Ed Burden’s 53 Studebaker
Usually a hot rod built by Boyd Coddington is like a baby, it has an incubation period of about 9 months. Occasionally, however, for various reasons, they take a little longer to see the light of day. Take, for example, Ed Burden’s 53 Studebaker post coupe.
Ed, who resides in New York where he houses an impressive and diversified car collection, had always wanted a car he could call his own. So, in 1989, he commissioned Boyd to build him a hot rod.
A good clean car was subsequently found in California and work began at the 8372 Monroe Avenue shop where Darwin White and Tom Garrity chopped the top four inches in the front and two inches in the rear. Meanwhile, Larry Sergejeff fabricated a tubular steel chassis to NHRA specifications while retaining the original Studebaker wheelbase. In typical Boyd Coddington fashion, the chassis is fully independent suspension at all four corners with Carrera coil-over shocks. The part-built car was featured in the winter 1991 issue of Custom Rodder.
Ray Harstad was chosen to assemble a 454-cubic-inch, all-aluminum Donovan V8, which is mounted solidly, race-car style, to the to the frame, and with a single carburetor under a Boyds air cleaner produces in excess of 500 horsepower. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, Ed got sidetracked with other issues and the Studebaker’s skeleton was pushed into a closet where it gathered dust for a few years. However, Ed kept seeing other Studebakers in the magazines and eventually he called Boyd with in instructions to put his project on the fast track.
Boyd Coddington Garage had moved to its location at 10541 Ashdale where in the early part of 1995, the coupe was dusted off and work resumed-Boyd having promised Ed he would deliver the car in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the Rod and Custom Americruise. The passage of time dictated that some details change. For example, the narrowed nine-inch Ford rear end originally intended for the car was discarded in favor of a Boyd independent rear fitted with a Corvette center section, Carrera coil-over shock absorbers and Wilwood brakes.
The tire and wheel combination is are staggered 16 x 7 and 17 x 9.5 One Off wheels from Boyd Coddington Wheels with Goodrich P205/55Rl6s in front and P255/50R l 7s in the rear.
Meanwhile, in true hot rod tradition, the body was smoothed of handles, script and all extraneous trim and had its rear lights frenched in traditional style before being squirted by Greg Morrell in what became known as Boyd Silver. Inside, all was equally business like with acres of aluminum and a pair of Momo seats surrounded by tubes of steel and faced by a Boyds wheel and a six-pack of Classic Instruments mounted in a painted aluminum dash. It’s the bare necessities and that’s the way Ed like s it, saying, “I wanted the illusion of being in a race car and its Spartan interior was just perfect. I love the feel of the Doug Nash five-speed. It was exactly what I had in mind when I called Boyd seven years ago.”
True to his word, Boyd had the car ready to deliver on the Americruise, however, chief designer Chip Foose gave the Southern California automotive design community a sneak preview when he rumbled into an invitation-only car show at Toyota’s Newport Beach, California advanced styling studio and drove away with one of the top awards.
|53 Studebaker Build Sheet|
|Original owner:||Ed Burden|
|Body Style:||53 Post coupe|
|Modifications:||Chopped Three Inches in front, five inches in back. Door handles Removed.|
|Engine:||Donovan all aluminum 454, builder Ray Harstad|
|Chassis type:||1-1/2-inch chrome moly tubular|
|Chassis Builder:||Larry Sergejeff|
|Front suspension:||Fully independent with tubular steel A-arms|
|Gas tank:||Fuel cell|
|Color:||Chip Foose Silver|
|Weight:||3000 pounds approx..|