oldcar

Early 1920s Studebaker ?

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Bernie,

Interesting story on the farm.  It would be great if that were the same car to help you piece together its history.  Below is the horn and button.

The Spartan AJ is the horn on the far right. The AU model is third one on the right and for the Special Six.

The horn button fits inside the spark advance handle.  An armored 16 ga wire runs up the center of the steering column inside the tube attached to the spark advance.  When the horn button is depressed it completes the low side of the circuit, that is....a power wire runs to one terminal on the horn and the other side runs to the steering column where the horn button completes the circuit through the ground via the steering gearbox itself which is bolted to the frame (ground).  Hope that helps.

Scott

 

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Edited by Stude Light (see edit history)

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Thank you Scott

You are a fantastic fund of information, I have now ordered a Service Manual from Faxon. If you don't have a spare Horn and Horn Button perhaps there is someone else reading this that has one (of each) for sale. Meanwhile I have been in contact with two other members of the Historical Studebaker Register, both confirm that my car is the one that came from a Farm Clearance Sale at Dookie in central Victoria. This being so it would tend to confirm that the 36,016 milage is genuine.

 

HSR Member Graham Mc Cormack has written in an email received yesterday:-

Bernie, in regard to your inquiry about your Studebaker Light Six. I am almost certain that this is the car that was auctioned as per your article at a place called Merrigum which is near Shepparton. I believe it would be less than 8 to 10 years ago, my guess would be about 5 years ago.
 The car was in a chook shed along with several newer cars. And could not be removed without partially dismantling the shed. I was the losing bidder on this car
And as far as my memory goes it sold for a figure around ten thousand dollars. To identify its year you need to check the casting numbers below the valve cover
on the LH side of the block. I remember it being either 1920 or 1921 making it a very early example. Remember the Americans date things in reverse to us, so the year would be listed first followed by the month and day.
 
The instruments and headlights differed to my 1922 model. 
Best of luck.  Graham McCormick

 

For readers unfamiliar with colloquial Australian a "Chook" is a Hen and a "Chook-shed" is a Hen-house.

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Just diverting slightly from the subject of the Studebaker I think that I should let some of the people who don't know me, have some idea of what I am all about.  Both the cars seen here were subjects of "threads"in Our Cars & Restoration projects on this Forum. 

The two "Finished Dixie Flyer photographs were taken at the original Kentucky Wagon Co works at Third Street, Louisville Ky.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Yippee !

Don't look now but following a visit from our son Steve and with his invaluable assistance we managed to get the engine "rocking" gently in top gear by pushing the car back and forth. Little by little it rocked a little further with each push, then suddenly the motor was free and will now turn over smoothly on the crank handle. My next task will be to remove the oil pan and throughly clean it out before replacing it and refilling with fresh oil.  My next trick will be to go over the magneto and carburettor. Then lots of degreasing and cleaning under the hood (bonnet).

Earlier today I ordered a Service Manual from Paxtons so it is all systems go.  More and more I am convinced that I would be totally wrong to even think about a ground up, bare chassis restoration and/or a bare metal re-paint. If I can, with the least amount of interference bring it back to where it was before being relegated to the Fowl-house in the 1940s that should be sufficient. 

I am increasingly confident that I will be able to establish that the milage shown on the speedo is indeed correct at 36,016 miles.  Hopefully I will be able to proceed even further without the need to remove the cylinder head. 

 

Bernie j.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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18 hours ago, oldcar said:

Yippee !

Don't look now but following a visit from our son Steve and with his invaluable assistance we managed to get the engine "rocking" gently in top gear by pushing the car back and forth. Little by little it rocked a little further with each push, then suddenly the motor was free and will now turn over smoothly on the crank handle. My next task will be to remove the oil pan and throughly clean it out before replacing it and refilling with fresh oil.  My next trick will be to go over the magneto and carburettor. Then lots of degreasing and cleaning under the hood (bonnet).

Earlier today I ordered a Service Manual from Paxtons so it is all systems go.  More and more I am convinced that I would be totally wrong to even think about a ground up, bare chassis restoration and/or a bare metal re-paint. If I can, with the least amount of interference bring it back to where it was before being relegated to the Fowl-house in the 1940s that should be sufficient. 

I am increasingly confident that I will be able to establish that the milage shown on the speedo is indeed correct at 36,016 miles.  Hopefully I will be able to proceed even further without the need to remove the cylinder head. 

 

Bernie j.

That is great.  Could save you a lot of time and headache. I agree that you should not restore it and do your best to preserve what you have.  It is only original once, looks to be fairly low mileage and may be the oldest surviving Light Six worldwide.

