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  • Writer's pictureDavid Story

Studebaker in 1932 500

The Studebaker Car Company entered five factory cars in the 1932 Indianapolis 500. Their cars placed 3rd, 6th, 13th, 15th and 16th—an amazing feat considering the fact that 85% of the mechanical parts came from the Studebaker’s stock parts bin. Their366 cubic inch straight-eight engines came from the Studebaker President car line. These engines were rated at 200 horsepower and could propel the race cars to speeds in excess of 140 mph. All the Studebakers completed the 500 miles. This was quite an accomplishment when considering that the attrition rate was a huge factor in the race.

The fact that all five of the Studebakers finished the race even takes great significance because three years later Preston Tucker formed a venture with the race-engine builder, Harry Miller. Tucker talked Edsel Ford into sponsoring a contingent of ten Miller-Tucker cars using Ford’s new V8 engine for power. Only four of the Fords qualified for the race and none of them finished — all due to the identical steering gear failure.


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