My son Jesse spent his first week of Studebaker ownership pulling the standard transmission, electric overdrive unit and “Big Six” engine out of his ’49 Commander Starlight Coupe. That engine had been “stuck” for 30 years and while we’re sure it can be freed up and rebuilt, that kind of work isn’t anywhere within Jesse’s budget.
Local auto body guru Dave Stencil had a painted up circa-1973 Chevy 350 on an engine stand in his soon-to-close Scandinavia, Wis., facility. It had refurbished cylinder heads, an Edelbrock intake, chrome valve covers, a Holly 600-cfm carb and a chromed Edelbrock air cleaner. We could have it for about a tenth of the cost of a rebuilt Studebaker six with the stand thrown in.
Now, we are hoping to find anyone who has done a similar engine swap. It’s always nice if someone has done the same project before and worked out some of the details. We also need some ideas about what transmission to use and what will work as a third member.
The Studebaker’s original electrical wiring is a bit complicated and not in very good condition. So, we’re debating whether to just rip it out so we can detail the dash and install a new wiring kit.
There are a lot of other things to think about too. For instance, a set of headers an exhaust system, the shifter mechanism and the radiator and cooling system.
Details, details, details. . .