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My 1982 Moment of Fame (Wagonaire Mystery)

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  • My 1982 Moment of Fame (Wagonaire Mystery)

    All of this talk of younger members and such made me think of my 20 seconds of fame in the club 32 years ago, October, 1982. It took me several hours to dig this out of my stack of TW's. The closest thing we had to the Internet back then was my Dad's old stack of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. I spent the summer before going to college reading every issue he had from the mid 1950's on. When I stumbled upon this, I was intrigued, and sent it to Fred Fox. He was kind enough to publish me, and replied to me with a very kind letter. Later discussions and people alive then who were on the Wagonaire project said there was no connection. Could it have been just coincidence?


  • #2
    Too bad Mr.Couture didn't patented his idea. Could've received royalties for every sliding roof Studebaker, BMW, and GMC built!
    Still wouldn't been a fortune unlike what the fellow received who developed the wiper delay!
    sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

    "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
    Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
    "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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    • #3
      Over the years I've come to reason it away either by coincidence, or a shrewd untraceable no cost PR move for a coming model in a magazine that at the time was 75% or better automotive related, and sold heavily to the target buyer. If it is the latter, no one would ever fess up. It was a era when many people dreamt of what they wanted in a car, back when we thought anything was possible.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 57pack View Post
        Still wouldn't been a fortune unlike what the fellow received who developed the wiper delay!

        Ford and Chrysler fought his claim for well over twenty years before a court decided in his favor. He died not long after. It doesn't seem he ever got to enjoy the royalties he should have been receiving all along.
        Last edited by Gunslinger; 05-12-2014, 05:40 AM.
        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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        • #5
          Brooks Stevens designed the Scimitar with a sliding roof before that. He might have had a patent on it too. I read that Chevy wanted the Nomad to have a sliding roof so that's why the roof is ribbed.
          http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2011...-scimitar.html

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          • #6
            A lot of times these things are on the drawing board at least three years before production.
            sigpic
            Claude Chmielewski
            Studeski
            http://www.studeski.com
            Fillmore, Wisconsin
            47 M-16 Truck
            53 2R5
            60 Lark VIII Convertible
            60 5E7 Champ pickup
            62 GT Hawk 4 speed
            63 Lark
            63 GT Hawk R2 4 speed
            64 Commander Wagonaire
            64 Daytona Convertible
            50 Champion Regal (parts car)
            36 Dictator
            36 Dictator in pieces

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bordeaux Daytona View Post
              Brooks Stevens designed the Scimitar with a sliding roof before that. He might have had a patent on it too. I read that Chevy wanted the Nomad to have a sliding roof so that's why the roof is ribbed.
              http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2011...-scimitar.html
              Not to go off topic but, Wow, the Scimitar lineup would have been a great looking Packard lineup for 1959!
              sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

              "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
              Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
              "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

              Comment


              • #8
                Given the speed the Avanti was developed during the exact time period, and Sherwood Egbert's passion and push behind "pet" projects, it is conceivable that adding a sliding roof panel to an otherwise stock, existing and mostly unchanged design might have been pulled off in less than a year. Even with Studebaker's financial limitations in 1962-63. But I agree that the idea had most likely been thought of before. The timing, just a few months before Wagonaire was introduced, just seems too coincidental. We will never know if it was a trial balloon floated through New Hampshire via South Bend, or just simply a reader with a good idea that got exactly what he wanted the following Fall.
                Last edited by 556063; 05-12-2014, 04:36 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 57pack View Post
                  Not to go off topic but, Wow, the Scimitar lineup would have been a great looking Packard lineup for 1959!
                  Tell that to the Edsel!
                  The front of the Scimitar combines that car with a modernized Brewster.
                  It is interesting that the Scimitar side treatment was carried over to the Excalibur Hawk race car concept.
                  Andy
                  62 GT

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 556063 View Post
                    ...it is conceivable that adding a sliding roof panel to an otherwise stock, existing and mostly unchanged design might have been pulled off in less than a year.
                    There was a lot more change from '62 to '63 than meets the eye; especially the 'P' body wagon. Virtually every panel was new on it from the firewall-back on the wagon vs. the sedans, which retained the rear quarters, trunklid and back panel. Gone was the two-piece tailgate which was considered old and outdated by then with a much more modern single tailgate with the disappearing glass. A sliding roof would not be possible with the 1962-style lift-up glass.

                    Craig

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Andy R. View Post
                      Tell that to the Edsel!
                      The front of the Scimitar combines that car with a modernized Brewster.
                      It is interesting that the Scimitar side treatment was carried over to the Excalibur Hawk race car concept.
                      Thanks, I should've added, (with some traditional Packard styling cues) my mistake.
                      sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

                      "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
                      Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
                      "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                        There was a lot more change from '62 to '63 than meets the eye; especially the 'P' body wagon. Virtually every panel was new on it from the firewall-back on the wagon vs. the sedans, which retained the rear quarters, trunklid and back panel. Gone was the two-piece tailgate which was considered old and outdated by then with a much more modern single tailgate with the disappearing glass. A sliding roof would not be possible with the 1962-style lift-up glass.

                        Craig
                        Excellent point Craig! I don't want to drag this on further, because I don't think this was the source of the idea, but the fact major changes were already in the works would have made it even more confusing to know if the Wagonaire was always part of the plan, or something added during the tool-up. Makes it even more interesting that Mr. Coutour mentioned the "crank down window" and tooling "cost" factors in his submission!

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                        • #13
                          This was the concept for the Wagonaire. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...hlight=skyview

                          According to E.T. Reynolds, it was completed in the summer of 1962.

                          Craig

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