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Postwar Studebakers

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    edited February 3
    Found something interesting today, with a link repeated elsewhere, and tangentially related to Studebaker, later on. Seattle's original (I assume) Packard dealership building later housed Seattle's first M-B dealership.

    1909:

    image

    2011 (cladding changed, dealer no longer at this location, building has since been gutted and rebuilt, but retains some original shape):



    I also found this fun image of the same dealer, other side of building (cladding different again, but it's the same location):

    image

    I know the dealer where the fintail was sold new was originally a Packard dealer, and I suspect that happened in other cases, too.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,733
    Speaking of the Studebaker-Packard merged entity, here is something that I had never seen before. Clearly based on the Studebaker pickup:


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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 4
    Bunch of stuff to catch up on here!

    1) The Packard pickup--I clearly remember it being exported (Argentina?) to fulfill a Packard dealer's franchise contract.

    2) That M-B dealership building still looks really nice! What happened with the late-'54 Studebaker-Packard merger was--Studebaker had a larger dealer organization and if a town already had each dealer, nothing changed. If a town had a Stude dealer but not Packard (more often the case than the other way around), the Stude dealer picked up Packard. A lot of Packard-only dealers bailed after '56 I've heard, with Edsel being the convenient lifeboat of opportunity. I think a Stude dealer got M-B if they were willing to buy parts, signage, and have their employees trained. While I've heard many good comments from locals about my hometown Stude-Packard-MB dealer, he was still a small-town dealer.

    3) The '63 Chicago Auto Show pic is a great pic; thanks for posting! My favorite car is the Rose Mist Cruiser, with what looks to me to be the optional broadcloth upholstery. The most-elegant, most-European, compact sedan available in the U.S. at the time IMHO and also IMHO the best-looking four-door Studebaker ever built.
    That red Hawk was a one-off and that very car was on display at the Studebaker National Museum a year or so ago....on loan from the owner.

    4) That green '63 Lark Daytona convertible is similar to the Green Mist one in the Auto Show pic. It has so many authenticity nits to pick it's giving me a tic (LOL), but thanks for posting; still sharp!

    5) The '66 postcard is a rare item, but I have one a friend gave me who bought out a dealer in NW NY some years back and part of the deal was an entire box of these. The '66's had flow-through ventilation so where the taillights were on the '65, the extractor vents were placed there, and the taillights placed where the backup lights had been previously. In Jan. '66 Studebaker started chroming the extractor vents. Both '66's I've owned had the chromed ones added later. I used to like that, but wish now my current car had the painted ones on. They're in the trunk but could use paint.

    The Algonquin Green '66 Daytona Sports Sedan on the postcard resembled the one Frances Bavier ('Aunt Bee' on the Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.) owned, and drove on the latter show. I hate that color, personally--reminds me of Chevy's 1969 'Frost Green'.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    edited February 4
    The Seattle MB dealer building also coincides with the departure of Packard, the MB dealer opened there in 1959. I wonder if they just made the transition - I don't know if the existing Packard dealer sold Edsel. I know the Packard dealer in the small town where my mom lives had Edsel.

    This is the building from a 1909 magazine article, I believe the fintail in the little pic I posted is parked just in front of where the big touring car is here:

    image

    The land in the neighborhood where that dealership was located became too valuable for a car dealership - the building was later gutted but the original shell left intact (happens a lot in Seattle, to soothe the feelings of those who don't like to see old buildings razed), and built upwards from there.

    Also makes me think of the building where the fintail was sold new, this was a Packard dealer until 1957, then switched to MB:

    image

    image

    This one is a landmark in the area, and I doubt will be redeveloped anytime soon.

    Packard pickup (I knew about early trucks) is a new one for me.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 4
    A Jet Green (dark metallic green) supercharged '64 Gran Turismo Hawk I'm aware of was sold at that same agency in Santa Monica--Simonson-Schactmeyer.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,975
    edited February 4
    fintail said:



    Packard pickup (I knew about early trucks) is a new one for me.

