Spring 2002 Issue #17

The JTN is intended to provide a link among owners and enthusiasts of the high performance Studebakers (Larks & Hawks) built for 1963 and 1964. We seek not only information about surviving cars but also parts which exist from ”parted” units. Please submit all the data of which you are aware on any of the nearly 2000 such cars built. Feel free to make copies of this notice to share with others who may be interested. Your contributions both financial and material will help to ensure its survival.

This newsletter is available by subscription for $5 a year. JTN is published in March and September. If you are the owner of a previously unreported JT car, the owner of a removed JT engine, the locator of a parted JT car, or if you can refer the JTN to such an owner, you will be sent a one time, gratis issue for your effort. Please write, call or email. The annual subscription fee for 2002 is due. Please remit to G.J. (Ron) Ellerbe at the address below. PLEASE NOTE NEW MAILING ADDRESS.

EDITOR & ROSTER KEEPER..... G.J. (Ron) Ellerbe, P.O. Box 1783, Simi Valley, CA 93062

Phone: (805)-522-4544 Email:

Founding Editor: Don Curtis Past Editor: George Krem


JT Production Lists by Serial Number

These listings tabulate all cars built by serial and engine number and a few additional details. They are useful for determining the factory original state of that JT car and/or JT engine origins. The 1964 list has more information on each car than the 1963 list.

JT Owners Rosters: A single package contains the following 3 rosters: 1) owners of 1963 JT cars, 2) owners of 1964 JT cars, and 3) owners of engines pulled from JT cars.

JT 1963 Production Listing $10
JT 1964 Production Listing $10
JT Owner Rosters $10

To order any of the above, make checks payable to the editor and remit to same.


All address corrections should be sent to the editor.


If you have a JT car to report, please supply the editor with the year, model, body style, VIN (driver’s door post), body # (firewall), engine type, engine # (top of block on driver’s side), transmission, interior and exterior colors. If it’s a ’63, please note if it has front fender badges and 160mph speedometer. Send a photo. For a loose JT or JTS engine, send the engine # and any info on the donor car.




The Mission of the Jet Thrust News

A permanent goal of the JTN remains the maintenance of the owner rosters of 63 and 64 JT cars and loose engines. These 3 rosters are published on the PC. Reports of JT cars that the JTN receives go into the rosters. That includes changes of ownership, engine transplants, survivor discoveries and news of parted and crushed vehicles. “Loose” means the engine is no longer in its original car. The roster trio is available as shown on the title page. The original 1964 production summary listing is available as is 1963 production listing. The JTN keeps a library of photos and build sheets. Please send JTN your photos and build sheet along with that JT story. JTN is keeping a detailed ledger of sightings and reports of JT cars that have not been identified by VIN. With the aid of the readership, we do our best to track down such sightings. JTN counts on its readers to report such sightings and to aid in identification. This list has several dozen cars on it.

Another part of the JTN mission is sharing of technical and historical information about Studebaker high performance from South Bend and Paxton Products during the 1963 and 1964 model years. .

The library of photos has been assembled into an album. The photos in the album are in VIN order and were taken from many sources including the Internet, old Stude magazine coverage, TW issues and the US mail. There are nearly 200 cars represented. JTN always wants more. Photo prints in 4 by 6 inch format are ideal for use on the newsletter cover. Good cover photos are sought for those sharp JT gems out there.

Photocopies of back issues are available. $15 for a set of issues #1 - #16, postpaid. Contact your editor.

Roster News

Surviving cars found since the last issue

Owner Car Owner Car
(S) Jerry Kaiser 63V16014 R2 Regal 2 door Greg &Don Shaw 63V29859 R2 package GT Hawk
Mike Wencel 63V11974 R1 GT Hawk Ron Nickerson 63V36157 R2 package GT Hawk
Ted Pilesky 63V3725 R2 GT Hawk (S)John Brichetto 63V13937 R1 GT Hawk

(S) indicates the person does not have the car but has information on the car.

