The Cimarron Starlite Cruisers' Car
Club proudly features, great classic vehicles, which belong to the good folks of Oklahoma.
This month’s Great Oklahoma Classic is a 1954 Studebaker
Starlite Coupe that belongs to Dave Lester of Perkins Oklahoma. Dave purchased
the Studebaker in July of 1996 which began a seventeen year love affair. Just
ask Dave about his car and the first thing you see is a big smile!
Good friend and professional body man Craig Schupp and
Dave began to disassemble the Studebaker shortly after the purchase. With the
front clip off of the car, the Stude was taken to Mark Payne, who installed a new box frame and a Mustang II sub frame.
The sub frame work
and interior were the only two items "contracted" out on the project. Everything else was done in Dave’s home
Custom touches to
the body include an electric antenna from a Chrysler LHS, outside door handles are also Chrysler LHS. The outside rear
view mirrors are from a Dodge Dynasty. Few other modifications were made to the body, other than shaving some emblems
and painting the head and tail light bezels.
The engine is a GM
350 and 700R4 overdrive transmission. The power gets to the rear wheels
through a Dodge 8 3/4 posi-trac rear end.
The beautiful custom interior was done by Roger Bowers
of Stillwater Oklahoma. The car has 8-way power seats from a Buick Riviera, a Cadillac tilt/telescoping steering column,
Vintage Air, cruise control, remote entry, AM/FM/cassette radio, and custom built console and under dash padding, and an overhead
console from a Dodge Dynasty. The instrument cluster
is custom built, with engine turned aluminum, much like Studebaker used in later years.
The custom interior work does not stop in the front.
The back seat area of the Stude is also eye catching!
The Starlight Coupe
sets on Goodyear P205/75R15 front, P235/70R15 rear tires mounted to American Racing Wheels.
Friend Norman McNickle did most of the wiring, and assisted
Dave in the paint job, which was done in the back room of Dave’s Quonset hut.
The custom Studebaker classic made
its first show appearance at the Darryl
Starbird Show in OKC January of 1999.
As any classic vehicle
enthusiasts can easily understand, this beautiful Studebaker Starlight Coupe continues to win many trophies at shows all over
Oklahoma and out of state shows as well!
More details and pictures
of the build can be seen at http://www.davesplaceinc.com If you decide to visit the site, get a pot of coffee
ready, and turn up your volume.
The Cimarron Starlite Cruisers sincerely appreciate Dave Lester for sharing
his custom classic 1954 Studebaker Starlight Coupe as our Great Oklahoma Classic for May 2013!