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Today's project vehicle: 1926 Studebaker hearse

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  • Today's project vehicle: 1926 Studebaker hearse

    This one will need more than a little buffing. Advertised on the local Craigslist, I went to see this 1926-27 (?) Big 6 hearse in Little Compton, RI, about 25 minutes from my house. It must have been impressive in its day, but that was a long time ago. The frame was incredibly long and there was a door in the rear hinged on one side. I couldn't find a serial number or body number tag, couldn't see an engine serial number, either.

    The floors and roof are gone, though I was told that it had been under a tarp until this past week. The engine electrics are toast, the dash and instruments weren't too bad. If the engine isn't stuck, it might be made to run again. Maybe it should just be an interesting street rod or yard art, because a serious restoration would be very expensive. The grill shell seems original but with the bars replaced at some point. This one is not for the faint of heart or weak in the checkbook. And I have enough projects already.

    Here's a link to the Craigslist ad: http://southcoast.craigslist.org/atq/2809932205.html

    I can provide a phone number for direct contact. Email me if interested.

    Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.

    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

  • #2
    Would it be wrong to say that hearse needs a decent burial?
    (Yeah...It would be wrong...)
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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    • #3
      I'm visualizing it made into a truck and used as a tow vehicle for a '32 Indy car.

      Comment


      • #4
        Paging Dick Quinn on this thread!

        Dick, do you still have those pictures I sent you of the 1931(?) Studebaker hearse you put me onto here, north of Brownsburg? AFAIK, it's still there, tucked safely inside, and I've talked to Owner John within the year. I keep an eye on the barn when I pass by, which is usually every two weeks or so.

        Everything seems OK.

        I cannot locate those photos now, taken before I was digital savvy. If you can locate them, I don't think John would mind your posting them here, especially when his hearse is so similar to this one, in far better shape, and would likely be of interest to anyone reading this thread.

        (We'll not disclose his name or contact information unless he requests that such be done, of course.)

        Thanks. 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


        • #5
          There was a time that people were dying to get into that thing!

          Comment


          • #6
            Gary,
            RI was my stomping ground for 60 yrs before I needed better weather. Is this hearse anywhere near Ray Helger's? (also Little Compton). If you haven't been to Ray's you need to go, he has a mess of restored cars, tons of memorabilia, and several buildings full of parts. The memorabilia and parts are all for sale, not sure about the cars, but it is a neat place to go thru.
            His family owns Helger's Garage, i think is the name if you need to track him down. A cool guy.
            1947 M5 under restoration
            a bunch of non-Stude stuff

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't know Helger's Garage, but I'll make a point of looking him up. The location of the 1926 hearse is near the intersection of Swamp Road and W. Main Road in Little Compton.
              Gary Ash
              Dartmouth, Mass.

              '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
              ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
              '48 M5
              '65 Wagonaire Commander
              '63 Wagonaire Standard
              web site at http://www.studegarage.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I would really like to see another one, Its a shame that one hasn't been taken care of a little better.
                What a cool vehicle, (restored and in good running condition) I'd take my last ride in it even in this day and age!

                Dean.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a friend with a1928 (?) Studebaker Hearse. It was in real nice shape until he took the motor out and gave it to another friend of mine.
                  He planned to put a late model Chev 6 cyl. in it????
                  Bad choice in my opinion.
                  Good roads
                  Brian
                  Brian Woods
                  woodysrods@shaw.ca
                  1946 M Series (Shop Truck)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The trouble with a hearse is most people don't want one. Although they are unique, I don't want one for cruising the streets. However, I could see taking that one and building a pickup truck or maybe a panel truck from the remains.
                    Last edited by 52-fan; 02-08-2012, 07:54 AM.
                    "In the heart of Arkansas."
                    Searcy, Arkansas
                    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                    1952 2R pickup

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                    • #11
                      Well, for better or worse, we purchased this hearse on Saturday. Heading out sometime this week to pick it up. Pre-War coaches are so hard to come by, we couldn't pass up this opportunity. According to the previous owner, who's had it for 25 years, he used to drive it around and when it was parked, he put oil in the cylinders, etc. Whenever he moved it around the property, he claims he left it in gear to crank the engine and make sure it was free. Not really familiar with the Bix Six yet, what are the chances this old girl could be made to move under her own power again?
                      Last edited by GhostandTourCo; 02-06-2012, 09:52 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Good luck, keep us posted!

                        Off Topic:
                        Gary, here is a link to Ray Helger
                        http://tiverton.patch.com/listings/r...ntique-autos#c
                        the web site only shows one of many buildings.
                        The parts blgs are chock-full
                        1947 M5 under restoration
                        a bunch of non-Stude stuff

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GhostandTourCo View Post
                          Well, for better or worse, we purchased this hearse on Saturday. Heading out sometime this week to pick it up. Pre-War coaches are so hard to come by, we couldn't pass up this opportunity. According to the previous owner, who's had it for 25 years, he used to drive it around and when it was parked, he put oil in the cylinders, etc. Whenever he moved it around the property, he claims he left it in gear to crank the engine and make sure it was free. Not really familiar with the Bix Six yet, what are the chances this old girl could be made to move under her own power again?
                          Good morning and welcome to the forum! While having my morning coffee, I checked in and saw your post to this thread. Thanks for signing up and joining us. I love it when new folks find our forum and join in. My oldest Stude is a 1948, but if you have not been a Studebaker fan until now...you will be amazed at the resources available to you. The older and more rare the vehicle, the more you will have to search, innovate, and dig to bring the car back to life. Good luck getting the hearse home and be sure to look the property over very closely to pick up any parts or pieces that may have been separated from the vehicle over the years.

                          You should join the main Studebaker Drivers Club, Antique Studebaker Club, and your local state regional chapter. I don't know what part of New York you are in but there is some knowledgable members in your state and perhaps your area. Let us know a little more about you and your experience. It will help others to not talk condescendingly to you and be better prepared to offer meaningful suggestions. Our monthly magazine, Turning Wheels, is well worth the membership dues alone.

                          Being that this vehicle is a hearse, I suspect that most were close to "One-Off" factory custom or perhaps off-site modified bodies. The mechanics should be the same as production cars and parts should be available. Another good move would be to attend the big swap meet coming up next month in York, Pa. That would be a good opportunity to meet some of our more active members and give you first hand knowledge of the resources available. Good luck, keep us informed and POST SOME PICTURES!
                          John Clary
                          Greer, SC

                          SDC member since 1975

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "do you still have those pictures I sent you of the 1931(?) Studebaker hearse you put me onto"...?

                            Oh, BP, I hope not.
                            But please make sure I get an invitation, OK? That's going to be quite a party. Lutheran potluck!
                            Just kidding. You'll dance on my grave, as my grandmother used to say.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              John, thanks fo the reply. The car is headed to New York state where we operate a tour company in the Adirondacks Region. One of the highlights of our business is that we do historic ghost tours and we eventually want to use the hearse as a tour vehicle to bring our guests to the cemeteries around town. While I'm new to Studebakers, my father restored a 1930 Dictator some years ago so I'm sure his assistance is going to come in very handy. Right now we're trying to come up with a trailer big enough to pick up the car...

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