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Early 1920s Studebaker ?


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Good morning all, one or two of you will already know me. I have just purchased this early 1920s Stude but I am having trouble identifying  what model it is. I apologise for the quality of the photograph but it was taken this morning on my wifes iPad under less than ideal conditions. The car is reputed to have been in dry storage since 1941. It  is in Melbourne Australia. It is a very long time since I owned my last Stude, a Daytona Wagon.  The photo shows the right hand side of the engine with the magneto and carburettor. This is unusual as the carburettor is attached to the (aluminium) cylinder head with the manifolding cast directly into the head.  Can someone please identify the year and model. The Speedo shows 36,000 miles. The ignition/light switch has been broken so I will be looking for a replacement. 

 

Thank you

 

oldcar

 

(Bernie j)

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5985541f93f7c_RegLabel.jpg.536eefbc9ddc5b91038987e26284a957.jpg

 

 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Car is definitely an early series Light Six model EJ five-passenger touring. Might be 1920-21-22. Differences were slight. When you find the serial number (on frame under left or right front fender) you can post to learn for sure. The number on that sticker 103981 is not a legit serial number as the Light Six had seven digit serials. The magneto and carb were not factory (may be a replacement engine?), radiator shells were also painted black on the Light Six so several modifications were obviously by someone, sometime. Wire wheels were available but quite rare on U.S. cars. 

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Thank you for the prompt reply I still have a great deal to learn about Studebakers. The number you have quoted is the Registration/Licence number. Early Victorian (State) registration numbers were all digit. I still have to discover something about its history, it came from a deceased estate. When new it would have been considered "something special" here in Australia, e.g. the wire spoke wheels. The number on the sticker 2350 may have some relevance. Fifth month 1923? It would be interesting to learn how many right hand drive Studebaker cars were built in those years. I think that the round registration stickers went out in the early 1950s. They were issued annually as proof that the annual registration fee had been paid. The two main markets for RHD cars was and still is the UK and Australia.

 

Bernie j.

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Interesting car. The windshield does not have the factory built in side lamps (bullet type attached to bottom curve of windshield bracket). According to the parts book that windshield without lights was only available in 1920 and 1921. It also has a windshield wiper which was not offered from the factory on the EJ. You are missing the radiator splash guard. I bet it was removed to ease hand crank starting. I think I can just see the voltage cut out relay on the far left of the accessory bracket with no wire attached. Definitely not a factory magneto as the factory ones didn't attach to the accessory shaft where a rag joint should have been. Pretty ingenious. 

Edited by studeboy
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Welcome to the Studebaker section of the forum Bernie! Looking forward to your exploits with this car. Your threads are always informative as well as interesting.

 

For those who are not aware, Bernie is in Australia so an export car could have differences when compared to US-sold vehicles.  

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That accessory shaft in the pile of parts picture seems to have the same gear as in the current australian car. Maybe this was an Australian add on magneto setup as both cars have it.

I find the step plate like items on the rear fender interesting. They must be curved to fit the rear fenders. A pretty nice add on. I have ever seen this on the fender before.

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Bernie, I am sure you know there are also many Studebakers in NZ. The 1922 sedan in the pic attached - which I took quite a few years ago at the local swap meet -  lives in Timaru - owner Dave ??? (I will have to ask someone). It has the alloy head but can't remember if it is mag ignition. Re the mag ignition business, there seems to have been a few cars like that came to the colonies. We have a 1925 Chrysler which has mag ignition. See my son's post in the speedster section. This project is on hold for a while. He is still only 20 so has time on his side.  I know of another mag ignition Chrysler here as well. I recall seeing somewhere - on this site? - a post from South American re a four cylinder Chrysler also with a magneto.  By the way what type is your mag? From memory the one with the Chrysler is a ZU6. I know of a similar Stude to yours - though it might be a year or two earlier - in a shed here in Christchurch - or at least it was there many years ago. The owner had a few other cars including a 1913 Stude and a 1929 President, but he died a few years ago and I haven't found out what happened to his stuff.

 

1922 Stude sedan sm94.jpg

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It seem that some export cars were built to suit the "British" market. Hence the wire wheels and magneto ignition. I find the design of the aluminium cylinder head "interesting" I can't wait to get the car home so I can really find out just what I have bought.  Following the "Brits" this one will not be torn apart but given a very gentle "oily rag" restoration, preserving all the original features including that lovely dark teal blue paint. The one thing I know that I will be looking for is an original Ignition/Light switch. If anyone has one to sell, please send me a PM.

