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The Possum Smasher

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  • The Possum Smasher

    Originally built by Dale McPhearson in 1988. It has a 1962 chassis, a 1955 main body, front grill is 1953-54 and a 1953 style trunk lid. Even though Dale had a stainless steel trim restoration business, he painted nearly every shiny thing on it. The engine is a 1959 289 V8 with a hot cam and modified heads. Transmission is a 3 speed with OD. The tail lights are 1962 GT Hawk. Click image for larger version  Name:	1556748968109.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	69.7 KB ID:	1899510 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210426_175042.jpg Views:	0 Size:	104.7 KB ID:	1899518 Click image for larger version  Name:	Dales1953.jpg Views:	0 Size:	50.5 KB ID:	1899511 I have inherited this car and have started to put my spin on it. I am removing the paint from the trim and removed the ugly black mesh grill that it had. I modified an after market Ford truck grill into grill bars and added Honda motorcycle turn signal lights. I added 1953 Studebaker grill scripts on the fenders like later models had. (I used 1953 style because they have a great fast look to them).I also put large exhaust tips on the tailpipes. Click image for larger version  Name:	20210522_101412.jpg Views:	0 Size:	142.9 KB ID:	1899519 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210617_203323.jpg Views:	0 Size:	87.3 KB ID:	1899512 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210617_203311.jpg Views:	0 Size:	127.7 KB ID:	1899513 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210617_203302.jpg Views:	0 Size:	125.9 KB ID:	1899514 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210617_203157.jpg Views:	0 Size:	148.1 KB ID:	1899515 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210617_203231.jpg Views:	0 Size:	170.8 KB ID:	1899516 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210617_203220.jpg Views:	0 Size:	194.1 KB ID:	1899517
    I have removed the 1962 GT Hawk dashboard and put in new wiring harness and a refurbished Speedster dash. Most of the gauges are new 12 volt Stewart Warner. For the first time in over 30 years, it has working turn signals. I also installed a newly manufactured gas tank and sending unit.

    It is still a work in progress. It may never be fully finished. It is just a hot rod and very little is "correct" for a 1955 coupe. It does attract a lot of attention wherever it goes. I hope you like it.
    Last edited by Son O Lark; 06-18-2021, 10:59 AM.

  • #2
    Looking good, glad to see you enjoying it!
    sigpic
    Dave Lester

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    • #3
      Ah, cool! & the dash sure was a lift!
      sigpic

      Josephine
      -55
      Champion V8
      4d sedan

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      • #4
        Can you post some more detailed pictures of the grille arrangement you made up?

        Bo

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        • #5
          Looks great Barry! Good to see this car in circulation again. I especially like the Speedster dash.
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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          • #6
            Barry,
            Great to see you carrying on Dale's legacy.
            Keep the pics coming!
            Bill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bo Markham View Post
              Can you post some more detailed pictures of the grille arrangement you made up?

              Bo
              Sure, give me a little bit of time to dig up the pics. It is an after market Ford truck grill that I got from Amazon. It was damaged, so the price was discounted. After looking at it, I realized that it could be cut up and use the already riveted on brackets. I cut it up using an angle grinder. If someone didn't know better, it looks like something Stude would have made. I searched and found some half oval turn signals from a Honda motorcycle. Brackets for those were very easy to fabricate.

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              • #8


                Just try to not smash any possums. They are good to have around.
                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                '33 Rockne 10,
                '51 Commander Starlight,
                '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                '56 Sky Hawk

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rockne10 View Post


                  Just try to not smash any possums. They are good to have around.
                  Only Himalayan possums have been smashed. 😁😉
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	Screenshot_20210618-145403_Gallery.jpg Views:	0 Size:	59.2 KB ID:	1899618
                  Last edited by Son O Lark; 06-18-2021, 11:03 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I like that "Studebaker" Script added to the Speedster Dash. But I can't I.D. that as anything Stude. ever used.
                    I think you or Dale Made that by adding a different "S" to it?

                    It is certainly Not the Front Fender Nameplate on '56 & '57 Hawks and '59 Larks.
                    All but the "S" resembles the '53/'54 R/H Grille Bar Nameplate.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                      I like that "Studebaker" Script added to the Speedster Dash. But I can't I.D. that as anything Stude. ever used.
                      I think you or Dale Made that by adding a different "S" to it?

                      It is certainly Not the Front Fender Nameplate on '56 & '57 Hawks and '59 Larks.
                      All but the "S" resembles the '53/'54 R/H Grille Bar Nameplate.
                      Dash script is from 1948 Champion grille, fender scripts are from '53/'54 grille bars. No modifications made to scripts. I simply liked the looks and size of scripts. The S on the dash script is over a slight dent made when the hole was drilled and maybe altered it's look in the pic. Engine turning is actually a vinyl overlay. Click image for larger version  Name:	20210618_201302.jpg Views:	0 Size:	56.2 KB ID:	1899677 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210618_201327.jpg Views:	0 Size:	108.1 KB ID:	1899678 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210618_201243.jpg Views:	0 Size:	147.3 KB ID:	1899679
                      Last edited by Son O Lark; 06-18-2021, 04:51 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I added a voltmeter and moved the gas gauge over to the cigarette lighter hole. Since I had no clock or radio, I made a cover plate for it. There is also a piece of stainless covering a crack that I could not stabilize and kept reappearing. Those Speedster dashboards are plastic, not fiberglass. I tried to get the warping out with little success. Very temperature sensitive.
                        Last edited by Son O Lark; 06-18-2021, 05:05 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I think that the mixture of parts turned out great. It's a one of one now, and must be a hoot to drive.

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                          • #14
                            Luckily the Possum Smasher was already a pieced together hot rod. There are no rules or "correct" parts for it. A linear actuator has been ordered for the trunk. It has no trunk latch and is held closed by gravity. No finger recesses along bottom seam to assist in opening. The solenoid will simply push it up four inches to allow a person to easily lift it.
                            Last edited by Son O Lark; 06-22-2021, 07:37 PM.

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                            • #15
                              That dash looks great Barry. You are doing a fine job on the car.
                              "In the heart of Arkansas."
                              Searcy, Arkansas
                              1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                              1952 2R pickup

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