You throw weld like a girl!
Kasia "Kat" Jones is a car builder. And a great one at that. Cars are a hobby for this woman who made her career in the medical field, but she’s got the goods to go pro anytime judging by the workmanship on this 1954 Studebaker Commander, lovingly called “Stew”.
I met Kat and her husband at the Cavalcade of Cars in Hamburg, NY and this ride was one of the key attractions at the show. She held court near Stew for much of the weekend, but I was finally able to pin her down to get the scoop on this build.
She found the car in Ohio when she was looking for a Studebaker truck to build. It was buried in a garage, but she could still see the lines and fell in love with the profile. When they got the car home to New York it was obvious someone tried to modify it before with fenders from a different era Studebaker and Porsche headlights. Kat found the right fenders and headlights and became immersed in the Studebaker community.
“I’m completely self-taught: painting, welding, engine turning, mechanics. I just sought out help on YouTube and Studebaker forums online. Mechanics and medicine are similar in that you diagnose problems in systems, sometimes more than one at a time, to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it.”
The entire build took 11 months to complete. She took the car to Good Guys in Columbus and was shocked that to be invited into the indoor display after an afternoon on the show field. Stew was also a featured build in 2020’s SEMA 360 virtual event and named at Top 30 hot rod.
Stew is powered by a 350 small block with an Edelbrock 4-barrel and backed by a turbo 350 trans. He’s finished in a gorgeous candy root beer with custom lacing on the roof and color contrasting Vision wheels.