Project History

1/11/02 Well, some of us have been scheming. We have recently looked over Eddie Bauer’s 53’ Stude coupe (2 door post) which he purchased for $300, mostly to get the windshield. The floor was shot, but the body is rather good. The frame was useable. We probably will need a rear window. The car was a Champion, and a 185" motor will bolt right in. Eddie and Greg put on tires and pulled it out of the weeds and over to Ed’s shop. From there, it may go over to Joe Helm’s garage for some disassembly. Ed has offered his shop (loaded with tools and a car hoist) as a home for parts of the project. Ed and Greg contacted Ken James in Big Lake and purchased a 56’ Champ ¾ ton pickup with a 185" motor with an overdrive tranny (which Ed would like for his 37’ Stude coupe). The truck is really not in bad shape and probably can be made to run. Also purchased the makings for almost two more engines. These have four 3" mains and forged cranks (=indestructible). Total price for truck and engines: $350. Fred Case is on the trail of a 9" rear-end. Greg contacted SCTA and determined that we can indeed run the car as an XO/BGC which is a class without a record. The XO/GC record is 164 mph set recently using a 1985 Firebird body with a 320" GMC six motor. To set a record, we will have to reach this and do it in two directions over the short course. Greg has been experimenting with CO2 as a way to spin up a turbo and cool off the intake charge. We may also want to consider racing at world of speed in 9/03 which has a 130mph club and a 150 mph club.

12/10/02 Joe, Ed etal. Have been dismembering the body and welding struts into the floor to give it some integrity when it is removed from the frame. Ed has delivered a cradle to Joe’s garage to support the body. The ratty engine has been removed from the frame. Ed and Greg managed to get the truck engine to run. It sounds good. Ihor has contacted Tom Porter, who now owns Edelman engine rebuilders. Tom is a machinist with a flathead, and Stude background, and he sounds interested in our project. Greg has been putting out feelers on the net to the blow-thru turbo group regarding the engine build-up. Hopefully, we can build two identical blocks, both with the same cam (minimal overlap, but otherwise aggressive), relieving and large valves. The unblown engine we run first will simply be a manifold and head swap away from the blown engine. Calcs indicate that this profile may work: 4000 feet per minute piston speed (forged crank/rods and big mains) with peak hp at 5250 to 5500 rpm; TO3 "60" trim turbo with 0.82 A/R turbine housing; 10 pound boost; 3-speed Stude truck transmission without overdrive and 9" Ford truck rear-end with 2.82:1 ratio should get us into the 150+ mph region with 28" tires and a body whose drag coefficient is between 0.28 and 0.34.

12/15/02 Had a meeting at Joe’s workshop. The fenders are off, engine is out and front and rear windows are out. Joe, Greg, Mark, Bob Waitz and Bob Meisch were there. Passed out applications for BNI membership 2003 and medical forms . Will wait to register car ($300 before May 15th for early fee).
We need a name for the car or our group to put on the registration form. Pretty well are set on the list below as the "core" group now. Bob Meisch has t-shirts and jackets for us if we want. Offered Lausen grade 8 fasteners to use thru-out the car. Mark has a 9" Ford truck rear-end we can use. He will take it apart and report on its internals. Wally has a jig for narrowing these. Mark will decide how much he wants for it. Will go for fairly stock width wheels and tires for low drag. Flange to flange will be stock. Ratio of 2.82:1 will get us up into 150’s mph. To get the 1:1 final drive we will use a Stude truck 3 speed without overdrive. At 1200 rpm in 3rd this would be 30mph, so, we shouldn’t have much trouble getting started off the line. We will interview two engine builders. Tom Porter from Adelmann and a fellow Mark knows. Greg will take the engines down for Tom to look at this week and then Ihor and Mark will ask some intelligent questions. Some quotes from Tom on machineing costs: Boring $25/hole, Hot tank block $75, Crank rebuild $200, Valve job/relieve deck $300, Mill head $27. Greg and Curt will pull the other engine from the truck as we will need two cranks. Bob Waitz will get measurements from each corner of a stock 53’ Champ for Mark to start some calcs on the suspension/set-back etc. We need to check the definition of ride height…total height to the top of the roof vs ground clearance decreased plus stock body etc. We decided on a multi-leaf rear spring. Need to find out who is the starting line official living in Minnesota. Greg will lock up two rooms in the Red Garter as soon as possible. We decided to have two bell housings so that each can be indexed to the block. Joe will try to get together some sort of list of "shop nights". Ed’s shop is now open, as Dave has moved his Stude to Oregon. Once the engine is out of the truck, the truck will be sold and the chassis of the Bonneville car (we need a name for it) will go into Ed’s shop.