 

Bernie j.

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The guy you need to meet and talk to is Mark Bennett and his wife Lynne.  He lives in a suburb of Toowoomba, Queensland.  He has a gorgeous 1923 touring car that we got to see back in February.  Mark told us that he bought a lot of 5 or 6 cars of that vintage.  He will probably have all the parts you need and can guide you on restoration.  His car was assembled in Australia when new.  No wire wheels, but nice wood spoke ones.  The car looks very similar to yours.

 

His engine does not have the magneto setup, but maybe one of his parts cars does.

 

To get hold of him, see his website where you will find his mobile phone number and email address:  http://www.timelessantiques.com.au/

1923 Studebaker side.jpg

1923 Studebaker dash.jpg

1923 Studebaker engine.jpg

1923 Studebaker front.jpg

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Well best as I can find you do indeed have a 20 or 21 series EJ light six, the carburetor looks to be correct and should be a model os-1 stromberg per the parts book. And the magneto may be correct to this car as well studebaker offered them special order only and listed them in the parts books for all models through 1924. Although I have only typically seen them on RHC export models.

 

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Hi Bernie,

Ditto on Gary's suggestion to contact Mark and Lynn Bennett - really great folks.  Your car is typical of the exports that came out of the Walkerville Plant in Canada.  These export cars were shipped in pieces then assembled at the receiving country.  As I helped Mark through a number of restoration questions, I found a lot of inconsistencies in his car and, after talking with a few other folks in Australia and Europe, I concluded that the export cars were often a mismatch of model years and sometime models.  For instance, much of Mark's body is a Special Six (cowl transition, front doors, rear fenders and parts of the main body).  They often painted these cars in the same colors offered for the Special Six.  I suspect that yours is much the same. Looking at your car I have a few observations:

  • First, I'm guessing the serial number is 1103981 and they just dropped the first digit.  This would make yours a 1923 EM Canadian export model (FYI - The Light Six was built between 1920 and 1924. 1920-1922 were called EJ models and 1923-1924 were EM).
  • You have the aluminum head which only came on the 1920-1923 (mid-year) Light Six
  • The oil fill location is on what would normally be the distributor support, which was only on the 1923-1924 models (1920-1922 models had it on the fan support housing)
  • The windshield support is for the 1920-1921 models.  In 1922 and beyond they added the parking lamps to the base of the support.
  • You car has no parking lamps - if it was a 1920-21 model they would be separate lights mounted on the cowl
  • Your hood has 16 ribs (1922-1924) versus 11 (1920-1921)
  • Note the sharp hood line from the radiator to the cowl - that was a trait of the 1923 and 1924 model years BUT the body is missing the beltline which was also on the 1923-1924 models so the body is pre-1923.  Also the cowl transition takes the crisp hoodline up to the windshield only so that is something different from all other models.
  • The rear hinged front doors were only on the 1920-1922 models
  • The radiator shell is nickel plated (so was Mark's) which was only offered in 1924
  • You have the same rear fender guards that came on Mark's car.  These are not even mentioned in the parts manual and I have not seen them on any cars except those exported to Australia or NZ so it was probably something the local dealers came up with.

I have thought about why Studebaker would do such a strange mix of parts on the export models and thinking about yours and Mark's both being 1923 models, it finally hit me.  1923 was the first year of the all metal body that was built by the Budd Company in Philadelphia, PA.  These bodies were rail shipped to the, now three year old, Plant 2 in South Bend, IN where they were painted and assembled. Budd did not ship to the Walkerville plant so the folks in Walkerville probably developed some solutions to mix and match parts from earlier model years and other models that used the wood frame construction for the body and door panels.  This would also explain why many of the exported cars were found in colors versus the black ones that came out of the high volume assembly plant in South Bend.

 

I have a number of Light Six parts that I am planning to relocate to a certain warehouse in Joliet, IL ;) soon, so if you need anything please let me know and I can put it aside.  More photos would be helpful as all the sharp eyes on this forum can help you out. Looks like a great project and if you need any advice or help please don't hesitate to contact me.

