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Postwar Studebakers

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    If the MB described by the old building is the decaying Ponton I saw on my visit to the area, it's likely a 220S - a higher line/6cyl car. I checked the pics from the trip, and the rear badge was missing.

    I recall when I visited the Stude museum, there was a Citroen DS cabrio on display - gotta mix it up a little. A-C-D and Gilmore are definitely worth the trip, and for something a little out of the ordinary, the Motorhome/RV "hall of fame"/museum in Elkhart was an interesting diversion, too.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821
    Yes, we are also going to the Gilmore Museum as well as the Cord/A/D museum. I'm sure my wife will be rather tired of cars, but she's a good sport.

    For dinner our one night in South Bend we were planning to go to Carmela's, which sounds like a more casual Italian place that might be more our cup of tea. The Tippecanoe restaurant sounded maybe a little formal for us, but do you recommend it? We are also going to visit Macri's Italian Bakery for snacks on our way to the Gilmore.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    I've not heard nor been to Carmela's. I have been to Tippecanoe a handful of times over the years, and it is formal. Typically when I go out (and it's been a couple years), I go out Route 20 and eat at Amish places in Shipshewana or Nappanee. While there, the last couple times, a group of us has just gone to Texas Roadhouse, good but not unique of course.

    A South Bend place that I hear people really talk about enjoying is Barnaby's, which apparently is a sit-down pizza place that's been there for decades. I've not been there though.

    I did go to "Studebagels" once, up near Notre Dame, LOL.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Ben, brief story on my '66.

    I'd been without a Stude for about five years and wanted another. I'm not the remotest mechanic; in fact, I take it someplace for an oil change, so I thought one with a Chevy engine (Studes in '65 and '66 used the 283 V8 that had Power-Pack heads and were used in Canadian Pontiacs and trucks, I'm told--I'm sure they were what GM offered to sell Studebaker) would be better for me to get serviced. Ironically, I have had a couple not-too-major engine issues with it, LOL.

    I put a cold-call out on the Studebaker Drivers' Club forum online, looking for a '65-66 Cruiser. I wanted a four-door as one would be cheaper to buy, and they also had thicker-gauge frames, confirmed by the Shop Manual. A fellow said he had a 25.7K mile one that he was thinking of selling at that year's International Meet in South Bend but didn't have it advertised yet. He had, also, a '63 Cruiser he drove daily but said this '66 was too nice to drive with any regularity. It was 30 miles south of Indianapolis. I had a good friend of mine, Stude guy, go look at it (he lived near Indy) and gave me a glowing review of its condition, so I bit. And I think I paid fairly. It's far from the most-collectible Stude, but it's by-far in the best original condition of any of the four Studebakers I've owned.

    It had new-car paperwork in the glovebox. Between that, and what I could get from the Archives at the Studebaker National Museum, I saw that the original owners were born in 1904 and 1905 and traded in a '53 Studebaker for it in April '66, a month after production ended. The car was sold new in Grand Junction, Colorado. The guy I bought it from had bought it from a guy in FL who said it had been there thirty years. I don't know the rest of that story. I found the original owners' son in Springfield, MO, born 1934. I sent him a brief letter with photos of the car and a S.A.S.E. I heard nothing back.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,826
    Great story. Too bad you didn't hear anything back from the son, that would have really been interesting.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Yeah, I realize of course that most people aren't car people, but if I heard from someone who had a car my Dad had owned, I'd definitely respond.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I'd love it if someone contacted me about the old Fords my dad had in the 90s, or any other cars I recall from childhood. I suspect the oldies survive somewhere, but the normal modern cars of the era (Horizon, S10 Blazer, Grand Caravan, etc) probably don't exist today.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited April 29
    Going to South Bend reminds me of going in my 'early days' of my hobby; late '80's and into the '90's. I still like to go into Indiana on U.S. 20, where I'd see the occasional Studebaker truck or car alongside houses and in yards, "outstanding in their field". I even remember a '59 or '60 Lark parked in the employee parking at the tollbooth at the Ohio-Indiana line on my way home one year.

    Ahh, those days when people felt compelled to buy local.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    Back in those days, my dad and I would drive around the back roads and alleys looking for old cars - amazing amount of old material still waiting to be claimed well into the 90s. Benefit of a gentle climate. That's how the 60 was "discovered" - my dad's work was walking distance, and on a walk to work, he noticed the car sitting between a house and garage, unsued, weeds growing under it, etc. I remember we walked by it several times, and he finally decided to knock on the door, the owner was happy to see it go.

    The "buy local" idea might be part of why imported cars were more embraced on the coasts, where there isn't much of a local auto industry.

