1931 STUDEBAKER PRESIDENT MODEL 80 FOUR SEASONS ROADSTER
Chassis No. 7033484
Burgundy with burgundy leather interior.
Engine: straight eight, 337ci, 122bhp at 3,200rpm; Gearbox: three speed; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
In the years just following the First World War, the Studebaker company had tripled their sales with Albert R. Erskine at the helm. Erskine's success in the mid-price range six cylinder car category caused him to set his sights on building an eight cylinder, high quality car to compete with the likes of Packard, Pierce-Arrow and Cadillac.
The straight eight "President" was introduced in 1928 and was Studebaker's top of the line model. The new Studebakers soon gained quite a reputation for impressive performance. In July 1928 four Presidents were driven 25,000 miles around Atlantic City Board Track averaging over 68mph. The engine was designed by Delmar G. "Barney" Roos, a cantankerous personality who had been former chief engineer at Pierce-Arrow, Locomobile and Marmon. In its ultimate form, the 337ci nine main bearing engine was not only an ideal road going power plant, but proved to be excellent for racing. A nearly stock President based race car won the 1931 Pikes Peak Hill Climb and was leading the Indianapolis 500 before it hit some oil on the track and spun into the wall. The following ten years at Indy, the fast, reliable Studebakers proved themselves as formidable competitors. Another Studebaker President set eleven new stock car speed records at Muroc Dry Lake including a flying mile at 91.79mph and averaging 90.35mph for both the 1 hour and 100 miles records. No other car from the era in stock form came close to the fast yet reliable Studebaker President.
For the styling, Erskine hired none other than Ray Dietrich as a design consultant on the President. By 1931 the President series had a newer classic design, which is in many collector's opinion, the best of the President series. It was a handsome full sized classic car with a Vee radiator, oval headlamps, and low windshield. The roll up windows and nearly disappearing convertible top, make the Four Seasons Roadster a car that is truly suitable for any kind of weather.
This lovely Studebaker was purchased by the current owner in 1983 from a collector in Lancaster, Ohio who had owned the car since 1958. From late 1983 until June 1985 this vehicle underwent a total frame off rebuild by a firm of professional restorers. This work alone cost in excess of $59,000. Optional equipment fitted to the car are the dual trip lights, spare steel tire covers, stone guard, dual horns, trunk and six doublesided whitewall tires. Following this meticulous restoration the owner did show the car a few times, at a CCCA Grand Classic meet this President was awarded 98.5 points, it also has taken first prize at other classic car shows. This President is considered a full classic by the Classic Car Club of America and is eligible for many club events. The car has had minimal use since the restoration and according to the owner has covered approximately 400 miles since the car was completed.