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24 June 2019

Son finds dad's lost car, one of only two in Australia

By Iain KellyIain Kelly
  • Trying to find a '47 Studebaker Champion convertible in Australia is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Trying to find a '47 Studebaker Champion convertible in Australia is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
  • Adam's dad initially refused to believe this was his old car. Adam's dad initially refused to believe this was his old car.
  • Adam's dad bought his 1947 Studebaker in the early 1960s and added mild custom touches to it. Adam's dad bought his 1947 Studebaker in the early 1960s and added mild custom touches to it.
  • Adam's dad was offered the car back several times before it eventually disappeared. Adam's dad was offered the car back several times before it eventually disappeared.
  • After 50 years, Adam's dad was reunited with his '47 Studebaker. After 50 years, Adam's dad was reunited with his '47 Studebaker.

If you are a car enthusiast and your dad had a ridiculously rare car which he built into a unique custom back in the early 1960s, you would probably want to track it down and find it.

When the car in question is a 1947 Studebaker Champion convertible and the country is Australia, you are pretty much searching for a tiny needle (being the only '47 Stude Champion convertible in Aus) in a stupendously large haystack.

Adam's dad bought his 1947 Studebaker in the early 1960s and added mild custom touches to it. Adam isn't sure where he got the only '47 Champion convertible in Oz, but his dad cruised it around Sydney with the Drag-Ens hot rod club for a few years until it came time to buy a house, have a family, and settle down. 

While Adam's dad was offered the car back several times over the following few decades it was never at a point when he had the spare funds, and the car eventually disappeared. Years of searching paid dividends when Adam discovered it sunken into the ground in a dirt floor shed in rural West Australia.

  • Much of the structure had been eaten away. Much of the structure had been eaten away.
  • The Studebaker is now having most of its rusty body replaced at Newcastle's United Speed Shop. The Studebaker is now having most of its rusty body replaced at Newcastle's United Speed Shop.
  • Adam discovered the Studebaker sunken into the ground in a dirt floor shed in rural West Australia. Adam discovered the Studebaker sunken into the ground in a dirt floor shed in rural West Australia.
  • Adam had the car shipped to NSW where plans were made to restore it. Adam had the car shipped to NSW where plans were made to restore it.

He had it shipped to NSW where plans were made to restore it. But before he set off on that massive journey (there was a LOT of rust) he showed the car to his dad, who initially refused to believe it was his old car. It was once Adam sanded back the paint on the windscreen frame and his dad saw the holes for the custom dummy spotlights that it sank in his son had found the car after more than 50 years!

The Studebaker is now having most of its rusty body replaced at Newcastle's United Speed Shop, with hand-made repair sections. Much of the structure had been eaten away so the USS lads have a huge job ahead of them, as you can see. 

We will check back in once the car is together and ready for its first drive!

What's the rarest car you've tried to hunt down? Let us know in the comments.