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Thom Taylor took his first sketches of heavily customized Studebaker back in 1990, because according to Thom “it was the most outrageous, ridiculous car”. The idea was to response to the Larry Erickson desinged Cadzilla, which was build by respectful Boyd Coddington. Thom showed his design to Boyd, but he took a pass. Luckily, Thom found Steve Anderson who was keen on having radical car – the project began to materialize.
The body was done by rod constructor Greg Fleury who combined the body from 1948 Stadebaker Starlight, took the nose and hood from 1951 model, used the front fenders from 1950 and rear fenders from 1947 Studebakers. A lot of panels were fabricated from scratch in order to match Thom’s design. It took 2 years to do the body and 5 more to complete the build – solving engineering problems took a lot of time.
The tuned Chevrolet L-98 350-cid V8 engine managed to generate 400 HP. Greg mated the engine to a GM 700R4 automatic transmission and installed the powertrain onto custom tube frame. Thom’s vision was to make Frankenstude a 4-wheel drive car, so Greg used GMC’s AWD parts in front and early Corvette’s parts in the rear to make an independent suspension with disk brakes. The dashboard was built from scratch too. Whole interior took hours of work from a few specialists. The body was painted in House of Kolor custom Purple. The car got 17-inch wheels and one of a kind steering wheel both custom made by Boyd Coddington. The doors were constructed to first move away and then turn vertically like scissor-style ones.
When Frankenstide was unveiled to the public it made a hit. HOTROD listed this car in their “Top 100 Hot Rods That Changed the World” list. No wonder why.

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