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Odd & Greta
1931 President Roadster
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Odd & Great Justad
Belleview, Washington
1931 President Roadster 

Odd Writes:

When did I actually become aware of the President Roadsters? I am actually not sure myself. I can vaguely remember when I first became aware of Studebakers at all. It was in my early high school years in Norway when the '53 coupe first came out. That was nay dream car at the time. I never saw the actual car, just pictures of it. Later (in 1958) 4 of us went together and bought a '21 Special Six. It was at this point that the Studebaker brand became familiar. Not until much later, after having joined the S.D.C. and A.S.C., did I really became aware of those magnificent early '30s Presidents. Now, that would be a neat car to own. But when I looked into what they were selling for. the few times they came up for sale, any idea of ever owning one was quickly killed. 1 was very happy with the Studebakers we already had. My childhood dream had been realized with a '54 Hardtop ("Tomato soup"), my high school car was represented with my the '21 Big Six touring ("Freia"), and Greta had a '40 business coupe ("Honey bun") to remind her of the car she learned to drive with. We even had a ca 1910 Surrey. We basi­cally had most decades covered except for the '30s. But a dream is just that, a dream. However, it some-times happens that dreams do conic true. Not often, but sometimes. And in this case faith and luck were a big part of it.
As it happened, in April of 2003 we decided to go the SW ASC Zone Meet in Cottonwood. AZ. We had always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. so it was a good combination and we could drive the his­toric Route 66 part of the way. It was a very good meet and we got
to see Bill Cannon again. This is where luck struck us. Talking with Bill, together with Jerry Molitor, Bill mentioned that he was contemplating selling his two remaining Studebakers, a 1930 Commander Cabriolet and a 1931 Four Season Roadster. Jerry was really interested in the Cabriolet and told me I should try for the President. I was probably more than a little hesi­tant. As much I would want that car, I thought it would be well outside my budget and my wife's permission. To make a long story short. we asked Bill if he could keep us in mind if he decided to sell his cars.
After we got home, I didn't think much more about the cars. A couple of months later, there was a letter from Bill Cannon. with what I considered a very reasonable price. I think it took Greta and me a whole 5 minutes to make up our mind. We had the money, and when would we ever he able to find another of those dream cars? And one owned and restored by none other than the rounder of the ASC. We wanted to send Bill a check right away. but he would have nothing of it. He insisted we should check it out and test drive it first. He would hold it until we could make it down there.
Now, the only thing left was to make arrangements to have our test drive and pick it up. It so happened that the international meet was in Sacramento that year, so why not just leave a week earlier than planned from Seattle, pick up the car and take it to the meet? (Jerry decided to do the same. but we beat him by a week as we wanted to visit family along the way).
We had seen the car one time before at a meet, but hadn't spent much time going over it with the idea of someday purchasing it. We had, of course, seen pictures of it and Bill had described it pretty well in his
letter, so it wasn't exactly like buying it sight unseen. But you still wonder a little until you sec it. It was of course love at first sight. Bill had described it very well, no disappointment there. He had classified it as between a condition 2 and 3, or rather the appraiser he used, had. A very good strong driver, but some superfi­cial flaws. And that was what Bill had described it as. It was painted with lacquer over 20 years ago, and in the Southern California sunshine, one has to expect some deterioration. Some day we might want to repaint it. but for now it is just going to be enjoyed
The test drive went very well, Bill was driving first, and boy, he does have a little lead in his foot. It must have been a sad point for him, to have what was proba­bly his last drive in the car. After that it was my turn. It took a little bit to get used to the clutch and gear, but it was a very easy ear to drive. Compared to my '21 gear shift, this was a breeze. The clutch worked very well, and you really didn't even have to use it between 2"d and 3rd  if you stayed in freewheel. Now I very sel­dom use the freewheel as the braking of the engine go­ing downhill is appreciated.
As for the history of the car, Bill didn't know too much about it. He purchased it in 1977 from a fellow club member in San Francisco, Clayton Schaeder. Clayton stated that he had too many cars and had found a car he liked better (maybe a Cord). (Now who would like any car better then the Four Season'?) . Terry (Bill's son) happened to being going to school in San Francisco at the time and had visited Clayton. It so happened that Clayton, who had bought the car at an estate sale, had started to restore the car. The engine had been sent out for rebuilding and car parts were scattered in several places - his garage. his mother's garage and sev­eral storage facilities. (Now isn't it fun to get
basket case like that and not being sure if you get all the parts). It took Bill two trips to locate the parts and get them home. A few parts were never found. He paid for the engine rebuild. which was done by a boat builder. All new parts were used (except for the valve springs) and the price was very low according to Bill. The only thing Bill changed was the cylinder head. as the rebuilder had used a Pierce Arrow head
which Bill changed hack to the proper Studebaker head. The restoration was all done by Bill and he had it hack on the road in 1980. When Bill got the car it had a little less than 100.000 miles on it. After restoration he put about 9000 miles on it, so I guess the engine is barely broken in. He drove it all over the place, Las Vegas (The Imperial Palace meet). Sacramento, among other places.
The original factory color on the car was green, both according to Bill and the green that can still he found on some of the undercarriage. As most of you know, it is now painted a very attractive tan and brown. offset with orange wheels. If we ever repaint it. the color scheme will remain the same.
After getting the car we have taken it to several meets. First was the International meet in Sacramento. As we mentioned before this was where we were headed on the way home from picking up the car. It was hot, hot, hot. But the car made no sign of overheating, even on the freeway at 60 mph. It did well on both the 2003 and 2004 NW ASC zone meets as well as the 2004 SW ASC meet in Bakersfield. We hope to enjoy this car for many years to come, and, when the time comes, to find good custodians for its future.
Greta likes to name all our cars, and she has been strug­gling to find a good name. It is currently referred to as
Big Boy" and I have a feeling that name will stick.


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