Scott

smrdeza@lentel.com

 

 

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The comment re mixing and matching parts is interesting. My interest is more in the later '20s models and the factory seems to have continued to put new parts in production when they felt like it. It seems to be very difficult to find two cars of the same model which are alike. There was a comment some time ago from someone who had several radiator shells from the circa 1925-6 era which were all a different shape. Instrument panels the same story. I will have to follow up on the early '20s cars that exist locally.

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One also has to consider that you have 90+ years of someone "making do" when repairs were necessary.  No one would know unless they checked in the log book that I keep for repairs on my daily driver that it has 2 Chevrolet truck parts (brake), 5 Buick parts (body), 2 Buick parts (differential), 1 Pinto part (fan) and 1 Toyota part (differential).  All were a perfect fit with no modifications when I couldn't find the correct part.  The interchange books are not always correct with their listings and they often don't know some pieces that are inter-changeable.

Half the fun of the hobby is trying to figure out what someone else has done.  Unless you are lucky enough be the second owner and know the car's entire history.

I wish you all the best with your Studebaker, even if we put the steering wheel is on the wrong side.:)

By the way I have owned two Studebakers a, 1926 EP Duplex and a 28 Commander.  Both were great cars but the family car since new trumped the quality of Studebaker.

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Wow! I have never had such a good response on the forum. It is such a contrast with the 1929 Triumph!  I have just sold it, having abandoned it's restoration after owning the car for just two or three weeks. This happened after the Australian contact person for the UK based pre-1940 Triumph Motor Club sent me an email to tell me; "He had other interests, not just old motorcars. Thank you." This was the final straw after two weeks of negative responses, mainly from "Collectors" rather than Enthusiasts.

I still have to get the Studebaker home, later this week but Iam really looking forward to it. I will certainly keep you informed of progress. Once again, I will not be tearing it apart but giving it a very sympathetic refurbishment. I already have some very nicely patinated black leather for the front seat. It is amazing what some Australians throw out for the rubbish collection.

 

Bernie j. 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, oldcar said:

Wow! I have never had such a good response on the forum. It is such a contrast with the 1929 Triumph!  I have just sold it, having abandoned it's restoration after owning the car for just two or three weeks. This happened after the Australian contact person for the UK based pre-1940 Triumph Motor Club sent me an email to tell me; "He had other interests, not just old motorcars. Thank you." This was the final straw after two weeks of negative responses, mainly from "Collectors" rather than Enthusiasts.

I still have to get the Studebaker home, later this week but Iam really looking forward to it. I will certainly keep you informed of progress. Once again, I will not be tearing it apart but giving it a very sympathetic refurbishment. I already have some very nicely patinated black leather for the front seat. It is amazing what some Australians throw out for the rubbish collection.

 

Bernie j. 

Didn't see your posts re the Triumph. If it was 1929 was it a Seven? I know a guy here in Christchurch who has a 1939 Dolomite drophead and a Gloria special. I have an idea the late John Britten of motorcycle fame restored a Gloria saloon many years ago.

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Hi everyone

 

The most likely reason for  body changes on Bernie's car are; most cars pre-war came to Australia as a rolling chassis.

Imported cars with bodies attracted a high duty. This was to protect the Australian coach building industry.  The Australian bodies were not always identical to the US bodies

Bernie's car may have a TJ Richards body plate somewhere on the car, probably on the firewall..

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When Mark Bennett was describing to me his restoration work on his 1923 car, he said he had used a door from another car because the sheet metal was in better shape than the original.  However, he kept the original door handy to illustrate how Australian rules about "local manufacturing content" were implemented.  He said the door skins were probably shipped from Canada in a flat pack and attached to locally-made wooden frames.  As evidence of this, the original door was framed in Bunya pine, a tree that grows only in the Queensland part of Australia.  [You have to watch out when walking in a forest of Bunya pine trees because they can drop a 10-40 lb pine cone on you from 100 ft up!].  Cars shipped from Canada to Australia would have avoided some import taxes because both countries were part of the British Empire at that time. 

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7 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

When Mark Bennett was describing to me his restoration work on his 1923 car, he said he had used a door from another car because the sheet metal was in better shape than the original.  However, he kept the original door handy to illustrate how Australian rules about "local manufacturing content" were implemented.  He said the door skins were probably shipped from Canada in a flat pack and attached to locally-made wooden frames.  As evidence of this, the original door was framed in Bunya pine, a tree that grows only in the Queensland part of Australia.  [You have to watch out when walking in a forest of Bunya pine trees because they can drop a 10-40 lb pine cone on you from 100 ft up!].  Cars shipped from Canada to Australia would have avoided some import taxes because both countries were part of the British Empire at that time. 

