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John Erb and Lionel Stone

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  • John Erb and Lionel Stone

    John ground a specific cam for me two years ago. In conversation he mentioned that he still visited Lionel Stone. I asked about the remainder of Lionel's speed parts, i.e.: aluminum heads, R-3 exhausts, aluminum 4 bbl manifold, etc... John didn't answer in the positive when I asked him about these parts, but he didn't say they are gone, either. John was having some major medical issues at the time. I talked to him a few times, but had to talk to his wife just as often. I read that John's health problems haven't improved. Both Lionel and John have been around the Studebaker scene for years. I liked Lionel and got along pretty well with him. If he gave me a price on his parts, I just paid it. He didn't seem like the dickering type. John knew more about how the Studebaker V-8 worked than anyone I've meant.

    Are Lionel's parts still existant? The molds for the heads and intakes? Does anyone know? I guess I'm saying that it would be a shame to loose some of the ability to make parts. I think all of Stu-V's molds were lost, which was a crying shame. Respectfully, is there anyone who can find out if the oarts still even exist?

    Just food for thought.

    Thanks all,

  • #2
    I've heard from a reliable source (someone that knows John well) that John has most all of Lionels parts that didn't get bought during the original sale after Lionels accident.
    I can't say more at this time. Maybe this is why John was hush, hush (but he didn't say they are gone, either.) about it when you asked.

    Mike

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    • #3
      I certainly hope that Mr. Erb's health works out ok.
      I talked to him about a year and a half ago. He was, and has been for a long time, working on a design for aluminum heads.
      Whenever the subject of aluminum parts for the Stude engine comes up here on the Forum , we are told
      that it can't be done , because there is no real market for them , rendering it a financial "Black Hole ".
      Many variations on the theme have been discussed here. These range from a run of new cast iron R3 heads , to
      various aluminum designs .
      I believe that Mr Dave Livesay ( 64Avanti ?? on the forum ) has the info regarding where the mold patterns are . [I may be wrong about that.]
      This has also been discussed over on Sonny's website.
      Just log in there , and put in the search box " aluminum head " , and most of it comes up .

      http://racingstudebakers.com/foo/index.php
      Bill H
      Daytona Beach
      SDC member since 1970
      Owner of The Skeeter Hawk .

      Comment


      • #4
        I remember reading about an engine builder taking Porsche 928 heads, and putting them on a Chevy small block. I'd be willing to bet money, an aftermarket current production aluminum head from some company could be adapted to a Studebaker block. Just plug the deck bolt holes, mill flat, and redrill for the new head.
        Anything is possible with enough free time . (or paid time)
        Bez Auto Alchemy
        573-318-8948
        http://bezautoalchemy.com


        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
          Anything is possible with enough free time . (or paid time)
          Yes, with enough money, anything can fit anything. There is a Stude member who is at present putting small block Mopar aluminum aftermarket heads on a Stude short block I built for him. The shop which agreed to do the conversion for him is maybe regretting taking on the project. It's a huge amount of machining, welding and finish work. Details to come.

          jack vines
          PackardV8

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          • #6
            Are they early dodge hemi heads?
            Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
              Are they early dodge hemi heads?
              At only 4.1875" bore center the Dodge hemi is way too short. He's using Mopar LA aftermarket heads; at 4.460"has almost the same bore center as the Stude.

              Jack Vines
              Last edited by PackardV8; 11-26-2015, 06:40 AM.
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                I believe the tooling for the JC Aghajanian engine heads still exist if someone really wants to go crazy with time and money. 16V and dual overhead cams.

                http://www.museumofamericanspeed.com...V-8,15342.html
                Dan White
                64 R1 GT
                64 R2 GT
                58 C Cab
                57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

                Comment


                • #9
                  A couple of things. John Erb is OK. He does have the tooling.

                  A couple of times I have posted questions about how much people would be willing to pay for aluminum heads for the Studebaker. Only a few people responded that they would be willing to pay xxxx amount. (The number depended on the quantity of course.) This indicated to me that there was no market. If there had been even enough interest for 20 sets of heads then it would have happened by now even though though money would have been lost on the project.
                  David L

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                  • #10
                    This stuff cracks me up.
                    There was a modest run of Aluminum IH V8 intakes a while back and the developer was pleasantly shocked by how quickly they sold.
                    He produced more.
                    It is getting late in the life of these cars now but if quality Aluminum heads were done 5 or ten years ago, 100 sets would have sold rapidly.
                    Are you telling me that if they were not LS1 copies, they would not sell???
                    Edelbrock was unsure of the market for Pontiac heads initially & 100 sets were gone before they knew it. I think today there are 4 manufactures of them?
                    If it costs 2K to do up a set of R2 heads right, at 3K for Aluminum, it would be a no brainer.
                    Talk about if for another 5 years & most of ya'll will need Aluminum walkers instead
                    '64 R2 back on da road again

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok Bill, at what price point would you be willing to purchase a set of aluminum heads? Here is what I posted on the racing forum a couple of years ago.

