As he said, “I’ve wanted one since I was 12 years old”.
The original owner didn’t like the fins on the late 50s Studebakers, so he waited until that era ended. The car has spent its entire life in the semi arid confines of central Washington State, so the term solid survivor is appropriate.
The car went through one more owner before Howard acquired it five years ago. Howard used the car as a daily driver for the last years of his working career. In addition to that, every one of his six kids have driven the car. The last one passed his driver’s test in the 50 year old Studebaker. As Howard said, “they use it when their stuff breaks.”
Howard’s daughter borrowed the car when her new VW was in the shop and she found out how much power the old Studie had when she topped a long hill at 90 miles per hour. She pinned the old classic like she was driving her Volkswagen on the same hill but the results were far different with the torque of the old solid lifter 289.
He has a very casual game plan for the old Studebaker because he’s having so much fun with the car right now. Howard loves driving the car-particularly on the highway. As he reports, “the car gets out there at freeway speed, it really dangles and handles great, especially with the radials. It’ll do 49 miles per hour in first gear.”
When Howard does start the process of restoration, he “knows he’s got a lot to work with,” He doesn’t expect too much down time in his beloved Studebaker. He has a long term plan to bring this car back to factory fresh. After that, the car won’t leave the family – this legacy will stay in the hands of his kids. They told Howard that, “under no circumstances can this car disappear.”
For more of J Sutherland’s work go to mystarcollectorcar.com