Postwar Studebakers

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Comments

  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    I have the black 1950 convertible with the tan top and the gold and white 1957 Hawk. I believe Danbury changed the colors since I received these. I think they may now also have a light green 1950 Champion coupe.
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    My girlfriend got me the 1953 red & while hardtop for Christmas. My Avanti is actually Franklin Mint. These are a few from 10 years ago. image Schrock Brothers made the truck and Lark.">
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,979
    Dinky and Corgi both had a few nice Studebaker toys back in the day...Matchbox only had a Wagonaire, but it was pretty cool for its size and price.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    Here's a really pretty (IMHO) '64 Wagonaire--a real one, though:

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?47728-Open-air-Picnic-Cand- y

    I like it much better than the same year Valiant, Falcon, or Chevy II wagon.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2011
    Very cute car, although I wonder why they put the sunroof in the wrong place? Maybe to accommodate the roof rack? Since nobody ever imitated this design, one suspects it wasn't such a good idea.

    Well I guess you could bring the Christmas tree home in it. :P
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    We've had this discussion before, but GMC did copy it, actually requesting Wagonaire blueprints from the Studebaker National Museum archives at the very beginning of the process. But it wasn't successful for them either.

    Mainstream=successful, but oftentimes, boring.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well cars ARE supposed to be somewhat functional. You can't make money running an automotive art show.

    Well you never know what might "catch on" until you build one, that's true---in this case, wrong guess.

    I think the idea is very interesting, and fun to look at, but also totally whacko.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...was to have a retracting roof ala the Wagonaire, hence the fluted rear portion of the roof. The feature never made it to production because of prototype roof leaks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    It's like with gull wing doors. If you aren't Mercedes, don't build them.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,979
    edited January 2011
    Yep, cooler than those other wagons.

    The Matchbox version was cool too, even had the retractable roof panel

    image
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    I have the Matchbox Wagonaire, but sans the hunter and dogs, sadly! I also have the Corgi Wagonaire with the TV cameraman standing in the back.

    Even as a kid, the Wagonaire was my favorite Matchbox. I was a closet Studebaker buff then!

    The UPI did use Wagonaires as camera cars. I'll have to look for a link of a pic to post.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh that's a use I never thought of...that might make a very good camera car!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    Here's a 15-sec. clip of JFK and Jackie zipping by a Wagonaire...someone close to them had one!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjsDd--MJxs
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    The white Wagonaire in the earlier link sold for $18,500 on eBay, I was reminded by later posts in the same link. I do remember that it was on eBay, probably two years ago.
  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    Hopefully this has not a repeat:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOm5P1AkUi4
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    The sliding roof was a good idea that should have been copied by other automakers. It was funny to see the dog and young child sitting in the back without seatbelts with roof open and the back window down. If that happened today in California, the parents would at least get a ticket for no seatbelt on the kid and might get arrested for child endangerment too.

    A friend gave me the two DVDs of Studebaker TV commercials for Christmas available from the Studebaker National Museum. It was fun to see Mike Wallace and Tom Bosley in Studebaker commercials. Other actors in Studebaker commercials or printed ads were James Mason, Art Linkletter, Red Skelton and Zsa-Zsa Gabor. Clint Eastwood and George Burns were on Mr. Ed too. It was a very popular show at the time.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Wow, that was a cool commercial and the tune is very catchy!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    I posted this elsewhere with no response, so maybe it's more interesting to me than the general old-car guy (!), but an article I wrote about meeting the original owners of my '63 Lark Daytona Skytop that's "Avanti Powered" (per the front fender badges!) is on page 42 of the Feb. Hemmings, on newsstands and in supermarket magazine racks now. Other than hating the picture of me (!), they included a color 1964 photo of the original owner and her kids getting into the Daytona. Just for what it's worth.
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    edited January 2011
    The UPI did use Wagonaires as camera cars. I'll have to look for a link of a pic to post

    Studebaker used Wagonaires as camera cars in some of their TV commercials where they were advertised as platforms for moving cameras.

