The Jet Thrust News

                                                          Issue #23                                                                                                              



The JTN is intended to provide a link among owners and enthusiasts of the R1, R2, R3 and R4 powered Studebaker Larks and 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.  


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. Please do not send funds for 2005 subscription.



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


JT 1964 Production Listing


JT Owner Rosters



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 is 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 JTN keeps a library of photos and build sheets. Please send JTN your photos and build sheet along with that JT story. With the aid of the readership, we do our best to track down sightings and reports of JT equipped cars. JTN counts on its readers to report such sightings and to aid in identification. 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. 


Photocopies of back issues are available. $25 for a set of issues #1 - #22, postpaid. Contact your editor.



Roster News

Surviving cars found since the last issue





Russ Jenks

64V19702 R1 GT Hawk

John McCall

64V12422 R2 Convertible


Found engines



Wayne Kiefer

JT1785 out of 63V28436 GT Hawk


Cars sold



Last owner

Dan White

64V1609 R2 GT Hawk

Pete Phillips

Michael Float

63V17809 R1 Wagon

Jon Finstrom

John McCall wrote: 
John McCall mentioned seeing the TV show 
Legends of Motorsports in which a 1963 Australian 6 hour race had 3 1963 R2 Studebakers. The
 mixed class event at Sandown and the three cars each had a different preparer. One was Rodger
 Ward, one was Holman & Moody and the third was a local dealer. Bigger cars went through
 brakes at a high rate. While the Studes kept going, one big car went through a wall. John has
 recovered the remains of the ’64 R2 Convertible 64V12422 written about in issue #22.
Andy Petrass on Lark vs. Thunderbolt:

I ran into a guy that I haven't seen in years and he told me a story that I thought you might get a kick out of. But first a bit of background. In 1963, a man by the name of Dick Ross raced a 63 R2 / 4 speed Regal at some of the area drag strips. Studebaker provided the car, parts and presumably the funding, while Dick worked on the car, hauled it around and did the driving. It's unknown how Dick Ross came to campaign the Lark. He worked at a service station in Roseland, a small village on the north side of South Bend. Dick apparently had an “in” at the factory and I would hazard a guess that it was through C. M. MacMillen. Cliff MacMillen was the head of Industrial Relations at Studebaker, and both he and Dick lived in the tiny community of Hudson Lake. Hudson Lake is a couple of miles north west of New Carlisle, which you may recognize as the town address of the Studebaker Proving Ground. At any rate, the Lark was raced at US 30 ( Gary IN),Osceola (Osceola IN), Bunker Hill (Bunker Hill IN), and US 131 (Martin MI) during the 1963 season. According to Dick’s son Denny, (Dick died about 4 months before I was able to locate Denny), they usually had to run the car in A/FX or A/GS at NHRA tracks, ,and although Osceola was an unsanctioned track until a couple of years ago, they generally followed NHRA rules as well. Denny said that they quite often ended up running against 409 Chevies and usually won. He told me about a race at Martin in which the Lark ran in the 10's and the Paxton was putting out about 14 PSI. Denny was 16 at the time and either his youthful memory was faulty, or his dad was able to defy the Laws of Physics with an essentially stock Stude.


I'm pretty well convinced that this Regal is the one refered to by Bill Dredge in his

September 27, 1963 letter to Bob Palma. In this letter Mr Dredge states that “It may interest you to know that we were running an R2 SuperLark Regal here in South Bend and getting into the high 12 sec. area at well over 105 miles per hour...” This brings me (finally) to the story I heard last week. Years ago I worked with a man by the name of Truman Nordhagen, who has always been involved with fast and /or unusual cars. He was a rather skilled driver and could easilly outshift Dick Ross, so when things got serious at the track, Truman would occasionally step in and handle the driving chores. At a race up a Martin/US131, the Lark was paired up against Dick Brannen in the Romy Hammes Ford Thunderbolt. Dick Brannen was a local racer as well and Truman decided

to give that 427 Ford a run for its money. In the lights, Truman said that he was so keyed up that he was ready to explode. When the lights came down, he got the drop on Brannen and rowed his way through the gears, thrashing the R2 for all it was worth. The Regal led the Thunderbolt until about ¾ of the way down the track before the Ford was finally able to pass. According to Truman, the Stude ran 108+ and the Ford finished in the 114 mph area. Needless to say, the crowd in the stands couldn't believe their eyes. Seeing a mere Lark beating one of the most formidable Super Stockers of the day! If only there were a home movie that's survived.


As for what happened to the Factory’s Lark, no one knows. Dick Ross returned the Regal to the factory and moved west in 1965 or '66. Denny said that he asked around concerning the cars whereabouts in 1967 or so, but was told that it had been destroyed by Studebaker. Considering all of the other things that have survived, I rather doubt that story. When Denny moved away in '67 or '68, he scrapped a bunch of left over parts. Transmissions, “truck” rear ends, and tons of other goodies that were from the racing effort. After Dick’s death, Mrs. Ross cleaned out their house in California (Northern, I believe) but was unable to locate any pictures of the car. I have found some pictures in the SNM Archives which may be the Regal, but I want to have Denny and Truman look at them first to confirm this. Although I've worked on it, I am as yet unsuccessful in determining

the serial number of the car. A couple of other comments that you might find interesting are as follows. During a conversation with Denny Ross, he stated that his father found out the Lark had been down in Florida for the Daytona 500. I hadn't heard about this before, but I have heard rumors that Studebaker was looking into running the R2 Larks in NASCAR. Who knows... The other item of interest came from Truman. He was told that the R2 Regal had been run at Bonneville. What do you suppose the chances are, that this is the same car that did 132.04 during the “Engineering Trials” that led to the Super package? Given the time frame, I suppose that it is within the realm of possibility. Identifying the Lark and Hawk that made those runs is definitely on my list of “Things To Do”, as well as finding out what went on at all the Bonneville sessions. So much research to do, so little time to do it in...

