Fall 2000 Issue #14

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.


Rosters and 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 now 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 inside front cover. The original 1964 production summary listing is also still available as is a reborn 1963 production listing which now has engine serial numbers on it. 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.

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 150 cars represented. JTN always wants more.

Roster News

Cars found or accounted for since the last issue





Bruce Bennet

63V28484 Super Red R1 Regal 2 dr

Trae Jones

63V18542 R2 Convertible

William Elkins

63V15470 R1 GT

(S)Gary Wood

64V9763 R1 package Daytona 4 door

Vadan Scruggs

63V5518 R1 GT

Nelson Bove

64V19588 R3 Commander

Stewart Mason

63V31818 R2 Daytona Hardtop

(S)John Kroulik

64V1098 R2 package GT 4 spd

Ed Ostrowski

63V19155 R1 GT

(S)Orange Cty Studebaker

64V17006 R1 Cruiser parted

Richard Jewell

63V12746 R1 Daytona Hardtop

Vadan Scruggs

64V6326 R1 GT parted

(S)Nelson Bove

63V37083 R2 package GT parted

Nelson Bove

64V8662 R2 package Cmdr 2 dr

Kevin Edwards

63V13130 R1 GT

Ed Jones

64V18606 R2 package GT parted

Loy Daniel

63V13305 R1 GT

John Wagner

63V24568 R2 GT

Roger Penn

64V5682 R1 GT


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

Found engines



Steve Williams

JT1259 from 63V6071 GT Hawk

Steve Williams

JTS1661 from 63V33368 package Regal 2 dr.

Kevin Edwards

JT1731 from scrapped 63V25590 GT Hawk

Bob Hunter

JTJ312 from 64V6326 GT Hawk

Ed Jones

JTSM329 from 64V18606 GT Hawk

(S) John Kemper

JT1763 from 63V27294 GT

(S) John Kemper

JT1329 from 63V12843 Cruiser

John Kemper

JTM305 from 64V16492 GT or 64V16593 Daytona

Cars sold



Last owner

Nevada Palace Hotel

63V1001 R2 GT Hawk

William Pogue

Chris Priestley of Australia

64V10513 R2 Convertible

Jim Quigley

Kimball Thomson of New Zealand

63V23334 R2 GT Hawk

Gavin Hill

Danny Jaquiery of New Zealand

63V19953 R1 Custom 4 door

Gavin Hill

64V16373 R1 GT

John Wallis


The Resurrection of the R3 Commander: Nelson Bove and the Story of 64V19588

The events depicted in this story are arguably the most bizarre and the most historically notable material to ever grace these pages. The R3 Commander has been brought back to life through the remarkable efforts of Nelson Bove. This is the car that had been reported as lost but with a surviving drive train. The truth of this very special JT machine is finally set straight and myths put to rest.

During the closing days of the factory in South Bend, the Engineering Department built an R3 Commander from a Strato Blue 259 2 door. This car was the only Option 37A, R3 powered, steel bodied car built in South Bend (build sheet in JTN #5). The documentation on the car tells us it had a close ratio T-10 4 speed and a 4.55 rear end. 19588 was delivered to Fine Motors in Albany, NY. It’s first owner was David Lee Benson, a man who later perished at sea in the Vietnam conflict. The fate of the car from the mid-60’s forward has been unknown until now but it seems that the engine B47 R3SN320 and the rest of the drive train were removed from the Commander after only 3 years.

