Studebaker Coupé '37

Studebaker Coupé '37
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Much bigger than the MGs and thirstier. "Planar" independent front suspension. I was then living near a fishing village called Taipo, about 15 miles out in the New Territories beyond Kowloon, which necessitated negotiating a twisty mountain road surmounting the "Gow Loong" ("Nine Dragons") range of hills behind Kowloon -- which, of course, took its name from the hills -- and a twisting road thereafter following the coastline of an inlet of the sea. The Planar suspension was death on the front tires with all these curves, and scrubbed off the tread in no time.

The Stude had freewheel transmission which, however, could be locked for going down steep hills. In freewheel position you could shift gears without using clutch, simply letting the car coast while shifting. The starter was a Bendix "Startix," designed to crank the engine automatically if it should stall while coasting.

The very slim instruction manual had, in the directory, a category for Manual Starting -- "see p. 3". On page 3 it said: "Manual Starting: There is no provision for manual starting." Comparing this with the MG books, which contained full instructions for major surgery, including dismantling the engine, with photographic illustrations -- and a tool kit to conform -- the American manual seemed crude.

The car shape was pretty streamlined, however.