Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club

Our Charter, Keeping the Studebaker Marque Alive
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Last Updated:
April 28th, 2017
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Click on the Globe left to go to the Sub-Site "Articles", if you are interested in automotive trivia and history, else don't bother.















This 1924 Studebaker, Model EL Special Touring Car was completely restored by Dick and Helen Snyder.   The Special was in the middle of the Studebaker line-up, between the Big Six Model EK on the top and the Light Six Model EM on the bottom. It was powered by a 288 cubic inch straight six (bore 3.5 inches & stroke 5.0 inches) making 29 HP.  It used a mid-mount manual transmission on a 119 inch wheel base.  It cost $1,425 dollars (about $20,000 in 2017 dollars).   There is no breakdown of individual body styles for 1924, but about 45,000 Model EL cars were made in 1924.   1924 EL body styles included coupe, roadster, sedan, and touring.  The model EL was introduced in the 1922 (I don't know the exact date) and ended production sometime in July of 1924 according to the book “Studebaker The Complete Story” by Cannon and Fox.

Next, is a reprint of the article written by Dick for the Strato-Vue.

Ah, yes! The 1924 Studebaker 6 EL Touring Car and how it came to be.   Having completed the off-frame restoration of our 1963 Avanti, we contemplated what the next project should be.   All of my ground-up restorations have been on 1949 to 1963 Studebaker cars.  It seemed like it might be fun to have an older car... maybe something in the 1930's like maybe a Studebaker or Packard Roadster, perhaps with a rumble seat. Wow, that would be neat.

So, in 2009 we began to look for just such a car that could be reasonably restored.  As we searched in early 2009, this 1924 Touring Car caught my eye on eBay.  It was indeed older, the top does come down, and it looks pretty good and could be a fun car to have.   As we investigated it, we learned it was in Delaware, and we talked with the owner, we decided to go for it.  As it turned out, we did out-bid another very interested party at the last few seconds!!   It was February, so we made our plans to take the car hauler and head to Delaware, with a pit-stop at our son's home near Pittsburgh.   It was a particularly warm month, so the weather was not a problem.  In fact, in Delaware, coats were not necessary.

The car was pretty much as had been presented on eBay.   The top had recently been replaced, and was in excellent condition.   Actually, everything looked good with a little rust here and there; nothing huge.   The paint was in good condition too.  The leather upholstery was a little tough in the back seat.  There was a trunk on the back, but I knew it was not the correct one!   There was also a carrier on the running board that kept a suitcase and picnic basket in place.   It was an after-market item, which I didn't like.   The back seat also contained two mink ladies' muffs!!  A bonus!

There were four small American flags attached, as the car had lastly participated in a parade!  We had learned earlier that the top would need to be folded down in order to fit into the car hauler.   So with the top down, I drove it into the car hauler, clipping off all the flags!!  We began our trek to Illinois with a stop in Pittsburgh, and then on to Dixon.

The weather had taken a turn into regular February winter weather by the time we arrived home.  Of course, the car would not start to get it out of the trailer.  So it sat a few days, waiting for better temperatures to be more agreeable to the 1924 Touring Car, before we tried to drive it out of the trailer.  As I tried to engage the clutch, a strange sound emerged and I found the clutch facing lay disintegrated on the trailer floor!   We finally rolled the car out of the trailer and pushed it into the garage.

Because I really don't know any other way to restore a car, even though it seemed to need little restoration, I began the dis-assembly.  The trunk was the first to go, along with suitcase, picnic basket and running board carrier.  Of course, there were hidden surprises... too many to suit me!  I found rotted wooden framing in the doors and along the back seat.  It was 2x2 oak pieces that needed to be replaced.  The framing around the back seat was curved and was a special challenge.  Flooring was also in poor condition and needed to be replaced.   Most of the glass was good.   The side wings had small cracks near the places that held them to the car... more about them later.

We immediately found a source for the black leather hides that would become all new upholstery.  It is the 4” ribbed design found in many older cars.   We found a local upholsterer  who greed to do the job, and promised to complete it within a month or two.   We delivered all pieces to her and were please she was located near us and was highly recommended.   Upholstery situation was taken care of, I though!

Not being familiar with a motor of this age and size, I sought out a machinist who specialized in motors of this vintage.  We delivered the motor to a company in Mason City, Iowa who had been in business for many, many years doing this kind of work on these very old cars.   The man had taken over from his father who had started the business.   I had a quote on the work, a good understanding with the owner about what was to be done, and when.  Motor situation was taken care of, I thought!

During the winter of 2009/2010, I concentrated on the wooden spoke wheels, which were solid but needed a considerable amount of sanding and refinishing, using a marine type epoxy for the final coating.   Those four wheels pretty much took the entire winter to finish.   A local painter who specialized in fine painting completed the wheels with paint detail in the color of the car body... dark green.  A trip to Chickasaw, OK was taken to locate a replacement for a damaged rim. Luckily, there was just one rim to match the ones I had.

Then I had a couple of serious health issues that halted this project so many times, that I became very tired of it, and not being familiar with the 1924, everything was a learning situation... not anything like the cars of the 50's I was used to.  I was not a happy restorer!   This car was 6 years in my garage before completion.

