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South Georgia Chapter Project Car.

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  • South Georgia Chapter Project Car.

    Several years ago, a 55 Commander 4dr (early body) was donated to our chapter.It was running,drivable,and Stoping. 224 V8 with 3od. At that time we were just finishing a big project and no one was interested in doing anything with the poor old car,so it was driven to the back lot behind my shop and more or less forgotten about.
    Lately,new interest in it has arisen. We dragged it to the front and washed it. That helped a LOT!
    Since it has been in my care, some parts have been robbed from it. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty. I was going to try and start the car to see what we had to work with mechanicly,but one of the missing parts was the Carburator. It's difficult get one running without a carb.
    I rounded up a carb that would fit. Not correct but it looked like it would do for the present. Yesterday James and I hooked up the IV bottle of gas, filed the points,and started spinning it over to no avail. Found the float stuck and not letting any gas in.
    James discovered this problem and in his best Carl Childers (Slingblade) voice said "Ain't got no gaas in it" He does a Pretty good Carl Childers.
    Then it would start but not keep running. Popped the dist. cap.James watched as I spun it over. Some times it would spark,some times it wouldn't! Determined that was caused by a bad ignition switch.
    We ran a hot wire to the coil and the old girl came to life! No smoke,no knocks, no rattles! Just sat there purring like a kitten. Seems to me that a 224 runs smoother than other V8s, or is it just me?
    The car need completely restoring as far as the body goes. Some new floorpans,rocker panels,and at least 1 quarter panel, but we have a 54 parts car with good sheet metal.

    We still haven't decided what we are going to do with the car yet, But I feel better knowing it still runs as well as it does. It was left in my care, and I feel bad that I didn't take better care of it. NT
    Last edited by rockinhawk; 03-24-2013, 08:51 AM.
    Neil Thornton

  • #2
    Never ceases to amaze me how these engines just seem to purr even though they've sat for years. Well done Neil and James.
    John Clements
    Christchurch, New Zealand


    • #3
      Thanks John, James has been my sidekick for over 40 years. We have resusitated so many dormant engines that I have lost count. The first one was a 63 Daytona that we pulled out of a pond when he was 13. The engine was stuck. We freed it up, Fired it up,and his sister drove it to High school with him riding shotgun. We still have that car and it still runs.

      The 2nd one was his 51 Champion. Same story. Stuck engine, Freed it up and made it run. That one didn't last long though untill a piston disintegrated. We did an inframe overhaul and he has been driving it for 25 years.

      Those old Studebaker engines are TOUGH!
      Neil Thornton