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    • #56999
      frank-mooney
      Member

      Today’s USA TODAY,Section D3 features a frontal picture of a red Series 1 Alpine[or early series] with Danny and Sandy the stars of the "GREASE" Broadway revival in the front seats.Haven’t seen the revival so can’t tell you how the Alpine is used.Appears to have working headlights/parking lights.Is it a runner? Broadway goers please report. frank mooney

    • #61527

      Frank:
      That’s a Ford Thunderbird, either a ’55 or ’56. The front bumper and turn signal lamps are quite distinctive in that photo.

      Wayne

    • #61528
      frank-mooney
      Member

      Wayne,the hood scoop says T-Bird but the front end says,to me Alpine.However,you are no doubt right in that the T-Bird would be the producer’s choice for this setting.The similarities between the Alpine and T-Birt are striking! frank mooney

    • #61529
      Owain Lloyd
      Member

      isn’t the t-bird about twice as big? they should look like very small people in an alpine…

    • #61531

      Oh, it’s a T-bird alright; not, alas, an Alpine. Look VERY carefully at the grill and in the shadow, you’ll see the distinctive overriders. And the reflection of the turn lamps is clearly different than a Lucas lamp. But, if you check the history, it was Kenneth Howes who had the most influence on the early Alpine design. Having honed his skills at Studebaker in South Bend in the early ’50’s, then in the Ford design group in Detroit shortly later, before being recruited by the Rootes Group as Assitant Chief Appearance Designer (line up a Studebaker Hawk, an early T-bird and an Alpine — coincidence? I think not!), Howes had a strong influence on the styling of the "reintroduced" Alpine in 1959.

      Great picture, nonetheless. But I would doubt that an American musical would highlight a British car.

      My two Euros…

    • #61532
      Owain Lloyd
      Member

      what t-bird are we talking about here? ’54 is about the closest i can think of to an alpine but its still not really easily mistakable.

    • #61533

      No such thing as a ’54 T-bird; the first was ’55, and the ’55-57 era is the most desirable, and, in my honest opinion, the most distinctive is terms of styling. The ’57 raised the chrome issue to a higher plateau, but if you were to compare the front profiles of ’55-57 T-birds, early 50’s Studebakers and early series Alpines, the resemblence is uncanny. Hence my previous post regarding Kenneth Howes.

      Look at the photo again. I see a distinct center crease in the bumper, and where are the Alpine-style overriders? It’s a ‘Bird, no doubt in my mind.

    • #61534
      Owain Lloyd
      Member

      sorry, typo – i meant 56. of course 55 is also about the same.

      is this what is supposed to look like the alpine? i really don’t think its that similar. i’m often confused by people asking if my tiger is a t-bird…

    • #61536
      frank-mooney
      Member

      Wayne,appreciated the Ken Howes info.I was at Notre Dame 55-59 and became a big fan of the Studebakers of that era,Hawks,Golden Hawks etc.,even the Lark,"South Bend Goes Up With The Lark" and of course the Avanti.Many were Raymond Lowry designs Studebakers went from making Connestoga horse drawn wagons to beautiful cars.They also shipped a vast #[100,000 or more?]of trucks to Russia during WWII.[Drives me crazy that we can’t now get four thousand reinforced armoured vericles To our guys in Iraq 53 months after the March ’03 invasion].Studebaker also became the US distributor/importer of Mercedes cars…Mercedes had no dealer network in place.;Studebaker’s costs were high,an antiquated multi story plant couldn’t have been more inefficient.The workforce went on strike and stayed out a couple of extra days over one remaining issue[I swear this is true]whether they would get 15 minutes or 10 minutes of paid end of shift wash up time! Very nice Studebaker museum in South Bend worth a visit. frank mooney

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