• Sam Chakires at Pleasanton GoodGuys

    I had the honor of meeting Sam Chakires at the GoodGuys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton on Friday, August 21st.  Sam was Lee Talbot’s partner on the original build of the Kart Hauler in 1958. I...
  • Hot Rod TV

    Hot Rod TV recently aired a episode about the 2009 GNRS.  Included was a short feature on the Ute and Lee.  Here it is… </param></param></param></embed>
  • Kart Hauler with Kart

  • How cool is this!...

    My house was built in 1929. The same family (mother, father, son) lived in it from the late 30’s until 2001. Just by accident, I met the son a few years ago. Great guy. He gave me tons of pictures...
  • It runs and drives!

    The Ute went to the GNRS not running. I just flat ran out of time prior to the show. A couple of weeks ago, I started into wiring it, getting it running, and working out some bugs. The biggest is...
  • GNRS

    I’ve been away from a computer for 6 days. The good news is, the “shakes” stopped after about the third day. It was a FANTASTIC 5 days for a car guy. My only regret is that I didn’t get to meet ev...
  • loaded up

    The highpoint of the day was Andy’s visit. Great to meet forum members in person…and Andy brought donuts to boot!. Andy cruised down from San Francisco in his beautiful GT with an awesome family hi...
  • Stick a fork in it...it's done!

    Well, at least done ENOUGH for the show. Here’s the stainless strips in the bed and carried through to the package shelf in the cabin… The engine is all wired and ready to go, but not fir...
  • Final week before the GNRS

    I’m at my son’s house in San Jose, madly trying to cram two weeks’ worth of finish up work into one! Today, I installed the stainless strips in the bed… I I also got the residue from color sandi...
  • Shift knob

    I had a local glass blower make a shift knob for the ute… First one he’s ever done.  VERY nice work.  The perfect finishing touch for the interior. If you want one for your ride, contact Ed at…...
  • Interior Done

    My good friends Tom and Larry picked the Ute up at Howdy’s yesterday and brought it to my son’s house in San Jose. I’ll go down before the show and finish the car there. Here’s a few quick pics… ...
  • Signs

    Larry came up with some killer signs to display with the car at the GNRS…
  • Upholstery Update

    My buddy (and college room mate) Tom, lives in Howdy’s neighborhood. He was over to his place today to check out progress. Howdy calls me every few days with an update, but Tom took pictures…
  • The Ute in vintage print

    My buddy, Pekka in Finland, had alerted me earlier to another picture of the Ute in the 1962 Custom Cars Annual by George Barris.  It was a picture on the inside cover of the 1959 Oakland roadster ...
  • Ute goes to Howdy's Place

    Delivered the Ute yesterday to Howdy’s Place in Fremont, CA for the interior. Here’s Howdy Ledbetter… Here’s the Ute… Howdy talked me into some changes to my original plan. Should be abou...
  • Who let the Ute out?

    The Ute found itself out in the daylight today…so I had to take a few pictures…
  • Homestretch

    Coming down the homestretch on the Ute.  The rear part is done.  A little color sanding and buffing to finish on the front, and the front bumper isn’t fitted yet.  Other than that, wiring, and asse...
  • More chrome...styled by the GNRS

    I got some chrome back from Jerry Forrester today… It is frickin PERFECT. If you looked up “show chrome” in the dictionary, Jerry’s work would be there. I also received the following from the G...
  • grills

    A while back we did a thread on the fit of 53-54 C/K grill surrounds. Matthew won the prize for best fitting grills with his rusty ‘53 Coupe. This is how the Ute’s turned out… Not as good as Ma...
  • 2 steps forward...1 back

    Making progress, but continue to run into snags and surprises. Brian Curtis came over yesterday and we bled the brakes, found and fixed all the leaks, installed the emergency brake system, throttl...
  • Clutch linkage

    Probably one of the many “gotchas” I’ll encounter during the assembly process of the Ute. I thought I had rounded up all the clutch linkage parts, but ran into two problems. The trans is not dril...
  • Engine install!

