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Our 1940 Studebaker Opera Coupe By Jerry and Faye Germon

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Our 1940 Studebaker Opera Coupe By Jerry and Faye Germon, Membership #0274


I purchased the 1940 Studebaker Opera Coupe 50 years ago with the intention of making a dragster for the Scoudouc dragstrip. While racing my 1956 Studebaker in stock class, I was impressed with a 1938 Chev Coupe from Saint John and thought that this light coupe would make a fast dragster to compete. Purchasing the car in Hampton in March of 1964, my friends and I drove the car to Moncton. In Sussex we were down two quarts of oil and in Moncton down another two quarts. The car smoked badly. Some would say, ‘why Studebaker’? My father bought a big 1948 Studebaker truck and made a living with it. On some Saturdays, as a child, when my father was working for himself, I got to go with him in the truck for the drive. After a few family Studebaker cars, I was hooked.

Studebaker started as a family business in 1852, making wheelbarrows and wagons and in the early 1900’s making automobiles, electric cars, and moved to gasoline cars, which were more reliable. They continued making quality cars and trucks until 1966. Things change in life, and the 1940 Coupe never got done. After years of moving from one storage to another, we decided to get at the 1940; and over the next few years, it was stripped down to the last nut and bolt and built to what it is today. In the early 1990’s I stripped the ’40 Coupe down to the frame, but got sidetracked and purchased a 1961 Lark, which I restored completely from the frame up. The Lark was finished in 1998 and has been quite reliable, travelling 47,000 miles since then. This included a trip of 13,000 miles across Canada and USA with the 2000 Cross Canada Tour group. The 1940, still in pieces, had to have something done with it, so we decided to make it as close to original as possible. The mechanical was all rebuilt and the body rebuilt and painted, piece by piece, with some help by Gerry Lantz, who came and helped with the sanding and preparing for painting.

The upholstery was more of a problem because I could not do it myself, and finding the right material was not easy. With the help of Brian Edgett, an excellent upholsterer, the materials were put back together with every stitch as it was from the factory, the result was excellent.

After looking for years, I found an overdrive transmission from Houston, Texas, and installed it last year (2014). This made for much better driving on the highway.

The 1940 is what they call an Opera Coupe because of the two seats in back, which fold out of the wall and the passengers sit facing each other. In 1939 the car was completely designed from the ground up to compete in the low cost market. It was $640 new. Most everything was extra; for example, the heater, the second right hand tail light, windshield wiper on passenger side, and back passenger seats were all extra.

In 1939, for this model the engine was redesigned to a 170 cubic inch flat head six. In one of their tests, two cars were driven around the clock for 15,000 miles and averaged 62 MPH with only a fan belt and a wiper blade broke.

New old stock parts are available for these vehicles. Three years ago they cleaned out the last of the Studebaker factories in South Bend, removing 147 tractor trailer loads of parts to sort and store.

In 2012 we trailered the ‘40 Coupe to South Bend, Indiana, and entered in the week long National Studebaker meet. I entered the car to be judged, and it scored 386 points out of a possible 400 to make first division in the prewar class.

I lost five points because I used the original wheel and tire that came on it from the factory for a spare and in their judging all five tires must match.

I have now started work on a 1947 Studebaker 1 Ton truck which I have owned for about 45 years.


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By Neil Knorr & Anna Stewart, Membership #1285

I found the 1939 Ford Pick-up about eight miles from where I live. I purchased it in 2002 and brought it home and started to check out what would fit for a frame and running gear. I found that a Ford Ranger was real close, so I purchased a Ford Ranger that had a good frame and started to fit the body to it. I set a 302 engine and an automatic overdrive transmission in the frame. I wanted to build the front end to tip so I only had to shorten the frame six inches in the front for the fenders and grille to tip. I had to cut the fenders so the bottom part would stay with the running boards and the rest would all fasten to the hood, grille and front of frame so it would tip all as one. This makes it very easy to access the motor to work on for changing belts, hoses and checking fluids. I worked on this truck a few winters before I had it on the road. I had it finished and ready to go one week before the 2007 tour to Nova Scotia. Anna and I took it on this tour for its first major run and all we
nt well. Then that year we also took the truck to the Jamboree held in the Northeast region and have been using it for events ever since. My 1936 Ford 5 window coupe I purchased in the mid 90’s and it was in really rough condition. I took it off the frame and installed a Mustang II front end in the original frame and an 8.8 Ford rear end in it and boxed in the frame. Then I installed a SBC engine with a three speed automatic transmission, which I swapped out after a few years, and installed a 700 R4 automatic transmission, which is an overdrive. Then I put the body back on the frame and then I made a few changes to the original style. I installed smoke glass lexon in the roof where the original canvas top went. I also filled in the trunk opening and installed 1939 Ford taillights in the rear fenders and installed a rear seat in the car. It was ready for its first run in 1998. I have taken it on many tour and jamborees since then. We purchased our 1976 Corvette Stingray 2008 from Murray Oliver, one of our past members, who is now deceased. That winter I did some work on it and give it a new paint job and it was back on the road in 2009. The 1967 Chevelle SS is Anna’s vehicle and she has had it for some time now. The car has a 396 engine with a 4 speed standard transmission. We have taken this car to the balloon fiesta car shows and to local shows and cruises in the area. I also have a 1967 Dodge Monaco convertible that I started rebuilding in 1992. I was able to have it ready and on the road in 1993. It was taken on tours and events with the NBAAC and it is now in the process of getting ready to be repainted. I also own a 1951 Pontiac which was my father’s and given to me.

