Last Call: Sceptre System Edition

Studebaker Sceptre
The Studebaker Sceptre was Brooke Stevens’ attempt to revitalize the brand through cutting edge styling. It was also his salvo in a battle for supremacy at the company against Avanti designer Raymond Lowey. Neither goal was destined to happen however, and the Hawk-based coupe prototype shows that we are all the poorer for it.
Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day.  It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.
Image: Pinterest


  1. For members of the hooniteriat in the British Commonwealth outside North America, ‘Sceptre’ means some sort of Humber, with the last, Mk III version, being the Rootes Group ‘Arrow’ model in it’s top, most glitzy, wood and leather, twin-carb,, quad headlight, vinyl roofed, fancy hub-capped form. (Also available as a nice estate). And with a lot less expensive bodywork changes than the Mark II based on the previous Hillman Super Minx. None of these has the drama of Brooke Stevens best.

  2. Last installment, I promise.
    Picked the car up Saturday afternoon. Signed off that I didn’t need the work done on the car. I’m sure if I’d asked for Ford DOT4 they’d bled the brakes for me. I’d rather do that myself. At least they used a Motorcraft oil filter.
    Got home and every little kid from the street was staring at it. It is a machine.
    My plans were to grill up some pork ribs and spend the evening going over the car… but my son had other plans and did a faceplant on the concrete outside the 7-11. Spent the evening at the ER. He is scraped up and has 2 temp caps.
    That’s life.
    As I was about to leave the dealership, the salesguy handed me a little baggie with a OBDII iTSX transmitter. Owner #2 had the car tuned. He included his number for me to call if I had questions.
    That makes both owners that I’ve contacted.

      1. Thanks. He’s doing fine.
        He has some supernatural ability to heal. I guess kids are like that.

  3. I thought it was a Barracuda. That guy just screams Barracuda Target Market. Or it could be a giant Remington electric razor. Those wheels, though… creepily Martian Probe-ish.

    1. As a kid, I was watching War Of The Worlds on a Zenith television and became freaked out at the sight of the ‘color wheel’ knob on the front of the TV, convinced it was part of the alien invasion

        1. Beat the heck out of Dad flicking me on the ear & commanding “change it to channel 7!”

    1. It’s the GM ‘Ford Focus’ and GM ‘VW Golf’ rolled into the one car. Dynamically part way between the two, and without VW group electrics.

      1. …but it is, sort of, despised in Europe. Two years ago, in a “what’s your least/favourite car survey” the Astra was handed the red flag in several countries, Norway among them. My Google Fu is weak today, but maybe I’ll find it later. My personal experience with these is limited, but I found them to offer a surprisingly quiet ride, and the interior is less 90s boomblaster than in a Focus. It’s just not particularly reliable, but looking at who made them, you already knew that.

          1. Neat. 92nd place (Astra) and 1st place (Superb) are 7% difference in satisfaction.

    2. The only negative thing most folks had to say about them at the time was that they were overpriced. Fortunately orphan-car depreciation is your friend.

  4. Public service announcement: wheel loaders are not designed to be used for jousting in the street over a construction contract… they’re meant for earthmoving and materials handling. (These guys in China evidently didn’t get the memo.)

  5. So, I became aware of (I’m slow I know) over the weekend, due to Sniffpetrol’s twitter feed I follow during the F1 races. Seems that it goes very meta with the ‘Bick Skruth (ha!) reviews Colby Dousche’ story.

    1. You’re ahead of me! I became aware of today while reading Manic_King‘s Hooniverse comment on Sniffpetrol’s twitter feed content. Tesla Model 3 Apple car.

  6. I’m home with a cold and apply my downtime to digging through and re-organizing half a TB of photo archives. A true trip down memory lane. There are also lots of car photos showing up that I had forgotten. This is from the day we decided to do the actual move to the house we live in now. Took some time to dig out the cars, and at our destination, there was a 30+ degree, 50m long driveway to dig up. Puh.
    The cord to the Volvo goes to the beloved electric block heater, a favourite in Scandinavia.

  7. The two Sceptre concepts in front of Brooks Stevens’ race/show car trailer in period. I have the trailer. I wish I had the Sceptres.

      1. The way the door tops roll into the roof is also very contemporary.
        Also worthy of note is the shutline to the clamshell-style boot/trunk reading on the side elevation; a styling feature resurrected in the Bangle-era BMW sedans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here