    Most of them were shot at the Studebaker proving grounds. Nice image here. http://www.pbase.com/redtop/image/81902560"
    I believe that it is still the largest sign in the world.

    While I was looking for the Wagonaire camera commercials, I found Tom Bosley (Mr. Howard Cunningham in Happy Days) in a 1956 Stude commercial here. He just died very recently.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVdKKne8_hk
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    edited January 2011
    I am aware that one sale does not make a market, but I think it's interesting to note that this is a record for a Golden Hawk, and in this economy.....

    The $99K selling price was before commissions/fees.

    Someone posted on the SDC forum that he'd seen the car and it would not have garnered a first-place award at a Studebaker Drivers' Club national meet judging.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2011
    Bizarre---that's about triple the market. Well, more drinks for the bidders!

    Actually if this was a spectacular frame-off restoration done to extreme standards, then the builder didn't make any money, even at that price. Scary thought, what superb restorations cost these days.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    Cost to restore may not have been that high...as we've discussed, Studebaker has a lot more NOS and I'd also say reproduction stuff, including trim, than any other independent. Here are some photos of SASCO in South Bend, before their NOS inventory was sold to other Stude parts vendors (mostly Studebaker International):

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?16100-Photos-from-SASCO-(lots-of-big-pix)&highlight=sasco+sheetmetal

    My brother-in-law bought NOS rear quarters for his '56 Hawk there about three years ago--about $600 for both if I remember correctly.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2011
    Well it's the labor that costs the most in restoring a car. If you do it yourself, you've eliminated perhaps 50% of the cost (presuming you will still farm out some things).

    Generally, an over-the-top, unheard of, never to be seen again price like that is probably indicative of a professionally restored car to amazing standards.

    You can't spend less than $75000 these days if you turn your car over to a restoration shop, and that would be for a relatively plentiful and well-known type of car.
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    edited January 2011
    I am astounded (but not dismayed) at the price of that Golden Hawk.

    The only Golden Hawk I expected to see selling for anythhing near that price would be the one now owned by Roger Ebert. Here is a great article about Roger and his Hawk. http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/12/ive_got_the_sweetest_set_of_wh.html

    I really enjoyed the part where he says he enjoyed driving it with his left elbow hanging out the window. My Commander has the same body and with that big steering wheel, that is the most comfortable way to drive it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Do you have a description and photos of the expensive Hawk? Maybe we can figure out what happened.
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    Uplander guy found the Hawk that sold for $99K. I don't know more about it than he does, but after reading the end of the Roder Ebert article he seems to indicate that he sold his and maybe it is the same one that sold for $99K.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    Here's a small photo of it on Barrett-Jackson's site. It spanked similar-condition '50's GM and Mopar coupes during the same sale.

    http://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/2-features/editorials/1010-barrett-jackson-day- -3-lost-in-the-fifties-and-happy-about-it.html
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Here's a comment from one guy who was there:

    "Since I saw the GH in person I will state that this is a crazy amount of money for that car. It would not be capable of garnering a first place at an SDC International meet."
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    I read that very comment on the Studebaker Drivers' Club forum.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Ah, well, just another bit of B-J lunacy. If he tried to turn around and sell that same car this week on the private party market he'd get half or less.
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    edited January 2011
    Now that I see that the $99K Hawk is red, it could not be Roger Ebert's Hawk. Nobody in their right mind would repaint Roger Ebert's gold 1957 Golden Hawk red.

    At the bottom of the Ebert article is a video clip from the movie "Held Up." Lots of nice images there, but the 8-track tape player is definitely wrong. That movie used two Golden Hawks and my friend owns one of them here. He and his wife are directly behind the car.
    image
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    I like both of those, although personally I'd probably pick a different color than white for the GT.

    I'm not sure, but back in the mid fifties I'm thinking the Hawk was a series of lines topped off by the Golden Hawk, then Silver Hawk and then plain old Hawks?
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    This is the best page I have seen for explaining the different models of Studebaker Hawks. http://www.1956goldenhawk.com/diffhawk.htm
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Lunacy is a good word for that.

