Studebaker Extremeliner Custom Woodie
Ken “POSIES” Fenical’s “Extremeliner” is an Art Deco, wedge-shaped woodie influenced by the mid-1930s Cord 810/812 and Lincoln Zephyr. Sporting a unique look and delicious proportions, it took the custom world by storm, winning countless awards and redefining the custom car movement’s direction. Every design element challenges the viewer, representing nothing short of a milestone custom.
Fenical began with the headlights, grille and front fenders from a 1937 Studebaker, but after carving up those components and then adding countless freshly fabricated details, the result leaves virtually none of the long-gone South Bend, Indiana marque’s heritage. Instead, this remarkable effort takes customizing into a realm previously reserved only for concept cars.
Development of the “Extremeliner” began in 1994. The process took five years to complete. POSIES says he was influenced by Andre Dubonnet’s streamlined “Xenia” coupe of 1937, which was built in France on a Hispano-Suiza chassis. However, there are many Art Deco influences at play here as well, from cars as diverse as the Cord 810/812 and the Lincoln-Zephyr, as well as the Figoni et Falaschi-bodied Delages and Delahayes of the late 1930s. That said, this car is completely unique, exemplifying POSIES’ inimitable style.
Thom Taylor, hot rodding’s premier artist, produced a series of detailed sketches that helped POSIES and his talented crew execute a creation that broke every mold and helped underscore just how sophisticated contemporary customs have become.
A one-off tubular steel frame became the Extremeliner’s foundation. That curvaceous unibody, with its steel framework and 20-gauge steel panels, was entirely handmade at POSIES, along with the aluminum hood and fender skirts. The exterior panels were initially hand-fashioned of wood to make molds, which were then cast in fiberglass and painstakingly wood grained to simulate the real thing.
All the exterior panels were blind-mounted from inside, and then the fasteners were covered with jute and bamboo interior materials. The carpeting is sisal, while the upholstery is tan leather with an ostrich graining. It is exotic, to be sure, but this car is fully usable and strikingly beautiful.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
400 bhp, 350 cu. in. Chevrolet LT-1 V8 engine, modified GM 700-R4 automatic transmission, custom tubular chassis, independent front suspension and live rear axle, four-wheel coil-over shocks, and hydraulic front disc, rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 116"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel