Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club

Our Charter, Keeping the Studebaker Marque Alive
Welcome to the Rock River Valley Studebaker Drivers Club Website
Last Updated:
May 2nd, 2017
Updated Upcoming Events Page and the Featured cars of the month
May 10th, 2017
 Added the Erskine Page to the History Link & an article on the Packard V8 to the Studebaker Engine Page

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 1947 Studebaker Starlight coupe is co-owned by Pete and Ron Bell, we don't see much of it as it is stored in Iowa.  The 47 Commanders came with a 226 CID flat head six, making 94 HP, with a three speed manual transmission and could be had with the optional overdrive.  They ran on a 119 inch wheel base and weighed about 3,100 pounds.   Classic Car Database places the new price at $1,654.  Both and “Classic Car Database” place Regal Deluxe 5-Passenger Coupe production at 10,557.  Where they got that number is unknown as Studebaker does not breakdown production by model.  However, there were many sources which did recorded car registration across the USA by model.   Most often these sources are close, but not exact.

The information presented below is copied from Wiki

The Starlight coupe was a unique 2-door body style offered by Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana from 1947 to 1952 in its Champion and Commander model series.  It was designed by Virgil Exner, formerly of Raymond Loewy Associates.

The most striking feature was the extremely long hood-like cover over the luggage compartment of the sedan which was exaggerated on the Starlight.  Critics of the radically styled models commented by asking the rhetorical question, "Which way is it going?" The viewer's astonishment was compounded by the great expanse of the wrap-around rear window. Previously cars had tended to shroud back-seat passengers.  Unlike other pillared two-door sedans that use two side windows separated from the rear window by roof supports, Loewy created a roof rounded at the rear with a wraparound window system that provided a panoramic effect, similar to a railroad observation car.  The curved window was achieved with four fixed panels of glass.  The roof was supported by two wide pillars immediately behind the doors and in front of the wraparound back window.  The body style was originally named, simply, "5-passenger coupe"; however, for the 1949 model year it was renamed Starlight Coupe.

The car's unique profile provided the Studebaker marque with an easily recognized body shape copied as soon as possible by the other US manufacturers in their 1949 models.



This very fine example of a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop Coupe is owned by Don and Karla Verdina.


It is part of what is called the “Third Generation” of the Oldsmobile Cutlass line, manufactured from 1968 to 1972. It sports a 350 cu. in. Rocket V-8 engine with four barrel carb making 260 HP, driven by a Turbo 400 automatic. It weights in at about 3,600 lbs. running on 112 in. WB. It cost $4,240.08 new according to the original invoice and about 32,000 Hardtop Coupes were made. It was sold new in Bowling Green, KY and manufactured in Lancing MI GM plant.

The Oldsmobile Cutlass line of was produced by between 1961 and 1988, and again briefly in 1997-1999. The Cutlass was Oldsmobile's smallest, entry-level product, an approach not used since the 1940's and which were discontinued in 1950. The all new Cutlass began as a unibody compact car , but saw its greatest success as a body-on-frame intermediate. Introduced in Oldsmobile's compact F-85 line in 1961, the Cutlass evolved into a line of its own, spawning numerous variants, including the formidable 4-4-2 muscle car in 1964, premium Cutlass Supreme in 1966, and outright performance Hurst Olds in 1968. Over time the Cutlass name accumulated great equality, becoming not only Oldsmobile's best-selling model but one of the most popular nameplates in the industry in the 1970s.

The first Oldsmobile Cutlass was an experimental sports coupe designed in 1954. It rode a 110 in wheelbase, and featured a dramatic fastback roof line and stock V8. Its platform was quite similar to the later compact F-85, which was not introduced until 1961.

First-generation Cutlass was a top trim level of the F-85 compact line manufactured from 1961 to 1963. General Motors began developing its first compact cars in 1956, beginning with the Chevrolet Corvair which was released in 1960. The following year a second series of somewhat larger cars was released for Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac, termed the "senior compacts." They would share the same body shell and lightweight engine. Oldsmobile designer Irvin Rybicki began work on the Olds model in 1957. It finally went on sale in the fall of 1960 as a 1961 model. The Oldsmobile F-85 shared the new y-body platform with the Buick Special and Pontiac Tempest, using a 112-inch wheelbase and still-novel unibody construction. It was Oldsmobile's smallest, cheapest model – some two feet shorter and $451 less than the next-smallest Olds. The F-85 had double wishbone front suspension and a four-link live axle in the rear, suspended with coil springs all around. Standard engine was the new small V8, all aluminum, displacing 215 cu in. With a two-barrel carburetor, it was rated 155 bhp and 210 pound feet of torque. Transmission options were initially three-speed manual or the newly introduced three-speed Roto Hydramatic. The F-85 had drum brakes of 9.5 inches diameter. Overall length was initially 188.2 inches, and curb weight was around 2,800 pounds.

Five more generation's would follow: (Note that only the first-generation would be known as compacts).