We visited the motor a couple of times to check on the progress.  The machinist felt the engine walls of the cylinders were to thin due to being bored so many times.  They needed sleeves.  This added to the bid price.   Two valve lifters were replaced.. more cost.  New pistons and rings were installed, the crankshaft was trued; all bearing were babbitted; the motor was completely restored and re-assembled.  As the costs continued to soar, I called a halt, and went to Mason City to rescue my motor, and any uninstalled parts.   I finished reassembling the motor myself.

I installed new linings on the brake shoes; I installed two new clutch discs; the radiator was boiled out and pressure checked.  I installed a new windshield.

Dismantling of the entire car, piece by piece was a huge project.   Each piece was then stored (any rust and/or dents had to be removed) with lots of sanding, priming, sanding some more, more priming and preparing each piece for painting. Dixon Metal Specialties of Dixon did all the painting (after my preparation) and applied the final clear coat.

We continued to check on the leather upholstery progress, and contained to learn there was NO progress.   There was a serious illness in the family, and then ultimately a death.   Allowing for several months after the death, our follow-up progress check on upholstery continued to be NO progress.  After nearly two years, only one piece of a seat had been started!   Finally, we retrieved all the seats, panel, leather hides, etc. and brought them home.   We located an upholstery sewing machine, and ”kicking and screaming” all the way, Helen began to sew the leather upholstery.  Needless to say, it was a learning experience. There was lots of “tearing out” and “doing over”; including the piece the upholsterer had sewn!!  The winter and spring months of 2015 were dedicated to the leather upholstery for the 1924.   We installed all the panels, seats, and completed pieces in the car!  Upholstery.... Done!

As the car was nearing completion, we decided to take a second look at the beveled glass wind wings, which had a few scratches.   Originally, I though I'd replace them, but the $850 cost quoted locally made me rethink that situation!  As we looked at them on the kitchen counter, we decided they really weren't that bad, and we would keep them.   As I wrapped then in brown paper to take back to the garage, they slipped from my fingers and hit the floor!   One glass shattered into a million pieces.  The other one broke into large pieces!  An internet search provided some possible sources, but only one in California was able to say they could reproduce them, with the heat-treated beveled glass.   A template of the glass was “over-night-ed” to them with the promise of completion in time for the SDC International Meet in St. Louis.   As the days ticked by, our deadline approached.  A check on the progress told us beveling was completed and they were going to the heat-treaters.  Then, we learned they exploded in the heat treating process.  They agreed to do a “do-over”.   Again, after days passed we learned the glass had exploded during the heating process!  Apparently the size of the glass along with the beveled edges doesn't do well during the heat treating process!  We thought we were doomed.   However, just days before the SDC Meet, we decided to install plain auto glass, with no bevel as was the style with most cars of the day.  The beveled glass was a luxury feature!  The plain glass was obtained locally.

So that's the saga of restoring my final car.   We made it to the SDC International Meet in St. Louis and took a First Place in our Division.  It's a very special Studebaker!

Dick and Helen Snyder


The Photo art in this Animation is created, owned, and copy right by J2C3 Automotive Graphics.  All rights reserved.

Automotive Icons are limited exposure views of an automobile which should be easy to identify because of their historical significance.  Have some fun in attempting to identify each image.         


Gasser Wars magazine did the linked story below in one of their issues this summer. They have given us permission to share the article with you as long as we give them credit.  The article was written by Phil Morris.  It is an article about Gordy Buetsch's dragsters and his life long love of the sport.   Click on the link below "Gasser Wars" and enjoy the article in a seperate window. Enjoy!!!!!!!!

The next link will take you to the Gasser Wars Magazine

The club meets the first Monday of every month, unless that date is a holiday, then the meeting is on the next Monday.
Date of Next Meeting:
Meeting Dates for 2016
January 2nd, 2017
February 6th, 2017
March 6th, 2017
April 3rd, 2017
May 1st, 2017
June 5th, 2017
July 3rd, 2017
August 7th, 2017
September 11th, 2017
October 2nd, 2017
November 6th, 2017
December 5th, 2016

Location:  Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles Street, Rockford IL

Time:  Dinner at  5:30 P.M. Meeting starts at 7:00 P.M


May 3-6, 2017

The 53rd Annual International Studebaker Drivers Club Meet
in conjunction with

The 36th ANNUAL

at the St. Joseph County 4H Fairgrounds
South Bend, IN


8/24/2017 (Thursday) - 8/26/2017 (Saturday)
Location: Brookfield Wisconsin
Sponsoring Chapter: Wisconsin Region
Wisconsin Region will host the Upper Mississippi Valley Zone Meet 2017
Contact: Rick Rechek, 920-905-5401, email:


The Sheraton Brookfield has established a reservation system and it is active.

Guest's can call 262-364-1100, press 2 and ask for the “Upper Mississippi Valley Meet Room Block” or use the link below to make online reservations.…

You can also call in and ask for group UH21AB, that will take you to the room block as well.

The room rate is $99.00 per night

375 South Moorland Road, Brookfield, WI 53005


This web site is owned by The Rock River Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club, All contents © 2016, Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club, and may not be reproduced without permission.