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My 33 Chevy is history and I now have a 1948 Studebaker Commander


Dennis Jones
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My 1933 Chevy Master Coupe was hit in the rear fender.  The impact was severe enough that the whole wooden framing was damaged.  After about a month of insurance adjusters and a body shop inspecting it was determined the cost of repair was higher than it was insured for.  So a couple of days ago I bought a 1948 Studebaker Commander.  I got it running today and still need to do numerous other stuff but I am very happy with this car.

 

 

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Edited by Dennis Jones
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It would be a shame to let that Chevy go. I have known of several "totaled" cars restored after nasty accidents. Often, most of the parts are easier to freshen up than than it is to restore usual rusty and bent stuff. Generally, the "impact" zones are much worse, and may require more work to straighten distorted metal than many restorers are willing to do. If those items are available? Replacing them is the way to go. 

Sometimes, the "domino" effect comes into play. It isn't the parts directly hit in the collision that are the real trouble. It is the twisted frame that broke the clutch housing and transmission case, flexed the radiator beyond its limits, and fractured the engine's crankcase. Still. I have seen some amazing re-restorations after terrible accidents.

Every wreck has to be assessed on its own merits.

 

A bit over a decade ago, some good friends in the local HCCA Regional group I have belonged to for almost thirty years, were on a horseless carriage club tour when a big-rig driver hopped up and driving way over the highway's speed limits plowed into the back of their 1912 model T touring car. Miraculously, my friends were okay after a day or two observation.

But the car was as bad as almost anything ever in an accident. My friends didn't want for the car, a solid original that had not had anything more than a minor cosmetic restoration, to be lost on their stewardship. Also, the car was a Southern wide-track Ford. After the settlement with the insurance companies, which included them keeping the car, they bought another car for themselves. And then did what was right for the car. They GAVE the car, which actually had a couple thousand dollars worth of early T parts that were still not badly damaged, to a good friend of theirs. That friend, also a long-time good friend of mine, had quite a reputation for being able to restore almost anything! One could say, that he was a bit obsessive about "fixing" difficult challenges! The deal was simple. He got the remains of the twisted mess, he restored it as best he could, and it was his. What he did was so amazing, it is difficult to believe. He salvaged nearly all the original wood in the body. Glued and clamped and put it all back together. One rear wheel had been reduced to splinters and twisted metal. That wood of course had to be replaced. The steel rim, was mashed and shaped more like a pretzel than a wheel. That rim was one of the few pieces that he did not restore! The original aluminum hood that flew off the car, landing in a traffic lane and run over by about a dozen cars before someone picked it up? He restored it. When  he began, he said the parts he would not use were the rear wheel, the hood, and the brass tail-lamp. The only one he didn't restore was the wheel rim. The tail-lamp? Mashed flat. He said he wouldn't fix it. But he set it on his dining room table, and walked by it every day. Of course, all the glass was gone. But he looked at the rest, and thinking about it. Then he began annealing, and straightening one part a little bit. Then a little more. Then another part. Then another. A few minutes here, a few minutes there. Maybe finished with something else, but not quite ready to call it a night? A few months later, it didn't look so bad. So he worked on it some more.

When he was done, the car was nicer and better than it had been since it was new.

 

It can be done.

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Guest Mark McAlpine
On 11/3/2020 at 10:53 PM, Dennis Jones said:

My 1933 Chevy Master Coupe was hit in the rear fender.  The impact was severe enough that the whole wooden framing was damaged.  After about a month of insurance adjusters and a body shop inspecting it was determined the cost of repair was higher than it was insured for.  So a couple of days ago I bought a 1948 Studebaker Commander.  I got it running today and still need to do numerous other stuff by I am very happy with this car

 

Hello Dennis.  I'm very sorry to hear about your 1933 Chevrolet, but congratulations on your "new" Studebaker!  I look forward to seeing it an AACA activity some time next year.  Be safe and stay healthy!

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