Cars determined to be non-surviving

Car Car Car Car
63V13945 R1 Cruiser 63V33546 R1 GT Hawk 63V29821 R1 Daytona hardtop 63V19891 Police 4 door

Found engines

Owner Number
Richard Gahlbeck JT1467 from 63V13945 R1 Cruiser
Larry Leek JT1313 from 63V8914 R1 Cruiser
John Van Winkle JT1495 from 63V15237 R1 GT
David Grant JTS1451 from 63V18507 R2 Custom 2 dr
Michael Gruy JT1864 from 63V33546 R1 GT
(S)Nelson Bove JTS1005 from 63V1356 Daytona Hardtop
Larry Schnell JT1561 from 63V17802 GT Hawk
Jim Cain JT1652 from 63V21124 GT Hawk
Ron Allen JT1090 from 63V3441 GT Hawk

Cars sold

Owner Car Last owner
Jo-Ann Kraynack 63V28318 R2 GT Hawk Larry Proft
Dale Shaffer 64V5682 R1 GT Hawk Roger Penn
Bill Cherwayko 63V1640 R2 GT Hawk Rich Romer
Gary Hein Bill Cherwayko
Mike Divins 64V17068 R1 GT Hawk Chuck Kenney
David Kornrumpf 64V11525 R2 pkg GT Hawk John Brichetto
John Poulos 64V5470 R1 pkg GT Hawk Lola Moore
Eric @ John Poulos
John Poulos 63V133937 R1 GT Hawk Alcoa, TN Pontiac dealer
Missing person 63V10086 R1 GT Hawk Larry Schnell
J. Dell Burkhart 63V16252 R1 GT Hawk Bill Jordan

South Bend SDC International Meet Next June The big meet returns to South Bend this year on June 23-29. The JT turnout promises to be greater than ever. Come to South Bend, enjoy and help your newsletter gather the facts and photos.

Rear Axle Ratios in ’63 JT 4 speed cars

It’s believed that the standard rear axle ratio for all R1 and R2 cars equipped with 4 speed for 1963 was 3.73. Put another way, if the build sheet didn’t specify a ratio, the car got 3.73. JTN would like to build a base of facts to back up or refute this. If you have a ’63 4 speed JT Lark or Hawk and the build sheet doesn’t show a ratio option, we would like to know what ratio the car originally had.

“The Whistler” 63V15969 This was the handle of the Ray Tanner (Phoenix, AZ) AHRA drag car. Andy Petrass has researched the car’s VIN with the aid of a great photograph but wasn’t able to pin down the VIN. JTN published this photo courtesy of Bob Palma in JTN #5 and #6. The car was a 1963 2 door Regal R2 4 speed. Via Jerry Kaiser, Bill Eastburn relates that the car was Blue Mist. With the aid of George Krem, JTN has determined its VIN to be 63V15969. The car was ordered without heater or radio. The fate of Whistler and its engine remains unknown.

Andy Granatelli at the Studebaker National Museum Andy Granatelli is scheduled to appear at the Museum on May 10 for induction into the Hall of Fame.

Records Set by Car #4 R4 GT Hawk 64V1004 at Bonneville in 1963

These are all American Class C closed 5 liter records.

Event Fly /Stnd Start Speed Driver Date   Event Fly /Stnd Start Speed Driver Date
1 km S 75.64 A 9/11   5 km F 147.86 A 9/10
1 m S 88.32 A   5 m F 147.81 A 9/10
5 km S 117.74 A   10 km F 147.66 A 9/10
5 m S 124.10 A   10 m F 141.90 A 9/11
10 km S 129.53 A   25 km F 132.30 V 10/21
10 m S 131.17 A   25 m F 134.91 V
25 km S 139.36 V 10/21   50 km F 135.81 V
25 m S 139.49 V   50 m F 137.01 V
50 km S 139.49 V   75 km F 136.91 V
50 m S 138.95 V   75 m F 136.90 V
75 km S 139.04 V   100 km F 137.10 V
75 m S 137.94 V   100 m F 136.54 V
100 km S 138.34 V   200 km F 136.00 V
100 m S 137.14 V   200 m F 135.45 V
200 km S 135.82 V   250 km F 134.51 V
200 m S 136.02 V   250 m F 136.12 V
250 km S 135.21 V   300 km F 135.24 V
250 m S 136.51 V   300 m F 135.57 V B
300 km S 135.78 V   400 km F 136.11 V
300 m S 135.91 V B   400 m F 135.24 V B
400 km S 136.50 V   500 km F 135.67 V B
400 m S 135.47 V B   500 m F 135.84 V B
500 km S 135.93 V B   1000 km F 135.29 V B
500 m S 136.03 V B   1 hour S 134.91 V
1000 km S 135.42 V B   3 hours S 135.27 V B
1 km F 147.77 A 9/10   1 hour F 134.53 V
1 m F 147.14 A   3 hours F 135.52 V B

S is standing start. F is flying start.

