Q&A with Kit Foster: February 13, 2014

Publish date:

Q. Chevs of the ’40s (Vancouver, Wash., www.chevsofthe40s.com, 877-735-0587) has 16-inch rims and Chevrolet offered a four-speed column shift in 1968 and ’69. I only saw one in all the years I spent in Chevy dealerships.

— Frank Johnson, via e-mail

A. Thanks. Arland Stellmacher also suggested Chevs of the ’40s for 16-inch from 1937 to 1941. Charles Chesmore’s Mercedes-Benz (Q&A Dec. 26), however, needs to use mounting clips because of the wheel design, so I doubt that Chevy rings will work. I’ve sent him the suggestions, however. Regarding the four-speed column shift, I see the Borg Warner T-10 listed as an option for vans, probably paired with a small block V8, which became available in 1967. At least one source shows it available into 1970. In the Jan. 9 “Sound Your Horn,” John Bellah mentioned GMC’s use of a column-shifted four-speed, a Saginaw unit, in their HandiVans.

Along with his mention of the T-10 in Chevy vans last week, Kevin Suter said a friend had a Peugeot with four-speed column shift. Many European cars had them in the 1950s, ’60s and even 1970s. I have had personal experience with Fiats, Austins and Humbers, as well as Peugeots. Cars of the British Motor Corporation (Austin, Morris, Riley and Wolseley) and Rootes Group (Hillman, Humber, Sunbeam) had an odd variation on shift pattern. Although reverse was where you might expect it (off the “H” and down toward the dashboard, accessed by pulling out on the shift knob), third and fourth were closest to the driver, where one would instinctively look for first and second. For American drivers it took a bit of getting used to.


Q. In the Jan. 9 Q&A, Al Becher of Lincoln, Neb., asked about an emblem. That “8” is the exact same 8 used on the top of the headlight rim for the 1928 Studebaker President 8. The 1929 and ’30 had a wing emblem on the rim. I doubt if Stutz or any other car would use the same exact graphics, so it has to be Studebaker. From the size listed, 3-7/8 inches diameter, I would guess it must be a radiator badge or trunk emblem. Maybe someone burnished off the bolt that held it onto the back of the shell? Or maybe it was soft-soldered onto a mounting base or set into some kind of holder.


— Donald Axelrod, Headlight Headquarters, Lynn, Mass.

A. After surveying some 1928 Studebakers, I agree. Here’s a photo of a 1928 President, showing the “8” emblem on the crossbar between the headlights. In looking more carefully at Mr. Becher’s ornament, however, I find it mounts differently. He also sent a picture of the reverse side, which shows a bottom mounting intended to go on a round bar of some sort, so it’s not exactly the same as the President shown here, which has the emblem in the middle. It certainly is from a Studebaker of that era, though. Thanks.



Q. Regarding the answer to my question on the identity of an old radiator (Jan. 2 Q&A), the answer suggested a picture of the radiator shell should be included. Please find one attached.


— Jim Spenst, Thief River Falls, Minn.

A. Ah yes, this picture is worth a thousand words. The shell is positively Maxwell, but somewhat later than you thought. This distinctive design was used from 1916 through 1918. As for the tag that says the core was repaired in 1912, the only explanation I can think of is that someone somehow put an earlier core into a later car.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail angelo.vanbogart@fwmedia.com or mail to: Q&A, c/o Angelo Van Bogart, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001.

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