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52 hardtop as donor for convertible resto?

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  • 52 hardtop as donor for convertible resto?

    I have heard that a 1952 hardtop body would be very useful to restore a rusty 47-51 convertible body shell. Anyone have any experience with this? Could a person take a solid 52 hardtop body and transport the convertible specific items over? Just wondering.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    FYI, my convertible is fixable rust wise, so I am not really considering this myself.

    54 Champion coupe
    48 Champion Convert
    54 Champion coupe
    48 Champion Convert

  • #2
    I'm not an expert in this; I don't even play one on TV. That said:

    The "hardtop" (technically, "hard-top convertible") body style came to be in the late '40's when GM and others started welding metal roofs onto convertible bodies and setting them down on cross-braced convertible frames. The whole point was that all parts were supposed to be shared except metal roof, cloth top and cloth top frame.

    What you propose would almost certainly work: I've seen it done more than once. Given that '52 hardtops are finally starting to get some proper respect in the hobby, though, I'd think twice before sacrificing a solid one while there are still a few usable convertible tubs to be found.

    IMHO - just my $.02 - etc.

    Keoni Dibelka / HiloFoto
    In Hawai'i; on Hawai'i; on the Windward Side
    If da salt air never chew 'em up bumbye da lava will...

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    • #3
      I did that with my 52 ragtop, but, I only needed a "few" parts that were destroyed when someone tried to get into the trunk with an axe! I only used the left inner 1/4, lower rear body and the left cowl panel. I sold the rest of the body to a fellow from Az. He was going to put a 51 front end on it.
      IF someone knows what they are doing in regards to swapping out the convertible parts, it would be an easy swap. Time consuming, but fairly easy to do.

      Jim
      "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

      We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!


      Indy Honor Flight www.IndyHonorFlight.org

      As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
      their Memorials!

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      • #4
        Check with Westmorland Studebaker in Pa. He has done this. Jim

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        • #5
          I've got a rotted 52 hardtop that is willing to be parted out...

          Matthew Burnette
          Hazlehurst, GA

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          • #6
            The hardtop would indeed have the same floor as the convertible. Extra "troughs" are welded in to provide body stability for these models. Of course, on hardtops too these are very prone to rust out.
            Doors and window mechanisms would be the same. I am not that familiar with the convertible, but I suspect the only tub differences might be in the area of the supports for the back seat, top linkage, etc.


            www.studebakerhardtop.com

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            • #7
              The 47-49 Commander convertibles use two vibration dampers at the front of the extended frame rails. I am not sure how the 52 frame is designed, but unless you have these vibration dampers, the front fenders will move up and down as you increase speed.

              As I recall the 50 to 52 use a different method of fender mounting and the suspension is different. If the car is a Champion model then the dampers are not needed.

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              • #8
                NO vibration dampers on my 52, and it was "unmolested" when I got it, other than bullet holes! LOL

                Jim
                "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

                We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!


                Indy Honor Flight www.IndyHonorFlight.org

                As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
                their Memorials!

                Comment

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