Jumping to the 90’s, Nelson was on a campaign to learn the travels of the car and the engine. There were two lucky breaks along the way. First, a gent from Broken Arrow, OK contacted Nelson via telephone after seeing a photo of Nelson’s Super Red R2 Standard in a calendar. This person, Rique Lydem, mentioned owning a Super Lark, thinking that the Standard might have been his. That wasn’t quite the case but Rique made it clear that he had a ’63 R2 Super Lark in Super Red and a pillar coupe body style. Rique and the car were in CT in the 60’s and he was looking for more performance. The car was hopped up by an well known area rodder, Jack Merkle, for $1500. B47 went in it. This car, believed to be a Regal 2 door, was destroyed while in Lydem’s possession. The B47 powered Lark went like a “scalded ape” before its loss. The engine and rear end were salvaged and ended up in a 60 Hawk around 1970. The close ratio T-10 was not with the engine. Asa Hall obtained this Hawk and pulled the drive train. Asa did the research to identify B47 R3SN320 (yes, the engine has both Paxton markings and a factory number!) as the engine that went into the Commander. Hall stored it for 30 years. So that’s what we know about the engine. Until Rique appeared, Nelson, Asa and JTN were unaware of the destroyed car being the ’63 Super Lark and not the Commander.

Here’s the second lucky break. At the 1995 SDC meet in Dearborn, a person came to Nelson’s R2 Standard with an R3 grille badge in his pocket. The badge was beat up and for sale at $65. How many of these badges were made? Nelson and Tony Berbig found this person, who had no other connection to the car, at length and learned the origin of the badge, an obscure junkyard in Washington, PA. The badge came from 19588, which Nelson found and bought. Nelson described the great anticipation of locating the junkyard and going there with his dad to inspect it. The car had been gutted, the critical inner right fender being missing along with 8K tach and fenders. 19588 had been converted in its Benson era to an 259 3 speed economy ride . Nelson never did connect with the Benson family.

B47 was intact but the rear end was shot. It had broken gears and pinion. Nelson did a complex rear end rebuild. The clutch was fried and all the valve dampers were broken. The engine had standard pulleys, a red blower which Nelson rebuilt, and the NY smog setup. Nelson fabricated the R3 right inner fender from a factory drawing and painstakingly reassembled the car according to a drawing package for R3 Lark package production. The car has a fresh air intake with an air cleaner on the inner right fender and an inlet tube leading from forward of the radiator. The Prestolite transistorized ignition mounts high on the inner fender. South Bend was really planning to produce this beauty in volume!

The car feels very solid on the road and exhibits minimal roll in turns. The “scalded ape” is now this very innocuous Commander sleeper. Nelson used a Commander of the same color and style as a body donor for 19588. Finding this second Commander was another lucky break. The lesson here is that it takes one to get one. None of this would have worked out if Nelson had not given his R2 Standard plenty of exposure. Perseverance also has paid off in a big way.


Madison 2000 Report

The Madison SDC meet in June was graced with a large turnout of JT folk and their vehicles, 11 cars in all. JT owners and JTN readers encountered at Madison included Gary Wood, Tony Berbig, Ed George, Ray George, Eric DeRosa, Chuck Galauner, Gene Rinck, Malcolm Berry, Ed Jones, Jon Myer, Ted Harbit, Dale McPhearson, Larry Scott, Ed Davies, Billy Jarrell, Nelson Bove, Jason Thomas, Wayne Flowers, Andy Beckman, George Krem, Mason Maynard, Richard Poe, and Rich Childers. Others present but missed by your editor include Ray Martin, John Begian, Scott Seering, Ron DeWinter, Don Simmons, Tom Beckman, John Caskey, Larry Swanson, Gene Curtis, and Wayne Francisco. The JT Family photo album was a hit and is improving as a result.

JT Cars at Madison





64V19588 R3 Commander 2 door

Nelson Bove

63V23815 R2 Regal 2 door

Larry Scott

63V20656 R1 Custom 2 door

Richard Poe

64V7034 R1 Convertible

Larry Swanson

63V15256 R2 Custom 2 door

Eric De Rosa

63V30484 R2 GT

John Begian

63V21171 R1 GT Hawk

Scott Seering

64V12665 R2 GT

Ron DeWinter

63V30407 R2 Cruiser

Ray Martin

64V14162 R1 Commander

Gene Curtis

64V11752 R1 Commander 4 dr

Tony Berbig


Among the visitors was Bill Jones of Garden City, KS. His family has an option 33A, Regal Red ’63 R2 convertible, 63V18542. Son Trae has it now. This two owner Kansas City car has radius rods and sway bar (must have been added). The car and engine JTS1447 are now separated but Trae plans to reunite them and make a driver out of this 3.73 rear end, TT and disc brake equipped car.

Bruce Bandow of Isle, MN came to see us. Bruce has acquired a JT car which has badges but the wrong motor. We probed for a description but didn’t get very far. JTN looks forward to learning more.

JTN found Ed Jones and a Silver ‘55 Champion with JTSM329 under the hood. After engaging in conversation over this gorgeous all-Stude Custom, we learned that the motor came from 64V18606, an all black, 4 speed R2 package Hawk. 18606 is shown incorrectly as R1 on the JTN listings The GT was wrecked and Ed parted it out. The Champion got the dash and drive train.

Tony Berbig was a busy man this summer. He not only took his rare R1 package Commander 4 door to Madison and was instrumental in organizing the JT Lark owners but Tony also represented Studebaker at the Land o’ Lakes Muscle Car Classic in MN. The Commander captured the prestigious Sponsor’s Award. The car was recognized by the GTO people who organize the meet as a genuine and unique piece of American muscle car engineering. Congratulations to Tony! Well Done. His next project is the surviving R2 package wagon, 63V33120.

The Scoop on the 2000 Pure Stock Muscle Car Drags, Ted Harbit and Stude Tomato

The gorgeous Regal Red R2 Custom, 63V10942, has been aptly dubbed ”Stude Tomato.” This was recently George Krem’s car. 10942 was an extremely well equipped Rapid City, SD car (see build sheet in JTN #1). It was built in White and had every performance option available in November of ’62 plus 3.73 gears, black and white reclining buckets and 4 speed. The car was repainted red, hence the nickname and sported oversized tires and full wheel covers. Aftermarket radius rods and rear stabilizer had been added. The car’s engine compartment is as sharp and attentive to detail an R2 as can be found and the frame has been nicely detailed. Over the 6 years that he had it, George tackled and solved the car’s mechanical problems including one head bolt that didn’t hold the torque on block JTS 1298. A helicoil insert was the solution. 10942 is effectively a package R2 car now with a 160 mph speedometer but does not have the grille badge. Correct hose clamps, stamped battery hold down wingnuts and a Studebaker battery can be found under the hood. The car turned 14.35 at 101 mph as is during trials in July. JTN believes that 30 years have passed since a Jet Thrust Lark has been raced in a formal event.

The car’s radius rods were replaced with correct reproduction parts and the rear end was changed to 4.55. The car underwent the usual tire trials to find effective traction without the benefit of 60 series tires, which are not allowed on cars this old. The best tires in trials were 65 series Goodyear Eagles with a tread wear rating of 200. The car turned 14.06 with them in August. Goodrich TA 70's and Firestone Response 70's didn't do quite as well. With much chagrin, the flanged axle R3 4.27 rear end was found to be too narrow for the car and a 4.09 rear end gave out while the car was being tuned.

With Ted masterfully piloting as always, the two days in MI were a show stealing success. Stude Tomato won 12 of 15 trial runs. The shootout final 3 runs were great showcases of the car’s performance. In the official shootout pairing (first to win twice) against a strong ‘61 Corvette with the dual four barrel 270 HP motor, the ’61 turned 14.2 and 14.02 while Ted turned 13.97 and 13.99. The Vette owner was observed in quite a state afterward. The best was yet to come. For the final run, Ted beat the same 427 Yenko Camaro that the R3 Challenger shut down last year. The 427 was running a bit slower this year. The 427 first ran against a different car for his shootout, but that guy had to leave before the final run. Ted volunteered to take that car's place, and the 427 driver agreed. Results were a stunning 13.524 for the Tomato and 13.864 for him. Ted got his best 60 foot time in this run and pressed the car hard through the gears. The Yenko Camaro owner must be getting tired of following Studes down the track. It seemed that there were not as many 12 second cars this year. Tomato may have been in the top 1/4 of the field. At one point, the track announcer said "That Studebaker is the best sounding car here." Congratulations to Ted Harbit and the Stude Tomato team! Well done! Watch for coverage in Muscle Car Review.

Qualification and Practice Runs - Stude Tomato Won Runs 4-12


Stude Tomato ET/Speed

Opposition ET/Speed


Stude Tomato ET/Speed

Oppostion ET/Speed



’71 GTO 455/360 13.16/106



’72 Buick GSX 14.65/93



’68 Nova SS396 12.20/115**



’69 GTO 400/366 14.33/100.6



’70 Buick GS 455/360 13.08/109.74



’70 Dodge RT440 6 pack 14.48/95



’70 Olds W31 14.6/98



’70 Buick GS 455 14.2/96.7



’67 Malibu 327/325 14.79/93



’68 Chevelle 396 15.78/86



’71 Ford Torino 429/370 15.36/94



’70 Buick GS 14.2/96

* best speed of the meet ** reported equipment disqualification

Next year’s plan includes both the Stude Tomato and the Plain Brown Wrapper R3 Challenger. It’s back to the tire shop though . The 65 series will be disallowed next year. Ouch!

Billy Jarrell brought his sharp ’64 R1 Jet Green Daytona Hardtop from West Virginia to compete. This Flightomatic equipped and 4.55 geared car turned a best of 16.33 in practice. Billy was the unpaired, odd man out in the shootout.

Catching up on Letters from Far and Wide

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

James Bell and 63V1676 James got his newly restored R1 Rose Mist Cruiser in the movies. The car will appear along with other Studes in “Crazy”. Watch for it. The car has a fresh red broadcloth interior.

Bob Belling and 64V7618 This R1 package GT was recovered by Bob from 30 years in a CT field. The engine, which Bob hopes to salvage, was buried in mud. Bob constructed a skid to hold the remain of the body together, the frame having long since rusted away. Bob’s needs are great. See the parts wanted section. A ’53 coupe with a R1 built from a surplus block is Bob’s fast ride.


Ed Knott and 63V8039 Ed is making great progress on a thorough restoration of this White R2 Daytona Hardtop 4 speed. In July, the car was receiving paint, chrome, solid blue interior and an engine. The car is rust free car and has been in storage for 15 years. The original engine, JTS1080, was lost to freeze damage.

Kevin Edwards and 63V13130 Kevin of TN acquired this R1 GT Hawk, a one time CA car, many years ago. This car’s original engine, JT1432, had been replaced by a 232. Under the A/C load the 232 gave up the ghost. Kevin’s first step toward restoration was the purchase of a replacement R1, JT 1731 out of a wrecked GT, 63V25590.

Vadan Scruggs and 63V5518 Vadan was the Missoula, MT Stude man in the TW article by Art Unger. Vadan was very helpful in connecting JTN with other JT owners in his state. A neighbor, Bob Hunter, is installing a surplus JT R1 into a ’54 Commander.

Orange County Studebaker A very long time ago, OC Stude got wind of the parting a Bordeaux Red ’64 R1 Cruiser. The car had red cloth interior and was a very fine condition. JTN believes this car, which met its end at a Fontana, CA junkyard, is 17006, a non-package car with Flightomatic. The engine, which should be JTM307, was used in a GT Hawk.


Barry Holley and 64V5772 Barry reports that he took his Silver R2 package Daytona (JTN #12) to a prestigious rodder event in Branson, MO. The car was pictured in the May issue of Custom Rodder and got lots of interest from folks who had no idea what it was. Well done, Barry, on spreading the word!

Bob Mikulic Bob, owner of one of two surviving ’63 R2 package Daytona hardtops, pointed out that the name “McCulloch” was misspelled “McCullough” in the JTN #13 section about John Williamson. Thanks to Bob for keeping your editor on his toes.

Chuck Galauner and 64V1117. This very early, package 4 speed R2 GT is apart now for restoration. Chuck and the JTN are entertaining the likelihood the car was at Bonneville in Sept. of ’63 as a press ride taken to the salt on the trailer from South Bend. 1117 was later used by the regional sales staff in Santa Monica. After about 3K miles, it was sold by the Santa Monica dealer to a private party. Chuck has traced the car back from CA to the Midwest. Was this car in the press fleet in September? Let’s ask the greater question of what cars went to Bonneville as press cars. We know that 4 R2 package Commanders made that trip. Anybody, help!

Clayton Hoebelheinrich and 64V11935 This Bordeaux red /red vinyl R1 convertible (pictured) was delivered new to Modesto but soon was moved to Portland by a CA family. Richard Flynn owned and did some light restoration on the car in early 70’s. Clayton got the car from Richard and took it the Seattle area. It was last formally shown in 1983 at the SDC Nationals. Clayton drove the car to Estes Park in 1987. The car looks great in the photos and would make an outstanding parade ride. 11935 has discs,. 4 speed and bucket seats but no power steering or TT.

Lanny Bertram and 64V6771 Lanny of IN has acquired the drive train of this parted, Indy area, ’64 R2 package Commander and is seeking to build another ’64 Lark on it.

Jack Eidemiller and 64V13636 Not counting the Bonneville convertibles 1 and 2, this is the only surviving R2 package ’64 convertible. Aside from a missing blower and a Ford automatic transmission substitute for the original Powershift, this Bordeaux Red car is intact. Jack of OH has long terms plans for restoration. 13636 was found parked at the side of a country road in 1987 and came from Cincinnati via Lexington, KY.

Bruce Bennet and 63V28484. This Super Red R1 Regal was seen by Jim Ross of Ocala, FL at a Florida meet 10 years ago. This car has turned up in Illinois and now belongs to Bruce. Jim also reports seeing a package R2 4 speed Gold ’63 HT in Gainesville, FL about 25 years ago. Maybe 33901?

Nelson Bove and the ’64 R1 Commander Nelson reported finding this Atlanta show car in Mobile, AL in 1992. This car, one of the 7 R1 package Commanders built for shows, had been painted green, stripped of chrome and modified for pulling mobile homes. The car was in very poor shape. It was for sale but has since disappeared.

Dr. Bill Pogue, Dale Robichaux and 63V1001. Bill was the Detroit owner of this very first JT car, a black R2 GT 4 speed. The car was stored in Louisiana in Bill’s museum, operated by Dale, but came from a Royal Oak, MI museum. Bill recently sold 1001 to the Nevada Palace Hotel in Las Vegas. The car is unrestored, has less than 20K miles on it, and has a black blower and 160 mph speedometer. Bill and Dale still have an R3 powered ’63 Avanti that is for sale. Both of these cars were in Hemmings in 1998.

Larry Scott and 63V23815 This Regal prototype of the R2 package was first sold in North Hollywood to a doctor for $2300. It was dragged. Later, a North Hollywood couple had it and took it to Tucson, AZ. Restoration plans failed and the AZ weather took a toll on the soft parts of the car but left the frame and sheet metal in fine shape. Larry Scott got the car in pieces out of this couple’s garage circa 1993. The interior was thoroughly ruined. The car today is an outstanding restoration.

Dale Haggstrom and 63V34739. Dale found this unusual ’63 R1 package GT in Texas when he was in the Army long ago. The car was quite tired and Dale did body repairs to make it roadworthy. The car went to Alaska when Dale returned home as a civilian and makes a very fine high speed cruiser in the summer.

Bruce Schneider and 63V31728. North Carolina is now home to Barlow Soper’s former R2 package GT, the only one in Rose Mist. Stored for longevity, the car remains in top shape. Bruce has been refurbishing the electrical harness.

Doug Tjapkes and 63V31103 Doug of Michigan happened upon a very sharp, black ’63 Lark in JT markings. This unidentified car was spotted at the high school in White Cloud, MI. Doug is the owner of a Super Red ’63 R2 package GT 31103 (pictured). This car, originally white, was found on a Grand Rapids used car lot. The salesman didn’t know what the car was. That should happen to all of us! The previous owner dumped the car because the brakes weren’t working right

Milt Larson and 64V17648. Milt of NE is the owner of this Strato Blue Daytona R2 hardtop. One of the six surviving ’64 R2 package hardtops, this solid car has the original engine, top quality fresh paint and blue vinyl interior. The car has won a Best-of-Show and previous owners include Denny Lockmon, Bart Ladd, and George Krem. The car came from the Seattle area.

Bill Hollman and 63V35965 Bill of CA owns this very nice, Champagne Gold, non-package 4 speed R2 convertible. This car has been repainted and is completely original. The car has been getting little use lately since the clutch too stiff for Bill’s wife to operate. Bill’s friend Fred Damsen still has R1 Daytona Hardtop 64V17546 and a truck with an R2 in it.

Stewart Mason and 63V31818. Stewart of VA has this R2 non-package Daytona that was advertised in May Hemmings. Stewart’s family were operators of a Studebaker dealer in rural Northern VA where a surplus, new ’64 R1 Commander sat unsold for a long time. The dealership serviced a green R2 ’64 Daytona convertible.

Carl Berrier and 63V10642. Carl of VA is the original owner of this R2 GT. The black 4 speed turns heads when Carl takes it out for a spin.

Jake Gour and the Blue package R2 Hawk Jake of IN, who is the current owner of 63V6417, an R2 Daytona, was the owner of a package R2 GT in Blue Mist with blue interior and Powershift. Jake had the car in 1968 and believes its likely fate was the scrap heap since it deteriorated badly while Jake’s buyer had it. The car had a boost/vacuum gauge while in Jake’s possession. The 1963 JT production listing shows only one car matching the description. That car is 37083, the last JT car for 1963. 37083 is accounted for and cannot be Jake’s GT so there is clearly an error in the listing. JTN is looking for the means to resolve this discrepancy, a tall order indeed..

Ed Ostrowski and 63V19155. Ed called from Japan, where he resides and works, to inform JTN that he has a white R1 GT with factory air. The car is in Michigan.

Loy Daniel and 63V13305 Loy of Western TX recently brought this R1 GT home from Abilene. The car runs and is solid but needed brakes and plenty of TLC.

Marty Van Bokkem and 64V15802 Marty of South Bend owns this unusual 2 door R1 Commander with 3 speed stick shift. This all red car has been completely disassembled and is being given a frame off restoration. The frame has been cleaned and powder coated. New floorboards are next. Marty is wisely documenting his work with a camera.

Ray Martin 63V30407 Ray took his R2 Cruiser to the Martinsburg, WV meet after Madison. Ray is in the process of rebuilding the engine of this Rose Mist 4 speed beauty. The car is a great example of the variety of Jet Thrust models.

Richard Poe and 63V20656

Richard writes: One afternoon in March 1998 while I was at work, I came across a Hemming’s Motor News. Of course the first place I went was to look under ”S”: There was an ad for a ’63 Lark 4 speed with a Granatelli engine. The ad said it was “very fast” and there was an 800 number to call.

I had been looking for a fast Lark for years with a 4 speed. Could this be a Super Lark? I made the free call. The car was in CO and as luck would have it, so was my wife, only about 20 miles away visiting her mom. I got the serial # and the engine # and Emailed it to Jim Pepper. Jim got back to me quickly. The car was not a package car, but was an original R1 4 speed and had most package options.

