Studebaker Garage

 

1964 Studebaker Cruiser

Going for Breakfast to Wheeler's Pancake House in McDonalds Corners just NW of Perth, Ontario

 

    While working up in Ottawa, Canada I was made aware of a Studebaker that was being advertised for sale on the internet. I went to the ad on the internet link I was provided and sure enough, it was a 1964 Cruiser, all black and lots of chrome as the ad stated.  I had a lot of free evenings and so I contacted the owners to introduce myself as a SDC member and to get the lowdown on this vehicle. It seems that it was bought as a gift back in 1990 and the intended new owner was not interested in it. They drove it until it broke down and there it was sitting in their driveway for the next nine years.    I offered to come around and see it and offer any advice on how to sell it as they knew little about Studebakers and itís real worth. They had tried to sell it over the years but due to its neglected state and being overpriced it didnít get any takers.

   

            As I arrived at itís location I was sadden by the sight of this neglected vehicle that deserved a much better fate. The car was not running at the time and the paint was faded but the overall body except for a hole in the size of a silver dollar in the  Left rocker panel, it was in pretty good shape and a prime candidate for restoration. The interior was very different as it was a deep blue velour and in excellent shape. On the back of the rear window was an Ontario Chapter decal and I know a SDC member had once owned this vehicle and had put along of effort and time in keeping this car on the road. I asked to see the ownership and sure enough I recognized the name, Joyce Madjanovich who was the previous owner. I told him to attempt to start the car to see if the engine would start as he would get a higher price and went home to phone Joyce and see what she knew about this car.

            That evening I phoned the Madjanovichs, Joyce and Gene, who were longtime SDC members and who knew Studebakers inside out. I told Gene about the Black Cruiser and he says thatís a former family car of Gordon E Grundy, The last president of the Studebaker Automotive Division. It seems that they drove it for around six months and then it was replaced by a 1965 model and sent out to a dealership to be sold as Executive used car. Joyce had used it for around eight years herself and they were approached while up in the Ottawa Valley region about selling this car which was in very good condition at the time. Although not really looking at selling it, they decided at the time that they could part with it and a deal was struck.  Geneís parting words were just check the service booklet and you will see Gordon Grundyís name as the owner. I thanked him for his info and decided right there and then that this car needed to get back on the road where it rightly belonged.

            During the next week I visited the car and was surprised that the owner got the engine running after replacing the old stale fuel in the tank. While we were looking over the car and taking inventory I was asked if I would be interested in buying it. I already had a 1963 GT Hawk that was taking up time and money but I told him that if I was to buy it then I would offer him $1350 which was a fair price considering itís present state and the amount needed to resurrect this diamond in the rough. As many of you know owning and working on Studebakers is contagious and I still havenít contacted Lorna, my other half about the potential purchase.  The Owners though about my tentative offer and they said ďSOLDĒ! I phoned Lorna that night and convinced her that the Cruiser would make a great companion car for the GT Hawk and that it had been owned and driven by women most of its lifetime. Letís just say it didnít take that much convincing once she saw it.

            Over the next five years I worked on the Cruiser with a lot of help from Jan Boyd who had an interest in old cars. It seems that he use to work in an auto shop as a teenager and the cars from the 50s and 60s were a common sight. I finally got the vehicle licensed and painted in 2006, final cost invested was over $7000 and a lot of elbow grease. It took awhile to get some of the bugs out of the car and I called CAA a couple of times to take me back to the garage but by the summer of 2007 I thought that it was ready for the big trip down to South Bend for the 2007 International SDC Meet. The Cruiser held up well during the 1500 mile trip while also getting 20 MPG. We again drove to Lancaster, Pa for the 2008 International SDC Meet and it proved to be very reliable. Maintenance on 51 year vehicles is never ending and we just replaced the Timing Cover seal and also 2 Frost Plugs. Last year in 2016, we drove the Cruiser to the 52nd Anniversary SDC Car Meet held in Warwick, Rhode Island. It drove well but the Carburetor had to be replaced at the Meet. No breakdowns enroute but non-ethanol gas was very hard to find in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. About 900 miles/1550 Kms round trip using a mixture of Backroads and Interstate 90.

 

 This is our Prime Mover for many Studebaker Events and we just recently drive to Warwick, Rhode Island 

for the 2016 International SDC Meet. A very reliable vehicle even though it's 53 years old.

 

1964 Cruiser - Model Y9 Auto Trans

Vehicle Specifications

4 Door Sedan   - Model 64V - Model Y9

Weight 3270 lbs

 

Engine - 289 CU. IN   8 cylinders                        

210 HP with Dual Exhaust                                  

 

Compression Ratio - Standard 8.25 to 1 -             Optional 8.5 to 1

Two Barrel Stromberg Carb WW-132

Wheel base - 113 IN
 

Firing Order - 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2

 

Cylinder Bore - 3 9/16 in  Stroke - 3 5/8 in Engine Oil Pan Capacity - 5 US Qts or 4.2 IMP Qts Automatic Transmission  Flightomatic               

Capacity - 18 US Pints or 15 Imp Pints

Front Disc Brake System - Bendix   (Dunlop Calipurs)              Rotor 11.5 in Outside Diameter   

 

Rear Drum Brake System - Wagner    

11 in  Self-Centering - Automatic Adjusting

                
Rear Brake Lining Size - Primary = 12.2 in          Secondary = 10 in

Brake shoe width - Rear 2 in  Thickness = 3/16 in

Rear Differential - 3.31 Ratio with Twin Traction     

Capacity 2.5 pints

 

Cooling System    Capacity 14.2* Imperial Quarts    

16.1 Litres or 17* US Quarts.  

 

Radiator Core - McCord       

Thermostat 170 Degrees

Hoses - Outlet & Inlet   1/1/2 in Radiator Cap Relief valve 13 lbs
 

Ignition Coil  Type - Prestolite Model  200567         

Replaced with Petronix Flamethrower coil due to electronic ignition

 

Distributor Type - Prestolite IBP-4108     

Replaced with Delco-Remy Window 1110969   with Petronix Electronic Ignition

Bty - 12V Negative Ground Starter Type- Prestolite - Model MDU-7026 - Auto Trans
 

Alternator Type - Prestolite   Model - ALK 5001   35 amps

 

Voltage Regulator - Prestolite Model -  6201A VTB Spark Plugs - Champion H14Y Spark Plug Gap - .033-.038 IN

 

 

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