Scott

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Some progress, perhaps very minor but progress of a sort. Being one of those people who like to dot their i and cross their t I have just this morning bought 25 new 1/2 inch x 20 high tensile nuts and hardened washers to suit along with a new 1/2 inch die-nut so I can clean up the threads on the head studs and fit the new washers and nuts. Hopefully a step in the right direction. While I was doing these I notices something else that will require some attention. When I removed the spark plugs I noticed that one had some "plumber's teflon tape" wound around the thread so It looks as though at least one  cylinder will require a "heli'coil" fitted to the sparkplug hole. The next task will be to find some new spark plugs as some of the existing ones have had a hard life. I would sooner not  use adaptors & fit 14mm plugs. Perhaps some of the other early (aluminium head) Light Six owners can advise what spark plugs they are using. Brand, heat range etc. and where they buy them. One option I have used in the past was to use (in Australia) Ford Falcon 6 cylinder 18mm tapered seat plugs (NGK A6FS) after machining off the taper and fitting a suitable washer borrowed from some old 18mm plugs. or if I can find them NGK A6 which have a conventional flat seat with a standard type washer. These  are 12mm reach with a 25.4 hex. (In other vintage cars with 18mm plugs.)

 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hello OnSafari

Now with the new tires on it I will be able to push it out and give it a wash then I can start to give it paint a light cut and polish. I need to remove one door so I can have the paint colour matched. I am trying to reach a balance between spending time on mechanical work and body. I would also like to make a start on restoring the interior trim but unfortunately there is only one of me. 

 

Bernie j

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Bernie,

I use Champion 1-COM in my Light Six. They are the closest I can find to the originals.  I occasionally find them on eBay in NOS condition.  I buy the ones with the brass top covers for the period correct look. The attached is my research over the years. If you aren't worried about correct look then the Autolite 3076 or Champion 518 should be readily available.

Scott

 

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Thank you Scott

I will add your chart to my ever expanding Studebaker file.  

Other Light Six owners who do not already have this should copy it for their own records too.

 

Bernie j.

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7 hours ago, oldcar said:

Hello OnSafari

Now with the new tires on it I will be able to push it out and give it a wash then I can start to give it paint a light cut and polish. I need to remove one door so I can have the paint colour matched. I am trying to reach a balance between spending time on mechanical work and body. I would also like to make a start on restoring the interior trim but unfortunately there is only one of me. 

 

Bernie j

Thanks Bernie, the painted wheels and new tyres would have substantially improved the appearance alone. The choice of a satin type finish is wise.

 

Lyndon

Edited by OnSafari (see edit history)

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Get yourself a set of NKG AG-6 plugs.  Same heat range as W14 and 3076.  I changed to NKG years ago and found they lasted me twice as long (20,000 miles) as the others.  I also found that the cheapest place to buy them was our local Porsche dealer (40% less than NAPA or JB Auto hers).

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Hi Tinindian

Thank you for the suggestion, I have been using NGK in the Lagonda for some time but have found them prone to "wet" when starting from cold if I flood the carbs.

I have just ordered a set (6) new (in the box) Champion from eBay.  Delivered to the letter box for less than I could get them from a local "Autobarn" (parts shop). It may still be a little while before I need them but I find it better to buy these things as they are available.

 

Bernie j.

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Hello 
I think I may have discovered one reason, if not the main one, as to why there has been no attempt  to persuade Studebaker engine to start.
This morning I spoke at some length to Sandra (Sandy) Tilley the daughter of the (late) Merrigum owner. She tells me that her father had owned the car for at least 30 years and in all that time it was not started. 
This may be have been a very simple problem. The thread in the cylinder head to take the spark plug for the front cylinder has been stripped and a repair similar to one of todays “Helicoils” had been made but It had been “Stuck” onto the thread at the bottom of the spark plug and then for a second time the thread in the head stripped . At this  stage all attempts to repair this seem to have been have been abandoned. What is now needed is a plug  that will screw into the head and that can be drilled and taped to take a new spark plug. While doing this it may be an ideal time to make adaptors to take 14 mm spark plugs for all the six cylinders.*
Sandy also told me that her father found that after leaving it for some time the motor had become “stuck" and could not be turned over.

No further attempts to start it were made. I also discovered that I had not tightened the wheel “Nut”for the left hand rear wheel. The noise we were hearing when rocking the car back and forth was simply the hub slipping in the wheel.
* Your comments are welcome. 


We are off in the morning to drive in the Lagonda to Hamilton (200 miles) for the start of the VSCC "Wimera Wander”. 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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George Calder in Christchurch, NZ,  makes plug adaptors, amongst other things. I have a set in both the GE Studebaker and the 1929 Plymouth. Call him on 0064 3 338 5372. A good guy. He works out of his garage in Hoon Hay, Christchurch, reconditioning engines. He is involved in the project building new Bentley 4.5 litre engines. Interesting story here of his working relationship with the late Bob Turnbull.  https://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/rare-engineer

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For the one damaged thread I am going have my son Steve make one with an oversized thread. It is not a problem.