     
  • Engine detail...color sanding

    Pekka got me motivated to get the ‘55 President V8 detailed for installation. Gord Richmond built this motor. I couldn’t help kind of setting it together. The carbs are old ones (the ones going ...
  • Axles

    I installed new inner seals in the rear end of the Ute and slipped the axles back in. That’s when I noticed that BOTH axles were slightly twisted where the key ends up in the keyway… It’s a li...
  • Hot Rod Deluxe

    A nice mention about the Ute in the latest issue of Hot Rod Deluxe by the editor, Jerry Pitt…
  • Ute color

    These give you a better idea of the actual color… …but even they aren’t quite right…a little too blue relative to the actual.
  • Painting the Ute

    The Ute got color yesterday.  It went to the paint booth Friday evening and we painted it Saturday.  About 12 hours in the booth (we’re slow <grin>). Here it is set up in the booth… Every...
  • GNRS entry

    I just received the Ute’s official invitation to the Grand National Roadster Show. Included are some of the things to do that separate the winners from the losers. Are the tires indexed correctly ...
  • Final Prime

    We put the ute in final primer yesterday. Another week or so of sanding and we should be ready for finish paint. This car is going to be SOOOO straight…I shoulda painted it black I’ve had a...
  • Color Choice

    I’ve chosen the color for the ute. Art’s (and Brian Curtis’) LEAST favorite color of those in the running is seafoam green. That’s what I’ve picked. Sorry Art and Brian. Actually it is 1953 Studeb...
  • The Ute is Gray

    …well, actually, K36 primer. I’m still up in the air on the final color. Sticking in my mind this week is cream, with blood red and cream interior, red wheels, red engine, red go kart. I’ll change ...
  • Fit of grill surrounds

    I seem to remember the grill surrounds on my ‘54 hardtop did not fit perfectly even after a lot of messin’ with them…AND, I’ve gotten even more anal retentive in my old age . I’m trying to fit them...
  • Stance Set

    I’ve been agonizing over how the Ute should “sit” almost as much as which color to paint it. Here’s the final, final, final tires, wheels and stance… G78 15’s with 2 3/4” white walls. ‘55 Plymo...
  • Crate deal from Gord

    Gord shipped me the T86 OD with top shifter that he built for the Ute. It arrived yesterday at the DHL terminal in Abbotsford, BC…about 15 miles from my house. Saves a bunch of customs paperwork an...
  • Meeting with Lee

    I think I mentioned that I was able to hook up with Lee Talbot…the original builder of the Ute…due to the article about the car in Hot Rod Deluxe. Lee is 80 years old and now lives in Astoria, OR. ...
  • Kart for the Ute

    The Ute is looking less and less like a vehicle. It always gets worse before it gets better, but it is currently torn down to nothing. Pretty much just the body on the chassis sans doors, fenders, ...
  • Chrome

    I just had Jerry Forrester redo the chrome on the grill surrounds and tail light bodies of the Ute. The tail light bodies had some major dents and dings. The grill surrounds were distorted and dull...
  • Making contact with Lee

    I’m in California doing a little beach sitting and other unproductive activities. I checked my voice mail at my home phone yesterday and there was a message from Chris Talbot. Chris explained that...
  • 2009 GNRS...The Ute is in!

    I’m stoked Just received this from the Producer of the Grand National Roadster Show… “Hi Dick, I have a neat surprise for you. I am working on the 60th Anniversary currently, and we are going ...
  • Jewelry

    I don’t check the Studebaker Swap Page as often as I should. BAMS emailed me with a car posted there that he thought I’d be interested in. I’m over inventoried right now, but I checked it out anywa...
  • The Ute makes Hot Rod Deluxe

    Well…the letters section. But a full page there! HRD is a spin off or Hot Rod Magazine. It is devoted to retro hot rods and customs. The May issue… ...has some of the correspondence I've been ex...
  • Researching the history

    I got in contact with George Barris.  No go.  He didn’t do the car.  I kind of thought that.  It wasn’t wild enough. Then Scott Rodgers from the Studebaker Driver’s club forum found this photo in ...
  • Going through the parts

    The parts were all wrapped in copies of the 1964 Oakland Tribune.  The story was that the owner at that time had torn the car down for a color change, then died.  The car had sat in a garage in Con...
  • At the clubhouse

    Since the new Custom doesn’t have an engine/trans, it had an ugly super nose high stance. I pulled the front springs out and just put a 2 x 4 between the lower A arm and the upper spring pocket. N...
  • Bought the Stude-a-mino

    I offered far less than his asking…without the Chevy motor and transmission.  Brian and I loaded it up…
  • Studebaker Custom For Sale

    I cruise Craig’s List fairly frequently.  Last night I saw a minor ad (no pictures) for a 1953 Studebaker Custom.  Advertised as being in the 1959 Oakland Roadster Show and reported to have been do...

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