This illustrate the difference between the Australian and New Zealand markets. New Zealand didn't have the same local content rules that Australia did so many makes came in fully assembled. Many makes began some local assembly in the 1920s but Studebaker didn't. It was only in the more restricted post WW2 era that there was some local assembly of Studebakers.  Of course in the early era many towns had a coachbuilder who mostly did commercial - buses and trucks - work but would always make a body for your car if you wanted it. There are a few Light Six Studebakers with 'colonial' bodies.

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Thank you everyone for your interest in my latest purchase, hopefully this one is a "keeper".

The Studebaker will be delivered hopefully tomorrow. I will then have a much better idea of what I am looking at. For all those who do not know me

I live in East Doncaster, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I am now slightly more than 80 years old. I have been an "old car" enthusiast since I was a  small boy. I do virtually all the mechanical work and some body work and trim myself. I have been an active contributor to the AACA Forum since I joined the club when restoring the Dixie Flyer Firefly Speedster in 2008

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/120541-dixie-flyer-firefly-speedster-photographs/

 

As mentioned earlier I am looking for a combined ignition and light switch and possibly a "dumb iron cover/apron"

 

Bernie j.

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Bernie.. do you know what it looked like? I suspect that most of those were made by specialist manufacturers and just had a changeable plate on the front. I think I have one from a Buick or Cadillac of about that vintage. You are welcome to it if it fits the hole. Tomorrow I will see if I can dig it out and measure it.

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IMG_4527.thumb.JPG.656a16caceed28e7384d140379d59eee.JPGOops

Having been back to have a quick check on the Studebaker it is not a switch but the cover for the fuse box that is missing from the Light Six's dashboard. even a photograph or a drawing would be helpful. 

Right now I have an even more urgent request. One reason for todays visit was to inflate the tyres so that it would be easier to load the car onto the tilt tray tow truck. One tyre refused to inflate which brings me to the point. I now urgently need a wrench/spanner to remove the hubcaps so I can repair/replacee the tube in that tyre (tire). Even a drawing so I could have one made would be good. 

 

Thank you

 

Bernie j.

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Further to the above just two small things,

Having looked at the Studebaker in better light this morning I was delighted to see that it actually has two tone paint with the mudguards and bonnet & scuttle top (Fenders and hood) are black with the sides a dark teal blue. It has remnants of red pin striping around the waist line.

Now the other thing can someone point me in the direction of a possible source for a hand book or manual for the Light Six.

 

Thank you

 

Bernie j.

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You can search eBay and find a number of Owners Manuals - there are two versions. One covers 1920-1922 and the other covers 1923-1924. My Light Six is a 1923 with an aluminum head (which was changed to cast iron about mid-year in 1923) so parts of each owners manual covers my car.  I would recommend the earlier version Owners Manual for your car like this one. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1920-Studebaker-Light-Six-Owners-Manual-om620-G6U3XO-/350752700335?hash=item51aa7d77af:g:61IAAOxy~ilSOdCK

 

Faxon also makes a nice reproduction Maintenance manual.

http://www.faxonautoliterature.com/Service-Manuals/Studebaker/Light-Six

 

I have some fuse box covers. I may also have a light switch (two different styles were on the Light Six).  I think I also have a spanner wrench.  I also have a correct hand crank handle - your does not look to be the right one.  Post a photo of the dash when you get a chance.

Scott

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Bernie:

 

Your hubcaps look like they have two flats, not the usual hexagon or octagon shape.  Try Google Images for  "smooth jaw wrench" to see some options for large adjustable wrenches/spanners that you can buy at a local plumbing supply store.  For the ones sold here in the U.S., the smaller Reed adjustable hex wrench is good for 2-5/8" (66 mm) and the larger ones for 4.5" (114 mm).  It's hard to tell the size of your caps from the photo.  Bring a large dead blow hammer as a persuader.  Once you get the car home, you may want to have a steel shop cut a special spanner from 10-12 mm steel plate.  Meanwhile, can you just inject some "Slime" into the old tube to seal it up enough to get the car on the trailer?  See https://www.slime.com/us/products/auto/sealants/.  Surely, they have Slime-like stuff in Melbourne at autoObarn, etc.  Try this:  https://www.slime.com/au/find-a-retailer.php.

