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  • Stickshift Speedster!

    Had this week off from work, so we headed up to Maine, (or 'Down East'), for a bit of R&R..... Of course, R&R to a Studebaker fan means working on a Studebaker, so I gave my friend a hand finishing up work he began last summer on his '55 President Speedster.....This is the Speedster that Stude used to test a new (at the time) paint combo, Velvet Black/Shasta White/Velvet Black. Studebaker began using this paint combo in regular production about two months after this Speedster was built.

    This Speedster was equipped, as most were, with the 'DG' automatic transmission. Typically, this transmission was giving problems, so he swapped it out about three years ago for a '57 Golden Hawk HD Flightomatic setup. The Flightomatic is, of course, a dependable unit, and with the Flightomatic, he was able to begin driving & enjoying this Speedster.

    As fate would have it, a complete but very rusty '55 Commander HT parts car was located...with a decent running 259 and stick O/D transmission...My friend purchased the engine and transmission from the Commander's owner, and had that engine completely rebuilt with .030 over pistons and .010 under crank bearings...and, with a turned flywheel & new clutch assy (from Dave Thibeault), installed the Commander's engine/trans into the Speedster.

    With a NOS Hurst Syncro-Loc Shifter changing the gears, we now have one more "Stick O/D Speedster" on the planet!!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by SN-60; 08-05-2016, 12:49 PM.

  • #2
    The Syncro-Loc shifter was originally intended for a '50's Chrysler product,...but with a little bending & fiddling!!
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Check out this NOS '55 C-K valance soon to be installed!!.....This valance was purchased along with two NOS front fenders, which this Speedster didn't need.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by SN-60; 08-06-2016, 12:02 PM.

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      • #4
        Heck, he's already, "destroyed" it by removing the, "correct" transmission, so one more unauthorized mod ain't gonna hurt. Might as well add cruise control and a wiper delay switch while at it. (I would)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
          Heck, he's already, "destroyed" it by removing the, "correct" transmission, so one more unauthorized mod ain't gonna hurt. Might as well add cruise control and a wiper delay switch while at it. (I would)
          I believe that 'friend Joe' probably isn't having a good day today!

          Comment


          • #6
            Other than the Fact that it IS this Man's Car, so he should be able to do what pleases HIM not someone else, yes it's originality HAS been compromised, but Joe is not the kind of Guy that cares a lot about that so maybe he just forgot the the Smiley Face that means he is at least partly kidding.

            It would have been pretty tempting to me to leave the H.D. Flight-O in there, as no one could tell it was changed.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              Rich you have gotten to know my wry sense of humor, and I thought you had too, Ed. OF COURSE I was kidding

              (But I really would also put CC and delayed wipers in it.)

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              • #8
                I totally agree, even though I would hesitate on a very rare Factory R2 Four Speed GT Hawk, Golden Hawk, Avanti or something, on a DRIVER Stude. I love adding some Convenience/Safety items like Lap Belts, Intermittent Wiper Box, 4 way Flasher, 3rd. Stoplight, a Fuse or Breaker in the Dash/Ammeter Power Feeder from the Solenoid, a Headlight Relay, etc. and even sometimes a few later model Studebaker "upgrades".

                But don't be look'in to see me driving a Stude. with a Mustang II Front End, Rear Discs, Chev Engine conversion, a Dual Master Cylinder unless it's a Firewall Mount, or anything unnecessary or radical like that.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  Here's a 'sweet setup' for someone with a '53-'55 V8 C-K singing the 'DG' automatic transmission blues!.....................

                  A HD 'short tail' '57 Golden Hawk water cooled Flightomatic, converter, converter housing, mounts, linkage, starter, and HD driveshaft!!
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    And here we have a 'sweet setup' for someone who's lost the anchor to their yacht and seeks a replacement...........

                    A 1955 Detroit Gear 250M automatic transmission assy!!
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
                      Rich you have gotten to know my wry sense of humor, and I thought you had too, Ed. OF COURSE I was kidding

                      (But I really would also put CC and delayed wipers in it.)
                      No worries Joe!...but remember, if this Speedster HAD been ordered with a standard transmission from the factory, these stick o/d parts are exactly what Studebaker would have used! (Excepting the Hurst floor shifter of course...but that item makes a GOOD setup even BETTER...... IMHO)

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                      • #12
                        Wow that is TOO Bad, we have a Chapter Member here who has spent THOUSANDS on his '54 Land Cruiser's DG-200 2nd. Gear Start Tranny, and every time he takes it back to the Big Local Trans. Shop to make it work as it should, only to have them Bill him for more Oil, and Labor to NOT Fix it again. He would love to have a DG-250 THAT works or DID work, to have a better chance at a Good Trans.

                        I don't know how bad the Coast to Coast Truck Freight would be or if he would even think about doing that though.

                        This one:
                        Click image for larger version

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                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As we've seen more and more folks look for 'matching numbers' when purchasing Studebakers, the original '55 President Speedster engine will (hopefully) always stay with this car.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Another view of the Hurst floor shift.....note the shifter ball matches the steering wheel's lower section, and the column itself!
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              Is that an 18" steering wheel on the Speedster? Is that what they came with? The 56Js came with 17.25", but many have 18" on them, switched out over the years. In 56, the 18" was for larger Studes, i.e. President.

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