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tail light assembly swapping

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  • tail light assembly swapping

    I'd like to swap the tail lamp assem. on my 53 Starliner. I have heard that a 56 will fit but the price for a good pair is too extreme. Since Studebaker used this basic body style for many years, which lamp assemblies from later vehicles will bolt on. And are there differences in these assem. between the various body styles [coupe, hardtop, sedan, wagon, etc.]? Thanks for the help

    Darryl C. Lewallen

  • #2
    Darryl,

    The lite bodies from 53 thru 56 are straight across fit ups. and only from C-K cars. Later C-K (Hawks) incorporated fins or a different top moulding that would require said trim differences to be incorporated to accomodate later lite bodies.
    Sedan and wagon lite bodies and lenses are not even close.

    SI was having repopped bodies made for the 53 thru 56 C-K cars but the vendor that was making these lost all the tooling in a fire. The last I asked SI about it, they weren't planning on going into this venture again. [V] Certainly, it has to be outrageously expensive![:0]

    Miscreant at large.

    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe
    1957 President 2-dr
    1955 President State
    1951 Champion Biz cpe
    1963 Daytona project FS
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      hey wouldn't 62-64 Hawk taillight housings fit if you cut off the tail end of the chrome strip?

      Comment


      • #4
        Buddy, you COULD do that although you'd have to slide the 53's cap strip back some to engage the protrusion of the GT taillight body. trouble then is that the front end of the strip no longer fits the little rise in the quater panel that it otherwise falres into. Since the GT's cap strip runs continuously to the front fender, that little rise in the quarter panel's not an issue. The little "dogleg" pot metal part of the cap strip takes care of that problem

        Of course, you COULD get a pair of those dogleg pieces and dice them up to make a filler between the GT taillight body and the stainless cap strip. That might look OK. And that way you would have the BU lites on the car without mucking up the decklid with them.

        Miscreant at large.

        1957 Transtar 1/2ton
        1960 Larkvertible V8
        1958 Provincial wagon
        1953 Commander coupe
        1957 President 2-dr
        1955 President State
        1951 Champion Biz cpe
        1963 Daytona project FS
        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

        Comment


        • #5
          excellent solution biggs. I'd like to see that cuz I want to eliminate the door and front fender chrome on my GT. Is there a difference between the earlier cars and the 62-64 GT's right in front of the taillight; underneath that chrome strip?

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't remember where I saw it, or whose car it was, but I once saw someone do as Mr Biggs suggested above, but with the little piece of trim from the front fender of a GT- the part with the lighted plastic spear... Now that was cool!

            [8D]

            StudeDave
            San Diego, Ca


            '54 Commander 4dr
            '57 Parkview (it's a 2dr wagon...)
            '57 Commander 2dr
            '57 Champion 2dr
            '65 Cruiser
            StudeDave '57
            US Navy (retired)

            3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
            SDC Member since 1985

            past President
            Whatcom County Chapter SDC
            San Diego Chapter SDC

            past Vice President
            San Diego Chapter SDC
            North Florida Chapter SDC

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't think you could make the GT taillights work on an early car with only trim changes. The shape of the quarter panel changed slightly in '62; when they went to the GT taillights they extended the little crease all the way back to the end of the quarter panel. If you look at a 53-55 (or '56 non-Golden Hawk) you will see that crease follows the stainless trim, and ends where the trim does. You can use either style on a finned Hawk of course, but you can't put an early quarter panel on a stock '53-55 and you can't use a non-GT quarter on a GT. Unless, of course, you want to put GT Hawk taillights on something...

              Now if you were repainting the car, it wouldn't be any big deal to weld on some metal to fill in the little gap...

              nate

              --
              55 Commander Starlight
              62 Daytona hardtop
              http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
              --
              55 Commander Starlight
              http://members.cox.net/njnagel

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by N8N

                I don't think you could make the GT taillights work on an early car with only trim changes. The shape of the quarter panel changed slightly in '62; when they went to the GT taillights they extended the little crease all the way back to the end of the quarter panel. If you look at a 53-55 (or '56 non-Golden Hawk) you will see that crease follows the stainless trim, and ends where the trim does. You can use either style on a finned Hawk of course, but you can't put an early quarter panel on a stock '53-55 and you can't use a non-GT quarter on a GT. Unless, of course, you want to put GT Hawk taillights on something...

                Now if you were repainting the car, it wouldn't be any big deal to weld on some metal to fill in the little gap...

                nate

                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                62 Daytona hardtop
                http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                Nate - In general, I agree with you, but I think that you "mis-spoke" when you said;"...you can't put an early quarter panel on a stock '53-55..." I believe that you meant that you can't put a Gran Turismo quarter panel on a stock '53-'55. The '53-'61 panels were generally more available long after the '62-'64 panels. A little filler work made them usable on '62-'64s.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Of course! my fingers work faster than my brain sometimes.

                  nate

                  (and sometimes I'm just wrong...)

                  --
                  55 Commander Starlight
                  62 Daytona hardtop
                  http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                  --
                  55 Commander Starlight
                  http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                  Comment

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