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1963 R2 Lark "The Whistler"

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  • Lou Van Anne
    replied
    Ray Tanner Motors: I spent a lot of time in their showroom...drewling!

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  • BobPalma
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    Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
    There was a write-up in Jet Thrust News #17: http://www.studebaker-info.org/JTN/JTNEWS/jtn17.htm Craig
    Thanks for looking that up, Craig. Here are the particulars from that issue of Jet Thrust News over ten years ago:

    “The Whistler,” 63V15969. This was the handle of the Ray Tanner (Phoenix, AZ) AHRA drag car. Andy Petrass has researched the car’s VIN with the aid of a great photograph but wasn’t able to pin down the VIN. JTN published this photo courtesy of Bob Palma in JTN #5 and #6. The car was a 1963 2 door Regal R2 4 speed. Via Jerry Kaiser, Bill Eastburn relates that the car was Blue Mist. With the aid of George Krem, JTN has determined its VIN to be 63V15969. The car was ordered without heater or radio. The fate of The Whistler and its engine remains unknown.

    I can't remember right now how we concluded that was the probable serial number, but we did. So if anyone locates 63V15969, it is undoubtedly a Very Special Car in The Studebaker World. Since it was delivered in a dry climate, let's hope it is lurking in a small, remote junk yard somewhere in the high southwest hills. BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 03-25-2013, 05:27 PM.

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  • asesolen
    replied
    Bob, Thanks for all the information! Any idea how they named the car? Trying to determine if there was any relation to Elmo Tanner the musician or coincidence. Thanks Again.

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  • 8E45E
    replied
    Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
    To answer the next question, The Whistler is yet to be located! There are no known color photos extant, but "we" have analyzed it to death and are fairly certain it is Blue Mist. Andy Petrass has done extensive research and, by elimination, I think we have it whittled down to being one of two possible serial numbers.
    There was a write-up in Jet Thrust News #17: http://www.studebaker-info.org/JTN/JTNEWS/jtn17.htm

    Craig

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  • BobPalma
    started a topic 1963 R2 Lark "The Whistler"

    1963 R2 Lark "The Whistler"

    Newbie (well, it was his first post!) Mike Lynch from Phoenix posted a request for more information about a certain 1963 R2/4-speed Lark that drag raced in Phoenix back in the day: The Whistler.

    Rather than tag along at the end of an older Ted Harbit topic, I thought I'd post what I have about the car in a new thread.

    Here goes.
    It all began with a period clipping I cut out of the June 1963 edition of Speed Mechanics, Pages 29 and 30:



    Depending on your screen and monitor, the caption beside the above picture might be difficult to read. Here's what it says:

    "Surprise winner in A/Compact Stock class was a Lark equipped with the factory-blown Avanti engine. It proved to be a real stormer, zipping through the clocks at a speed of 96.49 in 14.59."

    Ray Tanner Motors in Phoenix promoted high-performance Studebakers as much as anybody; he sold a lot of them. Apparently, "the boys" decided to campaign one of their own!

    I wrote them the following letter, which is self-explanatory. I was two months shy of 18 years old when I wrote it:



    I got the following nice letter and photo in reply. Again, self-explanatory. (Yipes; sorry for the poor cropping):



    Page 2:



    Floyd Mendenhall enclosed a nice, glossy B&W photo of the car with his letter, as then being raced, that I have thankfully kept in good shape almost 50 years now:



    Yes, I have examined that Hawk on the extreme right side of the photo, behind the fence, and I'm fairly certain it is a 1956 Golden Hawk among the spectators!

    To answer the next question, The Whistler is yet to be located! There are no known color photos extant, but "we" have analyzed it to death and are fairly certain it is Blue Mist. Andy Petrass has done extensive research and, by elimination, I think we have it whittled down to being one of two possible serial numbers.

    They are somewhere else right now and I need to leave for a meeting, so I'll post them later when I locate them.

    Enjoy, all...and thanks for asking, Mike! BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 11-27-2019, 05:13 PM.
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