    Same for myself. I'm still recovering from a Mercury National Convention Dayton Marriot where there was a Mercury pickup truck. Was the Mercury pickup a Canadian thing?

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,733

    fintail said:



    Packard pickup (I knew about early trucks) is a new one for me.

    Same for myself. I'm still recovering from a Mercury National Convention Dayton Marriot where there was a Mercury pickup truck. Was the Mercury pickup a Canadian thing?
    Yes, up until about 1968.

    http://www.mercurypickup.com/mercury-truck-history/

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    Yep, I have some receipts and service book entries in the fintail with that same name, Simonson-Schactmeyer.

    A Jet Green (dark metallic green) supercharged '64 Gran Turismo Hawk I'm aware of was sold at that same agency in Santa Monica--Simonson-Schactmeyer.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    RE.: The Packard pickup--this from the best Studebaker book ever written IMHO:


  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownMember Posts: 1,158

    RE.: The Packard pickup--this from the best Studebaker book ever written IMHO:


    If I may ask, which book is this? TIA.
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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    "The Studebaker Century--A National Heritage" by Asa E. Hall and Richard M. Langworth. Copyright 1983. Out of print; probably locatable on eBay.


  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownMember Posts: 1,158

    "The Studebaker Century--A National Heritage" by Asa E. Hall and Richard M. Langworth. Copyright 1983. Out of print; probably locatable on eBay.


    Thank you, sir.
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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,975
    Pricing in the 60$ for ebay and abebooks.com.

    True to its overpricing form amazon.com has it offered for $260. Currently. That will
    likely go up as more people load the page indicating interest in the product.

    I did find
    A century on wheels, the story of Studebaker; a history, 1852-1952
    by Longstreet, Stephen, 1907-2002

    did show up on an Ohio library group search, but not the one I hoped.
    It may be in the Ohio State library (the library of the State of Ohio).
    But those have to be read on location, IIRC.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 8


    I thought that book sounded familiar to me--I'm ashamed I haven't read it yet. When my good friend and hometown Stude dealer passed in 2018, his daughter sent me three boxes of things the family thought I would want--and they were right! One was that book, signed by my dealer friend. I have to believe Studebaker sent its dealers one. Also stuck in back was a one-page article from Forbes, dated 9/15/67, entitled "Studebaker Corp.: Dreams vs. Reality".

    Incidentally, my dealer friend donated a copy of "The Studebaker Century, A National Heritage" years back, to our hometown public library, with a plate in front inside, in memory of his parents.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 9
    Frances Bavier ('Aunt Bee') from the Andy Griffith Show, and Mayberry R.F.D., actually drove her own 1966 Studebaker Daytona Sports Sedan on Mayberry R.F.D. In this episode, "The Mynah Bird", from 1970 and the last episode Bavier appeared in, the Studebaker is seen in several scenes--At 13:15, 14:58, 16:24, and 18:03.

    1966 was the last year of Studebaker production of course, and there were only a total of 873 Daytona Sports Sedans built that year. I owned one previous to the '66 I own now. Bavier's six-cylinder example was only one of 253 assembled.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4jz3k7
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,975



    I thought that book sounded familiar to me--I'm ashamed I haven't read it yet. When my good friend and hometown Stude dealer passed in 2018, his daughter sent me three boxes of things the family thought I would want--and they were right! One was that book, signed by my dealer friend. I have to believe Studebaker sent its dealers one. Also stuck in back was a one-page article from Forbes, dated 9/15/67, entitled "Studebaker Corp.: Dreams vs. Reality".

    Incidentally, my dealer friend donated a copy of "The Studebaker Century, A National Heritage" years back, to our hometown public library, with a plate in front inside, in memory of his parents.