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Member Spotlight – John Nutter & Brenda Sullivan

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1948ChevroletFleetline1948 Chevrolet Fleetline
Owners John Nutter &  Brenda Sullivan
Welsford, New Brunswick



By John Nutter and Brenda Sullivan, Membership #1501
As members of NBAAC, we really enjoy everything about owning antique vehicles, meeting everyone and taking part in as many events we can. We are very fortunate to be able to spend our winters in Florida. As you will read we keep our cruising going while we are away. So much fun!
I am going to give you a little history on my 1948 Chev that we leave in a garage in Florida. On the first Saturday in February 2012, I was at a Show & Shine in Dade City, Florida. That is when I first saw the 1948 Chev. I looked at the car and took Brenda to see it and get her opinion. She really liked it, and besides, purple is her favorite color. So I talked to the owner about the car specs and price…no sale. Then about two weeks later I called him up and made a time I could see the car again, and take it for a test drive. I was impressed how the old car handled. Everything worked in the car, speedometer, tack, fuel gauge, power steering, and A/C – {{{cold}}}, very important in Florida. He told me the car was built in Alabama and he traded a ’54 Ford and cash for it. I made him an offer, which he refused. I put the car out of my thoughts. Then, at the end of February the Zephyrhills Auto Fest was upon us. At that time I owned a 1972 Gran Torino and put it for sale in the corral. (I did sell it). I was walking through the vehicles that were for sale and there was the 1948 Chev still for sale. I spoke to the owners and told them my offer still stands. But because it was the first day of the sale, they thought they could get more for it. I said ok, no problem and walked away looking at the rest of the vehicles for sale. Later that day I walked around the vehicles again, it was about 90 degrees out, and there was the ’48 Chev still there, the owners were sitting in the car with the doors open (they forgot their chairs). I stopped to talk to them and told them my offer still stood. His wife looked at him and said “Bert, take the money and we can go home”. So the deal was made.
Since I did sell the 1972 Gran Torino, I decided to put a little more money into the Chev. It had a painted grill, so I bought a chrome grill and installed it. The following year I purchased a sun visor from a friend from Michigan, and had it painted and I installed it. Last summer at a Show & Shine in Maine, I purchased a set of chrome hub caps for the Chev. This year I found the center piece that was missing from the front of the grill that makes it a true ’48. I also have the hood ornament for the car, but haven’t been able to put it on. All of these additions make the car look so much better. The ’48 Chev is well equipped to cruise. It has a 350 Chev motor, power steering, automatic transmission, vintage A/C, front disc brakes, a Nova front end and bucket seats, not quite original for the year – ha-ha. Our ’48 made front page of East Pasco Newspaper last month (February), at one of our show and shines. So nice!
We have met so many good friends through NBAAC. Having an antique car while we are in Florida enables us to meet so many more friends. We cruise around with five other couples who have antique cars, all from Ontario, and have a great time. One of the couples from Ontario, Arnold and Gail Kerry, are members of the Coasters who travelled across Canada, and they know a lot of our members from NBAAC. It’s amazing when we go to Old Town in Kissimmee, Florida, we always meet up with somebody from New Brunswick that we have met through NBAAC.
At home we also own a 1965 Galaxie 500, which I purchased in Zephyrhills, Florida, and trailered it home. We reupholstered the front seats, put new carpet on the floor, and Brenda had to sand the mold and mildew off the door panels, which someone tried to cover with white shoe polish. What a mess! She then dyed the door panels and the rear seat. I installed new brakes, new tires and hub caps. We also had the Galaxie painted the original blue color.
We also own a 1954 Ford Crestline, glass top. I have purchased new tires and other parts to take home to add to the restoration of the ’54 Ford. And lastly, we have a 1949 Ford pick-up that is a lot of fun to drive around in. I wish I had more garage space, I love the classic vehicles. Last fall I purchased a hoist to put in the garage and Brenda said I bought it so I can start stacking the cars.
We took our ’54 Crestline on the PEI Tour last summer. We towed our newly purchased 1986, 23 foot travel trailer for this adventure. As most of you know it was hot that week. The Tour was great. It was the first Provincial Tour that we were able to take part in. Needless to say, when we returned home the travel trailer went on the “For Sale” market. As you can see by the photo, it was a cute little trailer, but not for us. We had a real good time and met more friends. Two new friends we met on this trip, Paul and Sue Morrison came to Florida this winter and stayed with us for two weeks. They got an idea of how many car shows and events we are fortunate to be able to attend while we are south.
I really enjoy working on my old cars (most of the time) when I have time. We really enjoy going to car events, seeing all the antique vehicles, and meeting the many nice car enthusiasts. Sometimes I get myself into trouble. Brenda never knows what I might buy for a car and bring it home, with Blair Chisholm’s help, right Blair?? There have been a couple of “ugly” cars come and go!!
Hope to see a lot of you this season at some events.

