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  • #16
    quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

    Ya like it or you don't. I don't[V] I will say that I think the rear treatment of this car is tastefully done. Not that I would do it like that, but at least it's in keeping with the car's character.

    Bourke's sculpting might well have been limited by the available technology of the day. But then, it was his skill at WORKING IN what those limitations were and still making your heart throb that afforded him the big bucks. Studebaker didn't just hire off the street to staff their styling studios. Heaven knows - THEY COULD HAVE.... but they chose to hire acknowledged design professionals.
    I would like to correct this misinformation. When Bob Bourke designed the '53 Starliner, he was not employed by Studebaker. He was in charge of Loewy Studios' South Bend operation. Bob was employed by Raymond Loewy, owner of Loewy Studios. At that time, Loewy Studios had the design contract for Studebaker vehicles. Of course, Studebaker set down the parameters of the vehicles and had to approve what was to be built. The part about working within the limitations of the time is entirely correct. There were compromises made due to the ability to draw panels in the presses and the manufacturing process itself.

    Gary L.
    1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
    1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

    Comment


    • #17
      quote:
      There were compromises made due to the ability to draw panels in the presses and the manufacturing process itself.
      Gary L
      It appears to me that the beautiful lines formed in the contours of the original designs headlight extensions would have been much more difficult to form than those truncated blobs.
      The beauty of Bob Bourk's original design was not the result of some limitation or inability to fashion metal, if he had wanted to employ such homely blobs for fenders, to hold a set of butt-ugly headlight assemblies, there was nothing in the manufacturing process itself that would have precluded it, only a good eye for design.
      It is likely that if he had presented The Board of Directors with a design like that, there would have been a collective Gaaah! as they all rushed off to the mens room.

      "Gentlemen, QUICK! Where did that N Model go? Get it back in here immediately!

      Comment


      • #18



        "Would Bob Bourke have done this?" Remember: We're talking about the 1950's here. All that existed were single sealed-beam headlights! Yeah, laid back helps with streamlining and looks great to our eyes today (maybe), but the Feds didn't even allow "European" style flushmount headlights here until--what--the late Eighties?

        While the 53-54s were breathtaking, they still had to be conventional enough to make it into production and meet all the Fed's regulations.
        KURTRUK
        (read it backwards)




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

        Comment


        • #19
          Yeah but, remember the 53-55 Corvettes--they had the headlights recessed into the fenders, covered by a screen that followed the contours of the fender. So, It seems to me that something similar could've been done using the hardware available.

          Comment


          • #20
            quote:"Would Bob Bourke have done this?"
            I think there is a good chance he would, or something similar, if he had access to a wind tunnel back then. Really, the head light pods and rake of the windshild is about the only difference between the Studes we are discussing and the evolution of said items brought by learning how wind reacts to shapes. Would this design made a difference in fuel economy/speed on the salt flats? Clearly less wind resistance. [?]


            www.davesplaceinc.com
            sigpic
            Dave Lester

            Comment


            • #21
              Yes Gary. I/WE all know that Bourke was NOT directly employed by Studebaker. But his paycheck DID ultimately come from Stude's coffers. Or did I miss it that Loewy was doing ('scuse me - "OVERSEEING") the design work to gain prestige?

              Dave, the early Corvette's headlite's have been noted already (so to say such wasn't do-able doesn't hold much water) and most roads weren't up to supporting maintained speeds that dictated much in the way of aerodynamics. Besides, the auto industry was taking it's first steps into the horsepower race. Unlike the concerns of today (which I find laughable, since cars - with ALL the high tech approach and refinement, can't do but a couple of MPGs better than a Stude V8 could!)gas was cheap (OK, not THAT cheap when youi factor in the worth of a quarter in 1953, but still - there were'nt any looming shortages)and plentiful. Drag coefficient was something that aircraft designers worried about.
              Less than appealing design would have been a "drag" for an auto company.

              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


              • #22
                [quote]quote:Originally posted by Jessie J.


                It is likely that if he had presented The Board of Directors with a design like that, there would have been a collective Gaaah! as they all rushed off to the mens room.
                Actually, his early designs of the '53 coupe/hardtop (see: Studebaker's Finest by John Bridges) did include headlights that were far more integrated into the fenders than the production cars. The Board of Directors probably said "Gaah" when they saw them since this feature was "different" than what the big 3 were doing. My guess is that the hooded, chromed headlight surrounds ploped on the production cars are not what Bob Bourke would have done if given his druthers (similar story to the final design of the '55 front end). He was much too talanted to settle for what everybody else was doing.

