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Thread: Studebaker Electric Wagon Restoration

  1. #1
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    Studebaker Electric Wagon Restoration

    Studebaker Electric Wagon Restoration

    This interesting Studebaker is being restored and expected to be finished in time for it’s appearance in Bellingham, WA. on September 10th for “Drive Your Studebaker Day”.
    Studebaker transitioned from Horse Drawn Vehicles, to Electric Vehicles, before Gasoline powered Vehicles.
    Studebaker produced Electric Vehicles from 1902 – 1912.
    This horseless wagon was in sad shape when we acquired it from the son of a Blacksmith, who restored wagons in Hot Springs Montana. It is very likely, the only Studebaker Electric commercial vehicle extant.





    This is a Model 25, as shown by the Emblems that were on the sides and the Vin # on the frame.





    It’s interesting to note that it also had the Vin number stamped in a additional location on the frame, similar to the secret Vin # on newer vehicles.

    There were many body styles built on Model 25 Chassis. They were the smaller (500lb-800lb) commercial vehicles available. Body’s varied somewhat through the years and could be built for specific use.



    Working with Studebaker Club member Jerry Gieseke, we have been able to make some great progress at his machine shop. Jerry is a true Craftsman!

    Hardware was sandblasted and painted:





    We used the original wood for patterns and are currently finishing the body.






    When finished it will be driven and re-fueled by solar power at the Bell’s Studebaker Diner & Museum.
    A Restored, Recycled and Recharged Studebaker.
    Bringing it back to life (over 100 years later).

    James Bell
    The Bell Collection
    Bellingham, WA.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Awesome!
    A great effort to save a very interesting vehicle.
    Thanks for posting and sharing this.
    Jeff



    http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  3. #3
    Senior Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    James, that is fantastic! Keep us informed of your progress!! Just maybe later this summer after the Can-Am I can check out your place once again as I really want to see that!

    More 'as found' photos in this post that shows the amount of progress that has been made so far: http://forum.foobar.c...light=electric

    Craig
    Last edited by 8E45E; 02-23-2011 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Added link to previous post.

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    Very nice indeed; what a find and well worth restoring. Good news. BP

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    Such beautiful wood!! This is an amazing restoration.
    \'50 Champion, 1 family owner

  6. #6
    Senior Member 4961Studebaker's Avatar
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    Way cool, and way worthy of your continued efforts.
    Wood working skills of other's awe me.

    I know there is much to do, but how do you plan on finishing the wood?
    How was the wood painted/prepared in it's time period,,,,,,shellac....lead paint....whale blubber (being funny cause I don't think so but I had to ask.)


    I guess really the big question is what electric motor or battery system are you going to use to move the vehicle.
    Modern battery in wooden cases with hardware to give the look of a by gone Wooden Battery?
    Last edited by 4961Studebaker; 02-23-2011 at 10:08 AM.

    ChopStu

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jim B PEI's Avatar
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    Absolutely brilliant in both concept and execution! Pat all concerned on the back because my arms just aren't long enough.

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    Thumbs up Simply Fantastic!

    Absolutely Fantastic progress on the Electric Wagon James, it sure does not look like it did when I saw it last at the Museum!
    StudeRich

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    James,
    Beautiful workmanship on the body. Boy, I wish I had that kind of talent! By the looks of it, you should be finished when you need to. Best of luck. What you have is truly rare and magnificent.
    Rog
    \'59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
    Smithtown,NY
    Long Island Studebaker Club

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    Stephanie & James we are so proud of you & your achievements with the studebaker museum & 50s dinner.
    We know how hard you have worked & the sacrifices you have made to achieve this special museum. We love being a part of it.
    May God bless you .
    Betty & Bob Lemke
    Stephanies mother & dad.

  11. #11
    Senior Member PlainBrownR2's Avatar
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    I guess really the big question is what electric motor or battery system are you going to use to move the vehicle.
    Modern battery in wooden cases with hardware to give the look of a by gone Wooden Battery?


    If it helps any, I have a couple of pictures from the Queen Mary meet way back when, that shows a 1902 Studebaker Electric with a Westinghouse Motor on a 48 volt system .


    Visit John's Educational Emporium at:
    http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/iclark01


    to purchase a regular Studebaker Engine Calendar:
    http://tinyurl.com/2caf2dn

    to purchase a race version of the Studebaker Engine Calendar:
    http://tinyurl.com/2cjb7bf



  12. #12
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    C. Studebaker from Ohio used to bring electric cars to SDC meets, but I do not remember any electric commercial vehicles. Someone else brought an electric to the first (1980, IIRC) Gettysburg SDC International.
    You deserve a lot of credit for undertaking this project. What will propel it?
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBrownR2 View Post


    If it helps any, I have a couple of pictures from the Queen Mary meet way back when, that shows a 1902 Studebaker Electric with a Westinghouse Motor on a 48 volt system .
    That was probably Barney Radimaker's Car, very rare and in nice condition.
    StudeRich

  14. #14
    Senior Member PlainBrownR2's Avatar
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    It was this one ....



