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jhussey

Install a Planar Front End on a Coupe Express

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Greetings

I'm restoring a 1937 Coupe Express. I have a spare 1937 Dictator chassis with a planar front end. Can I install that planar front end on the Coupe Express frame? If not can I install the Coupe Express body on the Dictator chassis? Thought I'd ask before I start taking a bunch of measurements.

Thanks

Jim

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Definitive answer? Check with Jerry Kurtz. He has lived and breathed '37 Dictators and CEs for the past forty years.

Are you a member of the Antique Studebaker Club? He is on the Board of Directors and can be reached at jerezstude@aol.com or (717) 308-1800 Eastern Time.

Edited by starlightcoupe (see edit history)

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Yes to both but the front fenders are slightly different and would probably have to be modified slightly in the front. Probably easiest to put the Coupe Express body on the Dictator 6A (with planar suspension) chassis assuming it is a sound chassis.The 6A would not have the rear overload springs which the CE has but that is even better. They ride better with the standard passenger car springs and you will not likely be carrying any heavy loads.

Edited by studeq (see edit history)

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Hey. Been there done that. My CE had a small crack in the frame just behind the cab, plus I was opting for a smoother ride. I bought a parts sedan in

California and used that frame. Studeq is correct, the fenders are different but I was able to use the sedan fenders, especially since they were in much better shape than the CE fenders. In addition, if you use car fenders on the bed, the location of the attachment bolts is a bit different requiring some modification. Other than that, a straight up swap without problems. In addition, the parts car had under fender radio antennas so there was that bonus, plus a fantastic grill. If you need more info or help: drdon1111@aol.com Finally, I wouldn't try the front end swap. Seems pretty hard and not worth the trouble.

Edited by drdon
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Tom Lewis has just completed restoration on his 37 Coupe Express and used a car chassis with Planar suspension so it looks like you have several sources of information on any questions you might have.

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The 1937 CE had a different rear axle with heavier axle shafts and brake drums.

Robert Kapteyn

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Correct RBK. In addition, it has "helper" or auxillary leaf springs back there. I don't think I will ever haul any kind of a load in my CE that would

neccesitate the need for these springs and can't imagine that anyone else would as well.

PS RBK: will let you know if I have any headlight stainless rings.

Just re read the posts and note that studeq already noted the overload springs. TMI. Sorry.,

Edited by drdon
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Thanks All. This is very helpful. My chassis is bare - no fenders, so I will have to re-use / modify the CE fenders. But, I think that will be less work than trying to swap front ends. The suspension is in useable condition and since I won't be hauling any heavy loads, should be adequate.

Thanks again

Jim

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Yes. I have installed my Coupe-Express on a planar equipped '37 Dictator chassis. It is easily done. I have plenty of pictures including showing how to convert CE/5A fenders into 6A fenders to fit the planar chassis. I'm not sure if I have pictures of modifying the sedan rear fenders I used to fit the Coupe-Express box, but it only involves cutting a couple of slotted mounting bolt holes in different places. My e-mail is studebaker4829@live.com if you have any questions or need photos. I know of at least 3 Coupe-Expresses here in the US that have been restored this way. Regards, Tom Lewis

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Tom, post some pics if you can. Mine is done except for paint, and am hoping to get that done before the big Moab, Utah car show -800-900 cars in a town of only a couple of thousand people, who, after the show is over, drag Main for hours. Very interesting since it brings traffic to a standstill or nearly so, and this is the main highway from Phoenix, et al to Salt Lake and Denver. Can you imagine a stranger hitting town the evening of the 4th Saturday in April and seeing hundreds of great restored cars. Less so now but in the past Moab hired up to 16 bicycle cops from other larger jurisdictions to keep the revelers calmed down and the burning rubber to a minimum. Traffic was so clogged that if someone did act up, the bicycle cop just had to ride up to the offender and pull them over. Motel reservations? One year in advance, minimum.

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