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Studebakers @ PSMCDR: Where it all began

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  • Studebakers @ PSMCDR: Where it all began

    'Ran across In The Beginning as regards Studebakers at The Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race today while looking for something else and thought SDC Forumistas might enjoy it.

    Having read a short note about the event in the March or April 1998 Muscle Car Review magazine, I decided to investigate the Studebaker possibilities. I called the person and number listed (Co-Promoter Bob Boden) from my shop and began talking to him about the event.

    Yipes! I couldn't find a notepad right off, so 'grabbed a piece of an old Ford parts box and jotted down notes from that initial conversation. So here it is: The first "document" concerning Studebaker participation at The Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race!



    Of course, the only conceivable Studebaker Pilot was Ted Harbit, so when arrangements had been made for our inital outing in 1998, "cuz" George Krem and I put his R3 Challenger on my trailer and headed up to Ted's to pick him up for the first of what would be many trips to Stanton, Michigan's Mid-Michigan Motorplex.

    Before we left, it was natural to photograph the most famous Studebaker Drag Race Car of all time, The Chicken Hawk, with what would become Studebaker's most famous Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race competitor...with the proud owners of both machines. Left is Ted with "Coffee." (Uh-oh: We would hope Coffee is not investigating the latrine potential of The Chicken Hawk's RF tire!):



    At this point, George's R3 Challenger did not have it's famous name. That wouldn't happen until the May 1999 Muscle Car Review article on the car and its performance at the 1998 Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race. Writer Dale Amy christened the car The Plain Brown Wrapper in that article...and the rest, as they say, is history. BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 07-07-2012, 01:32 PM.
    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.

  • #2
    Bob , thanks for those pictures , I haven't been going to the drags that long but wasn't too many years later I started and its always alot of fun ( except when it rains all weekend). Always look forward to the event in Sept but I'll have to miss one for sure. I told my youngest boy that when he was ready to get married not to make any plans near an International meet ( unless he didn't want me at the wedding) So he was kind to the old man and asked me when the next couple of Internationals were but I never thought of the Stanton drags....wouldn't you know it hes getting married the 3rd saturday in September....so I guess I'll have to miss one ( at least the saturdays events <g>)
    sigpic

    Home of the Fried Green Tomato

    "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

    1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

    Comment


    • #3
      As you would say Bob, COOL BEANS!

      Allen
      1964 GT Hawk
      PSMCDR 2014
      Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
      PSMCDR 2013
      Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

      Victoria, Canada

      Comment


      • #4
        The George family have enjoyed many years at this event ! All of the efforts made by the Studes showing up has had a positive effect showing the abilities of Studebaker Performance ! I know when I drive my 64 R-2 Commander and open the hood I hear comments like "Thats one of the Fast Ones " Ed

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr Speed 53 View Post
          The George family have enjoyed many years at this event ! All of the efforts made by the Studes showing up has had a positive effect showing the abilities of Studebaker Performance ! I know when I drive my 64 R-2 Commander and open the hood I hear comments like "That's one of the Fast Ones" Ed
          You bet, Ed; 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


          • #6
            I'd forgotten about that photo, Bob...thanks. The Challenger looks lower than normal in this photo because it had 65 aspect-ratio tires. When we got to the drags, they told us we would have to use 70-series for the next year; the 70 series tires were closer to originals in height and thus would photograph better since the event is all about being stock. But they let us run with the 65s that one year. We didn't know about the tires before that first event, but ever since then, the Wrapper has been a little taller.

            GK
            george krem

            Comment


            • #7
              Hope to be there in September (again). Great event. Thanks for this, Bob. Latest Stude misconception I heard: "All Golden Hawks had Corvette motors". A stock Stude don't need no Corvette motor
              Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by warrlaw1 View Post
                Hope to be there in September (again). Great event. Thanks for this, Bob. Latest Stude misconception I heard: "All Golden Hawks had Corvette motors". A stock Stude don't need no Corvette motor
                Maybe not, but most stock Corvettes would do well with a Stude motor. <GGG>

