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The Studfebakers that Porsche built around 1952

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I was hoping when I heard about these that they would resemble the 356 (som4etimes described as the bathtub car) but no, they look preferectly ordinary,

something like a VW sedan made decades later. There was one with an air cooled engine and one with a water cooled engine. Never read how much Porsche was paid for the prototypes or which side of the pond the design was done. Love to hear any rumors of if either survived, maybe one is in a Studebaker museum?

studebakerprototype.png

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These have been fairly well reported in the Studebaker Drivers Club publication Turning Wheels. Time flies when you are my age so, I can't recall which issue or how long ago.:(

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A young Studebaker engineer was assigned to evaluate the Porsche 542 prototypes and report on their performance.  He found that they would not have interested the American drivers of the time and gave them poor marks.  We can accept that they didn't have as much hp as American cars of the time and probably had a stiffer ride.  Oh, the name of the engineer:  John Z. DeLorean, later of Pontiac fame and other ventures, not all of them admirable.

 

I believe the prototypes of the engines are in the excellent Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, IN.  I don't think the cars exist.

 

That's a great photo, haven't seen that one before.

 

The Museum also has the 1959 Studebaker Lark 2-door sedan with the 1953 Porsche 1300 engine installed in the trunk using a VW Transporter transmission/gear reduction boxes.  It was built by the Curtis-Wright staff when they managed Studebaker in the late 1950s.  It was supposed to get a Wankel rotary engine eventually, but the program was terminated before that happened.  As far as I know, I was the last person to drive that car.  Too bad, all it needs is a brake job and the two Weber carbs rebuilt - they leaked gas all over the place.  At least the handbrake worked!

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