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About Quiz #356: 1933 Rockne Model 10

About Quiz #356: 1933 Rockne Model 10
Either this quiz was too easy, or else we gave too many clues. Of 24 entries, no fewer than 19 came up with the right make, and 13 had the exact model and year (and it probably didn't hurt that at least three found this same car in other places on line). It is, of course, Studebaker's companion car Rockne, named for famed Norwegian-born Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne, who was a close friend of Studebaker president Albert Erskine. Erskine appointed Rockne as sales manager for the new car, which was to be built in Detroit, not Studebaker's hometown of South Bend, Indiana.
Rockne, however, died in a plane crash in March 1931, and the car was not introduced until that September, which, with the plastic veil shielding the car from Hershey rain, with the  gave rise to our "ghostly" hints. The "R" on the hubcap must have been visible to some, as other guesses included Roosevelt, which was Marmon's companion make, and Rosengart, which was French.

In the end we chose Arild Heie's answer, which, in addition to the usual Rockne history told us that the its engine lived on in a number of Studebaker models, that about 75 Rocknes were assembled in Norway and that one is owned by a distant Rockne relative. Find below his complee answer and the  list of correct contestants under "read more."

Included here is a close-up of the car's unusual "Startix" contraption. Who can tell us about that?

Arild Heie's full answer:
This is a Rockne produced by Rockne Motors corp in Detroit. The Rockne was in effect a small Studebaker to replace Erskine. Production started in 1932 with two lines: the Rockne 6-65 with 6 cyl 190 engine and 110 in. wheelbase and the Rockne 6-75 with 6 cyl 205 engine and wheelbase 114 in. The car production closed in July 1933 but the engine was used up to 1961 in Studebaker cars ands trucks. The car was named after the famous Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, born in Norway 1888, unfortunately killed in a plane crash 1931.
Rockne was assembled in Norway. Of about 75 assembled there are 5 remaining. One is owned by a distant relative of Knute Rockne.

Also weighing in with correct answers were:
Tony Miller, Gerry Barrett, van den burie christ, Luk Martens, John Elema, Daniel Reuben, E C Klein, Chris, Tony Prebensen, Jur 40, Warren Henderson, Alan Spencer, Anders Svenfelt, Callum Walsh and jury members Mark Dawber, Peter Ransom, Stuart Penketh and Robbie Marenzi.


#6 2013-12-07 11:20
I am pleased to inform you that there exists one Rockne Sedan in India which I saw in the beginning of this week. I heard about this make from this post, and remembered this. So the owner was surprised that I was aware of Rockne. Sweet coincidence and perfect timing.
Cheers Harit
#5 2013-10-26 16:02
I had a 1934 Rover 12 sports saloon which used one of these as the starter solenoid. Earlier models had one of these wired as a Startix (which operated the starter motor when the dynamo ceased charging) - presumably Rover experienced too many instances of the device trying to restart the engine when running - e.g. if the fan belt broke or the dynamo failed.
#4 2013-10-26 13:52
Startix was a contraption added to cars with another contraption, free-wheeling. Free-wheeling was a second clutch, downstream of the transmission, that would release whenever road speed was greater than engine speed, allowing you to shift without stepping on the clutch pedal. Unfortunately, many engines would then stall. Startix was designed to restart the engine when this happened. After about 2 or 3 years of this everyone decided it was a bad idea and most Detroit makers stopped offering free-wheel, and most drivers who had it in their cars had locked it out and bypassed the Startix.
#3 2013-10-26 13:50
I have never heard of a 'Startix' but it has to be a solenoid allowing a small push button starter on the dash (light cables) to make a contact for the heavy cables to the starter.
#2 2013-10-26 11:33
The Startix system was standard equipment on several up-market prewar British cars, including the Triumph Gloria. The operation of the system is adequately explained on various websites but in practice it has usually been bypassed by most owners!
#1 2013-10-26 05:36
Startix Type D 6 volt starting unit by Eclipse Machine Co.
Available from 1932 onwards
The Startix was a Starter motor accessory, which was in full automatic control over the starter motor, which incorporated the "Bendix" drive.
Activated only by turning the Ignition switch to "ON", it would cause the starter motor to crank the engine, until it fired, and the "Bendix" drive disengaged from the engine, at which point the startix would stop the starter motor.
Should the engine stall, the "Startix" would automatically re-engage the starter motor, and restart the engine.
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