I sent my wife over to check it out and she promptly reported back to me. She described the car to me. I talked her into making an offer for me and we had our car. It was delivered to us by flatbed semi trailer as I could not convince her to drive it home.

The car was the driver’s last delivery and he didn’t even know what kind of car it was. All the script had been removed and the car was painted red and white with blue and white interior. At driver’s stops, people would guess what kind of car it might be.

It was dark when it arrived and we didn’t have a way to unload the car. We thought the driver would have a way to get the car off the truck. So we had to drive around and look for a dock we could use. As luck would have it, we found a guy that let us unload.

I was excited about the car but we were on the other side of town and it was dark, no plates and no way home but to drive it. After we got it unloaded I drove it across town to our home without a problem. That summer I drove the car and took it to the drag strip a couple of times, but it smoked and needed a paint job. The paint came off in big chunks when I washed it.

November came and we insulated and heated our garage so we could work on the car all winter. I removed the paint and the engine was rebuilt. The body was in good condition just as my wife had told me it was.

I wanted to have it done by May. May came and went, I was not done and was getting impatient. I worked on the car every day, my wife was good about all the time I was spending on the car and never complained. The neighbors were wondering about the car they would see moving in and out of the garage. There was a big cruise night coming up here in Janesville in August and we needed to make it. Finally, a couple of days before the car made it’s first trip around the block.

I work at the GM plant so I would hear about the Lark at work, mostly good but a couple buddies did not always have good things to say. They were going to save a spot at the local mall for us all to meet at the cruise-in. That night we went out to dinner and on the way we passed the mall and there was one of my buddies holding all spots. He just stood and stared as we drove by. After dinner when we got back to the mall, he told us he couldn’t believe how good the car looked and he just had to watch it drive by. The car got a lot of attention and had a good first night out.

A few weeks later we drove the Lark over to Michigan for the drag races to see the R3 Challenger run. That was real treat and we met a great group of Stude people there. Hopefully we will get there next year. Well, I got my fast Lark and now we get to enjoy it.

USAC Record Data Supplied by David Petrali - First Installment

All 5 of the 1964 Jet Thrust cars that were raced at Bonneville went in the USAC record books. David Petrali, Director of USAC Properties and son of Joe Petrali, has shared the written material with JTN. Joe Petrali was the USAC Chief Steward for all the record runs. Here are the records set by car #1, one of the two R3 convertibles. The records set by cars #2, #3, #4 and #5 will be published in future issues.

All events for this car took place on September 10, 1963. #1 was driven by Andy Granatelli. These records were set in both the American Unlimited Open and American Class C Supercharged Open Car Classes. This car is presently accounted for but the R3 engine is not. The car belongs to Colorado’s Paul Wolff. #1 must have been quite a ride for Andy at 150 plus mph. #1 previously belonged to Chris Banke and Lionel Stone.

USAC Records Set at Bonneville by Car #1


Standing Start Average Speed, mph

Flying Start Average Speed, mph


Standing Start Average Speed, mph

Flying Start Average Speed, mph

1 km



5 mile



1 mile



10 km



5 km



10 mile



Technical Article - Dwight FitzSimons on Casting Date Codes

This article is an extraction of a much larger body of work done by Dwight on many more years and models than just ’63 and ‘64 Jet Thrust.

Like other automobile manufacturers, Studebaker cast date codes into their major engine castings in order to track problems in the foundry and identify the year of the part. Being able to read date codes will help the authenticity minded owner duplicate his car’s original engine, authenticate the originality of the engine in his car, or make an informed purchase of engine parts.