2/3/03 We have now just about prepared the body to be removed from the car. It has been stripped of all the things that were bolted on, and the body bolts are off. We have been welding on patch panels and reconstructing the floor-boards. Two of the engines are over at Tom Porter's being scrutinized. Greg spent a whole morning over there and it sounds like Tom is excited about the project. The valves can't get much bigger, but Tom promises much better flow using some porting etc. He thinks we can come up with a suitable cam grind which will satisfy both blown and unblown situations. We may grind down the crank journals for less drag (and maybe a bit more stroke). Exactly how much is still up in the air. Tom actually had several oversize Champ pistons in stock. He sold Greg two turbos (and induction parts) for draw-thru carbed Buick Grand Nationals for $100. With some mods, it looks like it would be really simple to graft one of these in place on our Champ motor. Mark is rather an expert with the large Rochester Quadrajet these use, and has volunteered to go over it. Greg will be mocking up some adapters for a "marriage". Greg checked a number of sources regarding transmissions and determined that purchasing two Saginaw 3-speed manual units from Butch at Cotton-Pickers ($150 for the pair) would work. Ken at JMJ transmission is looking inside these to determine gear ratios. These are rather strong trannys, and are reasonably plentiful. The Saginaw trans is a standard bolt pattern and length which will also allow us to bolt in a more expensive, close ratio trans at a later date if desired. The input shaft is the same spline as Stude but a little shorter and with a thinner pilot shaft. This can be easily dealt with by getting a little "extender" welded on to the end of the shaft and getting an appropriate bushing for the flywheel. There are a number of different bell-housings which will fit on the Champ. We probably have one of each, and will probably settle on one which has the starter high or low on the passenger side. The bell housing for the 185" (the truck) would probably be best. Oz Cheek, one of our Bonneville acquaintences says that rotating mass is not that important, and that the larger clutch (not the 169" Champ) from the truck or V-8 would be fine. Mark has acquired a 31 spline Ford 9" rear end and disassembled it. We will be able to cut this down and use it. Oz and others seem to think that if the car can be made to handle well, the non-limited slip type would be fine. We are assembling a pile of low ratio pumpkins from about 2.73 to a little over 3.00 to take along. Some questions which we will have to answer: Should we run the water pump off an electric motor? Should we run a total loss ignition? Should we run an electric fuel pump ? All these cause drag on the engine. Should we run power brakes?

Other suggestions in conversation with Oz: Tie the front suspension down some. The rake will still be legal and allow you to limit the lift. His car had perhaps a 15 degree rake. Caster was perhaps 8 degrees. Regular window glass is fine and won't discolor in the heat and sun. Ed Whitley (Greg has his #) has a line on some EMSA series high speed rated tires for $100 each. He is a good resource and races a Stude. Jeb Riley is a salt-veteran who could help us approximate what we will need to have in gears, HP, CD etc. to be half competative (Greg has his # too).

Bob has been hard at work on the server for this website and is developing a mailing list for us to communicate.

Greg has been talking on e-mail to Dan Warner regarding our classification:

"A group of us in Minnesota are planning a stock bodied 53' Stude. We will be building it with a roll cage, 9" Ford rear axle and essentially stock front suspension (with modified caster and disc brakes). We'd like to run a 1958 185" Stude Champion motor (same outward design as the stock 169" which came in the 53'). If we turbocharge this XO engine see turbostude website) would it be run as an XO/BGC ? The rulebook says that VINTAGE BODIED cars with XO motors can't be turbocharged, if I am reading it correctly, but this is not a vintage bodied car. Because we are very interested in Turbocharging this flathead, if it does not fit in that category, would it be competing against other 185" overheads (with engine class bumped up for turbo...)? If there is no class for this combo, could this car be run for time in 2003? If it IS classified this year as a BGC or GC if run without the turbo, could it be run next year in the Classic class instead of BGC or GC when we change engines? Would CO2 (yes, CO2!) injection on this engine (no turbo or supercharger as defined by the rulebook) change it away from XO when used with this body?"

"This is an interesting question. How about we ask the SCTA expert, DanWarner".

Mike Manghelli BNI Chairman



"The body does not fit into the Vintage category, but the '58 engine does. There is no provision in the Classic Category for the vintage engines so you must run in the Modified Category. There is currently a proposal before the board of the SCTA to clarify this situation. When the Classic Category was established a black hole developed into which a couple of combinations fell. You can run your Studebaker in the Modified category either XO/BGC or XO/GC(without the supercharger). Within the modified classes the type of supercharger does not matter, so the turbo will be OK. The current record for XO/BGC is open, the XO/GC record is 164 mph. About the CO2 injection, I would need more info so I can pass it on to someone more knowledgeable than I in this area. Thank you for your question. Please contact me if you have any further questions, Dan Warner"


"Wasn't sure if you got this letter originally sent on 1/7/03........ "


