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  • R4 Zip Vans

    Today is the anniversary of Stude's delivery, of the two R4 equipped, "MR. ZIP", postal vans. They were drag race exhibition Zip Vans; built to publicize the new "Zip Codes", that were being introduced at the time. I remember the red, white, and blue paint jobs; with the South Bend Zip Code, 46634, and the "Mr. Zip" cartoon character.
    I heard they were warehoused, when the tour was cancelled. Were they later sent to some small post office, for use on a rural route; or sold at auction, as government surplus? Someone said they saw one on Ebay, a while back.
    Where are they, now?
    Mike M.

  • #2
    I heard about those! What I heard was that Studebaker Corporate HQ decided to stash them in a basement beneath the old engineering bldg. They were concerned about legal ramifications should one of them find their way to the private sector and someone getting hurt. (As you know, Studebaker had diversified into other industries and it was in thier interests to avoid any possible lawsuits)
    I'd heard that they walled up the subterrainian cubicle that these are stowed in so they wouldn't be rediscovered easily.[]

    While the exact date is kinda fuzzy, it was along about this time that the half dozen prototypical, hybrid-powered Larks disappeared from sight. Popular speculation has it that they were bought up and destroyed at the behest of the Big 3. This was done in the same spirit as the elimination of the 150 MPG V8 carburetor that threatened the oil industry at one time. It was cheaper for industry to buy out and bury these two avant garde innovations than to retool to compete with them!

    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


    • #3
      Further to this story,my late great uncle Ned Flanders,who once produced his own car,called,of all things the Flanders,managed to steal one of these R4 Zip vans and had it smuggled into Canada where he stashed it in his barn,under a load of hay.
      When I found it back in the seventies,it looked like it would be slightly harder to restore than my late uncle Ned,so I passed on buying it.
      I have no idea of what became of it after that,but have heard rumours of it surfacing smewhere in the vicinity of Visila CA.,where StudeBob has secretly set about bringing it back to life.
      Problem is,R4 parts are hard to sniff out even for him.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, I confess, that R4 mail truck is here. I've got Elvis working on it. I just love the way he sings while scraping away at the old undercoating![^]

        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


        • #5
          So does that make mine a clone, or is it the other one that my ex-girlfriend's late second uncle's mothers' boyfriend brought home that day they 'found' it in a parking lot outside of South Bend late one Sunday night? This one has a large 40 gallon fuel cell, roll cage, four wheel disc brakes, and sway bars about the size of my arm!!! It handles like an IndyCar. When I got it there was alot of confetty in it, and the smell of stale milk... I wonder what that's about?

          [8D]

          StudeDave
          San Diego, Ca


          '54 Commander 4dr
          '57 Parkview (it's a 2dr wagon...)
          '57 Commander 2dr
          '57 Champion 2dr
          '58 Packard sedan
          '65 Cruiser
          StudeDave '57
          US Navy (retired)

          3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
          SDC Member since 1985

          past President
          Whatcom County Chapter SDC
          San Diego Chapter SDC

          past Vice President
          San Diego Chapter SDC
          North Florida Chapter SDC

          Comment


          • #6
            It's hard to believe they have both turned up this easily.
            Are the engines painted blue, like the crate R4 at the museum; or Red like the one in the "Car Life" Lark?
            Exactly how are the "R4" fender badges positioned?
            Mike M.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm almost afraid to admit this, but...
              The motor in mine is 'Peptopink' with purple polka dots! [:0] All of the oil caps/breathers are chrome, though!
              I can't say for sure about the badges- I havn't seen it in a while. You see, the van is at one of my homes away home. I don't remember for sure, but it's either at my spring, or summer, or fall, or maybe even my winter retreat~~ I tend to forget!!!
              I'll look for it this year and get back to you next year!!!


              [8D]

              StudeDave
              San Diego, Ca


              '54 Commander 4dr
              '57 Parkview (it's a 2dr wagon...)
              '57 Commander 2dr
              '57 Champion 2dr
              '58 Packard sedan
              '65 Cruiser
              StudeDave '57
              US Navy (retired)

              3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
              SDC Member since 1985

              past President
              Whatcom County Chapter SDC
              San Diego Chapter SDC

              past Vice President
              San Diego Chapter SDC
              North Florida Chapter SDC

              Comment


              • #8
                Studebaker must have made more than two of the R4 Zip Vans, as I have one too, out in the back shed. Along with my restorable '53 Hardtop with mechanical power steering, and my M5 Woody station wagon. I haven't gotten any of them on the road yet because I can't find parts.

                Funny how this thread just happened to start on April Fools Day. [)]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Blue15g, I have 2 53 parts cars with mechanical power steering,but don't tell none of them Studebaker guys about them[)]

                  LaSalle,Il
                  61Hawk
                  60Lark
                  Oglesby,Il.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    52hawk, your secret is safe with me!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mr. Zip must go free!
                      http://www.chairboy.com/unleaded/mrzip.html .
                      Mike M.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh, I thought we had the only one, but ours is a Granatelli R5. It's similar to the oone StudeDave has, only a little nicer. We keep ours next to the 49 C-Cab woody, and on the other side is the 65 Packard.

                        Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut. South Georgia Chapter
                        [img] http://jnautoair.com/images/yelstude2.jpg [/img]
                        63 Daytona HT (project)
                        51 Stude dump truck (yes, I won the raffle)
                        52 Commander Starliner (basket case)

                        MANY more Studes and a few parts cars
                        http://community.webshots.com/user/mbstude101
                        And here: http://community.webshots.com/user/mbstudepagetwo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Matt, that R5 would drop right into that Dump truck of yours![:0]

                          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


                          • #14


                            I seen some 'o them high powered Zip Vans 'round my neighborhood--specially 'round Christmas time. 'Cept they're painted up in FedEx colors now. You can tell by the way they drive 'em. [^]
                            KURTRUK
                            (read it backwards)




                            Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

                            Comment

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