#4 also set Int’l Class C and Nat’l Class C 1000 km records for a standing start at 135.29 mph. Vince and Barbara were at the wheel on 10/21.

V is Vince Granatelli B is Barbara Nieland A is Andy Granatelli

#4 is believed to have been powered by R4 B28. B28 survives in California but it’s not with the car. #4 was bought, R4 and all, by Richard Paul according to Vince Granatelli (Andy’s son). The car also survives in California and had the factory original R1 JT1891 in it at one time. Neither the prospects for reuniting B28 and the car nor restoration seem good at this time. JTN archive has a great photo of the car posing with Barbara Nieland and Paula Murphy.

JTN on the Web Information about JTN can be found on two Web sites. Frank Ambrogio, 56J Editor, has made a JTN page on John Poulos has hosted select JTN back issues on The issues have been edited for the Web.

Cars of the Sizzling 60’s
This book is one of a series of table top car books. In it can be found photos of Ralph Hickman’s 63 R2 convertible, Jon Myer’s ’63 R2 Custom and the mysterious ’64 convertible found on Jody Kerr’s web site.

Jody Kerr’s web site There is a ’64 ragtop in a photo on Jody’s terrific web site. The car is on a drag strip with palm trees in the background, has full package badges, white top and class A marked on it. Have a look, please, under the “photos by year” section. This car might be Bonneville #3.

Catching up on Letters from Far and Wide

Thanks to all of you who wrote for keeping JTN up to date.

Tony Berbig and 63V33120 This is the surviving R2 package wagon. Tony has a major restoration project well underway on this black 4 speed Midwest car. Tony has acquired and overhauled the blower and the engine is being reassembled after a rebuild. Body repairs are in progress as is the acquisition of the parts needed to bring the car back to its glory.

Greg & Don Shaw and 63V29859 This car is a recent discovery of another Powershift Super Red R2 package Hawk. The Shaw family got the car from ABC Motors in Tacoma, WA in 1966 and have owned it since. The car is solid and is getting a light restoration. The engine block was replaced by ABC Motors in 1966. The car has 56K miles.

Ron Nickerson and 63V36157 Ron called after reading about Bonneville Hawks in December Turning Wheels. Ron very recently acquired this Powershift Super Red R2 package GT Hawk. A full, frame up restoration is being done on the GT, which Dave Thibeault owned until 1985. The car was once in the Boston, MA Museum of Transportation and has black interior and the original engine. It will be painted Regal Red. This was the last Super Red GT made. Spring completion is planned. That makes 6 4 speed plus 6 Powershift survivors in Super Red Hawks.

Ted Pilesky and 63V3725 Ted acquired this Champagne Gold, 4 speed R2 GT Hawk at the January Kruse auction in Ft. Lauderdale. The car has a 160 mph speedometer, a black half roof , 22,775 original miles and the original engine, JTS1012. Kruse advertised the car as coming from a Texas estate. The interior is black & optional equipment includes TT, front disc brakes & fold down seats.

Craig Von Allmen and 63V19891 Craig reports that this 4 door R1 Police Y3 model has been parted out and scrapped. The engine, JT1610, was missing from the car. A ’53 Cadillac engine was in it!

Steve Confortini on 64V11353 “When I purchased this R1 Daytona hardtop last winter my first thought was to get it running, drive it a little, and work on it a little at a time. BIG MISTAKE ! I'm too much of a perfectionist to leave anything alone. Everything I looked at was totally hacked by the previous owner. Rather than take a chance with someone else's repairs I've decided to start from scratch. After uncovering some really ugly stuff, I'm glad I went this route. The car is completely apart now and every small item has been bagged, labeled and stored for future restoration. My garage looks like a stock room! The body is ready to come off the frame and go to the media blaster. There will be a lot of welding to be done on the body shell, floors are ok [the one part probably farmed out to a professional by the previous owner] but the trunk, upper trunk walls and upper cowl area [around the hood hinge pockets] need some work. Amazingly the outer sheet metal is in great shape [solid no bondo] accept for one fender”.

