More questions to the experts

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More questions to the experts

Postby Mainstreetprod » 2023 Oct 09 Mon 6:40 am

Have some nagging questions about how these cars were originally built:

1) Did they ever come from the factory with carpeting, or could it be ordered as an option or accessory? Mine has it, pretty sure it's not original but according to a parts vendor I just asked, yes you could order it (but not in red). On another forum they are adament it never came with anything but rubber mats.

2) Mine has a steering wheel that is obviously bakelite or similar plastic, otherwise it looks correct (Regal with horn ring). It's cracked in about 30 places. The replacement I ordered and every other wheel I see appears to be painted black rubber.

3) Did every on come with Conestoga tailgate script from the factory? So far there's no sign mine ever had one- but I haven't opened up the tailgate yet.
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Re: More questions to the experts

Postby Mike » 2023 Oct 09 Mon 7:54 am

1 - All of the Regals came with carpeting, in all models of Studebakers.
The bottom of the line cars, Taxi cabs, Police cars, City cars Forestry cars (my four door is an old Forestry car) yes, just rubber mats, but the Regal is a couple of steps up...from the bottom of the line, and Studebaker was proud of the Regal versions of their cars !

2 - Hmm...well, it IS...almost 70 years later, right. Not everything is available in correct form in 2023 for a 1954 car !
And yes, the originals were a plastic, that does...break apart. Good ol Father Time !
There are "steering wheel restore" shops, but beware, they aren't cheap. The internet is your friend, use Google or other search engine. Don't...use the Studebaker name. Just go looking for old cars or antique cars steering wheel restoration shops. THEN...ask about the Stude specific wheels. My guess is that all good restore shops will be willing to do the Stude wheel. The only possible problem, is will they have the exact color that you need. You may have to settle with a shade or two off.
AND...remember, your current wheel IS almost 70 years old, so the "exact" original...color is long gone !

3 - I "believe" yes. But I've seen brand new cars, on the showroom floor, with the wrong badges, or no badges where there should have been one, so yeah, anything is possible. BUT...being a Regal...my bet is that you'll find some filled in holes where a Conestoga script used to be.
Your best bet is to dig into the interior of the tailgate and look for filled holes. Right side (passenger), just above center, at an angle.

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Re: More questions to the experts

Postby Mainstreetprod » 2023 Oct 09 Mon 8:42 pm

Here's another thing: My car has "Automatic Drive". Have you run across other Connies so equipped?
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Re: More questions to the experts

Postby Mike » 2023 Oct 09 Mon 10:30 pm

Hmmm, that's one that I've never heard of. Other than just a name for the regular automatic transmission.
I'll go digging myself. I've got a friend that's a very LONG time Studebaker owner, who's worked on, rebuilt, owned many of the Studebaker brand. If you want a Stude auto trans. rebuilt, he's one to call. Another thing he's been doing a long time.
I'll ask him, see what he has to say.

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Re: More questions to the experts

Postby Mainstreetprod » 2023 Oct 10 Tue 6:36 am

Yeah, it's just Studebaker's name for an automatic. Good to know someone can still rebuild them (where is he located?). Mine seems to shift fine except for a bit of a clunk in reverse.
Someone I talked to this weekend (a parts vendor with 750,000 parts) said it was really rare for someone to order automatic in a wagon. He also confirmed what you said about carpeting and showed me the part numbers.
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Re: More questions to the experts

Postby Mike » 2023 Oct 10 Tue 7:35 am

I've got a total of three 54, and one 55 wagon, two are automatic transmissions, one three speed with overdrive. When I was looking for my first, seemed that what I was finding it was about 60%-40% automatic, to three speeds.

John's in SoCal (Orange County). He does write-up's and answers questions in Turning Wheels every month (or at least he has for many years !).

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Re: More questions to the experts

Postby Mainstreetprod » 2023 Oct 10 Tue 11:17 am

Wow, I would have figured, at least on Ford and Chevy cars, that 3 speeds would have been ordered 5-1 over autos in the early 50's!
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Re: More questions to the experts

Postby Mike » 2023 Oct 10 Tue 1:02 pm

Johns answer about the trans question. Copied from my e-mail -

That’s what Studebaker called the 3 band, Warner gear DG200,250 transmission. The ‘50-‘55 sedans had chrome emblem on the trunk lid that says that. Evidently the wagons also. I believe the C-K bodies had it as well.

Hope this helps.

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