Minutes from the March 28, 2019 meeting of the Los Angeles Studebaker
Drivers Club, held at the Denny’s restaurant on Tampa Avenue in Northridge.
The meeting began, just before 7:30 pm with Jim Ober delivering a ten
question auto history pop quiz to the group. The quiz asked about the proper
name of the stalk that holds windshield wiper blades, the origins of some
famous auto companies, and dates when now common automotive features or
marques first appeared.
Dexter Canon read the minutes of our previous meeting with his usual
theatricality and improvised additions to them.
Howard Brown posed a question about whether the minutes should be printed in
each issue of the newsletter. The group was in favor of that.
Since Dennis O’Brien was not present, Howard Brown announced the bank
balance of the club and gave some financial statistics from our Sunday car
show. Both the club and individuals did sell parts in the club’s vendor
space, though large items such as bumpers did not sell.
Howard then thanked the car show volunteers. He reported that the vendors
liked being mixed between the car spaces, rather than segregated into a
vendor row. He also summarized responses to a video of the show shot by
George Colvin, which was posted on the Studebaker Driver’s Club Forum,
Facebook, and our website.
A brief discussion of displaying fire extinguishers at the show, followed.
Howard displayed a letter and certificate of thanks from the Studebaker
National Museum for money we donated to sponsor two cars.
Howard Brown reported on his attempts to help set up a Studebaker night at
Irwindale Raceway. After several tries he reached the management which gave
July 10 or August 13 dates to choose from.
The Irwindale event consists of the featured cars doing a parade lap on the
track, before the races, then being parked on display near the stands during
the evening, while the car owners get free admission to watch the show.
The topic of the proposed Heritage Square group visit was also revived, with
a tentative June date as a target.
Howard also took a $10 bill out of his pocket and asked if anybody had
driven a Studebaker to the meeting. He proposed that in the future, members
who drive their Studebaker to the meeting be issued a raffle ticket, with
the club providing a financial prize each month, to encourage members to do
so. Since only Howard and one other member drove their Studebakers, Ken
given the first $10 prize without any tickets needing to be drawn.
Final topic before the individual car reports was that James Powers, a Ford
stylist, who was responsible for an era of the Thunderbird, would be a guest
speaker at our next meeting in April, to talk about automotive design in
general. Though that would seem to be an odd fit for a Studebaker club, it
is not. He and Studebaker designers went to the same school, and shared
experiences in common before they found out who would end up hiring them.
On the topic of guest speakers, Jim Ober suggested that we invite Ed
Reynolds, former owner of Studebaker International, to speak to the group.
In the individual auto reports, Bill Johnson reported a gas tank leak now
fixed on his Lark.
Howard Brown has been working on his 1962 GT Hawk. It now starts reliably
from under the hood, and needs an ignition key to start in the usual way
from the driver seat. He took care of a bad water pump it had, and plans to
work on its brakes next.
Bill Longbottom reported that it had been too cold to do much on his 1953
Commander, but that he had installed a new driveshaft and found installing
the U joints that go with it to be quite a pain.
Jim Ober said that the 1953 Commander he has, which began as a family car,
and was the vehicle he used during high school, is running well. He took it
to a show and felt “like I’m back in high school”.
Dexter Canon reported on the walnut veneer sheeting he intends to apply to
his dash prompting the pun that “Dexter is bonding with his car.” He also
reported that the restoration is completed on his dashboard, and it is ready
to be picked up and installed.
Discussion of his dashboard prompted a group question of the needle style
used on mid 1950's instruments. One member reported one of his gauges having
a tapered needle, but none of the others being like that. The question of
whether this was unique to his car, standard on vehicles of his production
date and model, and why, was posed. This might be something the historian at
the Studebaker National Museum could answer. One could also look at other
cars of his model and year to see what the needle style on that gauge was in
Andrea ‘Enthal joked that her 1952 Land Cruiser was giving her evil looks
because it kept getting left home. She expressed hopes that the weather on
April 6 would be relatively cool so she could take it to the Coachmen cruise
in Simi Valley on that night, rather than need to take an air conditioned
Ken Buchanan reported on plans to take his 1963 Avanti on a run from
Moorpark to Morrow Bay with other Avanti owners, and discussed the option of
no longer having power steering for that car because the power steering
John Michelson reported on the challenge of getting the turn signals to work
again on his 1963 Avanti, mentioning how a pin was in the wrong place
relating to the cancellation detent in the steering column, which caused Jim
Ober to comment about diagnosing problems in old cars: “Half of it is
forensics,” he said.
Before the group broke up into less formal discussions, Howard Brown
mentioned David Neel was considering selling one of his Avantis. The meeting
ended at 8:25 pm with various round table topics as some people left to pay