Last post on May 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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#1835 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [uplanderguy]
Jan 30, 2013 (8:09 am)
A 180 would have came standard with just hubcaps and blackwalls, but the dealer could have upgraded the appearance. The "S" models had the full wheelcovers (actually a 2 piece ring and hubcap until the late 60s).
That's a cool ad, funny to think a lower line Stude and something worth a healthy 6 figures today like a 300SL would have been sold at the same place. I suspect the Adenauer sold to people who liked the baroque-ness of a Rolls, but not the price tag.
#1836 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [fintail]
Jan 30, 2013 (10:02 am)
Before MB had its own automatic, it used Borg-Warner units, and I think these weren't the best. I think in 1962, MB introduced their first in-house automatic, the weird fluid coupling unit that my car has.
Studebaker dealers would not have had any problem servicing the "Borg Warner" automatic transmission because it was the same transmission sold as "Studebaker Automatic Drive" between 1950 and 1956 when Studebaker switched to the Ford automatic transmission and Borg Warner set up production of the same transmission in England where it was also used in Jaguars. Servicing the MB fuel injection system was a bigger problem because that was completely new to the dealers and quite complex to service.
Just think, in 1958 if you wanted to buy a car with painted wheel covers you could go to the Studebaker-Packard-Mercedes Benz dealer where you could buy a Mercedes Benz or a Studebaker Scotsman. I am not knocking the MB painted wheel covers, I think they look good.
#1837 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [jljac]
Jan 30, 2013 (12:05 pm)
I wonder if MB chose B-W for the automatic because of the Studebaker link? Were the Stude wheel covers body color?
I have to imagine a mechanic seeing a FI engine for the first time would be taken aback by it a bit - the mechanical FI systems have a lot of plumbing, and the direct injection (300SL, first production car with it) must have seemed like something from the future.
#1838 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [fintail]
Jan 30, 2013 (2:22 pm)
I wonder if MB chose B-W for the automatic because of the Studebaker link?
A lot of european cars (Japanese too, I think) used the Borg-Warner automatic for us lazy shiftless (pun intended) Americans, as well as similarly shiftless domestic buyers. I think that Volvo used them at least into the mid-70s and probably even later.
#1839 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [fintail]
Jan 30, 2013 (5:27 pm)
A Studebaker of that era that has brought large cash in the past few years at the auctions (proving to me that it's not an anomaly) is the Golden Hawk. One brought over $100K a year or two ago at auction, and there have been at least a couple that have crept towards six-figures. I really don't even like them, other than they are so very different than anything else built in the 'States then.
Until these Golden Hawk auction figures, Packard Hawks (love 'em or hate 'em) usually brought the most money, condition-for-condition, of all the Hawks. I'd prefer a '64 Gran Turismo Hawk with blower and 4-speed myself..but it has to have all the gauges, factory FM, and the half-vinyl top too.
BTW, the photo I have of my dealer friend's Dad's 180 has whitewalls like the pics of the fintails you've shown...wide, but not 'gansta' wide, and touching the wheel.
#1840 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [uplanderguy]
Jan 30, 2013 (8:02 pm)
I suppose that's good money for something so odd. I could see it in a Packard Hawk, just for the oddity and rarity. Style wise, I would agree with your later GT car. Those late cars were kind of European in a way. Nowadays, the 300SL roadster in that ad can hit 500K+++, and gullwings getting into 7 figures.
I don't know if MB ever officially used the super wide wheel-to-ground whitewalls of the late 40s-early 50s. Seeing these pics has me itching to get new tires for my car - gotta do it this year.
#1841 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [bhill2]
Jan 30, 2013 (8:03 pm)
Were they troublesome in other applications?
#1842 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [fintail]
Jan 30, 2013 (10:10 pm)
It is my memory that they were pretty reliable. However, they were often not well suited to the engines they were connected to, so the performance was greatly compromised relative to the stick shift model. I had a chance to directly evaluate this in one application. My father had a '68 Volvo 144 with the BW automatic and my sister had the same car with a stick. There was no comparison. My sister's car wasn't a rocket, but my father's car would have struggled to pull a champagne cork out the bottle. I actually bent the accelerator pedal on that car trying to make it get out of its own way.
#1843 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [bhill2]
Jan 31, 2013 (8:14 am)
Was it kind of a universal model mated to many varied cars? Maybe suited better to higher torque/domestic style applications.
#1844 of 2061 Re: Record price set for an R2 Avanti at Barrett-Jackson [bhill2]
Jan 31, 2013 (10:21 am)
"I wonder if MB chose B-W for the automatic because of the Studebaker link? "
My 1955 Commander has the Borg Warner/Studebaker transmission and I used to get it serviced at a shop that specialized in rebuilding old Jaguar transmissions. The last time I got a new torque converter the mechanic who rebuilt them for many years said that the transmission was also used in US postal vehicles and he got parts from that source. My car used the same torque converter but he had to change the ring gear.
I like the transmission because it has 3 speeds and is easy to get it to start in first gear, although the early ones started in second gear unless you shifted to low. Since I only have 259 cu. inches, with 15 inch over size tires, I need the low gear to get the engine revs up before I get any power.
It is easy to control the shifting points by letting up on the gas pedal briefly and there is a throttle control rod under the car that connects to the gas pedal I can adjust to choose what speeds I would like the shifts to take place. When others drive the car, they usually feather foot the gas pedal, and it shifts too early, because you have to tell it what to do and keep the pedal down until you want it to shift. If you know what you are doing it works very well. To quote an Englishman who wrote a review at the time, "If one drives like a clot, the transmission behaves like a double-clot."
It has direct drive in third gear and gets very good gas mileage It is air cooled by fins on the torque converter, so overheating the engine does not affect the transmission.
The one thing I do not like about it is that on steep hills with a speed limit of 40 mph or less, it shifts from second to third gear when I would like to hold it in second gear. Long uphill drives (like Whitney Portal Road in Long Pine, California) result in shifting back and forth between second and third gear although I would rather hold it in second gear. Then too, maybe I should not be driving a 50+year old car to the highest point in the continental United States.
One of the biggest mistakes Studebaker made was not permitting Ford to also build it in 1950 when Ford asked to share it. It the Studebaker automatic became too expense to build for Studebaker alone, so they adopted the Ford transmission in 1957.