The casting date code is on a slightly raised area of the casting, about ½” wide by 2 ½” long, with raised numbers and a letter and what looks like a screw head on each end. This raised area is the image of a plate that was screwed onto the positive mould from which the negative sand casting moulds were made. For JT engines, casting date code locations are:

Block: top, far rear (just forward of bellhousing; behind and just to right of distributor)

Heads: in center, under valve cover (often partly or fully machined off)

Intake manifold: on top rear (sometimes underneath)

Exhaust & water manifolds: on back (inside) side (some water manifolds don’t have a date code)

Bellhousing: on rear (near transmission mounting flange), either outside or inside

The date code is one or digits for month followed by one or two digits for day, and then a calendar year code letter. Example: “12 6 R” = Dec. 6, 1962 (an early 1963 engine). The casting year code letters were R for 1962 and S for 1963. The dates on the castings of a given factory-assembled engine usually were closely grouped, usually within a few months. Obviously, all engine casting date codes preceded the assembly date for the car. Have a look at your castings date codes and let JTN know what you find.

Errata for JTN #13 Article on Lark GaugesCorrection:

Bill Pressler’s R1 Daytona HT, 63V5224, has the Avanti tach. Additions: Bruce Bennet’s R2 Regal, 63V15338, has the Avanti tach and Trae Jones R2 convertible, 63V189542 has the Lark tach.


Fuel Filter Element

Bob Shapton, Ontario owner of 64V8983 R2 GT spotted the article in JTN #2 about fuel filters and the NAPA replacement for the element in the glass bowl filter. Bob bought the suggested NAPA 3039 but found that it was not at all suitable. Any reader that can help out here, please contact Bob or your editor.

Do-it Yourself Build Sheet Template

Bob Shapton would like to make JTN readers an offer of a digital build sheet template. If you would like to make a fresh build sheet for car, Bob can supply a very easy to use, template in a Corel Draw (not cheap) cdr file. Just fill in the blanks. The text styling and formatting is built in. Your editor tried the template in Corel Draw 8. It worked perfectly and looked great. Just the thing for your meet display. Bob can support gif, jpg, and pdf as well. Contact your editor via email or contact Bob at

1963 JT Wagonaire Production
Thanks to the research efforts of Andy Beckman, we have a breakdown of the trim styles for 1963 Wagonaires.

There were 49 Daytonas, 9 Regals, 1 Heavy Duty and 1 Standard. Note that there were no Customs because the Custom Wagonaire was not produced for 1963.

Eric DeRosa on Part Numbers for JT Emblems


Part #

‘63 R1 Fender, Hawk and Lark


‘63 R2 Fender, Hawk and Lark


‘63 R1 Grille, Hawk and Lark


‘63 R2 Grille, Hawk and Lark


‘64 R1 Fender, Hawk and Lark incl. Insert & rim


‘64 R2 Fender, Hawk and Lark incl. Insert & rim


‘64 R1 Grille, Hawk


‘64 R2 Grille, Hawk


‘64 R1 Grille, Lark


‘64 R2 Grille, Lark


Coho Industries

James Bell and Bob Belling sent in copies of an article on a twin R2 powered boat. Coho Industries of Portland, Oregon built this boat and is the company that had a stock of R2 engines. Coho seems not to be in business any longer. If anyone from the Pacific Northwest knows what became of the engines or the company, drop JTN a note.

Jet Thrust Mysteries

Here's another installment of JT mysteries. These cars are all unaccounted for:

63V30277 Daytona HT R2 package Flightomatic Silver Mist with JTS 1011

63V33243 Standard 2 dr R1 HDFL 4.09 rear end Super Red with JT 1843

63V17346 GT Hawk R1 3 spd O/D Air Black with JT 1550

64V1005 GT Hawk Built as R2 converted to R3 Bordeaux Red painted white sport roof Bonneville #5

There’s a fabulous car that went underground about 10 years ago: It is the Ed Reynolds’ Canadian built ‘64 convertible with the R3 engine R3SK318 that came from a factory R3 Avanti (Not a real JT but we don’t mind. Better if anything!). This is the car that was at Gettysburg in 1980, was advertised in TW in 1984 and was seen by Bill Pogue in Mississippi circa 1984. The car was last reported in Knoxville, TN in 1990. JTN does not have the B # for the R3 engine.