"We have started building the 53' Stude mentioned below. We will be building two identical blocks with identical cams and valving. In the first part of the week, we intend to get the stock bodied car running legally and safely on the salt with the unblown engine. This engine will have a four barrel carb, some porting, oversized valves and a modern ignition system. After getting our "legs", later in the week, we would like to make two additions. First, adding an industrial air amplifier run by CO2 on top of the carb. This is just an annular orifice above the carb. The very cold CO2 which comes out at high velocity is aimed into the carb mouth and creates a low pressure area before it, drawing fresh air into the carb. This is my design which I have been > working on for quite some time. It does not improve oxidation like nitrous and does not , in my reading of the rulebook, qualify as a blower (no moving parts, and not powered by the primary engine). The CO2 set-up is identical to that used in a fire extinguisher, and would be mounted the same way, only without the siphon tube in the tank and the red paint. The same safety disk valve is used. (Please limit the people you discuss this with to need to know" to determine our class.) After that, we may add the turbo if there is still time. 1)Has the board decided anything regarding XO motors or blowers in the Classic category? 2)From my reading, the unblown car might fit in Production, Classic or XO/GC, correct? 3)Once it is in one of these categories, must it stay there the rest of the meet? In following years? We don't expect to set any records, but are very interested in the technology, and really dig Bonneville! Please give us the benefit of your insight regarding our plans and what might be the best way to approach arriving at the appropriate class for the car. Best Regards Greg and friends (....Morning the loss of Bob Higbee....) "

"Yes Greg I did. I was kinda at a stopping point regarding the use of the CO2. I have recently been told by our fuel guy that the use of CO2 is OK in the gas classes. I have been intending to send a reply and got a little behind, sorry for the delay. The car must run in the Modified Category, either XO/GC or XO/BGC with the turbo. You can change classes and categories as long as you meet the criteria for the class you are moving to. You are not required to run a given class forever. The exception to this is the Classic Category classes where you must remain in that class for the current competition year. Vintage engines, XF, XO, XXF, XXO and V4 have not been added to the classic classes. Again, I'm sorry about the delay,

Good luck, hope to see at the salt later this year."

4/10/03 At this point, we have separated the body from the body from the chassis and have welded in a floor and welded up the firewall, replacing the rusted areas. The frame has been stiffened with 2x2 square tubing and Mark has also been boxing in various areas 1 2 3 4 . We have decided to run a Ford 9" rear end and though we have one, are searching for one from an older Bronco which would be useable with just a rebuild and perch change, rather than much more surgery. The engines are being done by Tom Porter, who has been doing valve work and porting and relieving on the first block. The oil pump we intend to use is from a slant six, and required that we shorten the snout, make a new shaft and an adapter plate 1 2 3 . The pump will also have an outlet for turbo oiling. We intend to add a windage tray and expand the volume of the oil pan. Greg is making up an exhaust manifold which will allow the Buick Grand National draw-thru turbo set-up 1 2 to bolt on. This runs a Rochester 4 barrel carb which Mark believes will be more than adequate, especially with some mods to the secondary side. As far as the unblown version, we are going to use some type of down-draft carb into a Helmholtz resonator plenum with a gentle ramp to the intake ports. We will have to tune this partially with the length of the stack, or perhaps with spacers under the carb. The exhaust design is also up for discussion, but at present is 1-6 into one collector and 2-3 and 4-5 into the other, with some corrections for the siamesed cylinders. The two Saginaw 3 speed transmissions are rebuilt. We discussed using various transmissions with Ken Rau, a master tranny guy, and he suggested this one since it was impossible to destroy, was simple, easy to find parts for, cheap and had the same outward dimensions as many other Chevy transmissions which could later be swapped in without changing much if anything but linkage. The input shaft fits the Stude clutch disk perfectly. We will need to machine a little "nose" for the Chev input shaft and get a bushing to fit the clutch plate. The mounting bolts on the Stude bell housing are not right for the Chev, and we will need to carefully make an adapter of 3/16 " plate to get it all to match up with the right measurements. Greg will mock one up on an extra block so that we can put it in the chassis after the front end is rebuilt. Then we will be able to calculate the body rake, and thus the caster/camber can be set. The brakes will be swinging pedal design on the firewall and will use a racing master cylinder. In early May, Ed/Greg/Bob will be in South Bend getting disk brake parts and an extra bellhousing, throw out bearings etc. at the Stude swapmeet. We may bring a few bits to sell off to make some capital for the project. Fred Case is well connected with Goodyear, and can get us a deal on the special tires we will need. These will be mounted on essentially stock rims which have been welded to make them "one piece". We have composed a list of parts to purchase and Bob has stepped forward to be our "purchasing agent". Ihor is learning about harmonics and will be evaluating the drivetrain to minimize parasitic vibrations. A few fellows have been sniffing around our tree and may throw in with us at some point. The frame will be making its trip to the sandblaster this week. Ed will be rummaging through his parts box and will be preparing a list of front end pieces needed to do the stock front end. He and Bob will order these, and then by the time the chassis rolls into his shop, they will be available.