The Kraynacks and 63V28318 Jo-Ann and Charles Kraynack are the owners of this beautiful Rose Mist R2 GT restored by Dave Ridge. The Kraynacks asked if the gas cap, which was lost, should have the “USE PREMIUM FUEL ONLY” decal on it and if it the decal is the same as on Avanti. We believe the answers to both questions is yes. If anyone can confirm or deny that advice, please contact your editor. At least one ’64 R2 GT past owner has stated that his car came new without the decal. This issue seems to be ripe for an authenticity survey. What do you GT owners think?

Jim Kistler and JTJ317 JTN wrote Jim about the origins of this loose R1 engine. The engine number was used on 6 cars only one of which was a 4 speed. In reply, Jim reports that he got the engine with a perfectly dialed in 4 speed and bell housing. He and JTN are persuaded that the one car was the engine’s donor. The car was 64V13959, a red 2 door Commander.

Paul Work and 63V29466 Paul discovered this 63 Custom R1 4 door 3 speed on a farm 20 miles South of Rolla, MO. That was over 10 years ago. Paul bought the already extracted R1 engine, JT 1802, and used it in a ’64 P/U project. JTN lost track of Paul after he reported finding the car but made contact with him after Frank Ambrogio published his email address in 56J. Paul reports that the engine and the pickup went with him when he moved to Oregon. The Custom may still be on the farm in MO. A big thanks to Frank and Paul.

Jack Shiver and 64V15772 Issue #16 mentioned that Bruce Sandburg was the owner of the engine JTK330 from Jack Cruiser. Jack contacted Bruce last June. He knew all about the car and he had an interesting story about the engine. While driving through Deming, NM in 1978, Bruce spotted the car on a used car lot and noticed the fender tags. He saw right away that the engine was non-stock, but the car lot owner directed him to a garage across town where JTK330 sat on a dirt floor. It seems that the "mechanic" there had rebuilt the JT mill, but it howled when it was fired up so it was pulled and a stock 289 used in its place. Bruce got a deal on it and yanked all of the goodies off for various other engines over the years. All that remained were the block, pan, breather tube and timing cover-the unique JT stuff. The engine was in the garage of a house Bruce owns in Tucson. Jack took up Bruce on his offer and the engine was delivered in Albuquerque on Bruce’s way to Red Wing.

JTK330 sits in Jack’s shed, waiting patiently for a return to its former glory. Rebuild parts include a set of new .030-over pistons and rings, a new camshaft and new aluminum gear, a new vibration damper and a new set of rod bolts. Another project is the conversion of son Lucas' 60V-F4 owner built R1 to an R2.

Richard Gahlbeck and 63V13945 Orange County Studebaker’s Jason Thomas mentioned that his old friend Rich Gahlbeck had parted a ‘63 R1 Cruiser. JTN located Rich and learned the car’s identity and fate with help from James Bell. The Cruiser was Blue Mist and very well equipped with disc brakes, power steering, P/B Radio, HD Flightomatic, R-1 engine JT1467, A/C, full tinted glass, 3.31 TT, seat belts, 140 MPH speedo, Rich plans to use the engine in '63 GT Hawk with a Standard Surplus Ford case T-10 4-speed. The Cruiser went to the crusher in 1998 when it was beyond practical restoration. The car came from Big Bear Lake, CA and had been at a local high school where the shop applied many hammer blows to the body and many bondo jobs. The car had been repainted a heavy metallic blue over a powder blue Earl Scheib job that looked like a ‘62 Stude color. It also had serious rust to the point that when the claw lifted it out of my U-Haul auto transport trailer the roof tore off dumping the (3) engines in it all over the place.

Up to 1971 Richard owned a Blue Mist R1 '63 GT Hawk. The GT had recessed parking lights, simulated walnut trim on the radio panel & glove box door, powershift, A/C, deck mounted antenna, disc brakes, Goodyear blue streak tires and incorrectly located fender badges. The car was a fine driver. Richard’s father was a salesman at Frank H. Afton Studebaker in Inglewood CA.

