Where’s the Key?

6/4/04 to 6/7/04

When my grandmother passed away the ignition key was nowhere to be found. We found the trunk key in the glove box but no ignition key. So I called a locksmith. I tried a local locksmith first. When I called Alert Lock & Security (740) 369-1077 they were very helpful. The person I spoke with freely admitted that he could not help me but spent a good 10 minutes on the phone with me while he looked up a place in Columbus that he thought could help.

He referred me to the Carl Zipf Lock Shop. I called them up and they told me it was no problem. Just bring the lock in and they could make keys for it. OK!

On this car the ignition switch is joined directly to the top of the ignition coil via a spring-steel flexible conduit. In the picture at right you can see the green-flecked conduit snaking out of the hole in the firewall and to the top of the coil. I unbolted the ignition switch from the dash and disconnected the wires. It became obvious that there was no way I could get the switch out though the firewall because the radio was in the way.

The radio is a Motorola AM tube-filled monstrosity that probably weighs 30 pounds. It is bolted to the firewall with three 3/8″ bolts. You can see two of the holes in the picture on the right. It is an aftermarket radio added to the car sometime either during or shortly after the war. It is not original to the car but I will leave it alone. The controls for it are drilled into the dash and I have no good way to plug the hole anyway.

Once I got the radio out of the way the ignition key slid right out. I took it to the lock shop and a couple days later they were done. Bob at Carl Zipf Lock Shop did a really nice job. He even made copies of the trunk key and used a different color blank so I could tell the two keys apart. Here is the entire assembly with the three complete sets of keys. Total bill was $24.00! Thanks guys!

Just for giggles I popped the front off the radio. Here are two shots of the speaker and tubes. Like everything else on this car it is in really good shape. It might even still work but when I get to that point I will have it checked out by someone who knows about tubes. Until then I will leave it alone.

And finally here is the dash with the ignition key back in place. I have not put the radio back in just in case I need to get up under there. You can see the head unit for the radio at left. It uses flexible shafts to adjust the tuning and volume!


Where’s the Key? — 1 Comment

  1. I just bought my first studebaker 1941 champion, Thank you foor taking the time to do your step by step . It will be helpfull in my beginners journey to complet this car .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *