Fastback Woody Sedan
1951 Studebaker

Dennis Varni
Los Gatos, CA

Construction on this car was started by Doug Carr in his Signal Hill, CA shop known as Wood 'N Carr. While being worked on, the Studebaker caught the eye of Joe MacPherson and he purchased it with the intention of completing it and displaying it in his Joe’s Garage Automobile Museum in Tustin, CA. Joe commissioned Thom Taylor to rework the basic concept of this project and this pencil sketch was made by Thom.


Before it could be completed, Joe passed away and this car went up for auction. It was sold for $28,600.00, even though it was missing all of the major mechanical elements. 


The buyer was Dennis Varni, of land speed fame, and the car was taken to Hill's Rod & Custom in Pleasant Hill, CA for completion. The stock frame was replaced by an Art Morrison chassis with IFS and a Currie 9" rear end. The top was chopped 2-1/2" and the rear fenders were extended 18". 1937 Ford headlights were added and custom taillights were fitted to the rear fenders. The trunk lid was replaced by a tailgate/liftgate combination. The final touch was a British racing green paint job.


Power comes from a Ford 427 FE engine with Edelbrock heads covered with Edsel valve covers. The wild looking mechanical fuel injection system was on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1959 and was updated with a modern Hilborn electronic system hidden under the manifold. A GM 700-R4 transmission was mated to the Ford engine.