    Visit John's Educational Emporium at:
    http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/iclark01


    to purchase a regular Studebaker Engine Calendar:
    http://tinyurl.com/2caf2dn

    to purchase a race version of the Studebaker Engine Calendar:
    http://tinyurl.com/2cjb7bf



  15. #15
    Senior Member tutone63's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    All right!!



    1963 Lark, 259 V8, two-tone paint, Twin Traction.

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    Rich: Barney Rademacher's car was an 03 gas powered.
    The Electric at the 96 IM at the Queen Mary came out of Arizona.

    studedick from the lower Ozarks
    Last edited by Dick Clemens; 02-24-2011 at 08:10 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rockne10's Avatar
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    This 1908 Studebaker electric is displayed at the Swigart Museum in Huntingdon, Pa. It is one of two built to carry legislators through the subway between the U.S. Capitol building and legislative offices. I believe the other still exists but do not know where it is displayed. Still a resource for evaluating battery and motive power.



    http://www.swigartmuseum.com/

  18. #18
    Senior Member mbstude's Avatar
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    Way cool James. Good on you for undertaking the restoration of that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    I believe the other still exists but do not know where it is displayed. Still a resource for evaluating battery and motive power.
    Pretty sure it's in the SNM in South Bend.

  19. #19
    Senior Member barnlark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBrownR2 View Post
    It was this one ....

    That '02 looks huge! If my limited local Studebaker history memory cells serve me correctly, that info tag in that picture is incorrect. I'm fairly sure the 1902 vehicles were all built in Cleveland on Garford frames from their nearby Elyria factory. They moved all horseless production soon after to South Bend. Someone from the Antique Studebaker Club should know the exact final move date from Cleveland. 1903? '04?

    By the way, great work, James. Looks amazing already.

  20. #20
    Senior Member PlainBrownR2's Avatar
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    I know nothing about it or the detailed history on the electrics, other than it was part of the concours and it was in the picture sets at a time where my interest in the Studes was in building a truck for the model car contest. Compared to the Runabout at Omaha, it does look fairly beefy though, but it is built in the same way the recent wagons of old were constructed.


    Visit John's Educational Emporium at:
    http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/iclark01


    to purchase a regular Studebaker Engine Calendar:
    http://tinyurl.com/2caf2dn

    to purchase a race version of the Studebaker Engine Calendar:
    http://tinyurl.com/2cjb7bf



  21. #21
    Senior Member barnlark's Avatar
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    Definitely looks beefy!

  22. #22
    Senior Member silverhawk's Avatar
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    Oh wow!! That is amazing!!! I can't wait to see this beauty again!
    Dylan Wills
    Everett, Wa.
    17 y/o Studebaker addict

    1961 Lark 4 door wagon. V8/stick= not super fast, but a lot of fun!
    1957 Packard Clipper (Project. Have thought about parting, but it is one of my dream cars )
    1952 Commander 4 door sedan ('50s custom in progress)

  23. #23
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    Hopefully it will be driving on September 10th for "Drive Your Studebaker Day" and on display at the Museum in Bellingham.
    I'm hoping to have Jerry drive it after all the work he's been putting into it.

    There may also be another very historical Studebaker displayed that day (during it's restoration).
    I will give an update of that one on another thread soon.


    It's a shame having to paint over the wagons nice woodwork, but originally it was painted black with red chassis (looking for lead paint & Whale blubber).

    All electric Studebaker vehicles originally had Westinghouse motor's.

    Note:
    George Westinghouse married Marguerite Erskine Walker.
    Their summer home - and the place Marguerite Erskine Walker loved the most, was Erskine Manor in the Berkshires in Massachusetts.
    Mr. and Mrs. Westinghouse had one son (George III) who married and moved to Vancouver BC.
    We purchased a 1932 Canadian built Rockne Sedan that came from a large Mansion owned by the Westinghouse family in BC.
    Stored along with the Rockne were several high priced newer cars.
    Why would they have such a low priced car if they could have bought a fancier President model?
    And Albert Erskine was President of Studebaker when the Rockne was made?
    Perhaps coincidence?
    Another car, another story...

    The wagon wheels had solid white rubber tires (prior to when carbon black was added to white rubber tires) and seem difficult to find replacements.
    Black rubber is available, but would prefer white.

    Looking for other pictures of commercial Studebaker electric wagons if anyone has some.

    Thanks!