 

Bj

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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We have just returned last night from a very enjoyable four days touring in the Lagonda Rapier. Please note that is actually driving in the car not towing it in a climate controlled fully enclosed trailer. In the four days we covered about 1,600 miles mainly on narrow single lane country roads with practically no other traffic for much of the time. That is apart from things like 30/98 Vauxhauls and a Bugatti, plus one or two Lancias. When we arrived home we found that our friendly post delivery man had after realising that we were not at home brought our mail in and placed it on our front door mat. Among this mail were two parcels with USA mail and Australian Customs lables on them. A third parcel came in a local mail  bag, it contained pack with six new 18mm D 16 Champion spark plugs in it. The smaller US Mail one contained the original pattern and obviously aged Briggs & Stratton ignition key #39 to fit the Studebakers ignition/light switch. 

 A larger parcel came from Faxon Auto Literature with one of their excellent reprints of the 1920-21 Light Six service manual.

First thing was to give the internals of the switch a generous "squirt" of penetrating oil. Then after some carefully 'wiggling' the key fitted neatly into the switch after a few more minutes of gentle "wiggling" the key turns switching the Ignition part of the switch on and off. All quite remarkable after it had spent much of its 97 years unused.

I have just had a quick look through the Faxon reprint and it would appear to be a very faithful copy of the original manual with very clear and informative illustrations and written instructions. a valuable addition to my small but growing Studebaker library.

It may take a day or two to give the Lagonda a thorough service and clean then I can be back to work on the Studebaker. 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Welcome back Bernie! Glad you and your wife had a good time. Nothing better than touring in an old car with your girl. :)

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Thank you Paul

 

Now a question .....

I have actually walked around the Studebaker since our return, trying to decide what to do next. The more that I look at the car the more puzzled I tend to become. Not only does my cars body NOT have a cowl vent but also the provision for the protective "rubbing strip" around the scuttle is non existent and it seems that the protective webbing is something of an "after-thought". It is only attached across the top of the scuttle and does not  continue down the sides

Is this the same for other Light Six bodies?

It strikes me that it is almost like a prototype or a "pre-production" body. I would be interested to see how this compares with some other Light Six bodies.

Looking at the photo, the location of the holes that once held the decorative bead around the centre line would indicate that it (the bead) would have interfered with the seating of the hood. Again the Gold pin stripe runs right to the edge of the scuttle

Also where can I find numbers of "Right Hand Drive", Light Six built for a particular year, especially 1920 ?

 

Bernie j.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hi Bernie,

Based on your chassis and engine serial numbers I think we have firmly established that you have a 1920 model as the numbers fit the records that exist. Being a 1920 it would not have a shroud ventilator. Those were added on the 1922 models and beyond.

It's a bit hard to see in the one photo, but it looks like there are holes in the body going down the sides (right along the edge) where the hoodlace would attach via split rivets. The hoodlace was a four piece design along the back side of the hood....oops, I mean bonnet.

In the top photo, the hole to the left of the trim screw hole looks to be the top hole for the hoodlace.

Scott

 

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You are no doubt correct Scott,

It is just that I am more used to seeing a "Joggle" running along the edge of the scuttle where the windlace for hood sits.

I would still be interested to learn how many Right Hand Drive Light Sixes were built in 1920.

 

Bernie j.

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3 hours ago, oldcar said:

You are no doubt correct Scott,

It is just that I am more used to seeing a "Joggle" running along the edge of the scuttle where the windlace for hood sits.

I would still be interested to learn how many Right Hand Drive Light Sixes were built in 1920.

 

Bernie j.

I guess the Studebaker Museum archives might help?  Do you have any evidence as to where the car was built? Canada maybe, or South Bend? The standard colour was black on black and wood wheels so maybe your car was special order?   I know Studebaker did build cars in Canada but which models and when I don't know. The Standard Catalog makes mention of Canadian production as early as 1918, but is short on details. It does say that only about 7,000 Series 20 cars were built in total, but doesn't give details of where. The introduction date was April 1920. I guess they went to the 1921 specification models in mid 1920, and built about 28,000 of those.. As they built another 45,000 Series 22 models I guess they were cranking up the production rate. Studebaker was certainly going through a period of rapid expansion at the time - 1920 sales about 50,000, by 1924 it was around three times that. It is mentioned that there was a new factory for the Light Six. The Crestline Studebaker history book has some info re the new 'South Bend Plant Two'.   It says that delays in getting the new factory going held back the introduction date.  Mention is made that serial number 1,106,001 was the last aluminium head car. 

 

All of the 1920s Studes I have seen here in NZ seem to be US cars.

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Thank you nzcarnerd

Sorry, but I have little or no knowledge of my cars origin. I am endeavouring to learn as much as I can about it, but it's history is very vague.

Only a very few people still alive seem to have even known of its existence prior to my purchase just a few weeks back. As a car exported to Australia when new in 1920 it was only driven up to 1942 and covered just 36016 miles in those 22 years. Engine Number shown on the registration disk, 2350 is  correct. 

About 1,600 miles per year#. 

# For comparison, we have just last week driven that far in our 1934 Lagonda Rapier in four days.

See also:-

 

Bj..

Reg Label .jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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