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  1. I would also like to praise Barbara Fox (HistorianVMCCA) for exemplary work in helping me to run down some important contacts. She also dug up a factoid that might explain the rarity of this car. " It appears 23,917 1931 Cars were made including all #54 models. Of those about 5.45% were roadsters, so about 1300." 1,300 produced is a low number, even by Ferrari Standards. Add that almost 100 years have gone by, and well, not many survivors. RP
  2. Thank you for the reference photo's Bill, they reinforce what I have learned from the owner of a 54R roadster. A very unique characteristic of this particular car is the lack of the external door hinge, and the location of the interior door handle. As you can see in the sedan and coup pictures, the door handle is mid door or so. Then compare that to the 54R that sold and the door of my car. The interior door handle is directly opposite the exterior door handle. My door handle is missing, as the original builders decided to put electric operated solenoids for openers. However, you can clearly see where the original door handle went (end of linkage, you can see the square insert for the interior door handle). This interior door handle was only done on the roadster, no other models. Plus talking to an owner of a 54R was very helpful. Thanks for all the input, happy motoring. RP 54R sold two pics.docx
  3. Thanks Tom, I may shoot you a PM on some dimensions if your able to get them. My car has the original Studebaker springs and shackles, and I have not measured the rear shackle mount to the front shackle mount, but that would absolutely guarantee the frame has not been altered in any way (and it has not, except the removal of the rear engine mount that I mentioned above. I am also curious about your stock front motor mounts. Mine appear to have been adapted form the stock Stude mounts to accommodate the SBC. But try as I may, I cannot find a clear picture of the front motor mount, not even on a President. These items are not cold riveted as the spring mounts are, but they are nicely made, and certainly not an aftermarket performance part. Thanks again for your help, not sure if you ever looked at the wood in your doors, but mine is stock, no question. Same with the rumble seat. Distinct L brackets and Flat head screws (hard to imagine that in a time of torx bits and 12 point ARP racing bolts that a stock, slotted screw was state of the art back in the day). And as my correspondence shows below in 2005, I certainly did not think that the colloquial "our opinion" was part of the equation. Neither Mary nor Don jumped on this forum to tell me exactly what I knew and when I knew it, only one person in that triad did. And my comments only apply to that one person. RP (for privacy sake, I will not reveal the name of the owner of the 54R that sold above, save his first name was Brad. Here is a correspondence about a discussion I had with Brad in 2005, and at that time my questions were answered, or so I thought. Then other claims were made as mentioned above, and I retracted as I tend to be pretty private in personal affairs. For instance, it is no ones concern that I collect exotic cars on an antique car forum, but there it is. Not info I want publicly spread around) -------- Forwarded Message -------- Subject: 1931 Stude Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 05:37:46 -0800 From: Rod & Karen Powell To: Mary West Good morning Mary, I sent a couple of emails to you from my work, never got a response so you may have thought they were spam (my companies name is "redacted for privacy"). I have copied the text from an email below that I sent to Don (I could not even reply to his emails from work, they just bounced back). Just wanted to give you and Bill an update and once again thank you for al of your help. The following is text I just sent Don: "Yep, I followed up with all of the people you contacted. Brad in Texas concurs that the car is a Model 54R, much the same as the one he owns. He has some parts and pieces should I decide I need. Ken on Shaw Island has the most interesting proposal, which is to swap running gears so he gets a street rod and I get a classic."