Bill Cherwayko and the 28K mile 63V1640 Bill purchased this very early 4 speed, Champagne Gold Hawk from second owner Rich Romer. The original owner was Tom Schlichting. Romer replaced seals, brakes, and hoses. The chrome is in excellent shape but the interior needs carpet and cloth inserts. Finishing Touch at Fountain Hills, AZ recently repainted the car it’s original color. Bill states that the well equipped car is fast and a pleasure to drive. The build sheet says it was outfitted with a wet air cleaner! The car now belongs to Gary Hein of Prescott, AZ.

Mike Divins and 64V17068 Mike bought this R1 GT Hawk several years ago from Chuck Kenney in Michigan, sightunseen, and had it shipped to me on Long Island, New York. Engine and chassis numbers match. Mike was unable to do anything with the car until about 6 months ago. At a car show sponsored by our local SDC chapter (Long Island Studebaker Drivers Club), Mike met Charles Salvato, owner of the Gaslite Garage in Holbrook NY. Charles restores and works on vehicle manufactured up to 1975, particularly Hudsons. After a lengthy chat, Mike brought the car in to his shop for repair. It was leaking antifreeze and exuding white exhaust from the left tailpipe. It was determined that the head gasket was shot. Opening up the engine led to bit of disappointment. The valves were well worn and one cylinder was scored. Charles went work on the car. Valves were replaced with hardened valves. Oversize pistons and rings were installed and new guides were put into place. On the advice of Tom Portesy of the LISDC, Chevrolet Vega guides were used. Motor and transmission mounts were replaced and the car was being detailed as of November. Extensive repairs include fixing the clock and tachometer and installing inner fenders from Classic Enterprises. The car will be in #1+ show condition and except for the inner fenders and valve guides, pure Studebaker.

Mike’s was a Studebaker family since 1950, owning a 1950 Champion, 1953 Champion, 1959 Lark VI hardtop and 1960 Lark VIII Station Wagon. Many of those Studebakers were purchased from Elwood Meyers of Meyers Middlesex Garage. He was a family friend and Studebaker dealer in Chester, Connecticut in the 1950's. Mike spent a lot of time hanging around his shop and showroom and has many fond stories to tell.

Ted Banner and 63V16643 As of December, Ted’s R2 GT Hawk was scattered all over the shop while undergoing an extensive cosmetic restoration. The car is in fine shape and well above average for the absence of rust but it did have two half-dollar sized holes in the front fenders. The holes have been correctly repaired with metal. The interior is out of the car except for headliner. The headliner was replaced four years ago along with all the rubber parts. Ted plans to repaint the Hawk in its current color, Rose Mist, with PPG base/clear coat on top of one epoxy primer coat and two filler coats. The car was originally Regal Red.

Ted decided to keep his totally rebuilt R1 engine, JT1045, and put it in a 61 T-Cab truck. The engine is loaded with NOS and repro parts and came from a GT Hawk 63V2428. The T-cab has been upgraded from T-4 trim T-6.The original 4:27 rear axle ratio was changed to a 3:73 ratio from an automatic T-cab. Ted added the optional 15" wheels and states that the truck with 3 speed O/d tranny makes for a great combination. Even with a frame off restoration and either NOS or rebuilt everything, the truck still rides and drives like a 40 year old truck. That's designed into it so it’s not a pleasurable ride at all.

Larry Leek and JT1313 Oregon’s Larry Leek salvaged this R1 engine with Powershift transmission from a 1950 Chevy P/U. Somebody had an interesting idea. The R1 came from a Silver Mist ’63 Cruiser 63V8914.

Fred Buchholz and 63V21322,”A Real Survivor”

Fred writes about his ’63 Daytona Hardtop, R1 4-speed, engine number JT-1665:

A good friend picked up this car in Springfield, MA in 1974, with a good body, usual fender rust, and a decent interior except for the dash. We were told that the original owner was in the Navy and had it in Virginia until he bought it. As I was later to determine, the original owner was diligent in maintaining this car, but the subsequent owner(s) was not. We found maintenance receipts from all over the country, and mechanically, the car was top notch, which leads us to believe the later owner was the one who ruined the dash by cutting a cup holder in the top of it! Fortunately, he owned it less than a year, so he didn’t have a chance to ruin much else.

