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Studebaker Week: Studebakers for the 21st Century

(Car Lust contributor Virgil Exner, Jr. celebrated Studebaker Week by designing a few Studebakers of his own and sending us some high-resolution renderings. Click the pictures to enlarge them and read Mr. Exner's commentary. -- Ed.)

Studebaker President

Studebaker Torpolino Roadster Torpolino Roadster 3-View Drawings & Specifications

--Virgil M. Exner, Jr.


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It should give you some idea of Mr. Exner's talent as a designer to consider the fact that these designs were something he whipped up in the past week, just for fun.

Building an actual Torpolino chassis would be well within the ability of a large number of hot-rodders and enthusiasts. I don't know enough about fiberglass fabrication to fully appreciate what it would take to do the body, but I suspect it's not out of reach of someone who knows what they're doing.

OK, backyard automakers, you have your challenge!

I like the framework. There's nothing stronger than a good triangle.

Mr. Exner, did you see that a couple of your father's concept cars sold in Monterey last week? The Chrysler D'Elegance and the Mercer Cobra sold for $946,000 and $660,000 respectively. The Dodge Firearrow III also sold, but as I understand it, that was a Ghia design.

The original Dodge Firearrow 1 was designed by Mario Boano at Ghia with input and final approval by my father. The other variations soon followed. They became the main source of the Dual Ghia, of which over 400 were built. Afterwards, my father designed the Dual Ghia L6.4, of which 25 were produced by Ghia. I had a great deal of design input into the Mercer Cobra and did most of its build follow-up at Sibona Bassano in Torino. Also, my father's XNR received 2 awards at the Pebble Beach Concours.

Why would a 2011 era Studebaker look like a concept car from 1970?

Man, would I ever drive one of these. If only I could buy a new studee, I would be in hog heaven!

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