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  • Not a Speedster

    Here you go fellas ! On a recent thread a gentleman suggested I post a picture of one of my cars for critical evaluation. The car needs body work, is currently in primer, runs a cloverleaf engine Speedster dash and body tag 6HK7 302. It is in reality a Commander and will never be referred to as a Speedster without a qualifier such as tribute, clone or "home made". To help get in to the spirit of the thing let me add that it has a gutted interior, a damaged hood, a leaky transmission and is generally a rattle trap since it lacks all weather stripping. Have at it!Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    My critical evaluation is: I love it. It looks great. Doesn't appear to need a ton of money to make it a very nice driver. Who cares if its not a real Speedster? I like it a lot.
    sals54

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    • #3
      I like it!

      IMHO, there is a VERY small group of purists that would discount the price of a tribute, clone, or nicely modified Studebaker...even a special one like a Speedster. There is a market for the original cars, but (again MHO) it is a much smaller market than the market for an attractive modified Stude...clone, hot rod, or custom.

      Studebakers are not mid year Corvettes where a wrong date code on an alternator will bring down the value. Studes are like 57 Chevys where a well done hot rod or FI clone will actually bring more than a stocker.

      Here is my buddy Scott Hall's Speedster. He sold it a few years ago for a lot more money than I have ever seen a stock Speedster sell for. He made a nice profit in the process (disclaimer...Scott is a very talented mechanic and body man and did most of the work himself)





      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

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      • #4
        I'm only resisting the urge to modify my 55 Commander as long as it keeps being welcomed at the Pure Stock Drags. I built it to drive, but racing it (even without any other 17 second cars to race) has been a real joy. Whodathunk? Once I get royally beaten by another 55, I can retire it and add all those lovely parts that would slow me down in the quarter mile (4 speed, Speedster caps, 12 volt system, stereo....). LOL
        Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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        • #5
          Idk, speedster or not, its in waaaaaay better condition than my 59' Hawk. If you think yours needs work, Ill have to post a picture of the twisted, rusted wreck I have in my garage.

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          • #6
            It seems, for 53-54 C/K Studes, it has been popular to modify them with stronger drive trains, way back since 53-54, when Bill Frick began installing Caddy motors in them. By 1955, the 259 had came along, so stock Stude power was becoming more and more acceptable. By 1956, the 289 and 352 made it all but senseless to install any other motor.

            Today, one can go with a stock 224/232 in a 53-54, and try to keep with traffic for short bursts, usually not much farther than a local cruise-in, or go with a modern drive train and run with the big dogs. As modified now days, they are usually stunningly beautiful, and more than capable of keeping up at modern road speeds.

            IMHO, the 55 C/Ks are kinda middle ground. They will pretty much keep up at modern road speeds, but also respond well to modifications like the 53-54s. I'd love to have the OP's car, and may never get around to sending off for the PO, to see if its a "real Speedster". If it runs half as good as it looks, it would be fine with me.

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            • #7
              Plum55 - looks great!

              while it would be nice to keep it all Studebaker, it's your car - do with it whatever you want. the main thing is to have fun with her!
              Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

              '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

              '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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              • #8
                The first time I saw a picture of Scotts car it took my breath away. I had no idea that butter knife trim would look so good and the way it cuts the two tone color. A work of art.

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                • #9
                  Scotts '55 made its debut at the Spokane International meet a few years ago and I was blown away with it too. His vision for the car was to incorporate all the best pieces that Studebaker ever did into one car along with a lot more trick stuff. He succeeded.