My friend drove this car for all of a month in 1974, having fun blowing the doors off Mustangs, Camaro’s, and the like with its hopped up AFB. He then parked it in the back yard for restoration. Nine years later, still awaiting restoration, I helped him get it to another friend who was to do some of the work. Waiting for parts, it sat outside for another eight years, until it needed to be removed due to the friend’s impending relocation. At that time it was offered to me as a parts car. Sitting out in the New England weather for 17 years, I didn’t expect much more. So, I hooked up my trailer to the back of my ’62 Champ and brought it home. It was a sorry sight. The interior was unsalvageable due to water and rodents, the paint was indiscernible behind the layers of dirt, the front fenders were very rusted, and the rear quarters were badly dented due to a couple of back yard mishaps. Surprisingly, however, the body was very solid. The only rust through was under the dog legs where the doors were not closed all the way, and the bottoms of the doors and rockers. The inner body was solid. This car wanted to survive! Thus began the comeback.

I assumed the engine was stuck, so I soaked it for a couple of days. With the plugs out, I spun the engine with no problem. I changed the oil, put a new set of plugs in, and decided to spin the engine to bring up oil pressure, before I primed the carburetor. Amazingly, the engine caught and ran on the 8 year old gas in the tank! Will wonders never cease! And it ran good. Ten months later, with NOS fenders, doors, rear quarters, used trunk lid and hood, new headliner, and good used seats, it was on the road. After three weeks of working out the kinks, I hooked up my camper to it and went on vacation. It ran flawlessly, and continues to do so. As I had new outer sheet metal, I decided to eliminate the side moldings for a cleaner look. I also put heavy duty springs front and rear, and Ford 6” rims with P215R70’s. It rides and handles well. I also “detuned” the AFB primaries for better mileage, which now runs 17 to 20 rather than 13. It still goes when the secondaries are kicked in!

I got the build order for the car and found out it was delivered in Springfield, Oregon, so the car had indeed been around the country. It was and is a great car.

Kelly Marion’s Hawks An R1 ’63 GT Hawk , 63V2186, was rostered for years with JTN under Kelly’s ownership, then under Greg Scoggin. This Ray Tanner car was Rose Mist, A/T (regular Flightomatic, changed to an HD flightomatic), non package. Kelly found the car under a tree in Cottonwood, AZ and restored it. Greg bought it and sold it. It is in California but the current owner is unknown. The car is sought. Kelly also encountered a Black R1 ’63 GT in an AZ junkyard. The car had dual caliper Dunlop disc brakes. From AZ the car went to Colorado. The VIN is unknown. Kelly has acquired and refurbished R1 engine JT1645 for use in '62 4-speed GT.

Joe Flannery’s Super Lark clone Joe is building a Super Lark like the Stude Tomato. The car was a 259 4 bbl with duals, A/T and disc brakes and has been off of the road since 1978. Joe acquired everything needed to make a package R2 of the car. It has an R-2 from an Avanti with Jahns pistons and some head work. An Avanti steering box, quick ratio steering arms and the fattest Avanti sway bars front and rear were installed. The Avanti column was shortened to work with the steering box. It even has an Avanti steering wheel. The car should be raising hell sometime in May. All of the mechanicals are finished. It is only a matter of time before the body is done. The car has a 4 speed with the correct handle and knob welded to a Competition Plus to give a stock appearance. The clutch is a Center Force. The gears are 3.73:1 at the moment but Joe uses another complete 3.07 rear from an Avanti for road trips. Joe plans to take the car to South Bend in June.

Joe converted the Avanti R-2 to the JT style top mount blower. Prior to conversion, Joe tried unsuccessfully to use the Avanti body blower drive set up. The big stack of drive pulleys didn’t clear the radiator of the ‘63. The conversion used parts from Ted Harbit and Jon Myer. A NOS left 1/4 panel is still needed. The car will get black paint and a John Poulos black vinyl interior kit with buckets, console, and Cruiser style rear seat with the arm rest.

R1 Hawk Sighting in California Joe Hall reported seeing an unusual JT car on a used car lot in Victorville. That was 1998. The car was a Green Mist GT with A/C, green interior, headrests, tachometer, column shift A/T. This non-package R1 was in fine unrestored shape with nearly 100K miles. JTN does not have the identity of this Hawk but we want to track it down.