    Hang on to that. Amazon is offering the hardback copy for $601.23
    https://www.amazon.com/Century-Wheels-Story-Studebaker/dp/B000MMK59C

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Yikes! I had no idea!
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I saw on a media feed that the last episode of Mr. Ed was filmed on this day in 1966. The IMCDB archive of the show is sparse, so enjoy this:



    I didn't watch that show often when it was in syndication when I was a kid. I wonder if any MBs popped up.

    Regarding that book, wonderful artifact of the local dealer, but I will be Debbie Downer: Amazon price algorithms can get a little weird sometimes (Alibris sometimes has wacky prices too).
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 9
    I watched "Mr. Ed" when I was a kid. Every car and truck was a current-model Studebaker--must've been set in northern Indiana, LOL. I do remember the neighbors, the Addisons, having an Avanti but I can't say I remember an M-B, although it would be logical for one to appear. I'm not sure when I was a kid, if I'd have recognized an M-B.

    It's a pretty dumb show, even by sixties standards, LOL. Alan Young, who played Wilbur Post, was a guest of a national S.D.C. meet maybe in the last 20 or 25 years, aboard the Queen Mary I believe. I wasn't there. He spoke and signed autographs. He was supposedly a very friendly fellow, not unlike the Wilbur character.

    Frances Bavier actually belonged to the national Studebaker Drivers' Club for one year--1972, the year she moved to North Carolina. She's actually in the roster, with her address. Apparently didn't derive enough enjoyment to renew.

    My dealer friend told me once that the dealers had to co-op "Mr. Ed". I remember him saying, "I hated that show", LOL.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,368
    History of Studebaker trucks YT.
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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 10
    Thanks for posting.

    A truck I'd seriously like is a '63 or '64 Champ 1/2 ton, has to be the long bed, with the Deluxe cab (funny what passed for "Deluxe" back then, LOL), narrow whitewalls as factory, and in a light color. There was a non-metallic light brown that I like on those for some reason.

    This one has the sliding rear window (part of the 'Deluxe Cab' option), 289, 5-speed overdrive, and Twin Traction. No other domestic pickup was offering the sliding rear window and 5-speed trans at the time.




    I know a guy who has a '63 big (2 ton) Studebaker Diesel that's very cool. It's surprising even to me that Studebaker was still building large trucks that late. They are very, very rare. Here's his:

    https://mystarcollectorcar.com/june-2015-1963-studebaker-2-tona-long-hauler-from-day-one/
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    The character of that Champ just looks newer to me than other '63 pickups.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    Whereas the big truck looks like it is from 1950.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 10
    For sure. That style truck actually came out at Studebaker in '49. They were considered modern then for having the step inside the cab.

    Still amazing to me they were cranking them out until Dec. 1963.

    Big Stude trucks had rounded curves that reminded me of Mack trucks.

    You want to talk old styling--Dodge built the same essential Power Wagon from 1939 to 1968! I still think they're cool. Sort of like the Jeep Station Wagon--'46 or so to '65. I still like those too though.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 12
    One thing I've appreciated in my 30+ years of Stude fandom is how I've met execs and engineers and designers from there....most are now-gone, but not all. Being a small car company (although as I've said, a small car company is still a big company), and being defunct, the museum has had guest speakers and events that if a Big Three fan I'd have never had a similar opportunity to participate in....that, and the archives Studebaker left behind are quite amazing....over 100 years of stuff which I've made appointments to look at a few times over the past 30 years.

