distant and relatively safe location was sought. The South American country of Uruguay offered unexploited labor markets, proximity to abundant natural resources, and a highly prized degree of privacy.

    The delightful issue of this marriage of the creme de la creme of the industrial world was the Stugatti, an elegant and very rare car. No one knows how many of these finely crafted tourings were actually produced, but apparently only one has survived. The extant Stugatti has been traced in this country from Oklahoma to Michigan to a lengthy hibernation under a tarp in far Temecula, California. It is suspected, although not proven, that this car is actually the one owned by the ambassador himself.

    If you buy that story, there are a number of perfectly good bridges for sale that you will probably be interested in. The truth is that there never was a Stugatti at all and if there was an international ambassador in Uruguay in the '30s, he probably didn't know a cow from a car.

    The Stugatti that debuted at the 2006 Grand National Roadster Show is entirely the product of the combined, very fertile, imaginations of owners Rick and Valerie Strain and the talented and diligent team headed up by John Nissen at Nissen's Hot Rod Garage in not-so-exotic Williams, California. The elegant dual-cowl convertible sedan gives the appearance of a restored vintage vehicle. It is not that in any way. This big beauty is pure hot rod.

    The original car was a 1934 Studebaker four-door sedan. The top was removed completely, the chassis has been completely redone with independent suspension and the motive force is a Ford Triton V-10. Yes, it is very fast. The car was constructed almost in its entirety by John Nissen and his main man, Tom Stephens. The inspiration for the car came from owner Rick's wife, Valerie, who has always been intrigued by the elegant Bugattis that populate Concours d'Elegance shows and the most prestigious automotive museums. The Strains had already completed a vintage-style hot rod project, a Viper powered '40 Packard that had belonged to Rick's great grandmother, with the Nissen gang and were ready to try another. Thus, the Stugatti was conceived and in a relatively short two years, the project was complete. Really, two guys built this car from virtually scratch in two years! That is some kind of a record in somebody's book somewhere!






    Personal Website - 1950 Studebaker Retro-Rod Project
    www.1950studebakerretrorod.com

  • #2
    I'm pretty familiar with that car - it's gorgeous!
    Really love the wicker, too.
    Imagine this sweetheart at an International Meet....

    Chris Pile
    Editor: The Studebaker Special
    http://midwaystudebakers.tripod.com/
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

    Comment


    • #3
      Dang, to think it was right next door to me in Temecula and I let it slip away!

      That is a very beautiful car!

      Dean.

      Comment


      • #4
        I had to take a second look to see if it was indeed a modified car. In Europe, several coachbuilders such as Graber in Switzerland and Salmon & Sons in England did custom bodywork to many American cars, and that one is not unlike what one would have seen from a European coachbuilder at the time. The only givaway on that car are the modern wire wheels. If it was me, I would have opted for chromed versions of the regular Studebaker wheels for that year, or possibly some period European spoked wheels.

        Craig

        Comment


        • #5
          Personally i dont like the wicker but do love the rest of the car but the top looks too flat. Beautiful car, i'd drive it.

          If it wasn't for the last minute i'd never get anything done.
          101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree, the modern wheel and tire combo scream 'STREET ROD' incongruously betraying an otherwise convincing classic appearance.

            (think one of those wheel & tires would fit within the confines of that fender mount carrier?)

            Comment


            • #7
              That car is just plain beautiful to look at. What a color!!!

              '50 Champion, 1 family owner

              Comment


              • #8
                Beautiful work, but I agree about the wheels. I guess there was a time that I would have wanted a car like that with modern looking wheels, but I have come over to the more stock appearing side. The wicker work I could live without although it fits the style he was going for.

                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                1952 Champion Starlight w/overdrive. Searcy, Arkansas
                sigpic

                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had the pleasure and privelige of seeing this car as it was nearing completion at John Nissan's Hot Rod Garage in William's CA. It truly is a masterpieces and you can study it for hours and still not find all the neat and inovative features they have applied to it. For instance one of the apparent spare tiere covers actually is a storage compartment for whatever you need space for. They had cleaning supplies in it when I saw it. There is a second functional speedometer in the back seat that matches the dash and the list goes on and one. There is a good article about the car here: http://www.streetrodderweb.com/featu...ker/index.html



                  Pat Dilling
                  Olivehurst, CA
                  Custom '53 Starlight aka Stu Cool

                  LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611
                  Pat Dilling
                  Olivehurst, CA
                  Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


                  LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That has to be one of the best looking cars I have ever seen.


                    Doug
                    Venice, Florida
                    1950 Champion
                    9G F1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow, that's gorgeous...and the wheels don't bother me (after all you can only really see the front ones anyway!)...

                      Now somebody needs to do a '37 Dictator roadster with a polished wood boattail body, a la the famous Hispano-Suiza J12 tulipwood skiff...

                      S.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by Pat Dilling

                        I had the pleasure and privelige of seeing this car as it was nearing completion at John Nissan's Hot Rod Garage in William's CA. It truly is a masterpieces and you can study it for hours and still not find all the neat and inovative features they have applied to it. For instance one of the apparent spare tiere covers actually is a storage compartment for whatever you need space for. They had cleaning supplies in it when I saw it. There is a second functional speedometer in the back seat that matches the dash and the list goes on and one. There is a good article about the car here: http://www.streetrodderweb.com/featu...ker/index.html
                        Pat Dilling
                        Olivehurst, CA
                        Custom '53 Starlight aka Stu Cool

                        LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611
                        Is the wicker actually wicker or is it painted on ?



                        Personal Website - 1950 Studebaker Retro-Rod Project
                        www.1950studebakerretrorod.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd say the wicker's painted on - given the reflections off the doors. Roof's too falt for my liking as well, but I can overlook that out of respect for the rest of the car.
                          The sweeping chrome spear is reminiscent of the Saoutchik-styled coachworks of the Classic era. Here's some examples - most of which are WAY more avant garde than this Studebaker.

                          http://www.coachbuild.com/index.php?...2_itemId=28052


                          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                          1963 Cruiser
                          1960 Larkvertible V8
                          1958 Provincial wagon
                          1953 Commander coupe
                          1957 President two door

                          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The wicker is real and then clear coated.

                            Pat Dilling
                            Olivehurst, CA
                            Custom '53 Starlight aka Stu Cool

                            LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611
                            Pat Dilling
                            Olivehurst, CA
                            Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


                            LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wow! Pretty artsy then! I got to drive a dual cowl Hispano-Suiza years ago. 20s vintage as I recall. It had wicker from the cowl section to the rear. Musta been HE-double hockey sticks to keep clean. Of course, if you could afford such a car, you certainly didn't clean it yourself!


                              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                              1963 Cruiser
                              1960 Larkvertible V8
                              1958 Provincial wagon
                              1953 Commander coupe
                              1957 President two door

                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                              Comment

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