Spanner Works: Wenstley Wicomb


A regular feature outlining the activities of FMM’s workshop personnel who are responsible for repairing, renovating, refurbishing and restoring the museum’s large and varied collection of vehicles. This month, JP du Plessis reports on Wentsley helping a President to climb a hill…


Due to a downwards trend in sales and the relatively unsuccessful 1953 redesign, in 1955 Studebaker gave its models a bit of a facelift. This included new bumpers and a myriad of two- and three-tone paint options. The museum has a number of Studebakers in its collection, including a 1955 President hard-top coupé. The President name had been used from 1926 to 1942 before being dropped, but was brought back into the model range for 1955, before being dropped again in 1958.

On a recent exercise drive, it was found that the car struggled and sometimes even stalled going uphill. Wenstley Wicomb took charge of assessing the problem and decided to start by removing and disassembling the carburettor, ensuring that every tiny part was absolutely clean. During this operation, he found that the accelerator pump was damaged and sought a replacement.

Once the carb was reassembled and a new accelerator pump was found in the parts store, they were fitted to the 260ci (4260cc) V8 engine and Wentsley took the car for a proper test drive. He encountered no issues with fuelling, and the car also didn’t stall going uphill any more. Job well done!