    My Dad was always a bit amused and bemused at my Stude fandom, LOL, although he graduated with my friend the Stude dealer and always said he was a nice guy in school and "...always had wheels".
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,826
    That is really great to have had the opportunity to gain insight and perspective from your interactions with past Studebaker executives, dealer/owners, etc. that are not necessarily captured in books or videos. Perhaps a unique angle that you can use to write your own book.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Oh, there are guys out there who could write a far-better book than I. One guy, who's rather the club's historian emeritus, is a retired high school history teacher who was into Studebakers when they were still being built. He met just about everybody at Studebaker while they were still open or shortly or some time afterward. He provided me a 1947 photo of my hometown dealer when I first got into Studes, LOL--he had a copy and he lived in IL (my hometown is in PA). He had dealer lists and in the late sixties and later travelled the country doing cold-call drop-ins to former Stude dealers, and often bought remaining parts inventory, fitting as much as he could in his car or coming back or having parts shipped to his home.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 15
    The red Hawk in the '63 Chicago Auto Show photo ab348 posted above, is shown here a couple years back in the lobby of the Chicago-area building where the "Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals" meet was being held. It's the same car and was also on display at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend a year or so ago. The wire wheels were not available from the factory, and the black-painted roof section was not a factory option but did show the way for the optional '64 vinyl Sports Roof option to come.


  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 17
    Hawks had a 120.5 inch wheelbase--longer than a full-size Chevy, and considerably longer than a Thunderbird of the same era. I think they don't look that large, due to being low, not wide, not having much overhang, and having simple lines.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 18
    South Amboy, NJ dealership. 1965 models; Christmastime '64.

    Stude dealers who held on this long tended to be small dealers. I'd like to be able to walk in a dealership this size these days. Very rare to find a photo like this, of a dealer in that time where Studebaker was losing dealers. They went from 1,915 U.S. dealers in December '63 to 450 by mid-March '66.

    Resistance to all cars being made in Canada; GM engines; and Hawks, Avantis, and trucks gone. Also, no more convertibles or two-door hardtops for '65. I'd venture to say that only the Studebaker very loyal types bought them. I assume it was hard to sell a Studebaker in South Bend during these times, although the Corporate office and factory parts stash was still there, which is more than can be said about any other car manufacturer there.

    Still a fan of the size and character of these last cars. The red Daytona would have had a high-quality, smooth, leather-like vinyl with buttons, bucket seats standard.


  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Small bragging point for Stude in '65 was that the Daytona Sports Sedan (pictured) had transistorized ignition standard.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Pics like the above always remind me of the Bob Seger line: "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then".
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    My mom still puts up an aluminum tree every year, color wheel and all.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,733
    fintail said:

    My mom still puts up an aluminum tree every year, color wheel and all.

    Back in the '60s we had that exact setup. I loved the color wheel as a kid. Wish it was still around.

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    They can still be found without much hassle (around here anyway), but I've seen antique dealer/flipper types wanting hundreds of dollars for a setup, and apparently they can get it.

    My mom has always been into that kind of decor, when I was younger I'd buy every aluminum tree I saw at yard sales, and give them to her as kind of a gag gift. She probably had over 10 at one point. She gave most of them away, as others wanted them - now that they have some value, that's even more amusing.

    Come to think of it, this is Christmas before last - she'll put up a small aluminum tree, a big one with color wheel, and a "real" (fake) tree:


    ab348 said:



    Back in the '60s we had that exact setup. I loved the color wheel as a kid. Wish it was still around.

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,826
    edited February 23
    My grandmother had the silver tree and color wheel. I loved it. She gave it to me later and I used it for years. My friends would laugh at it (me?), I thought it was fun. A significant other made me get rid of it and go with a traditional tree. I wish I had kept it just not put it up!

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 198,916
    My aunt had the silver tree and wheel, when I was in grade school. I always thought it was cool. After we'd leave their house, my mother (her sister) would always comment on how it was tacky. :D

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 24
    We always had a live tree when I was a kid, with the large, multi-colored lights and glass ornaments in different colors. My mother tended to overdo the tinsel application. I never thought a whole lot about the aluminum trees, but fin, your Mom's tree looks great. Really captures in my mind and heart, a period in time. Nostalgic fool here, LOL.