                GK
                george krem

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can't believe you guys took that low mileage, unrestored, one owner Studebaker and drag raced it. <grin>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I missed the first year at Stanton. It was for sure one of the best as the Studes were a total surprise to all. Evidently everyone wanted to race the Stude initially as they figured they couldn't loose. I guess that only lasted for a short while though. Ted tells the story about being at at the entrance gate, when they were trailering in the PBW, pretty well. Evidently the guys taking the money told Ted he must have made some sort of mistake. I'll let him tell that story. Anyway, it is a great time and one that I've yearned for since I was a kid....that is, a younger kid.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nels View Post
                      /Cut/Evidently the guys taking the money told Ted he must have made some sort of mistake. I'll let him tell that story. Anyway, it is a great time and one that I've yearned for since I was a kid....that is, a younger kid.
                      Yeah I can hear that entrance gate guy now: "You can't RACE a Studebaker"!
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nels View Post
                        I missed the first year at Stanton. It was for sure one of the best as the Studes were a total surprise to all. Evidently everyone wanted to race the Stude initially as they figured they couldn't loose. I guess that only lasted for a short while though. Ted tells the story about being at at the entrance gate, when they were trailering in the PBW, pretty well. Evidently the guys taking the money told Ted he must have made some sort of mistake. I'll let him tell that story. Anyway, it is a great time and one that I've yearned for since I was a kid....that is, a younger kid.
                        We got in the tech line to have the R 3 teched and the guys checking said, "You going to race this?" We said, "Yes, that's what we came for." Next they asked if we knew how fast the cars were here and we said we did not as this was the first we had heard about the race.

                        Next, they said they would check us in if that's what we wanted. We then proceeded to win the first three races we ran. I don't recall for sure but think one was a full size 427 Chevy, a 390 Ford, and some Mopar. On the third run back to the pits they came up and wanted to look at the car again.

                        Before the day was over I understand there was quite a buzz going on in the stands. I remember George telling about a couple guys setting behind him and made a comment about a Vett pulling out to run. I'll let George tell the rest. There are a bunch of stories that could be told by several different people.

                        We have had a ball venting 40+ years of frustration.

                        Ted

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Right, Ted. On that first day at the 1998 Pure Stock Drags, the Wrapper won its first ten races in a row. Listing them in order, the opponents were a 1968 427 4-speed Chevy Impala, a '66 GTO 4-speed, and a 390 Ford Fairlane GTA. But the fourth race really got people interested because the Wrapper beat a Dodge 440 6-Pack, 13.56 to 13.82....and Ted got off the gas before the finish line. The next few in order were a 351 Mustang, a 396 Chevelle, a '70 Olds 442 W-31, a '70 Cuda 440 6-Pack, a 340 Cuda, and a '66 Olds 442 with 3 X 2 carburetion. That last one was our closest race that day. Ted got off the gas early on just about all of them.

                          What we didn't know is that the blower belts were slipping more with each run, and we didn't have an extra set with us. Lesson learned.

                          The Wrapper did all that with a 4.09 rear end (4.55 works better...I should have taken Ted's advice right away!) and quiet, non-high-performance (restrictive) mufflers.

                          We couldn't have had a better day, thanks to Ted. One of the better comments I heard in the grandstands happened after Ted and the Wrapper beat the first Mopar 440 6-Pack. A guy near us jumped up and yelled "He can't do that!"

                          George
                          george krem

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            About that 'Vette comment.....it happened several years later. I was sitting in the grandstands when Ted came to the line in the Stude Tomato. The car in the other lane was a 427 Corvette with the 385 (?) HP 427. Apparently, the owner of the Vette had two friends in the stands who were sitting directly behind me. When they saw who the Vette was about to race, one said to the other "Oh no, John has to run that Studebaker". His fears were realized a few seconds later when Ted and the Tomato beat the Vette. As I recall, the Vette turned about 14 flat and the Tomato was a couple of car lengths quicker.

                            GK
                            george krem

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by R3 challenger View Post
                              About that 'Vette comment.....it happened several years later. I was sitting in the grandstands when Ted came to the line in The Stude Tomato. The car in the other lane was a 427 Corvette with the 385 (?) HP 427.

                              Apparently, the owner of the 'Vette had two friends in the stands who were sitting directly behind me. When they saw who the Vette was about to race, one said to the other "Oh, no; John has to run that Studebaker."

                              His fears were realized a few seconds later when Ted and the Tomato beat the 'Vette. As I recall, the Vette turned about 14 flat and the Tomato was a couple of car lengths quicker. GK
                              George: The race to which you refer was Practice (Qualifying) Race #6 at the 2001 Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race.

                              Ted's competitor was a 1966 427 Corvette / 425 HP / 4-speed.

                              The Corvette turned 14.127 on that run, losing to Ted and The Tomato's 13.686. 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

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