  4. Tom, thanks for the still of the vid, the whole thing can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM14YO9uDsA A few other details I will provide (or answer some inquiries I suppose) but for anyone interested, you will notice a very distinct (actually two) identifiers on the 54R that sold and my car. The current 54 coupe for sale here: http://gatewayclassiccars.com/DFW/360/1931-studebaker-54-coupe is the identical color of my dash, as well as under my cowl. As the magazine article states, Tom and Mike Davis originally painted the car a green lacquer, same as the above for sale 54 coupe. Under the dash, where the cowl vent is intact, it is green as well, but very aged. Same with the wood in the door panels, green. If you look at my picture of my dash posted above, you will note how closely the color matches the 54 coupe for sale. I actually met Tom Davis about 5 years ago, and he desperately wanted the car back. He stated two important things to me. 1) The car, in its current form, was a running original convertible when he acquired it, and 2) he and his brother built over 40 street rods over a period of about 12 years. Of all the cars he and his brother built, the Stude was the only one he wanted back. He said he had been actively looking for it for two decades, and never imagined in was in a garage 40 miles from his home south of Centralia Wa (they lived in a very small community called Adna, if anyone is interested or knows of their other work). Population around 45 for so. Yes, 45 people make a town. Regardless, I trust what he says. On to the unique identifiers. You will note on the blue original you tube vid, as well as the currently for sale 54 coupe, a lower exterior door hinge that sits on the outside of the car. Next, look at the door on the 54 R that sold, as well as my car. Yup, no exterior hinge. Next is the door sill below the door. The blue original in the youtube and the 54 for sale have a molded lower door seal. Now look at the 54R that sold as well as my car. Yup, no molding on the lower door seal. I will continue my research, but assure everyone that has participated that the body is properly attached to the frame, the frame has not been cut or altered in any way, and all cross members are intact except the rear motor mount, which has been modified to the accommodate the SBC. The oval headlights are Tilt Ray with original chrome, the base to the oval is cold riveted with brass rivets that were chromed prior to installation ( we polished the inside of on of the rivets to confirm it's originality. The lenses are (I believe) a refracted lens with the brand or Glo Lite, and if you look closely at the 54 coupe currently for sale, you will note the undercoating of the floor plan is striated left to right, as opposed to front to back. Same with my car, which (to me) confirms the floor pan is original. The car may appear longer than the 54R that sold, but bear in mind my car has had the original axel placed on top of the original Studebaker springs, lowering it by approximately two inches. The rear springs are stock Studebaker as well, with rear Ford differential lowered in the same manner as the front. I will sign off and wish all of you the best. Should anyone like to look at pictures of the car disassembled I am happy to comply via PM. An open forum does not seem appropriate to me to validate this car. I will travel to the museum and get the dimension drawings duplicated for the 54R and then do an engineering analysis. Bill, thank you for your response. I would like you to know that when you came to my house, yes, indeed, I had several exotic cars. In fact I have owned over 56 cars in my lifetime. I have only kept one, and that is this Studebaker roadster. I bought it when I was 22 and poor as a church mouse with a 2 year old daughter. It was terribly irresponsible. But it captured my heart, and has held it ever since. I lost my home to a total house fire in 2009, and over seven figures worth of very rare automobiles were lost. Being fully insured, I did not suffer a financial loss, but the larger automotive world lost three very rare cars, making the survivors all the more valuable. Fortunately for me, the Stude was stored in my offsite location, thus spared from the fire. I would also, as kindly as I can, remind you that you accompanied both Mary West and Don Kelstrom to my home. You took one look at my car and pronounced it a "run of the mill model six that somebody stuck President lights and bumpers on". And yes, I remember this very, very well. As we all now know (or should know) a run of the mill Studebaker six is in fact a Model 54. The terms are interchangeable . Perhaps now you may understand why I did not attend any of the local Studebaker events. My car had already been judged an amalgamation of parts, so why would I subject myself to more of the same? Life is a short and precious thing, and we should all considered how we use our limited time, and how we can give, as opposed to take. Enrich, and not degrade. A measure of a life is a measure of love and respect, a motto I will not abandon, ever. And I would have surrendered even the Stude if I could have saved my children's drawings form grade school, my wife of 36 years wedding dress, and my father's cremated ashes. But I could not. This Studebaker is all that is left from my (very) humble origins, so maybe that will help all to understand my unwillingness to ever sell it. Best wishes to all, and happy motoring! (I did take everyone's advice and reach out to Richard Quinn, but I have not received any response. Perhaps he is on vacation, I've no idea, but I think I am likely on my own here. Be well. RP
