You all may have given up on me and my #OperationStude project by now. Six months has turned into a year and a half to complete this segment of work to my 1955 Studebaker Champion and crickets have been singing their song here on GreaseGirl. Quite honestly, life has been a little lonesome without my Studie – like I’m Don Quixote without Sancho, Michael Knight without KITT, R2D2 minus CP30, Forrest missing Bubba, Laverne without Shirley… you get the point. It’s been 14+ months longer than she’s ever been parked, ever since I first drove her out of the shop to become my daily driver in 2008. As much as I enjoy being in the garage, it’s a challenge when week after week, month after month, you’re spending weekends in its confines rather than out on the road finding your next adventure – something I’ll keep in mind as I plan out future projects. While I won’t call Stude complete just yet, as I’m currently awaiting a new distributor to fix a troubling symptom (and switching from HEI to Magnetic/MSD in the process,) the bright side is she IS out on the street, at least a little bit.


After many a laps, and dozens of miles, driving around my neighborhood during the tuning process I finally ventured across town in my good ol’ Stude! An old friend was in town from New York and I was eager to introduce him to my car world, and how could I leave Studie out of that?! Choosing a destination just across downtown didn’t leave me too nervous about taking her out of the confines of the neighborhood and as soon as I was able to leave my concern behind (Would she die at a stoplight? What’s that noise? The brakes ARE good, right?) Stude reminded me of everything I love about spending time with her. Rather than just getting you places, an old car makes each trip an experience. People look and smile as you drive by, cars next to you at a stoplight roll down their windows to ask a question, filling up on gas is always an opportunity to meet a stranger, and just about everywhere you go brings a new interaction. My lonesomeness wasn’t merely about missing Stude, it was about a way of interacting with the world that I had become used to during my 7+ years of daily driving an old car.


I haven’t said it here on GreaseGirl yet, but my dream is to open a garage of my very own. We’re not talking about any run-of-the-mill tune & lube here, this place would be something special. Initially I’d thought this up as a dream and kept it to myself, but now I know it’s something that will happen… the only question is when. This particular outing with my friend led me past an important-to-me piece of land on the edge of downtown Long Beach where stands an old, and empty-for-years, gas station. The space and vintage atmosphere would be ideal for my garage vision. I stop here every so often and yearn to see my dream become tangible. Just as taking Stude out for a drive reminded me of all the reasons I love her in my life, stopping by this old building today brought some interactions with the community that make me even more determined to progress forward in my garage plans. Stude is worth the hard work I invest in her and I have an inkling my garage dreams are also worth the immense amount of work that will surely be required. When I embarked on my classic car journey, I never would have guessed the road would have brought me to here… but I’m so glad it did. Here’s hoping each of you are finding equally beautiful adventures… I’ll see you on the road!

Happy Trails,

(Many thanks to my talented friend Bay for joining me on this day’s adventure and for snapping these shots! See more of his photo skills at his photography blog.

6 Responses

  1. Spannerbird

    I absolutely love reading about the adventures and happenings that you post online. It’s kind of like when I had magazine subscriptions. Every time one would come in the mail I would be very excited.

  2. Cari McCullen

    This is awesome. I have my grandfather’s Stude. I can’t wait to see it shine again. You’ve given me inspiration again!


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