Roy & Shari Buchanan's 1958 Studebaker Scotsman Wagon (from Volume 11, Issue 122)

When you first laid eyes on this month’s cover, did you know exactly what the car on it was? The first time we stumbled across it at a car show we didn’t. Sure, it kind of looks like a modified shoe-box Chevy wagon, with the nose reworked and the rear “fins” extended greatly....but at the same time it doesn’t. As chance would have it, owners Roy and Shari Buchanan were sitting near the car at the time, and clued us in on exactly what we were admiring. It is a 1958 Studebaker Scotsman 2-Door Wagon, which has a basically stock’s just that you never see them. They were only made in 1957-58, with roughly 1,200 produced - but suffice it to say there aren’t nearly that many left around today.

When we got together with Roy to shoot the feature photos he then told us the story behind how he came to be its owner. He found the old Stude in Sea Pines, Florida, where it rest covered in a garage. The previous owner had passed away without completing the project, and the widow had it up for sale. Not knowing exactly what a ‘58 Studebaker Scotsmans Wagon looked like Roy wasn’t initially that interested in it when a friend told him it was available. Everyone thinks of the “bullet nose” Commander coupes and the streamlined Hawk, but who ever hears of a hot rodded Scotsman Wagon? Well, luckily Roy’s curiosity was enough to merit a look, and once the cover was removed he knew instantly that he wanted it.

The wagon was already painted black cherry with ghost graphics, and had a finished interior, but there were many things Roy did after buying it to suit his tastes. The smoothed body lines and unique paint is accented by a set of classic American Racing Torque Thrust II rims wrapped in GoodYear rubber.

Under the louvered hood you’ll find a 304 cubic inch Studebaker motor, built by Bob Beach Racing in Ohio. It was worked over to produce about 375 horse power, and dressed up with lots of chrome and polished items including a Studebaker Avanti R3 aluminum manifold and Offenhauser aluminum valve covers. Other items include a Holley carb topped with a B&M cross flow air cleaner, Avanti R3 headers, and Mallory dual point distributor. Rod’s Muffler Shop bent up a custom dual exhaust, which runs through a set of Flowmaster mufflers and exits via custom exhaust tips. A Studebaker automatic transmission was treated to a shift kit, and is controlled by a B&M shifter.

Underneath the Scotsman now rides on 2-inch dropped spindles, and was converted to power steering with a Mustang II rack. Out back is a 9-inch Ford rear end fitted with 3.53:1 gears, and rides 4 inches lower than stock height, with air shocks lending a helping hand when carrying a load. Disc brakes add more stopping power, and go along with the modernization of the undercarriage.

Inside is a custom maroon tweed interior, with bucket seats and a console replacing the old bench seat. A neat feature is the speedometer, which is of a rotary orientation, with the current speed displayed through a rectangular opening in a pod atop the dash. A Colorado Custom billet steering wheel atop a GM tilt column, aluminum gauge cluster housing Auto Meter gauges in the dash, and various other items offer a touch more flash. Adding to the creature comforts are power windows, remote doors and a Vintage Air unit.

We’ve seen Roy and Shari Buchanan at various car shows with their cream colored 1936 Ford convertible and black Mercury Montclair convertible, and both are fine cars to be sure. But I’d suspect that the uniqueness of their new 1958 Studebaker Scotsman Wagon has more than a few people scratching their heads as they try and figure out exactly what it is. CN