Minutes from the January 23, 2020 meeting of the Los Angeles Chapter Studebaker Drivers Club, which met at the Denny’s on Tampa Avenue in Northridge, CA.
Meeting started at 7:35 pm with Howard Brown proudly announcing that 90% of our membership have already renewed their dues.
Dexter Cannon read the October 2019 minutes. That was our most recent previous meeting.
Jim Ober gave a bank statement which included the treasury balance and the sum the club paid to put on the December holiday party.
A guest, Bruce Stuber, who is a friend of Dave Carter, brought a 1950 Studebaker model car with him that he wished to sell.  In response to that model, Steve Hedke explained the history of the Regal Deluxe 5 passenger coupe, and how it later became Starlight Coupe.
Howard Brown relayed a report from Lofty, our Australian member, who sent photos of his converted American dashboard, and said that the air quality where he lives is now the worst in the world, due to the Australian fires. When he thinks of going out he opens the door, then closes the door.
Howard Brown told of a visit with Arnold who makes “glove” compartment liners for cars. Howard provided him with one, that Arnold could use as a sample to make a 1955 Ultra-Vision Studebaker liner and got a tour of Arnold's home/facility. Arnold  smilingly described the shop as a “disorganized garage.” It was a second house on a driveway with land that was filled with 25 cars from people who were paying him rent to store them there.
Howard Brown also spoke of his (and Ric DiOrio's) experiences in Scottsdale Arizona, at the Russo and Steele Auction, where they volunteer as drivers. Among the cars he drove was a Hemi Cuda 4 speed that was bid up to $200,000. That was below its reserve so it did not sell. He also drove an L88 Corvette, which was one of 116 made with aluminum heads. It “did not like to idle”, he reported.
He also told of the auction atmosphere. Specifically, Russo and Steele make sure that the potential bidders have drink passes, which some of them use to excess. Not hitting drunks while driving these cars to the stage, and back to the parking tent, is one of the challenges of the driver job.
Jim Ober spoke of an Avanti that had been at the Petersen Museum, that had been an ex Roger Ward car. He described it as a nice car with fuel gauge problems.
Howard Brown also reported that he and Dennis O’Brien were going to Turlock, CA to retrieve the Hedke engine which had turned out to have a crack in its water jacket. That crack made it not economical to fix. Originally scheduled to go in Dennis' Lark, the cracked block was swapped out for a block that Richard Marks used to make sure parts fit. Plan was to pick up the bad block, to bring it to Richard, to replace the one that he gave Dennis.
While there, Howard and Dennis planned to go to the Turlock swap meet. Howard asked if there were any parts that members would like him to look for.
Rich Kimmell won the $10 prize for having driven a Studebaker to the meeting.
In individual vehicle reports:
Ken Buchanan was introduced as the new president of the Avanti Owners Association, and said his car needed a ring and valve job.
Steve Hedke reported that he would be going to America's Car Museum in Tacoma, WA to pick up his Daytona on February 13. It had stayed there as a promotion for the Great Race. There will be a reception , and picture sessions with the car. But he will not be driving it home because cars take quite a beating in that rally and it needs new kingpins, and tires. He also told about his problem with enclosed garage space required by his insurance company. Specifically, the 1949 Studebaker that he displayed at Concours d’Lemons has a carport space in his back yard, behind a locked gate and fence. Hagerty requires a locked garage, not just a gate. He reported that he has too much respect for Hagerty to lie to them, and that they have been to his house to know if he did. Not having indoor space for that car, creates an insurance  problem.

Howard told of his YOM plate problems with the DMV, resulting in a phone call to DMV HQ in Sacramento, and what was billed as a 99 minute wait on hold to speak to them. Ultimately he only waited an hour on hold, and they agreed that the local office was wrong. Howard was right. There was group laughter after the question if the DMV ever apologized for their mistake.
Jim Ober reported charging his 1953 Commander’s battery.
Dexter Cannon continued to report on the walnut dash made for his 1962 GT Hawk. Dexter really likes that dash. He mentions it every report.
Marc Udoff said his 1963 Avanti is sleeping peacefully in his garage.
Howard Brown reported his 1953 Commander has functioning windshield wipers at last.
Andrea ‘Enthal said that she is finally getting to enjoy her 1952 Land Cruiser. It works well enough now that she can take it on local errands like a regular car.
Rich Kimmell said his 1964 Cruiser is all running, and good.
Dennis O’Brien said his 1960 Lark will run when it gets a motor, in reference to the Turlock and Marks block tale.
John Michelson said “everything’s dope” when asked to report on his 1963 Avanti.
The meeting officially ended at 8:40 pm but discussions continued for another 15 minutes including a mention of the Mullin Museum in Oxnard having a scheduled open date on March 14, and a fellow named Jimmy B showing up in search of a car for a movie. The odds of him showing up at any of our meetings though, are slim to none, since he owes 4 years of back dues