Studebaker Stories:


By Fred Duplechin, Schriever, LA

As soon as we bought our '55 President in 1999, we began dreaming about driving it on the 1,100 mile pilgrimage to South Bend, IN, where they were manufactured. ; The Studebaker Drivers Club holds an International Meet every year, but each 5th year is a homecoming to South Bend. ; Our car was not ready for the 2002 meet, but 2007 was going to be the year. Finally, I AM GOING TO SOUTH BEND.

To make sure our car was reliable, I began reviewing systems and making adjustments about three months before departure. ; Some of you recall that I updated the brake master cylinder from a single to a dual system. ; I also changed all of the wheel cylinders. ; Some minor repairs on the steering followed. ; The car had been running a little hot with the A/C running in hot weather, so I pulled the radiator and had it checked out. ; It was good, so I tried reconfiguring the system itself. ; Adding another cooling fan did the trick and the car was running and cooling fine. ; I AM GOING TO SOUTH BEND.

On the day before departure , two important things happened – I came down with a combined prostate and bladder infection (I'd never had either before) and my radiator started leaking. ; I took off work at noon to fix both problems. ; I removed the radiator and drove to Houma to have it repaired, then drove to Mathews to see my doctor. ; By the time we got to the drug store, I was shivering with fever. ; When I got home, I had to call a friend to help me put the radiator back in. ; We finished about 9pm. ; Departure was 6am the next morning. ; When I started up the car the fan made a grinding sound and water started pouring out of the radiator. ; I didn't even check to see what happened because it was too late to do anything about it. ; I AM GOING TO SOUTH BEND in a Brand X.

1We departed on time, but I wasn't feeling well. ; Fevers continued off and on and “problems” developed in the bladder. ; Debbie did all of the driving after a while. ; Our Mississippi friends in the caravan were supportive and patient, but things continued to go downhill. ; By Sunday I was having severe spasms and couldn't urinate anymore.; We stopped at an Urgent Care Center just past the Indiana Border. ; I was catherized, injected with antibiotics and more oral antibiotics were added. ; I AM GOING TO SOUTH BEND.

We arrived in South Bend on Monday, but I still wasn't feeling well. After the first session on Tuesday, I went to the Emergency Room. Reports were faxed from my family doctor and the Urgent Care Center, and tests were run. The tests showed that the meds were working. My bladder just didn't like that catheter. It was removed. Things improved rapidly after that. By Wednesday, I felt well enough to attend several events and on Thursday I was feeling almost normal again. I wrote my story up and I was selected to receive the Hard Luck Award for the 2007 International Meet. I HAVE BEEN TO SOUTH BEND.

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