    A bunch of boozed up bidders with egos and more money than they know what to do with coached on by the floor people.

    I wonder how many of those "bidders" are shills?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2011
    hard to say what's a real bid and what's a "chandelier" bid as we call them. Also there are owner buy-backs.

    If similar cars sell 20X at B-J for that same money, then I take notice that a new plateau might in fact be established---but a 1X fluke doesn't really relate to the real world.

    I remember one year when some guy paid more for a reproduction Duesenberg than for the real thing. We buzzed about that for weeks. :surprise:
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Thanks - even more 56 Hawk variants than I thought. I had forgotten about those pillared coupes with the little, tiny rear windows. IIRC the latter Hawk GTs were a marvelous Brooks Stevens effort at really pretty small change to develop. I may be a minority, but I actually prefered them inside and out to the Avanti, not that those weren't nice too, but I always felt the GT had classic design.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I really liked my GT Hawk. Drove that car all over the west coast, the nevada desert, Colorado mountains. It was very handsome, very reliable, very comfortable. The only down side was that it handled poorly, but then, so did most 60s cars. If I ever got another one, I'd definitely modify the suspension and brakes and I'd rebuild all the window channels. It rattled very badly.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    I know others will disagree, but I've always liked Avantis. Over the past few years, though, I've come to appreciate the GT Hawk more and more...especially the '64 model, with its revised wheel covers, denuded trunk lid, and optional front-half-only vinyl top. I would love one in a dark color, and would take one over an Avanti. The GT Hawk seems more like 'an old car' which is what I think you want when you drive an old car!

    Brooks Stevens did fine work for Studebaker the last few years. Styling is subjective of course, but I think the '62 and '63 Larks seem more 'upscale' in general than everybody else's compacts at the time, and the '64 still looks good IMHO by even later standards. All done on a shoestring by Mr. Stevens.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    Here's a photo ad for the '64 Hawk...I'd love to own this real car:

    http://photos.aaca.org/showimage.php?i=22806&c=505
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2011
    The GT Hawk has aged very well but the Avanti looks worse and worse as time goes on, for some reason.

    This is what is meant by "classic styling". If it's "classic" it doesn't start to look dated and odd to the modern eye.

    To be fair about it, the "new" Avantis are far worse---they are really hideous to me. The older ones are more "pure".

    If the Avanti had a different nose on it, it might even be handsome.

    I think the styling is what has held the car back in value for so long. Values have been stagnant for a long time and it's not an easy car to sell at a decent price. You can still buy very nice ones for the price of a KIA.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    edited January 2011
    Avantis were high right out of the box for a Studebaker, as used cars 40 or more years ago. Hawks eclipsed them in the past decade or maybe two. An acquaintance who sells nothing but Studebakers on eBay and has sold a ton, including for other people, told me in an email two weeks ago that in his experience R2's are always in demand, and that R2 Larks are strong...probably even higher than R2 Hawks. Must be the "sleeper" nature of Larks.

    I think some of the Avanti pricing stagnation is, to me it really doesn't look like an old car. I mean, it has curved side glass and very minimal trim. Most didn't have any optional wheels and the colors were muted. People who like lots of glitz (like many who like old cars) won't find it in an Avanti. I've heard in Studebaker circles that the Avanti, compared to a lot of other cars of the period, is like the simple black dress with single strand of pearls. Personally, I agree, although like the GT Hawk more even though its age is more apparent.