  • Second generation (intermediate) 1964–1967

  • Third generation (intermediate)1968–1972 - As we are featuring Don's 1971 Cutlass, only this generation will be expanded.

    • 1968

      • The F-85/Cutlass underwent a major body restyle in 1968, as did all other GM A-body cars. Oldsmobile's was penned by the styling studio headed by Stan Wilen. Two-door and four-door models now rode different wheelbases: 112 inches for two-doors and 116 inches for four-doors. Overall length shrunk about 2.6 inches, but curb weight rose approximately 75 pounds to 3,465 lb for the hardtop coupe. Two-door F-85 and Cutlass models adopted a semi-fastback roof line with a massive rear end. Base model remained the F-85, with mid-level Cutlass S, and upscale Cutlass Supreme, as well as the 4-4-2. A limited-production model the Hurst/Olds, was a special 4-4-2 marketed by Oldsmobile and Hurst Performance. The H/O combined the 4-4-2 suspension package with the big 455 cu. in. (7.4 L) V8, not ordinarily offered in Cutlass because of a GM policy limiting intermediates to engines of 400 cu. in. (6.6 L) or less. A redesigned base model F-85 and mid-level Vista Cruiser station wagons were also available. F-85 station wagons without the rooftop glass were also available with a 350 CI engine with a 2 barrel carburetor and two-speed JetAway automatic transmission. Engine options were similar to the previous year, although the Cutlass's V8 option was expanded to 350 cu. in. (5.7 L). The variable-pitch stator feature of both optional two-speed Jetaway and three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic automatic transmissions was discontinued.

    • 1969

      • The 1969 F-85/Cutlass models received only minor trim changes from their '68 counterparts such as a now-Olds trademark split grille with vertical bars and vertical taillights. Headrests were now standard equipment and the ignition switch moved from the instrument panel to the steering column to lock the steering wheel when not in use. Engine offerings were unchanged from 1968, but a new three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic 350 transmission was added to the option list and available with all versions of the 350 cu in (5.7 l) Rocket V8, including the standard two-barrel 350 cu in (5.7 l) version, four-barrel "Ultra High Compression" 310 hp option and the W-31 option, conservatively rated at 325 hp, The old two-speed Jetaway automatic was still available with the Chevy-built 250 cu in (4.1 l) "Action-Line" six or the two-barrel 350 cu in (5.7 l) V8. The Turnpike Cruiser two-barrel 400 cu in (6.6 l) Rocket V8 was dropped and the four-barrel 400 engine from the 4-4-2 was available only in the Vista Cruiser wagons.

    • 1970

        • The 1970 Cutlass was available in seven body styles: the base F-85 two-door sedan, as well as two-door hardtops offered in both notchback Cutlass Supreme and fastback Cutlass S and 4-4-2 body styles. Also available were a four-door hardtop, four-door sedan, a convertible and a flat-top station wagon called the Custom Cruiser, as well as the fancier Vista Cruiser station wagon. With GM tossing out the 400 cubic-inch limit for intermediates, the 4-4-2 now came standard with the larger 455 cubic-inch, The 455 was also offered as an option in the Cutlass S models and the Vista Cruiser wagons. There was an SX option available only on the Cutlass Supreme hardtop and convertible, the SX cars had the 455 engine and TH-400 automatic transmission. The same assortment of three- and four-speed manual transmissions were available with Hurst shifters used on floor-mounted three-speeds and all four-speeds. The Turbo Hydra-matic was the sole offering for shiftless driving. Cutlass S coupes with the optional Strato bucket seats and Turbo Hydra-matic could be equipped with the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter in conjunction with the extra-cost center console. The Hurst Dual-Gate made it possible to either put the transmission in Drive, and let the transmission decide when to shift. Or it could be placed in a manual mode, much like today's computer-controlled automatics.

      • 1971

        • The 1971 model shared much of the same exterior sheetmetal as the 1970, but with a new hood, grille, and headlight assemblies, as well as new bumpers and taillights. The famous "Rocket" V8 continued in several different sizes and power options, with both the large 455 and 'small-block' 350 available with either 2- or 4-barrel carburetors. In 1971, all engines came from the factory with hardened valve seats, The 1971 Olds engines also featured lowered compression ratios designed to run on regular leaded, low-lead or unleaded gasoline.

      • 1972

        • For 1972, there were minor style changes to the Cutlass, and the 4-4-2 reverted to being a trim line (W-29 option) on the Cutlass instead of an individual model. The primary changes to the 1972 Cutlass were the front grilles and the tail lights. The new 1972Hurst/Oldsused the Cutlass Supreme notchback hardtop and convertible body. A Hurst/Olds Cutlass 4-4-2 paced the Indianapolis 500, and Olds built about 630 replicas, some 25% of them convertibles. The low-line F-85 series was down to a single four-door sedan and was then discontinued during the course of the 1972 model year.

  • Fourth generation (intermediate) 1973–1977

  • Fifth-generation (intermediate) 1978–1988

  • Sixth generation (midsize) 1997–1999 



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


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