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John Erb and Lionel Stone

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  • #31
    Agree with most of the above and we all owe Lionel Stone and John Erb a huge debt of gratitude. They were doing the work when no one else would. LS's parts weren't always perfect, but they were for sale when no one else had anything. Several here are complaining that his junk still isn't on the shelf for order whenever they chose to part with a few nickels.

    Just my opinion and nothing else. Soon, no one will be interested in Studebaker Performance and take the easy way and put something else to make the car move down the road.
    Having been building performance Studes for more than fifty years, I know from observation there are more quality performance Stude powered cars than ever before. There are several times more R3s/R4s running today than ever built in '64. The quality of the modified cars keeps getting better and the elapsed times and speeds keep getting better every year.

    Finally, there are members with enough spare change that we're losing the CASO mentality. I'm betting on more and better performance Studes.

    jack vines


    • #32
      More and better: I agree!!
      1950 Commander Land Cruiser
      1951 Champion Business Coupe
      1951 Commander Starlight
      1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
      1953 Champion Starlight
      1953 Commander Starliner
      1953 2R5
      1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
      1957 Silver Hawk
      1957 3E5 Pick-Up
      1959 Silver Hawk
      1961 Hawk
      1962 Cruiser 4 speed
      1963 Daytona Convertible
      1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
      1965 Cruiser
      1970 Avanti


      • #33
        Three things:

        1. John came through the surgery fine.
        2. John is about 75 not 85.
        3. I don't believe that the tooling will be lost. I will most likely make sure of that.
        David L


        • #34
          Thanks for your input Jack I appreciate the thought and hope we can see more and more performance from the V8's we love. David L thanks for the information on John and the correction and your commitment. I do wish John well and Lionel too, and thanks to both of them.

          Bob Miles
          Tucson AZ
          Home of "Lazarus"


          • #35
            David L., something that I have wondered about that you most likely can answer authoritatively.....

            My understanding was that Lionel was using the original R3 head molds to produce aluminum castings, but the molds were not designed for the shrinkage rate of aluminum. Question: would it not be reasonable to use the molds to make cast iron heads as they were originally designed for? Besides the weight reduction and the "gee-whiz look at me I have aluminum heads" factor, what are the other benefits of casting these particular heads in aluminum versus cast iron?
            Winston-Salem, NC
            Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


            • #36
              It is my understanding that R3 heads were cast by the Studebaker foundry? That in fact they were not designed to be any sort of racing head what-so-ever. That in fact they were for the upcoming 320 & 340 cu. in. Studebaker V8 planned for 65? That they were destroyed when the foundry closed?
              Any evidence to the contrary has never been told as far as I know.

              It is also my understanding that stock heads can be ported to flow better than R3 pieces ever did. It is also true that R3 exhaust ports were exactly the same as regular heads. That only the valve sizes were larger.
              Bez Auto Alchemy

              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


              • #37
                They were the best that Studebaker produced and sold. Given that time period, and what manner of 'racing heads' the Big Three's racers were using, production parts, Studebaker raced with and advertised the R3 heads as being their top dog 'Total Performance' offering, thus it properly was and is Studebaker's 'racing' head.
                The R3 heads have much larger intake ports and the valves are spaced further apart. Comparing the flow rates of highly modified R2 heads against unmodified R3 castings is bit unfair, as the R3s do possess more potential, usually untapped because of their rarity and high value stock discourages engaging in much experimentation.
                There was no reason for Studebaker, or any race modifier to enlarge the exhaust ports as their flow was/is more than sufficient. Provision of a center port divider however would likely have made tuned headers of more benefit.
                I am one of those that would love to see original design iron R3 heads reproduced, being acceptable for Pure Stock racing use.


                • #38
                  The patterns LS used were for cast iron heads and of course due to aluminum shrinkage nothing was really right. Properly ported R3 heads will flow more than ported R2 heads. Now Andy may have said ported R2 heads will flow more than R3 heads when he was trying to sell some R2 heads to someone. It is true that properly ported stock heads with larger valves will flow more than an unported R3 heads, however the R3 head drawings call for porting the heads. There were quite a few heads sold by Paxton without any porting.

                  I agree that it might not be a bad idea to build some cast iron reproduction R3 heads.

                  I have always believed the R3 heads were designed for the new engine. I have a cast iron R3 intake manifold that kind of reinforces that idea.
                  David L


                  • #39
                    Getting back to the production or reproduction of some type of performance Stude head, I liked Bill Hahn's offer to publicize the quest involved and get some tally of who is interested in accomplishing this feat. There are probably some folks out there that don't know what is or isn't being done. There have been many queries on the various forums about this subject, but going outside the forums to get input is a great idea. I'd be willing to help Bill out, and get as much input as possible. We need to go beyond kicking it around in these forum circles. Anyone else want to help Bill out? Lets get the ball rolling, thanks, Bill.