Russ Jenks wrote: 

I just received from Garth Wilson, a copy of Issue #22 of the JTN.  I purchased, from Wilson, in September of this year 64V19702 which is a GT Hawk, Powershift, R1 and is Laguna Blue.  I know little of its history at this point except that Garth acquired it from the late Tom Hazard of Boise and that it has a dash plaque with Hazard’s name on it.  It is app. 99 % complete, but needs a restoration (typical rust, orig. paint, etc.)  I've been able to determine that it has a broken cam, but haven't opened the engine yet, will do that in the spring. 


Info from Ben Norton:

Ben sent in an article from November 2004 Auto Restorer magazine that featured Freddy Freeman’s sharp ‘63 R2 Daytona hardtop. The feature was nicely done and very flattering to Studebaker’s efforts to built a performance car.


JT Restoration News for Ed George  

Ed has a flock of 3 JT cars, all of which are undergoing restoration. Ed bought the 64 R2 2 door Commander, 64V14162, from Gene Curtis with R1 power in it. Minor mechanical repairs were done and the rear body panel, quarter panels and doors were replaced. The car was then painted black, changed to single headlights and got a Don Simmons stainless steel exhaust. Ted Harbit provided a supercharger setup blueprinted setup with high output pulleys. The car is an R2 again.  

June. There is lots more to do but the car is well along as a good example of the R2 package Commander.


The ’63 R1 Regal, 63V6037, is nearing a finished body panel. The car will be painted the original gold. Ed has been gathering parts and has found a beautiful dash for it. Ed expects to turn out a beautifully finished car.


The third member of the flock is, 64V7036, a California R1 Daytona hardtop, bought from Nelson Bove about 2 years ago. The rust free car lost its original engine and now has V-8 from a wagon. The car is now driveable and very dependable and looks neat in its weathered California look. Miscellaneous interior parts are still needed as is the original engine. Ed needs the readership’s help in locating the original R1 engine, JTJ317.  The premium gas sticker is still in place near the fuel filler. Both 64s should be in South Bend for the May swap meet. 


Dwight FitzSimons writes:

My first experiences with Studebakers, starting about 1958, were with my brother's '47 Champion 2-dr sedan, and the other brother's '54 Commander Starliner, which he promptly traded on a '56 Golden Hawk. Two '58 Silver Hawks, another '56 Golden Hawk, and a '57 Silver Hawk with Packard 352 followed in the family. One of these '58's was accidentally driven with no oil in it (drain plug off), and it ran eight miles before seizing up. It then required only rod bearings and was put back on the road.


I purchased my first Avanti-powered non-Avanti (APNA--I'm a DoD employee; we're allowed to create acronyms) in 1965 for $1400. It was a beautiful '63 R2 Hawk, Powershift, discs, black with red int. I bought it from a union organizer (fast car for fast getaways?) who bought it new in 1964 in PA. I sold it (restless feet then) to a local man who still has it. Those disc brakes saved my unattentive hide once when I found myself closing too rapidly on a car stopping for a left turn in front of me.


APNA #2 in the family was a '64 R1 Hawk (64V2352), 4-spd, drum brakes, no PS (damn cheap Stude people!), Bordeaux Red, black int. It was purchased new from Foley Motors, Harrisonburg, VA by a local man from whom my brother bought it around 1972. It has been garaged ever since and is almost rust free. I now own it and will restore it, with a few upgrades (discs, PS, either supercharger or AC [or both]).


APNA #3 is a '64 R1 Daytona HT full-package car (64V14321), PowerShift, Bordeaux Red, black int. Unfortunately, it is a basket case and will require a donor body/frame and another owner with deeper pockets to restore it. It has already been passed around among several overly optimistic Stude enthusiasts. This car still had the production order under the dash and was sold to someone in Jackson, Mississippi. Evidently the Gulf humidity got to it and the body was shot. The engine that came with it is a '64 "JT" R1 engine, but not the original one for the car. (Anyone have one of the other "JT" R1 engines built that day, all of which were S/N JTK323 ?) It may be that a previous owner had more than one '64 "JT" engine and unknowingly passed the wrong one along to the next owner. This car is for sale.


APNA #4 is a plain-jane '64 R1 Cruiser (64V14340), AT on column, no PS, drum brakes (damn cheap ....!), white with black vinyl bench seats. It also came from Foley Motors and was purchased by a local farmer, from whom I purchased it in 1993. Studebaker had mistakenly recorded this car's body # as 2782 on the prod. order; the body tag on the firewall is #2758.


APNA #5 is a '63 R2 Hawk parts car that will donate some parts to the '64 Hawk.


Wanted - JT powered 63 or 64 GT Hawk or Lark 4 speed in great condition, Barry Squillace 954-614-6989 Tamarac, FL
Wanted:  For factory R2 Lark (63V-15256), need leads on a R2 engine, or parts to convert regular 
289 to an R2.  Also needed is a good, crack free '63 Lark 
dash.  Contact Eric DeRosa at, or write; 1140 Harms, Libertyville, IL 60048, ph: (847)-680-9269.