    James
    Last edited by Bellingham Studenut; 02-25-2011 at 12:28 AM.
    The Bell Collection
    Bellingham, WA.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Drummerboy's Avatar
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    Hi James
    It would be great to see it at the SDC meet in New West in August. If not, would it be possible to view it in Bellingham? Lucas tire has some white tires available. Don't know if they are solid or not. They are 30 X 3". I have attached a pic and the URL for them. Well done, so far! http://www.lucasclassictires.com/
    BrianClick image for larger version

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    Brian Schuppert

    71 Buick Riviera
    41 Studebaker Commander

  25. #25
    Senior Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    This 1908 Studebaker electric is displayed at the Swigart Museum in Huntingdon, Pa. It is one of two built to carry legislators through the subway between the U.S. Capitol building and legislative offices. I believe the other still exists but do not know where it is displayed. Still a resource for evaluating battery and motive power.



    http://www.swigartmuseum.com/
    The other one is here in South Bend in the SNM. I find it interesting that the one in your photo is varnished wood, but the other in the SNM is painted yellow. Interesting. I like the old electrics.
    Chris Dresbach. South Bend, In.

    1940 Champion two door sedan (Restoration in progress) "Ely"

    Visit South Bend May 5th-8th, 2011 for the annual "Studebaker Indiana" zone meet!
    http://www.michiana-chapter-sdc.net/Home_Page.php

  26. #26
    Senior Member mausersmth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnlark View Post
    That '02 looks huge! If my limited local Studebaker history memory cells serve me correctly, that info tag in that picture is incorrect. I'm fairly sure the 1902 vehicles were all built in Cleveland on Garford frames from their nearby Elyria factory. They moved all horseless production soon after to South Bend. Someone from the Antique Studebaker Club should know the exact final move date from Cleveland. 1903? '04?

    By the way, great work, James. Looks amazing already.
    As I understand it Garford made chassis for the gas model cars only, electrics were done in house at South Bend. All bodies were South Bend built until the E-M-F deal of '08. (E-M-F/Flanders made there own bodies.)
    The electrics resembled the horse drawn carriages so much, only motors and electricals had to be outsourced. Westinghouse, I believe.
    A. Charles Eck, Jr.
    Essex, MD
    www.studebakercruiser.co.cc

    Studebakers were made to drive! (Besides, they don\'t get lost as easy in the Wal-Mart parking lot!)

    '64 Cruiser 'Louise'

  27. #27
    Senior Member Bordeaux Daytona's Avatar
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    Here's a picture of the SNM's Studebaker electric that was used in Washington D.C.
    This one was called Peg, I can't remember what the other one was called.
    I'm glad to see that the other one still exists!
    John V.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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  28. #28
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    Electric Wagon Update

    Updates on Restoring the Studebaker Electric Wagon


    Painted the undercarriage:








    Restored the Tailgate:












    Tailgate Chain:













    Making the Seat:





















    Getting closer to finishing the body.
    Then onward to the wheels, frame and some electrical!

    James Bell
    The Bell Collection
    Bellingham, WA.

  29. #29
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    Beautiful work. And that wood is just georgeous!! Love what you are accomplishing.
    \'50 Champion, 1 family owner

  30. #30
    I am thoroughly impressed with this work. It's amazing!
    Chip
    '63 Cruiser
    '57 Packard wagon
    '61 Lark Regal 4 Dr Wagon

  31. #31
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    You just can't post too many pictures of this project.

    Great work, Please keep posting on a regular basis.

    Bob
    ,

  32. #32
    Amazing. The problem I have working with wood is that it's so darn hard to weld.

  33. #33
    Senior Member Corvanti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michidan View Post
    Amazing. The problem I have working with wood is that it's so darn hard to weld.
    you're using the wrong welder. try the $89 one from china freight.

    beautiful work on the electric!!! here's "our" NC 1903:
    Click image for larger version

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    '40 Champion DeLuxe

    '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

  34. #34
    Hi James,
    Your doing an incredible job, I can't wait until I can come up there and see it. By the way, how's that little red 56 Transtar doing? There's many a day, when I wish I would have kept that little rig!

    Mark
    1959 4E2D 498 Studebaker Soctsman 4X4
    www.napco4x4.org/4hawks.htm

  35. #35
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    James - your restoration is inspiring!!!

    It will be a great day when you can ring the bell ( I'm assuming she has one)and then pilot her (does she have a name yet?). What a great history lesson for all who see her!!

    Here's hoping all goes smoothly.
    Roger "153624" Hill


    47 M-5 - "Jeannie"
    Izzer Buggy - "Jessie"
    Junior Wagon - "Junior"

  36. #36
    Senior Member jclary's Avatar
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    Fantastic project. I am as impressed with the workmanship, shop, and the neatness of the work area as I am the vehicle.

    Please, don't ever show up around my man cave...I'd be too embarrassed!
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
    SDC member since 1975

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