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  • #31
    Weldon Critcher has an Avanti, that, I beleive either raced at Daytona or was built to do so. I think it is a road race car. It needs restoration at the present time, but the last time I saw it it ran. It has flared fenders, a competition sytle gas filler in the middle of the trunk area and such. When he got it it had a
    six two barrel intake manifold on it. I am not sure which R version the engine is.
    Joe Roberts

    Posted - 03/28/2007 : 7:57:02 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Was there any racing Avanti's entered in the TRANS- AM racing circuit during the glory years of 1968-1974 ? We use to hang out in Watkins Glen and root for the Group 44 teams ( Bob Tullis Jags and Tr's ) and Mark Donohue/George Fullmer and their Javelins. Never saw any Avanti's or Hawks or Larks. A full race Trans Am Avanti R2 or GT Hawk would be a great collector vehicle if one ever existed in full racing colors.
    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

    Comment


    • #32
      Thanks for the clarification guys, looking back, it now seems strange that Studebaker did not get involved, given that in the early '50s they were one of the few manufactures sporting a new and modern OHV V-8, but it appears that they more or less sat back while the Hudson flathead sixes and Oldsmobile's stole the show.
      Was it perhaps because the 232's just didn't have enough displacement or sufficient power to be competitive with those 303's and the 308's?
      Anyways, it appears that Studebaker lost out on a terrific venue to showcase their new engines capabilities.
      Makes me wonder what could have been, had they originally produced the 1951 "Commanders" with a 304 cu. in. displacement. Of course that would have justified the revival of the Studebaker "PRESIDENT" name and model line.

      Comment


      • #33
        Thanks for the clarification guys, looking back, it now seems strange that Studebaker did not get involved, given that in the early '50s they were one of the few manufactures sporting a new and modern OHV V-8, but it appears that they more or less sat back while the Hudson flathead sixes and Oldsmobile's stole the show.
        Was it perhaps because the 232's just didn't have enough displacement or sufficient power to be competitive with those 303's and the 308's?
        Anyways, it appears that Studebaker lost out on a terrific venue to showcase their new engines capabilities.
        Makes me wonder what could have been, had they originally produced the 1951 "Commanders" with a 304 cu. in. displacement. Of course that would have justified the revival of the Studebaker "PRESIDENT" name and model line.

        Comment


        • #34
          quote:Originally posted by Jessie J.

          So, has anyone yet figured out, or found clear evidence that the [u]Studebaker Corporation</u> did in fact... "(in the 50's) have a performance division, [u]did they have an official sponsored car</u>,.......on [u]Studebaker backed</u> NASCAR teams?"
          Or were these all private efforts, with nothing "official" above a dealership level of sponsorship?

          I believe in 1957, the Automobile Manufacturers Association agreed to back out of sponsoring racing, so there were NO factory backed racing efforts for a few years after that; although individuals and dealers could prep a car for racing. Studebaker was more interested in Economy Runs (i.e. how SLOW they could go in overdrive), and Packard was too 'stately' to participate in such a thing, even though they had a couple of very competant engines that would probably have done well on the track.

          Craig

          Comment


          • #35
            quote:Originally posted by Jessie J.

            So, has anyone yet figured out, or found clear evidence that the [u]Studebaker Corporation</u> did in fact... "(in the 50's) have a performance division, [u]did they have an official sponsored car</u>,.......on [u]Studebaker backed</u> NASCAR teams?"
            Or were these all private efforts, with nothing "official" above a dealership level of sponsorship?

            I believe in 1957, the Automobile Manufacturers Association agreed to back out of sponsoring racing, so there were NO factory backed racing efforts for a few years after that; although individuals and dealers could prep a car for racing. Studebaker was more interested in Economy Runs (i.e. how SLOW they could go in overdrive), and Packard was too 'stately' to participate in such a thing, even though they had a couple of very competant engines that would probably have done well on the track.

            Craig

            Comment


            • #36
              quote:Originally posted by Jessie J.

              Thanks for the clarification guys, looking back, it now seems strange that Studebaker did not get involved, given that in the early '50s they were one of the few manufactures sporting a new and modern OHV V-8, but it appears that they more or less sat back while the Hudson flathead sixes and Oldsmobile's stole the show.
              Was it perhaps because the 232's just didn't have enough displacement or sufficient power to be competitive with those 303's and the 308's?
              Hudsons won for three reasons:

              1. The 308 Hornet engine had terrific torque and was all but bulletproof. Enormous bearings, and connecting rods that look like they belonged in a huge stationary diesel engine generator set. Stude's 232 couldn't come close delivering that all-important torque.

              2. They really did handle well. The low center of gravity and step-down design was not all marketing hype; it was legitimate and paid off on the tracks. I don't know of any other leaf-spring rear suspension car back then that used a Panhard Rod to locate the rear axle assembly horizontally, but Hudson did. (Some of the cheapest Pacemakers and maybe Wasps did not have it, but all the Hornets and Commodores did.)