Early Bonneville #2 History Larry Claypool relates that Bill Von Esser, Jr of Chicago obtained R3 powered Convertible #2 from the Granatellis in 1964. The standard pulley set was on the car at the time. The Von Esser family operated a speed shop. Bill used the car on the street for a few months before trading it to Nicke Chevrolet. In one incident, Bill was poking along the highway between Rockport and Chicago at high two digit speed. Bill spotted a vehicle pulling up behind him and proceeded to accelerate away from the car. Again, the vehicle pulled behind and Bill took off hard, leaving the other car far behind. At the next toll gate, Bill found the State Police waiting for him. While awarding Bill a nice citation, the Police seemed quite interested in the performance of the car that cruised at 140 mph.

Nelson Bove, the car’s current owner, has contacted Von Esser.

Tag Mr. Ed Another car has been connected to the Mr. Ed TV series. As we researched the two ’64 cars that got engine serial # JTSJ313, we found that one was an all black GT Hawk, 64V6763. This non-package R2 Hawk’s built sheet showed a tag for South Bend and Mr. Ed. Was such a car seen on Mr. Ed? Help, anybody. The car is believed to have been in Southern California through 1970.

VIN Research With vital assistance from George Krem, JTN continues to pursue interesting production topics. One of those topics is the identification of Rique Lydem’s Super Red ’63 R2 (JTN issue 15). We believe 63V36315, a Regal 2 dr 4 speed with engine JTS 1700, was the car. The best evidence is the shipping destination of Torrington, CT. While looking up VINs, George found that another Super Red R2 Regal, 63V31113, was tagged as a South Bend Speedway Pace Car. Another VIN project involves Rich Childers’ Regal Red ’63 Regal 2 door. Rich dragged this original R1 in the Los Angeles area in the 60’s. The car’s engine was upgraded to R3 specs and ran consistent low 12 sec ET. The car is now in Minnesota but it’s VIN has been unknown. Rich believes the car was originally 4 speed (now Powershift). Once again, George came through with a best estimate VIN based on geography. That VIN is 63V14462, a car which was shipped to Glendale, CA.


I’ve owned a lot of fast cars in my day. It goes back to the days when I used to drag race with my dad’s 1951 Plymouth in downtown Muskegon. Racing with an under-powered flat-head six and three-on-the-tree, one learned how to drive pretty well if one hoped to survive. And it was in those years that I decided that someday I would have faster cars. And I did.

I must quickly confess, however, that of all my fast cars, before and after 1963, none, absolutely none, was more fun than my ‘63 Super Lark!

I guess that’s why it is such a thrill for me to make the drive to Stanton each September and watch Ted Harbit scream down the track in a red version of my old Super Lark. The looks, the sound, the performance of the Stude Tomato are therapy for me. And perhaps they make me a little goofy.

Note what comes next.

I was sitting next to Ted’s wife during one of the dry runs at the Pure Muscle Car Drags this year, telling her how I had had a car like that, saying how much I enjoyed racing, when she said, "You’re never too

old, you know!" And there was truth to her statement, because Ted isn’t a young man any more. And yet his driving rivals that of any of the youngsters on the drag strip!

Well, that started my thought processes more than it should have. Studememories started converting to Studedreams!

As many of you know, I drive a car that sounds the same as the Stude Tomato. It’s a Super Hawk, 63V31103. It’s a 1963 GT Hawk, and one of the genuine R2 units still in existence. If I remember the statistics provided by Ron Ellerbe of Jet Thrust News, we have about nine of the 43 still on the road!

It sounds great, it feels good! It looks nice, but it’s not a show car, and the interior really needs some help.

But I have never raced legally in my life. Every time I took on someone with the Super Lark, I was watching the rear view mirror! I scored some excellent victories, but not without a thumping heartbeat!

This time it will be different. I am going to race the Hawk! I’m not sure how, yet. I tried some acceleration tests on a back road just before I put it away this winter . It will be an embarrassment to the Studebaker crowd if things don’t get better. But, we are going to spend time on it next summer. I love to race, and I’m going to race! September, 2002! Age 65 is not going to get in the way. I’ll be driving the slowest car to reach the quarter mile next September, but any camera with a zoom lens will see a smile on my face. I’ll be racing again!