                IMHO, painting the surrounds body color helps integrate them into Bourke's design. The Mercedes treatment might take things one step closer to Bourke's original thinking. Unfortunately, we'll never know.







                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA

                Comment


                • #23
                  C'mon Dick! Lame armchair quarterbacking.[xx(] The whole damned CAR was different than what the others were doing! What other cars of that time featured the aggressive look of these headlites???
                  Ford & Chevy wouldn't have them until '55! Who copied who???[: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


                  • #24
                    You know, even if Bourke would have done it like Mercedes, it doesn't mean we would like it more than we do now.

                    I work in industrial design, and even though I usually like my own ideas best, I have to admit there are times when others who are not designers help me overcome design issues, or give me fresh insight into some features of the design.

                    I expect that Mr. Bourke occasionally had the same experiences. Management isn't ALWAYS wrong about design and designers aren't ALWAYS right (if I can use right and wrong, here). If Bourke had to make some design concessions to Loewy or to Studebaker management, I honestly think they were probably worthwhile concessions.

                    Has anyone else noticed how gawd-awful some of Loewy's customized cars were? For a talented designer he had some horrendous taste. Maybe he loved what he did (portholes and such), but like any custom car, I doubt very many others did.

                    It must have been VERY hard for Bourke and others to hold their tongues when they saw what Loewy did to some Studebakers! Diplomacy had to be at the front of their minds! But I've seen pictures of Bourkes own customized Studebakers, and they're OK, but I mostly like the production model better.
                    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      [quote]quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

                      quote:Originally posted by Jessie J.


                      Actually, his early designs of the '53 coupe/hardtop (see: Studebaker's Finest by John Bridges) did include headlights that were far more integrated into the fenders than the production cars. The Board of Directors probably said "Gaah" when they saw them since this feature was "different" than what the big 3 were doing. My guess is that the hooded, chromed headlight surrounds ploped on the production cars are not what Bob Bourke would have done if given his druthers (similar story to the final design of the '55 front end). He was much too talanted to settle for what everybody else was doing.

                      IMHO, painting the surrounds body color helps integrate them into Bourke's design. The Mercedes treatment might take things one step closer to Bourke's original thinking. Unfortunately, we'll never know.
                      I remember talking to Bob Bourke about this subject. He wanted all of the headlight rims to match the body color. He thought that it helped the lines/looks of the car. Studebaker saw this as too much of a parts and build/paint/assembly problem and insisted on chrome headlight rims on all the cars. Of course, later on, cheap models came with painted, rather than chrome, rims. Note that Bob did retain the chrome headlight rims on his own '54 Starliner.

                      Gary L.
                      1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
                      1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        quote:Originally posted by studegary


                        I remember talking to Bob Bourke about this subject. He wanted all of the headlight rims to match the body color. He thought that it helped the lines/looks of the car.
                        Bob,
                        Based on Gary's input here, you probably need to change "lame armchair quarterbacking", to "half lame armchair quarterbacking".



                        Dick Steinkamp
                        Bellingham, WA

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Oh, well, I had NO contention with your regards to painted HL rims. Further, a bit of irony here is that the parts book shows PAINTED or chrome HL rims as being correct for ALL models of 53-4 Champions (although I'm sure the painted ones were standard on the Custom trim level. And while you might argue that there WAS NO Custom trim level C-K cars, the rims would fit and a dealer and the plant would be quick to appease a prospective customer.). You could have asked for AND GOTTEN painted HL rims on your new Stude if you wanted them! While I'd bet a buck to Dave's obligatory donut that few customers were aware of that option, how many of them were discerning enough to have asked for such if they'd been made aware?

                          My QB remark was to your contention that the board members would've insisted on the styling (shape) matching their competitor's products. Even with chromed HL rims, the Studes were rather reserved in the "brightwork" department. My C3 trimmed coupe is clean and cool and I like it that way. Maybe I'll go with painted HL rims when I get around to it. In fact, I like the idea of painting up to the edge of the outside contour and leaving the flat rim and inner area chromed. But that's just me.

                          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


                          • #28
                            quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs
                            In fact, I like the idea of painting up to the edge of the outside contour and leaving the flat rim and inner area chromed. But that's just me.
                            That would match the way the factory did the grill surrounds nicely.



                            Dick Steinkamp
                            Bellingham, WA

                            Comment

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