  5. Thanks for the kind words Carl. Yours and others posts are examples of how the internet, and forums in particular, can be a pleasant and useful experience. I don't now Sonny nor his Studillac. Had I ever seen it, I would have been drawn like a moth to a flame. I actually love the brand, and take time to look at any Stude that is available, whether original or in modified condition. I always wanted a Stude Pickup, and would like to have a Golden Hawk as well. However, with already owning six vehicles, well, honey says no more autophilia til I build a bigger shop. Like a lot of folks, I have a love of machinery, all kinds. So, for instance, I own 4 motorcycles, yet I am one guy. Who needs 4 motorcycles? No one. But there are a bunch if bike people like me that have more than their share of motorcycles. Maybe a disease of some kind? I live in Olympia, which is approximately 60 miles south of Seattle on Interstate 5. When I was a kid (17 years old) I could make Seattle in 45 minutes from Olympia. Today, it is a 2 hour slog in the best of traffic times, most times 3 to 4 hours. Anyone who lives here in the Pacific Northwest can attest to the fact that the western half of the state is basically one long city from the Canadian Border to Portland Oregon, where you also have to slog through traffic. I am a back roads driver, I like to keep moving. So my Stude is rarely seen. I will keep an eye out for Sonny and his Studillac, something I would love to see. Thanks, RP
  6. Thank you Ed and Starlight, I finally was finally able to post on the stude drivers club forum. I had joined a decade ago, and they deactivated my account due to inactivity, yet retained my emails so I could not register again. Technology. I love to hate it......... If one of the moderators could move this over to the Studebaker section, I would be grateful. I just want to identify my car and get my estate in order, it's a simple thing really, or should be.... Having just gone through the loss of a dear friend, and the sorting of all his auto related paraphernalia, I am committed to not having my family go through what I just went through, which was sorting his estate. It is quite painful. I don't care what the car is worth, I'll be dead. I just want my girls to accurately represent it when I eventually pass, as they will surely want to sell it. Thanks again, RP
  7. And just to confuse the issue even more...... antique Studebaker club info on 1929 to 1933 models manufactured http://www.theantiquestudebakerclub.com/indentifycarsall/dataasheet1929thru1933.htm versus Antique Studebaker club info on 1934 to 1946 models manufactured http://www.theantiquestudebakerclub.com/indentifycarsall/dataasheet1934thru1946.htm No model 54 or 53 after 1933................... Many thanks to the Antique Studebaker Club for the compilation of this data. I hope it is OK to use their web postings for reference?
  8. Might help if I put the pic in a JPEG format...........
  9. Thank you Doug for the pic, I now remember a bit why I abandoned my research. It is confusion that stopped me. Here is a link for a 1931 Studebaker Dictator that is on the market right now. Attached is a pic of the dash from this car that is for sale. Makes my head hurt........ http://topclassiccarsforsale.com/studebaker/335015-1931-studebaker-dictator-6.html Description: 1931 Studebaker dictator 6 this is a very nice 1931 Studebaker dictator 2 door paint is in great shape the interior and the back rumble seat have recently been redone and they look great dash was also recently been redone. the car runs and drives great tires still have good tread motor is clean no problems with anything on the car very low miles very nice car car has been very well taken care of has been garage kept 1931 dictator dash current for sale car.docx