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                  • #10
                    I'm having at it, I like what My eyes see.
                    Joseph R. Zeiger

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by plum55 View Post
                      Here you go fellas ! On a recent thread a gentleman suggested I post a picture of one of my cars for critical evaluation. The car needs body work, is currently in primer, runs a cloverleaf engine Speedster dash and body tag 6HK7 302. It is in reality a Commander and will never be referred to as a Speedster without a qualifier such as tribute, clone or "home made". To help get in to the spirit of the thing let me add that it has a gutted interior, a damaged hood, a leaky transmission and is generally a rattle trap since it lacks all weather stripping. Have at it![ATTACH=CONFIG]41898[/ATTACH]
                      I think Studebaker should have offered this color combo!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
                        .....Today, one can go with a stock 224/232 in a 53-54, and try to keep with traffic for short bursts, usually not much farther than a local cruise-in, or go with a modern drive train and run with the big dogs. As modified now days, they are usually stunningly beautiful, and more than capable of keeping up at modern road speeds....
                        I think the 232 gets a bad rap. I used to drive my '53 Commander Starliner 40 miles a day, about 30 which was on the freeway in the San Francisco East Bay. It kept up with the traffic which was always fast. Coming back east I drove from Kansas to Northern Virgina on mostly interstates and I wasn't holding up traffic. A few years ago I drove it from the other side of Richmond, VA to the DC suburbs on I-95 in the summer and again, I wasn't holding up traffic. It just seemed like its "sweet spot" was about 70 mph and it was an automatic with a 3.54 rear end (and 115,000 original miles on the car, only a valve job at 105,000).
                        Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                        '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                        • #13
                          Well I suppose my "critical evaluation" would be that, Speedster or not it's a great car and anyone should be proud to own it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp View Post
                            I like it!

                            IMHO, there is a VERY small group of purists that would discount the price of a tribute, clone, or nicely modified Studebaker...even a special one like a Speedster. There is a market for the original cars, but (again MHO) it is a much smaller market than the market for an attractive modified Stude...clone, hot rod, or custom.

                            Studebakers are not mid year Corvettes where a wrong date code on an alternator will bring down the value. Studes are like 57 Chevys where a well done hot rod or FI clone will actually bring more than a stocker.

                            Here is my buddy Scott Hall's Speedster. He sold it a few years ago for a lot more money than I have ever seen a stock Speedster sell for. He made a nice profit in the process (disclaimer...Scott is a very talented mechanic and body man and did most of the work himself)







                            Scott Hall's custom Speedster is one of my all time favorites. However, I wonder how that car would look if Scott stuck with the 'tri-level' President Speedster paint scheme? (plum roof, white down the middle, plum below the side trim) Maybe pretty good?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Speedsters are rare and so are Sky Hawks. Does that mean that they are sacred and not meant to be improved on? Speaking strictly about my Sky Hawk, I took an $800 dollar parts car and turned it into something that has been admired for the last 26 years (I finished it in 1989). I did not worry about originality because so much was missing. I liked the look of the 56 GH so I added GH fins and molded them into the rear fenders. I liked velour so the entire interior is tan velour from headliner to seats to sun visors. My father was a Studebaker dealer, and I want to assure you all that when your father is a Studebaker dealer you do not drive a Ford or Chebby to High School. My point is this - make it the way you like it! My first car was a 54 Starliner. It was a 3 speed OD, but when the 61s were introduced I just had to have a four speed. I spent hours going through the parts books ordering every nut and bolt to make my car a 4-speed. Loved it! A 54 Starliner, 259 four barrel, nosed, decked, raked, Speedster wire covers, and painted Honduras Maroon (the popular GM metallic at the time). Someone traded in a 57 GH. Are you kidding me, I had to have it. Put the 3-speed back in the 54, sold it, and put the 4-speed in the GH. How many 4-speed 57 GHs have you seen. Kicked the crap out of 57 Chebby Power Packs. It was all gold, including the fin insert. In 62 I heard that superchargers were going to be available. You have got to be kidding me! Sold the GH and ordered a Daytona convertible, blue mist, blue buckets, white top, 3:73 TT, and , you guessed it, R-2 four speed. My cousin worked the parts counter and gave me a set of Air Flow wheel covers. After a while I put a set of American Mags on, now commonly known as Torque Thrust D. Kicked a lot of but with that one, had the time of my life. Sold it to go on active duty with the Navy. Again, make it the way it pleases you, because its yours!Click image for larger version

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ID:	1695861 See it in St. Louis with my new Nimesh Solanki R-1 plus.

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