Member Spotlight – Gary Steeves

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1929 Chevrolet 020 (1)Submitted by Gary Steeves
Never thought that I would get to write this story, after all it has been fifty years. In 1963 I had a fresh driver’s license in my wallet and I also had a real summer job working at the Canadian Gypsum Co. Mill in Hillsborough. I always had a passion for old cars; I built car models when I should have been studying, collected ‘car’ tokens from Jell-O boxes and cut out car ads from magazines; that was why I was so excited to see the old ‘29 Chevy for sale. The chap that had it for sale worked at the ‘mill’, and was known as a wheeler dealer; so, I looked him up the next day and he gave me the low down on the car. He had picked up the car from Ellison and Annie Steeves from Shenstone, NB, who had gone on their honey moon in the car in 1932. Ellison had purchased the car so he could court Annie, a teacher that had come to the community. Darryl, the seller, further told us that he had picked up a rotted out ‘30 Chev sedan with a rebuilt motor and an old ‘29 or ‘30 Chevy cut down into a tractor. The package deal, $200, would take them all, a lot of money, but I had it. Man I was excited, it would start up and drive. The deal was struck and she was mine.

The fact that it did not have ‘tags’, or I did not have insurance, was not going to deter me from having a ball running the country back roads. Coming home one hot August afternoon from the swimming hole with seven teens inside and two on the running boards, the ‘big’ hill proved too much for her. The ‘rap, rap’ was the Babbitt bearings, engine shot; oh well, I had the other one, so with my father’s help, as well friends, we got her back on the road, my first engine swap.

September came, so off to school, grade 11, also came cooler weather. The Chevy had no heater; however, a friend, Johnny Dixon, approached me with a deal. He had a ‘54 Pontiac Chieftain with ‘tags’ and a heater and wanted the ’29. “I’ll give you the ‘54 and $75 to boot”, he said, “she’s yours”, I said.
The ‘29 went out of my life; I would see her again in the summer 1982 at Ellison and Annie’s 50th anniversary. She was red with black fenders; I had painted her a light blue, but she still looked good. I got my picture taken with the happy couple, that was neat, and then she was gone again.

My wife Heather and I had joined the N.B.A.A.C. in 1971 and have had different old cars over the years, but the old ‘29 Chevy was still in the back of my mind. Whenever I talked to her about it, she would say, “well, Trent, Gary and Heather with the ‘29 Chev why don’t you buy it back”, that was all I needed. It took several months to track it down, but I found it and bought it in July 2010, 47 years from the time I first bought it in 1963.

The car is a 1929 Chevrolet International two door sedan or ‘coach’, Chevy’s most popular model; it sold new for $495.The year 1929 was a big year for Chevrolet; this was a first for the six-cylinder engine, thus the longer hood, creating a more regal look to the car; also, it was a first for dimming headlights, what will they think of next?

Over the last three years I have had a great time rebuilding the car. Chevrolet cars of that era had a design problem in that they used wood in the construction of the bodies, thus many rotted out and went to the scrape yard. The ‘29 had the same issue, so some new wood plus metal went into rebuilding the body. The engine, I believe, is the same one that I swapped into it, I had it checked and it is still all OK.

The interior has been replaced with a new ‘LeBaron Bonney’ upholstery kit in an original blue color. The exterior color is ‘Nassau’ blue and very close to what I had painted the car ‘back in the day’.

I have relived a lot of memories working in the garage on the ‘old girl’, as they used to say. I saved a couple of the wheel nuts that still have some gold metal flake paint that I had put on them back in ‘63.It also hit me one day, as I was using my vise, that it was blue from the paint that I had painted the car with back then; awesome, so that is why I say she’s ‘TWICE MINE’.

1967 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Coupe

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 Owners: Ronald & Ann Haines
Woodstock, New Brunswick
Photo taken by Peter Lovell