  10. Well Bill, first and foremost I want to thank you for reading my post so carefully. That is why forums can be such wonderful things, anyone can chime in. Free speech and all that. Let me reiterate what I already wrote. 1. The car is not for sale, nor will it be while I am alive 2. I do not intend to use this, nor any forum, to try and value and/or sell my car. But because of answers such as yours, I won't return either. 3. The premise of my post (I had hoped) was clear. There was a recent sale of a Studebaker model 54R, and I included the link. I made special note of the dash cutout. 4. When you were at my house, the dash was never removed. It has never been removed from 1962 until two days ago. 5. Since you know this car so well, and everyone whom claimed to be an expert at my house was undecided on what it was, perhaps your recall is far better than mine. 6. My question, and only question, still stands. Is my car a model 54R, and are there really on 6 in existence? This is not a claim I make, it is a claim made by a recent seller. 7. With your esteemed credentials, this should be easy. Is it a model 54? Is it a roadster (well, yes, obviously). Are there only 6 in existence and why is that? You might perhaps revisit your response to my inquiry (what you wrote above) and then truly and honestly ask yourself a simple question. Is it possible that car collection in any form is sliding, could it be because perhaps this corner of the hobbyist world is inhabited by a few "experts" that tend to push new people away? I know that is why I refuse to attend or participate in car shows, I just drive my cars. Because it's fun, simple as that. Thanks for your time. Rod
  11. Here are a few pics taken a few years back, as well as a photo of the dash of my car (note cutout shape, you need to disregard the extra holes put in for all those gauges) it is the notch on the bottom that makes it unique to the 54. I presume this was for the cowl vent pull rod, and mine has the complete cowl vent assembly installed underneath the cowl, yet it is welded and smoothed over on the outside (the cool thing to do in 1963 I suppose). Unable to measure the wheelbase at this time, front end is completely disassemble and being re polished and chromed. Lots and lots and lots of chrome on this car, which was the cool thing to do as well back in the day. This thing is so retro, it has Gabriel Silver Eagle racing shocks, in chrome, that Gabriel would like to buy for their vintage collection! All Model 54's seem to have this dash, whereas the Commander and President are distinctly different. I cannot find a Dictator dash pic to save my life (metaphorically speaking). My car has the serial number stamped on the frame behind the drivers side front wheel. I had some Stude experts take a look at it, and they confirmed that was indeed how Studebaker did it back in 1931, not with tags, but with alpha numerical punches. There is no firewall tag, nor any evidence of where one would even be. The firewall is thankfully unmolested. Thanks for your input, I will keep digging. I need to insure it properly, and also make sure my wife and daughters are clear on what it is should I pass. Although they love me, cars are not their thing. I'm keeping this til my last breath, but the girls will likely dispose of it. RP 54R dash.pdf
  12. Hello all, my name is Rod and I live in Washington State. I hope I have posted in the right area, of not, moderators feel free to move it wherever it belongs. I am on a mission to identify a 1931 Studebaker that I have owned since I was 22 (and I am now 57 and not sure how that happened so fast :-) At any rate, my car was actually turned into a street rod in 1963, and was in it's finished form that I have it in now in 1968. It was the cover car in the 1974 edition of Street Rodder magazine (hopefully I can attach some pics here) At any rate, yesterday I pulled the chrome dash board off and found the original Studebaker dashboard cutout intact (well mostly intact, apparently the craze in the early to mid sixties was to put every gauge ever made into your car, working or not) but the outline is intact. Then I stumbled onto this link: http://www.happycarz.com/showroom/1931-studebaker-54-r-roadster/ If you read the text in this link (or maybe it is a members car?), you see this company claims this to be "one of six" of the 1931 54R. I am wondering if there is some kind of unique identifier (other than serial number, mine is intact, but is not in any Studebaker records) for the 54R? About ten years ago or so I started to do a little digging, and there was speculation that this was a "one off" built for a special customer, as it has the same dash, rumble seat, rumble seat step and taillight as the one featured in the link above, and the grille, soft top and windshield are the same, but mine also has the Oval headlights and the 4" wide single bar bumpers featured on the Four Seasons President. Any info is of help. I know it is not a true "antique" that your site specializes in, however, to me it is precious, and has been part of my family for decades. I would provide pics of my car, except I have it in about all the pieces it was made from at the moment.......... (Also, I sent a very similar email to Jerry Kurz of the Antique Studebaker club, so if you read this Jerry, thank you in advance for any info you can provide) Thanks for reading, Rod Stude cover shot and contents0001.pdf