 

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Hello Gary 
Once the car is at home it is not a problem, There may even be a wheel spanner in the car beneath the pile of bits in the rear seat.

I suspect that the valve is torn out of the tube. Right now I have a slightly bigger problem, Ian my friendly tow truck driver is, as of last night in hospital with a problem with one of his replacement heart valves. He expects the valve grind job to take two or three days, having said that he is keen to do the job himself as he too owns a 1920's Studebaker.

At least this gives me some extra time to clean out the space that the car will go into.

 

Thank you Scott,

I will follow up the link to the manuals, again with the car at home I can check out the fuse box cover.

 

Bernie j.

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Thank you  Scott

I have now bought the manual on eBay and should have it in a week or so.

 

Hello Gary

The Dixie Flyer had the same wheels and hub caps, I had a spanner for it but that went with the car to Kentucky Trailer (originally in 1860s, the Kentucky Wagon Co) in Louisville Ky.

 

Bernie j

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Hello again Gary

Finally I have the Studebaker safely at home, The five tires are all rock hard and I doubt that regardless of the ability of the tubes to hold air they will change shape very much. Among the "stuff" left in a box in the rear of the car was a wheel spanner along with a few other trinkets. The "chassis plate" is still where it belongs under the left hand side front mudguard (fender). The cover for the fuse box was on the front floor. The cars is now lifted and standing on jack-stands ready for me to remove the wheels. Once the tires are removed the wheels can go to be sand blasted prior to repainting "Belgium Blue", or should they be Black? Right now they are an overall rust & dirt colour.

While a minor detail, it is disappointing  that the cresent moulding from around the waistline of the car has been removed. Hopefully it can be replaced with new brass strip. Much of the "gold" pinstriping is actually still intact.

The "serial number" is the same as on the registration label on the windscreen with the addition of 100 prefix making it 1002350.

The "spare" cylinder head has had some serious repairs so hopefully the one on the car is OK. More pleasing was the discovery of the four name plates from the centre of the hub-caps.

I can see that I will have my work cut-out for me for quite some time to come. Please don't go away, this my first venture into Studebakers and I have a lot to learn. At least unlike some of my earlier projects this one is relatively complete and unmolested.

 

Bernie j.

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Here we go again, off and running.

Having attempted to push the Studebaker about alone and unaided, I decided that it really did need some better tires before It would roll easily.

That was at about 9.30 this morning. It is now four forty five. Lunch time was extended to watch a French horror movie on midday TV. That and the fact that I had to cut one tire off accounts for the time taken. The six wheels can now go off to my friendly sand blaster's in the morning

 

Bj.

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Probably the most daunting aspect of bringing it back from the "brink" is the upholstery. There is just enough left to see how it was done. Unfortunately It will probably also be the most expensive job needing to be done. I still have to collect the hood (top) which I imagine will be in tatters too.

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Your serial number of 1002350 would make the car 1920. According to the figures in The Standard Catalog, the EJ numbers started at 1000001 and went to 1035002. The 1920 EJ series was introduced in April 1920 and there were about 7,000 cars. There were about 28,000 1921 series  cars. Your number would put your car quite early in the series - maybe mid 1920? No engine number info available apparently.

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I do hope that you are not too offended by the sight of them, I have owned and used them for a very long time. I am not about to "bin" them. They only have to last another 20 years to see my 100th Birthday. I probably will not use them very much after then!

 

Bj

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Some more (boring?) facts.  Production of the Light 6 was scheduled to start on January 1st,1920 but material shortages and a lack of available rail transport delayed it until April 30th, 1920.  Starting serial number has already been noted above, starting engine number was literally 1 and went to 202,500 for all cars to the end of EM production in 1924.  Serial number plate is on the left frame rail behind the front wheel, which is a bad location as it can be knocked off by rocks thrown up by the front wheel, engine number left side of block opposite number 6 cylinder.  Your car is very early production - maybe the earliest known survivor?  Also as noted above Studebaker paid little attention to annual model changes, preferring to do it when they felt it was necessary.  There are two right hand drive Canadian assembled 1926 Standard Sixes in British Columbia, a roadster and a sedan.  The roadster was originally shipped to Hong Kong and the sedan to New South Wales, Australia.  There are noticeable differences between them and domestically produced cars.  

 

Terry

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