Been a long time since I have added to this journal. I just built and installed a simple set of traction bars. These are in the model of the old Traction Masters from the 50s and 60s. They should work well for my needs driving mostly on the street with a very occasional track trip. I will give credit to another Studebaker owner Dan McDonald for the design. I saw his at a meet and he made pictures for me to use as a guide. Here you can see the finished product. They attach to the inside U bolt and go forward to a bracket bolted to the frame. I found some steel that was thrown away and used it to build the brackets. The back piece is 5/16 and the front plate is 1/4. I used a sawzall, grinder and drill to do all the fitting and used flux core to weld the tabs onto the front plate. I got the threaded tubing, rod ends and tabs from stockcarproducts.com. Initial testing shows that wheel hop is no longer a problem and ride quality is not significantly changed.
Finally I have the seats upholstered. Found the exact match of the previous upholstery and took them to my favorite guy. He did a good job making them look like they came from the factory. The seats are from a 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible. They fit very well in the car, and now we have the added safety of the shoulder harness. They also lean forward for back seat access which the previous Mercury Sable seats did not.
The reason I wanted the metal divide between the back seat and trunk is I have installed an air compressor and tank to control my Air-over-leaf bags. I placed it on the kick up above the axle at the front of my trunk. I also moved my Optima battery up there. I want to conceal all that from view in the trunk. I used another piece of the old sign to make a panel for inside the trunk, then took an embroidered piece I have with the Studebaker logo and had my upholsterer wrap it. The picture show the trunk with the panel open. The uncovered panel and finally the upholstered panel in place.
Next step was putting a metal panel between the back seat and the trunk. I scrounged a piece of metal sign board from my son-in-laws old business and made a pattern then cut it out with a jig saw. The pictures show the opening behind the seat, the pattern and finally the cut piece. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it in place before I anchored the seat back in place.
I've fallen behind on documenting, so will try to catch up. Since the last updates, I have gotten the carpeting all in place, fitted the seats and anchored them. Here they are in place prior to carpeting, and then with the seats out and carpet in place.