    Ironically, I got a card in the mail today from a woman in Leawood, KS. All I can think of is that she must have gotten my name from Feb's Hemmings Motor News which I had an article in. She asked me if I had any of the old "Studebaker News" dealer newsletter as she was pictured in one with the new Avanti she bought in college as a twenty-year-old. She named the dealership in Grand Forks, ND. For some reason it all sounded familiar to me. I own only three issues of that newsletter, and by God, her (small) photo, getting the keys from the dealer, is in one of the three and the article underneath notes that she was the first delivery of an Avanti in North Dakota! Small world. I plan on sending the magazine to her gratis.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    edited January 2011
    To my eyes, this is a handsome original Avanti--but then, I'm typically not a fan of bulk, small rear wheel openings or skirts, pastel colors, fake scoops, or tons of chrome.

    http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/237/4784/25592391671_large.jpg

    Both the Avanti and Hawk were utilizing "long hood, short deck" styling while GM was still doing the "short hood, long deck" thing.
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    edited January 2011
    I agree with everything Uplander guy said about the 1964 Avanti and Hawk. It is hard to choose between the two and I believe that 1964 Studebaker model line was the best ever. (I would include the ‘64 Daytona convertible to that short list of my favorite Studebakers.) I found that the Avanti is the better car to be driven quickly on the open road in a cold climate, especially at night. The hardtop Hawk is the better car to cruise on a dry, warm, sunny day.

    Whenever a different or "radical" car design appears, people tend to love or hate it, with few neutral opinions. I posted this link before, but here is a list of rich and famous people who loved the Avanti http://wizbangpop.com/2009/07/09/cars-of-the-stars-the-great-studebaker-avanti.p- - - - - - - - hp

    There were only two models of American cars that stayed in production long after their parent company died - the 1937 “coffin nose” Cord 810 and the Studebaker Avanti. Some might say, “What could be uglier than a car that looks like a rolling coffin?” Others would say, “Wow, I really like that!” These two cars were never intended for everyone.

    This page has many nice images of Avantis and Hawks.
    http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/Studebaker/Hawk.html The final image is of a gold 2005 Avanti that is owed by my neighbor who encourages me to park my 1955 Commander hardtop in front of his house. (He likes them both too.)

    The Avanti was first introduced in 1962, and forty-three years later, people were still trying to build and sell a car that looks like it. I would say that qualifies it as a “classic” design.
  • jljacjljac Member Posts: 649
    edited January 2011
    This is a handsome 1964 Studebaker Daytona . http://billstudepage.homestead.com/files/mzm64con.jpg
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    I think that's a good-looking '64 convert too, although it looks like it's time for front springs! I dislike the bright reds of that general time period, but Stude's Bordeaux Red is a little darker and I do like it. Have you been to the Studebaker National Museum? They have the '64 Daytona Hardtop in that same color that was last car off the line in South Bend. It's a NOS Stude with 28 miles on it. Studebaker donated the car to the city and it's been in storage ever since.

    I have a Strato (dark) blue '64 Daytona Hardtop. I've posted this link before, but here are my two Studes:
    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?16626-Bill-Pressler-s-63-a- nd-64-Daytonas&daysprune=-1
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    edited January 2011
    Here's my favorite color Avanti, and shows the rear view, highlighting the rear window which was largest in the industry at that time.

    Disc brakes, fastest production car at the time as verified by U.S.A.C., three-speed automatic which could be shifted manually through three forward gears, full instrumentation, and seats four. OK in my book!

    http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/studebaker-avanti-6.jpg
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    $17,250, and it has weak paint and wheel covers with incorrect black paint applied.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290517569797
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    A small thing that's nice about Studebaker instruments in the later years, was that they used glass bezels and real metal surrounds, instead of plastic for both as was used by most everybody else at that time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well that's pretty cheap for a 60s "muscle car" don't you think? That's Camaro base V-8 money.

    I think what killed Avanti values was the regrettable attempts to reproduce the car on and on and on by independent people. They just made the car worse and worse, not better and better, unlike say the Cobra reproductions which keep the original's styling and often improve the mechanicals tremendously.

    In the fake-Cobra case, these repros enchance the public's love of the original; in the fake-Avanti case, I feel it degraded it.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    To compare with a Camaro is truly apples-and-oranges, when one compares the mainstream car buff to an independent car buff....soooooo many more people are into Mustangs and Camaros. Certainly nothing in '63 from AMC will touch it for value, and I'd think no hardtop from Chrysler in that period, short of a Wedge or Hemi, would approach that value.
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