                      "The real issue on heads is how many are willing to purchase a set at $5000 a set, how many at $4000 a set, how many at $3500 a set and how many at $2500 a set. At $5000 a set at least 20 sets would need to be sold. At $2500 a set perhaps 50 sets would need to be sold. This all assumes that most of the design work is done for free. On top of that you would need to build one or two test sets to test on an engine to make sure they will hold up. There will be a huge cost for pattern work and I bet the cost to get to the first prototype will be close to $40000."

                      How many stepped up and said they would be in at any of these price points. Not very many!
                      David L

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bills R2 View Post
                        This stuff cracks me up.
                        There was a modest run of Aluminum IH V8 intakes a while back and the developer was pleasantly shocked by how quickly they sold.
                        He produced more.
                        It is getting late in the life of these cars now but if quality Aluminum heads were done 5 or ten years ago, 100 sets would have sold rapidly.
                        Are you telling me that if they were not LS1 copies, they would not sell???
                        Edelbrock was unsure of the market for Pontiac heads initially & 100 sets were gone before they knew it. I think today there are 4 manufactures of them?
                        If it costs 2K to do up a set of R2 heads right, at 3K for Aluminum, it would be a no brainer.
                        Talk about if for another 5 years & most of ya'll will need Aluminum walkers instead
                        Last year , on this Forum , I pointed out that even the Ford Y Block has available aluminum heads . That received the same
                        negative response as seen this time .
                        There is right now a parallel thread going on here on the same subject.
                        Mr Erb is a man of high regard and talent , but somehow the project just hasn't moved along.

                        http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...un-in-Daytona-!!
                        Bill H
                        Daytona Beach
                        SDC member since 1970
                        Owner of The Skeeter Hawk .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Porsche heads were put on a big block in a Model A up in the mountains of southern California (Near San Dieg0).
                          Unfortunately, all of the cars and parts in his shop were burned in one of the fires thay had over there.


                          Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                          I remember reading about an engine builder taking Porsche 928 heads, and putting them on a Chevy small block. I'd be willing to bet money, an aftermarket current production aluminum head from some company could be adapted to a Studebaker block. Just plug the deck bolt holes, mill flat, and redrill for the new head.
                          Anything is possible with enough free time . (or paid time)
                          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                          Jeff


                          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shifter4 View Post
                            Last year , on this Forum , I pointed out that even the Ford Y Block has available aluminum heads . That received the same
                            negative response as seen this time .
                            There is right now a parallel thread going on here on the same subject.
                            Mr Erb is a man of high regard and talent , but somehow the project just hasn't moved along.
                            Well I don't mean to be negative I am just looking for some positive feedback that would warrant moving forward with a project that will cost a considerable amount of time as well as money that isn't likely to be recuperated. (No intention to recover the value of the time.) John and I have worked on this off and on over the last couple of years.

                            Given some indication that there would be buyers then the project would move forward.

                            By the way did you ever check out how many Y-block Fords are out there?
                            David L

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would be interested in a set of heads depending of course price (~$3K is about my limit) and would like to know I was getting something more than a lighter stock head? With all the CNC porting work etc. that can be done these days I would hope the design would be greatly improved. With that being said, the situation with John Erb's purchase of the Lionel Stone products is more than just a head project. There have been requested from many of the Studebaker vendors for the aluminum R2 manifolds, cast iron headers, Avanti water pump and other aluminum castings that LS sold and none have been produced. These are not new projects but ones that were already tooled and have not been produced to my knowledge since the sale. I would have some reservation that we will ever see these parts again, at least as long as John Erb owns the tooling. I understand that health issues can and will create delays, but then sell it to someone that can produce the products. It does no one any good to sit on this stuff when there is demand out there.

                              I have been asking for another aluminum manifold like the one I put on my '64 R1 Hawk for 4 years and nada. Sadly I have had to go in a different direction for my current project.


                              Currently ported, polished and on my '64 R1
                              Last edited by Dan White; 11-30-2015, 09:05 AM.
                              Dan White
                              64 R1 GT
                              64 R2 GT
                              58 C Cab
                              57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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