Brad’s GT: 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo

Brad came to us with this rusty Stude looking for a full frame build.

He knew the original Studebaker frames were fairly flimsy to start with and his had been laying in the mud for a few decades. After sand blasting it was obvious it wouldn’t be up to his standards. We showed him his options and work on other Studes we had here at the time and made some decisions. Mustang II with custom tubular control arms, Bilstein shocks, power rack, complete new frame with tubular center section and a narrowed C4 Corvette rear. He dropped off the original frame for us to use as an armature and the tube stared flying.

The rear axle assembly gathered most of our attention. To narrow one of these this much you lose the ability to shorten or otherwise use the stock spring. We converted the stock shock mounts to take Bilstein Coil overs and had to rebuild the steering rod assembly to clear the frame rails. I totally screwed up and didn’t get any shots of that work, I do have the 3D files of the center mount.

First up was getting the body mounts, frame contour and suspension located. We used one of our existing frame clips for the front end and mocked up the rear suspension to see if we needed any special considerations before laying out the 2X4 box tube. Mid build it was decided that we needed a few more inches of space for the rear wheels, this threw a minor wrench in the works but it all worked out.

New frame with rear installed
Corvette rear mounting
CNC plasma cut four bar brackets
Frame rear
New frame from the rear
Tie rod box bolted in place of the orignial spring mount

Frame done we got the nod to fix the rusty parts and fit the body to the frame. This also gave us a chance to change the body mounts and add some really nice bellypans. Most of the rust was concentrated in the trunk area. Both front footwells needed to be replaced and the superfluous rear seat footwells were also eliminated.

The stock firewall was lacking in style for a build this serious, same for the inner fender wells. Wes tuned up his hammers and knocked down some good stuff.

New firewall and fenderwells

I took on the custom hood hinges. In these shots you might be able to spy the firewall mounted brake power booster, inside is a custom pedal bracket with the option of adding a clutch. Wes got to do some extra detail work, the upper control arm openings got a nifty support and rubber boot.

Custom front opening hood hinges
Adjustable hinge mount
Hood in the open position
Control arm cover

Wrapping up the project before it left us, we got a few drawings from Jim Smith

Jeem's pencil scribbling
View from the rear, custom tail lights and mini-fins
Just about ready to leave us
Staged for the door, Thanks Brad!

2 thoughts on “Brad’s GT: 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo

  1. hello i am a guy from swedenand i vorking on a studebaker 1955 and i saw yuor hood opening and i vonder if yuo hawe same plans i can buy from you or same parts for the hood opening

    1. The hood hinge kit is something that we custom build for our customers in shop. Sorry, no plans or kits available.

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