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Front Wheel Drive Studebaker.....

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  • Front Wheel Drive Studebaker.....

    I know that not only did Studebaker have its own race cars during the '30's and that Studebaker engines powered several other race cars, but never knew that any were front wheel drive. I found this on the Revs Institute web site. Since the pictures here are not supposed to be used anywhere without permission I will put the link here: https://revslib.stanford.edu/item/nj953wy5846
    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

  • #2
    the archives at this link is loaded with lots of vintage open wheel racing , mostly on the west coast (Oakland, Ca.) with lots of pictures of Indy drivers back in the 40-50-60-70's..

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    • #3
      Wow, front wheel drive in 1934! Studebaker really was a forward looking company! It could be the connecting rod failure that made the company drop the idea.
      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
      Ron Smith
      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by studeclunker View Post
        Wow, front wheel drive in 1934! Studebaker really was a forward looking company! It could be the connecting rod failure that made the company drop the idea.
        No, this was an independent entry. Studebaker was not involved in any official way with Indy racing after 1933 (until the 60s) except for supplying the Commander Eight engine. All 5 of the Studebaker entries in 1932 and 1933 were powered by the larger 336 c.i. Eight. By the way, did you know that Studebaker offered a 250 c.i. racing engine in 1934 complete with magneto, four Stromberg down draft carbs, a high compression head and new water pump drive. All this with 150 h.p. for $750! I have photos. At least one of these engines was actually ordered in a production vehicle, a '34 President Land Cruiser. I cannot say whether the Schroeder Special used this particular racing engine but the odds are probably good. By the way the car qualified well at 113.733.
        Richard Quinn
        Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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        • #5
          In the 1933 Indy 500, the same front-wheel drive car then known as the Art Rose Special, driven by Dave Evans, finished 6th using the 250 cu in straight 8. Places 7 through 12 were taken by the five Studebaker factory cars and Russ Snowberger's car, all using the Studebaker 336 cu in engine and rear axle drive. The 1933 race was a bloody affair with four drivers and mechanics killed.
          See http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/ar...s-record-speed

          At the bottom of that page are links to the descriptions of the 1934 and other races of the era. See the article about the pedigrees of the cars in the 1934 race, which included three cars with Studebaker engines even after the factory pulled out.

          The Art Rose Special/Schroeder Special is currently being restored in Virginia. My computer software modeling of the engine performance indicates that 180-200 hp would have been possible at 3800-4400 rpm, even from the 250 engine. I have some confidence in the modeling because it also predicts the measured performance of the stock 250 engine (and numerous other engines) pretty well. The larger 336 engines had very long strokes and couldn't wind as tightly as the smaller engines. But, with 3.07 ratio rear ends and 18 or 19 inch wheels, 4000 rpm gives 120-125 mph.

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          Gary Ash
          Dartmouth, Mass.

          '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
          ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
          '48 M5
          '65 Wagonaire Commander
          '63 Wagonaire Standard
          web site at http://www.studegarage.com

          Comment


          • #6
            My gosh! Such speeds in those old cars is just frightening to think of! What caused all the blood and devastation?
            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Studebaker Wheel View Post
              By the way, did you know that Studebaker offered a 250 c.i. racing engine in 1934 complete with magneto, four Stromberg down draft carbs, a high compression head and new water pump drive. All this with 150 h.p. for $750! I have photos. At least one of these engines was actually ordered in a production vehicle, a '34 President Land Cruiser.
              Were there special engine numbers or markings within it issued for these to differentiate them from regular production engines?

              Craig

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                Were there special engine numbers or markings within it issued for these to differentiate them from regular production engines?

                Craig
                Not that I am aware but without an existing engine to check we will probably never know.
                Richard Quinn
                Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

                Comment


                • #9
                  I got from the Museum archives copies of a number of Part Number Numerical List sheets that were used to issue part numbers in sequence when requested by the engineers or draftsmen. The planned 1934 race cars were designed under a project listed as Design 364. Starting at about part number 181460 (for a spark plug), there were many drawings issued for various engine parts including water pump drive, exhaust manifold, magneto brackets and drive gear parts, pistons, inlet, cylinder head, cylinder (engine block), connecting rods, carb linkage, engine supports, cylinder head (7.5:1 ratio), timing gear front cover, etc. There are about 18 pages of these, interspersed with part numbers issued for the 1934 models A, B, and C. There are even a few parts planned for 1935, 1936, and 1937 models. The highest number issued for Design 364 seem to be for the 7.5:1 head, p/n 186050. In all, there were several hundred drawings in this group for the 1934 Indy cars. Many of the drawings could have been copies of standard parts or minor modifications.

                  I've asked Andy Beckman at the Museum if any of the Indy car special drawings exist, but they have never located any, in spite of having many drawings from the time period. They may have been kept in a special location and trashed at some point. I did find one absolute link to this part number list and the actual 250 cu in racing engines: the Camshaft Timing Gear Cover, p/n 182241. Among the set of incredibly detailed photos of the prototype engines, one of the front of the engine shows this part. The production engines had a stamped steel part, but this one appears to be cast aluminum in order to accommodate a bulge for the extra gears used to drive the magneto. On the front of the cover is the hand-stamped number 182241. See the photos below.

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                  Gary Ash
                  Dartmouth, Mass.

                  '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                  ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                  '48 M5
                  '65 Wagonaire Commander
                  '63 Wagonaire Standard
                  web site at http://www.studegarage.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gary,

                    Thanks for weighing in on this. I quickly checked an old Master Chassis Parts Catalog here, and none of those component numbers are listed at all. (No surprise, as they were not a 'production' engine.)

                    I wonder if a nice, colorful Parts 'Ford SVO-type' Catalog was ever available over the Parts Counter at the dealers at the time.

                    Craig

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                    • #11
                      I know it was the early days but it's crazy that four people lost their lives.
                      Sorry but that's sad even now.

                      I'm named after a great uncle "Dean" that was killed in the stands at a race in Kansas.

                      Wierd circumstance.

                      Dean.

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                      • #12
                        Hi

                        Its curious that management would allow a factory-built, performance/racing spec'd engine program while the company was still in receivership. Perhaps they thought Studebaker-powered racing wins would boost overall sales.

                        Wish that performance/racing engined '34 President Land Cruiser survived! That must have been one expensive President!

                        Steve

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by studeclunker View Post
                          Wow, front wheel drive in 1934! Studebaker really was a forward looking company! It could be the connecting rod failure that made the company drop the idea.
                          Germany's Auto Union DKW produced front wheel drive cars in the 20's and continued production into the 60's when VW absorbed it. They also produced a front wheel drive van in the 50's and 60's long before any other manufacturer. That idea was adopted by the big three in the 70's here in the USA and are still being offered to this day. Now that really was forward looking ,I should think, by DKW.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by garyash View Post
                            See the photos below.

                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]52335[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]52336[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]52337[/ATTACH]
                            Post #1 has a link to more photos of it: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...photos-I-found

                            Craig

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by T.J. lavallee View Post
                              Germany's Auto Union DKW produced front wheel drive cars in the 20's and continued production into the 60's when VW absorbed it. They also produced a front wheel drive van in the 50's and 60's long before any other manufacturer. That idea was adopted by the big three in the 70's here in the USA and are still being offered to this day. Now that really was forward looking ,I should think, by DKW.
                              I posted a photo of a 1925 Miller race car with front wheel drive here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...iller-Specials

                              Craig

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