The Times Journal & Russell County News
Get online news updates FREE - Subscribe:  [?]

Cruisin': Alfred Hadley's '36 Studebaker
In July 11 Issue
Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

Since the beginning of this Cruise In season, one car has caught the eye of many spectators. I have received many emails asking about the car and it’s owner and history. At the Block Party at Sonic Drive In I caught up with Alfred Hadley of Jamestown, Kentucky and had the pleasure of talking to him about his 1936 Studebaker Dictator Coupe.

Alfred is only the third owner of the car since it was new in 1936.

The vehicle was purchased from George Reitenour. Mr. Reitenour did a lot of race car driving and had a lot of fun with the car before selling it to Alfred. At one point George became ill and parked the car for close to 20 years. He did keep it started and kept up the body and paint but didn’t drive it. It just sat in storage. Alfred wanted to buy the car but for the longest time it was just not for sale. One day out of the blue Alfred was offered the car from George and he has been the proud owner forever since.

This car is something to see in itself but when you learn the history of the car also it’s truly amazing. This car has been entered in 4 Cross Country races over the years, 1987, 1988, 1989 and in 1995, and did quite well. Alfred told me there had been some minor changes made to the vehicle over the years, like changing it from a 6 volt system to a 12 volt. Also the car runs Nitrogen in the tires instead of air so it will maintain even tire pressure.

I was sure a vehicle that had been around that long and been in all those Cross Country races had to have a story or two that came to mind when Alfred thinks about the car. He told me a story that he said he could smile about now but at the time he wondered if he and George or the car would ever see the next day.

In a Cross Country race from Ottawa, Canada to Mexico City he and George were going through Utah. They saw a sign that said there was a seven percent grade in the road ahead for the next 35 miles. George was driving the car at that time which was a blessing because he had a lot of experience driving and sliding into a curve on the race track. This experience came in handy when they started down the 35 mile grade and when George tapped the brake the pedal went to the floor, there were no brakes on the car.

For those of you who have driven out to the State Park from Jamestown you know what that road is like, one curve after another. Well, that’s what George and Alfred were looking at ahead of them, all down hill with NO brakes! It was a two lane road and in many places no guard rail and nothing but a drop off on one side of the road.

George’s experience on the racetrack came in handy as they kept picking up speed as they rolled down the hill. He slid into the curves like he was on that dirt track racing and with the good Lord looking over them, they made it down the grade safely. When they reached the bottom of the hill they had passed cars that were in the race and close to two minuets ahead of them when they first started down the hill.

In one of the other races they were driving along and heard an airplane and seemed like it was awful close to them. They looked up and flying above them by only 15 feet was a crop duster type plane with a camera man taking pictures for the race. This was a little bit close but the pilot knew what he was doing. The next thing they knew, this plane had set down on the road ahead of them and was shooting pictures of them as they drove down the road. The plane stayed on the road ahead of them for about ¼ mile taking pictures before taking off to the air again.

Those were just two of the many stories behind this car and it’s history.

There are many more stories that can be told about the car and it’s owner. When you attend a show and see Alfred and his wife there with the 1936 Studabaker stop by and talk to them. They are really nice people and enjoy talking to others about the car and the experiences they have had with it.

They own eight other Studabakers along with a 1955 Packard and a 1954 Ford Pickup truck.

If your Car Club is having an event and you would like us to tell everyone about or someone who you would like to see featured in this article send all information to,

All information on upcoming events needs to be in at least two weeks before the event.

If your Club or church or group is having an event and you would like to display some classic cars at that event let me know at least two weeks in advance. One or all of the clubs in the area would be more than happy to bring the cars out for you.

Content Management Powered by CuteNews
SUBSCRIBE to The Times Journal: CLICK HERE


You can publish news about your group or organization directly to our site, using your computer.
Visit the award-winning official web site for the Russell County Marching Band.
Lake Cumberland Web Cams LIVE WEB CAMS
Views of Lake Cumberland as it is right now, from a number of web cams.
Official site for Lake Cumberland with everything for the lake visitor and fisherman.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629
Phone: 270-343-5700
David Davenport
Managing Editor:
Greg Wells
News & Sports Editor:
Derek Aaron
Advertising Manager:
Stephanie Smith
Business Manager:
Kim Haydon
Production Manager:
Renee Daffron
Jamestown Office:
Kim Graham
Members of the public may attend meetings. Boards or agencies may schedule other meetings at special times, but are required to notify the public.
FISCAL COURT: 2nd Monday of month, 6 p.m. in the Courthouse
RUSSELL SPRINGS CITY: 2nd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in the City Hall Municipal Room
JAMESTOWN CITY: 3rd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in basement meeting room at City Hall
SCHOOL BOARD: 3rd Monday of month, 6:30 p.m., Board of Education office in Jamestown
LIBRARY BOARD: 2nd Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Jamestown Library
AIRPORT BOARD: 1st Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Airport
TOURISM COMMISSION: 2nd Wednesday of month, 12:30 p.m. at Tourism Office
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: 3rd Tuesday of month, noon at The Cove restaurant
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.
Laker Country WJRS
(Russell Springs)
WKYM-1017 (Monticello)
Adair Progress (Columbia)
Casey County News (Liberty)
Clinton County News (Albany)
Cumberland County News (Burkesville)
Wayne County Outlook (Monticello)
Lexington Herald-Leader
Louisville Courier-Journal
WKYT-TV, Lexington
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.


Choose your service and provider