              3. The whole car was tough. [}] That revolutionary 1948 [through 1954] Hudson semi-unit body with front stub frame was hardly a CAD [Computer-Aided Design] product! [] Hence, the whole thing was overbuilt to a fault. They just didn't break on the track like the more delicate, Chevrolet-based Olds 88s. Sure, the 88s could outrun them in 1/4-mile drag racing, but NASCAR was far more demanding back then, with so many races being run on pothole-enhanced dirt tracks.

              It could be argued that the 1951-1954 Hornet domination in NASCAR was Hudson's finest hour, although marketing successes in the 'teens with the original Super Six are not to be discounted. 'Too bad the postwar marketing types at Generous Motors were successful in convincing the public, especially in Hudson's middle-price range, that valves belonged in cylinder heads, not cylinder blocks. [V] 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


              • #37
                quote:Originally posted by Jessie J.

                Thanks for the clarification guys, looking back, it now seems strange that Studebaker did not get involved, given that in the early '50s they were one of the few manufactures sporting a new and modern OHV V-8, but it appears that they more or less sat back while the Hudson flathead sixes and Oldsmobile's stole the show.
                Was it perhaps because the 232's just didn't have enough displacement or sufficient power to be competitive with those 303's and the 308's?
                Hudsons won for three reasons:

                1. The 308 Hornet engine had terrific torque and was all but bulletproof. Enormous bearings, and connecting rods that look like they belonged in a huge stationary diesel engine generator set. Stude's 232 couldn't come close delivering that all-important torque.

                2. They really did handle well. The low center of gravity and step-down design was not all marketing hype; it was legitimate and paid off on the tracks. I don't know of any other leaf-spring rear suspension car back then that used a Panhard Rod to locate the rear axle assembly horizontally, but Hudson did. (Some of the cheapest Pacemakers and maybe Wasps did not have it, but all the Hornets and Commodores did.)

                3. The whole car was tough. [}] That revolutionary 1948 [through 1954] Hudson semi-unit body with front stub frame was hardly a CAD [Computer-Aided Design] product! [] Hence, the whole thing was overbuilt to a fault. They just didn't break on the track like the more delicate, Chevrolet-based Olds 88s. Sure, the 88s could outrun them in 1/4-mile drag racing, but NASCAR was far more demanding back then, with so many races being run on pothole-enhanced dirt tracks.

                It could be argued that the 1951-1954 Hornet domination in NASCAR was Hudson's finest hour, although marketing successes in the 'teens with the original Super Six are not to be discounted. 'Too bad the postwar marketing types at Generous Motors were successful in convincing the public, especially in Hudson's middle-price range, that valves belonged in cylinder heads, not cylinder blocks. [V] 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


                • #38
                  I loved my old '46 Hudson! (pre-stepdown/bathtub) It was built like a tank, with huge truck like frame-rails, reinforced with a strong, heavy duty X-member. There was almost no frame flexing. Jack up any corner, and the doors would still click closed like a bank vault!
                  And run! mine launched and accelerated like a rocket ship! Yep, and that healthy, high-torquing '56 Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 and 4 speed Hydo that were hidden under that flip up front, was a match made in heaven!

                  A 304" Studebaker V-8 would have been no slouch in the torque department at that time either, and its much shorter stroke would have been good for higher RPM horsepower and durability.
                  But then Studebaker's limp noodle of an excuse for a frame would have likely twisted up like Rotini under any increased power on those primative dirt tracks.
                  But dreaming about what could-have-been, a stronger frame could also have been introduced to support the power of that big 304 "PRESIDENT" V-8 engine.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    I loved my old '46 Hudson! (pre-stepdown/bathtub) It was built like a tank, with huge truck like frame-rails, reinforced with a strong, heavy duty X-member. There was almost no frame flexing. Jack up any corner, and the doors would still click closed like a bank vault!
                    And run! mine launched and accelerated like a rocket ship! Yep, and that healthy, high-torquing '56 Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 and 4 speed Hydo that were hidden under that flip up front, was a match made in heaven!

                    A 304" Studebaker V-8 would have been no slouch in the torque department at that time either, and its much shorter stroke would have been good for higher RPM horsepower and durability.
                    But then Studebaker's limp noodle of an excuse for a frame would have likely twisted up like Rotini under any increased power on those primative dirt tracks.
                    But dreaming about what could-have-been, a stronger frame could also have been introduced to support the power of that big 304 "PRESIDENT" V-8 engine.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      quote:Originally posted by BobPalma
                      It could be argued that the 1951-1954 Hornet domination in NASCAR was Hudson's finest hour, although marketing successes in the 'teens with the original Super Six are not to be discounted. 'Too bad the postwar marketing types at Generous Motors were successful in convincing the public, especially in Hudson's middle-price range, that valves belonged in cylinder heads, not cylinder blocks. [V] BP
                      General Motors was far from being alone in the convincing of the public, that valves belonged in the cylinder heads.
                      All Chrysler product lines, Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Packard, and even the lowly Studebaker had already brought or were in the process of bringing new OHV-V-8 engines to the market.
                      Two "Independents" attempted to buck that buyers market with their antiquated flat-head six engines.
                      Not so surprisingly, both were the first of the post-war auto manufactures to fold up under the pressures of market-share competition.
                      Sure their engines were "good enough", maybe even -fantastic-, However they proved to be -not what the customer wanted- , the most important requirement of all.



                      Comment


                      • #41
                        quote:Originally posted by BobPalma
                        It could be argued that the 1951-1954 Hornet domination in NASCAR was Hudson's finest hour, although marketing successes in the 'teens with the original Super Six are not to be discounted. 'Too bad the postwar marketing types at Generous Motors were successful in convincing the public, especially in Hudson's middle-price range, that valves belonged in cylinder heads, not cylinder blocks. [V] BP
                        General Motors was far from being alone in the convincing of the public, that valves belonged in the cylinder heads.
                        All Chrysler product lines, Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Packard, and even the lowly Studebaker had already brought or were in the process of bringing new OHV-V-8 engines to the market.
                        Two "Independents" attempted to buck that buyers market with their antiquated flat-head six engines.
                        Not so surprisingly, both were the first of the post-war auto manufactures to fold up under the pressures of market-share competition.
                        Sure their engines were "good enough", maybe even -fantastic-, However they proved to be -not what the customer wanted- , the most important requirement of all.



                        Comment


                        • #42
                          My connection to Studebaker racing brings a few things to mind.
                          1) I used to hang out at Jocko's Speed Shop where the Larks were prepared for the Petite LeMans at Lime Rock. Jocko Sr. was a mechanic and one of the drivers. In 1999, I interviewed Jocko Jr., a former NASCAR driver, who remember the Larks and was at Lime Rock when they were run. I provided an article and pictures to L. Fox, TW Editor. They were never used.
                          2) I did mechanical work on a 1956 Golden Hawk that was drag race campaigned along the East Coast. The car did quite well and was written up in magazines at that time. The GH was all black with 3 spd./OD.
                          3) In 1961, I drag raced a 1957 President Classic at Arlington Speedway.
                          4) I contributed some technical and sales input to Ron Hall's Avanti Bonneville effort.

                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

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

                          SDC member since 1968
                          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            My connection to Studebaker racing brings a few things to mind.
                            1) I used to hang out at Jocko's Speed Shop where the Larks were prepared for the Petite LeMans at Lime Rock. Jocko Sr. was a mechanic and one of the drivers. In 1999, I interviewed Jocko Jr., a former NASCAR driver, who remember the Larks and was at Lime Rock when they were run. I provided an article and pictures to L. Fox, TW Editor. They were never used.
                            2) I did mechanical work on a 1956 Golden Hawk that was drag race campaigned along the East Coast. The car did quite well and was written up in magazines at that time. The GH was all black with 3 spd./OD.
                            3) In 1961, I drag raced a 1957 President Classic at Arlington Speedway.
                            4) I contributed some technical and sales input to Ron Hall's Avanti Bonneville effort.

                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

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

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              quote:Originally posted by geojerry

                              Was there any racing Avanti's entered in the TRANS- AM racing circuit during the glory years of 1968-1974 ? Never saw any Avanti's or Hawks or Larks. A full race Trans Am Avanti R2 or GT Hawk would be a great collector vehicle if one ever existed in full racing colors.
                              I recall seeing a mid-eighties Avanti set-up for RR(pictured on a circuit) and I believe it had a complete suspension set-up/re-do by Herb Adams, might have been an Avanti "Factory effort?" Wasn't one of the prior Avanti owners a racer? Tried calling Herb once or twice to ask about it, but never could connect.

                              Here's the page! http://www.theavanti.com/blake_racing.htm

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                quote:Originally posted by geojerry

                                Was there any racing Avanti's entered in the TRANS- AM racing circuit during the glory years of 1968-1974 ? Never saw any Avanti's or Hawks or Larks. A full race Trans Am Avanti R2 or GT Hawk would be a great collector vehicle if one ever existed in full racing colors.
                                I recall seeing a mid-eighties Avanti set-up for RR(pictured on a circuit) and I believe it had a complete suspension set-up/re-do by Herb Adams, might have been an Avanti "Factory effort?" Wasn't one of the prior Avanti owners a racer? Tried calling Herb once or twice to ask about it, but never could connect.

                                Here's the page! http://www.theavanti.com/blake_racing.htm

                                Comment

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