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  • What happened to the prototypes

    A few years back I seem to remember an article that was in TW where (remember, I'm going from memory) the Michiana Chapter pulled some prototypes out of the woods in the old Proving Grounds. It seems like there was an old late 40s woody and some sort of C/K prototype.

    Does anybody know what happened to those cars? I thought the museum took the woody, but couldn't find anything out about it.

    ________________________
    Mark Anderson
    1965 Cruiser
    http://home.alltel.net/anderm


  • #2
    The 1947 Champion "woody" is/was, in fact, the station wagon now being restored by The Studebaker National Museum. It was removed in the late 1970s. Removing that car from the graveyard may have been part of the coverage of it in the July 1974 Turning Wheels, but I can't locate my copy of that issue right now to confirm that.

    The "prototype C/K" likely refers to the C/K body that was cut up to explore/accomodate a wrap-around windshield possibility[xx(]. A photo
    of that car is among those in the August 1991 Turning Wheels report. So are photos of the aborted 1952 Model N prototypes resting and rusting in the graveyard[V].

    Bendix Division of Allied-Signal granted me and South Bend SDCer Don Galeziewski permission to view and photograph the "Prototype Pile" for one installment of a two-part article prepared for Turning Wheels in 1991. Part II, published in the August 1991 Turning Wheels, contained many contemporary photographs of the hulks in the graveyard.

    At that time, 14 years ago, all the parts of any value off all of the vehicles, COMBINED, wouldn't fill the trunk of a 1959-1960 Lark. Virtually none of the bodies had frames or running gear under them when dumped in the graveyard. Few were of much value when they were placed there in the woods almost 50 years ago, now, and all those years of exposure in that harsh northern Indiana climate have pretty well reduced them to curious, rusty body hulks.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.

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    • #3
      It would still be fun to find one and put it on display in front of our shop... We have a 39 Plymouth coupe body for that now!


      Matthew Burnette
      [img] http://jnautoair.com/images/yelstude2.jpg [/img]
      63 Daytona HT
      lots more Studes
      lotsa parts too
      http://community.webshots.com/user/mbstude101

      Comment


      • #4
        Exactly what is the model N?

        quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

        So are photos of the aborted 1952 Model N prototypes resting and rusting in the graveyard[V].BP

        ________________________
        Mark Anderson
        1965 Cruiser
        http://home.alltel.net/anderm

        Comment


        • #5
          It was a proposal for the new 1952 models. There was an article in TW about them a while back. I really didn't like them.

          Matthew Burnette
          [img] http://jnautoair.com/images/yelstude2.jpg [/img]
          63 Daytona HT
          lots more Studes
          lotsa parts too
          http://community.webshots.com/user/mbstude101

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the Ns are great! Wish I could get hold of that body! It would be far more decorative to my yard than the '52 currently there.

            Lotsa Larks!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

            Comment


            • #7
              Anybody have a pic of an N?

              ________________________
              Mark Anderson
              1965 Cruiser
              http://home.alltel.net/anderm

              Comment


              • #8
                Here's a question: What did the "N" in Model N stand for? New? I have a video tape of the old Proving Ground prototype site that I've had for years. It is in two parts and includes a visit to the site in the early 1980s and a visit about 10 years later. The cars had all but rotted to the ground by the early 1990s and a couple of the prototypes, very mysteriously, looked like they had been bulldozed between visits. None or very few at least had frames. The SDC did save one prototype: the 1946-era station wagon and are in the process of restoring it. Rumor has it they planned to go back and get the Studebaker "Desert Explorer" sand car (see it on page 309 of Crestline's "Studebaker Cars"), but it had been damaged beyond saving by the time SDC workers returned for it sometime later. Older club members in the know from the Indiana region undoubtedly know more of the story than I do, but it is really interesting to discuss the old prototype graveyard.

                To my eyes the Model N looked very much like it would have aged quickly in the marketplace. The Model N design attempted to carry forward with the old 1947-1952 Starlight roof and the bullet-nose theme, both of which would have been quite outdated by 1952. According to what I have read, the Korean War killed the Model N. Studebaker wanted to come out with an all-new design in time for its corporate centennial in 1952 but the war and government restrictions on material made it impossible. If anyone can scrounge up some photos of the Model N I know those in the group who haven't seen the photos would enjoy them. Meanwhile, one photo of the proposed Model N Starlight Coupe can be found on page 50 of Richard Langworth's book, "Studebaker 1946-1966 The Classic Postwar Years."

                When visiting the Clubhouse area of the Proving Ground it gives one goosebumps to know you are so close and yet so far away from what little is left of these prototypes.

                Studedude1961
                --1963 Cruiser

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just to sum up this discussion.

                  Here are two pictures of the Woody-Wagon Concept Car from 1947, that never came into production car. Unfortunately...

                  http://www.expressupload.de/index.ph...OY6KPUICSG.jpg

                  http://www.expressupload.de/index.ph...WKRHI1KS4R.jpg

                  Best regards from Germany,

                  Bjoern

                  ____________________________________

                  Cruisin' through Germany: 1949 Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe Starlight Coupe

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are some good N photos in "Studebakers Finest".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've got a small chunk of the original wood trim from that wagon It's rotted beyond recognition of what it once was - but I know what it was It's keeping my guardhouse brick company out in the garage.[^]

                      Miscreant at large.

                      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                      1960 Larkvertible V8
                      1958 Provincial wagon
                      1953 Commander coupe
                      1957 President 2-dr
                      1955 President State
                      1951 Champion Biz cpe
                      1963 Daytona project FS
                      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oddly enough I just bought another lot of old TW's of the bay, the first one I picked up - Sept. 1972 - has two pages of pics of these cars.

                        nate

                        --
                        55 Commander Starlight
                        62 Daytona hardtop
                        http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                        --
                        55 Commander Starlight
                        http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [8D] You also have George Washington's hatchet, too, don't you, Bob? You know, the one that had the handle replaced once and the head replaced a hundred years after that.

                          quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                          I've got a small chunk of the original wood trim from that wagon It's rotted beyond recognition of what it once was - but I know what it was It's keeping my guardhouse brick company out in the garage.[^]

                          Miscreant at large.

                          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                          1960 Larkvertible V8
                          1958 Provincial wagon
                          1953 Commander coupe
                          1957 President 2-dr
                          1955 President State
                          1951 Champion Biz cpe
                          1963 Daytona project FS
                          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


                          • #14
                            True.[:I] And honestly, Bob - it's got to where the ax handle and the Stude sta-wag piece are hard to tell apart.[8]

                            Miscreant at large.

                            1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                            1960 Larkvertible V8
                            1958 Provincial wagon
                            1953 Commander coupe
                            1957 President 2-dr
                            1955 President State
                            1951 Champion Biz cpe
                            1963 Daytona project FS
                            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                              I've got a small chunk of the original wood trim from that wagon It's rotted beyond recognition of what it once was - but I know what it was It's keeping my guardhouse brick company out in the garage.[^]
                              I'm glad that I am not the only one that saves odd pieces of wood. Two that come to mind are a piece of a racing shell from one of the colleges that I attended and another is a piece of wood from the house that my father was born in in 1902.
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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