    We get a live tree now, but my wife is into all white lights and very few multi-colored glass ornaments. Bit of a snooze.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    edited February 24
    My mom's style is definitely in the past, Studebaker-era, if you will - a longtime hobbyist antique dealer and collector, I think the things are a link to her youth (she also has a thing for the "Saturn" style lamps in the background). At one time she even had an oddball maybe 50s era tree stand that rotated and played music, but I think it wasn't stable, so she doesn't use it. She's in her 70s now and this year will be moving house, as her current place needs too much updating, and she can afford the "last house" now, might as well do it and be set. She probably has 4000 sq ft of stuff in a 1500 sq ft house, so it will be fun.

    Here's something not seen every day, on this Australian dashcam channel, a Hawk has a close call (start at ~5:12, as the time-specific link doesn't seem to work today):

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    LOL. Studes are liked in OZ; three of my old ones are there.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I think Stude had a decent export business back in the day. I think in Oz, prewar Graham cars were a big thing, too.

    That Hawk is an interesting color combo.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,826

    LOL. Studes are liked in OZ; three of my old ones are there.

    Spokesperson had a broad vocabulary, lol

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 25
    I'll be curious to see what this car brings, as it's the same model as I own. These are far-from the most-valuable Studebakers, but there were only 2,258 Cruisers, six and eight (1,844 eights), built for the '66 model year. This car has probably had more done to it than mine (why didn't they install the buttons in the NOS upholstery? You can buy them cheaply from a Stude parts vendor!).

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1966-studebaker-cruiser-2/

    Authenticity nit: Cruisers didn't have chromed roof gutters.

    This car is earlier than mine but someone along the way, like mine, installed the Jan. '66 update of chromed rear flowthrough ventilation extractors. I don't like that. My painted ones are in the trunk but need paint. Cleaner in body color I think.

    Roomy interior in reasonable-sized exterior, and nice seating among cars of that size, that year, IMHO; rare and the final model year. First Studebaker products were built in South Bend in 1852. I bought mine for the "workability" of the 283, although that's the only issue I've had with the car so far, LOL.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,826
    @uplanderguy , your Cruiser shows much better than this one, especially your interior. The surround around the gauges looks dirty, some chrome pitting, tired. The aftermarket AC doesn't look good or fit well. I imagine it is easy to bang a knee against the corner of the unit. ouch

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Thanks. My car I'm pretty sure is original paint, and it has patina, but I prefer the color to the dark blue.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I like the color of your car, too.

    Saw this elsewhere, apparently this facility in Seattle also sold Studebaker later on - pic is from 1952. Cool to see a couple of clean looking prewar cars in the lineup:

    image
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I have a suspicion this was once a Studebaker dealer (pic is from maybe 1961-62):

    image
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 27
    I think a stand-alone M-B dealer in that period would've been unusual except in the largest cities, but I'm guessing. Googling, I think this dealer was in Meriden, CT (I'd been there with work in the late eighties; rough town by then). The list of Stude dealers supplied by readers on the SDC forum doesn't show any in Meriden, but there would've had to be one I think. I've got somebody on it! LOL

    I think I mentioned this, but a guy I know wrote a book about Byers Burlingame, the last president of Studebaker and the guy who made the South Bend shutdown announcement along with the Board. Information in the museum archives indicates that he went to Germany to meet with M-B officials about getting out of the agreement as the North American distributor for 'Benz, and no one there would meet him! One might think it would've been the other way around. The 'disconnect' did occur in 1965.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I found a listing for a "Wheeling Motors" Stude franchise in Wheeling WV, but I suspect the market for Adenauers, 220SE cabrios and 300SL roadsters was much more in CT than WV.

    I think right around 1965, MB must have had the sales volume and customer loyalty to think they could do it on their own. Certainly by the time V8 cars hit the market around 1970, they had no problem selling everything they brought over.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited February 28
    I had always heard at the time the Avanti's rear window was the biggest in the industry, but this pic I saw today shows one without it. I like Avantis in what was this subtle color, which was called "Avanti Gold" and very similar to Chevy's "Fawn Beige". Almost comical without the rear window.
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