    Going to South Bend reminds me of going in my 'early days' of my hobby; late '80's and into the '90's. I still like to go into Indiana on U.S. 20, where I'd see the occasional Studebaker truck or car alongside houses and in yards, "outstanding in their field". I even remember a '59 or '60 Lark parked in the employee parking at the tollbooth at the Ohio-Indiana line on my way home one year.

    Ahh, those days when people felt compelled to buy local.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    When I would first go to South Bend, which isn't really that big as a city, I was always thinking "Hard to believe cars and trucks were designed and built here", compared to Detroit. AMC built in Kenosha, WI, but after the merger with Hudson their Corporate facilities were in Detroit. You got just a few miles outside of South Bend and it's like the Indiana scene with the cropduster in "North by Northwest", LOL.

    My friend with the Super Hawk was into Studebakers when new (in fact, owned a new '60 Lark VIII Regal convertible) and told me once he would go to buy parts at the big warehouse on the south side of South Bend, when it was still run by Studebaker (through '72). He said he was buying parts there once after driving in from NE OH, and was behind an old local farmer in overalls who was buying parts to keep his Stude truck working. He talked to him for a little bit I guess. I can just picture the exchange.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    edited April 29
    Yeah, from what I remember of my trip to that area, amazing to think such manufacturing existed there, or even the smaller scale in Auburn. Kenosha can be seen as like an outlying Chicago or Milwaukee suburb, too.

    When I would first go to South Bend, which isn't really that big as a city, I was always thinking "Hard to believe cars and trucks were designed and built here", compared to Detroit. AMC built in Kenosha, WI, but after the merger with Hudson their Corporate facilities were in Detroit. You got just a few miles outside of South Bend and it's like the Indiana scene with the cropduster in "North by Northwest", LOL.

    My friend with the Super Hawk was into Studebakers when new (in fact, owned a new '60 Lark VIII Regal convertible) and told me once he would go to buy parts at the big warehouse on the south side of South Bend, when it was still run by Studebaker (through '72). He said he was buying parts there once after driving in from NE OH, and was behind an old local farmer in overalls who was buying parts to keep his Stude truck working. He talked to him for a little bit I guess. I can just picture the exchange.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    Saw that white Lark hardtop again yesterday, noticed it is on wide whites

    Which makes me think of this for sale locally - if you're going to ask top dollar, please provide correct looking tires, those in the market for such a car are turned off by lack of attention to detail. I suspect seller spent some money and now feels entitled to some profit, good luck bud.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited April 30
    That Speedster sticks in my craw for several reasons. At that price it ought to be better than it is.

    First, it's a 'President Speedster', not a 'Speedster Presidential', LOL.

    The wheel opening moldings are from a later Hawk. The exhaust looks terrible and is missing the unique Stude tips. The normally-chromed backup lights are painted on this car.

    The interior was a low-buck reproduction I'd wager. Now, I know diamond-tufted leather would be an expensive reupholstery job, but sheesh. At $3,253, Speedsters had door armrests, LOL.

    Speedsters were a fairly-low production car (2,215 built), but it seems like a lot have been preserved and/or restored. The yellow and green, I can't stand, but there are nice gray and white and gray and pink ones out there.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,826
    I was not impressed in the least by that President Speedster, The color is awful, just seems very rough around the edges. It appears the back bumper is warped. At that price, must be a good pipe dream.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I kind of like the wacky color combo - not pretty, but I have seen similar weird things in that era. Good to know the price is really laughable given the finish work and accuracy. I could see that money for a really concours car, but this aint it.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    There was an older couple near me, well-off friends of a Stude friend of mine, who bought a 'lemon and lime' as they're known, Speedster at an auction and it was in beautiful original condition, in and out. For awhile, until their health failed, the wife wore a matching yellow and green outfit when they'd take it to meets--including South Bend. She was a friendly, outgoing lady from Germany.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821
    edited May 2
    My wife and I have returned from our little Indiana extravaganza trip, which included visits to art museums, parks, as well as car museums. And so after years of thinking about it we visited the Studebaker Museum in South Bend. Great museum. I took lots of pix, some of which I'll share, but I'll try not to post too many in any one day. The museum building itself is pretty new, dating from 1994—and looking even newer. I wonder how the millions were raised for it, and also what the collection was in before this relatively new building opened. The first car in the exhibits is a postwar Studebaker, but I'm guessing it's okay to post some prewar Studebaker pix in this thread too. This pacecar is called a replica, although I assume the car itself is genuine, it's just the paint scheme calling it a pacecar that's a copy.

    The size of this 1952 Studebaker seems significantly smaller than an equivalent Pontiac or Mercury of the era, which I assume meant that with the V-8 it was a pretty good performer for the time.

    My 80+ year old Mom reminded me that her parents owned a post-World War II Studebaker, although I think it was more like a 1948-50 model. I'll try to ask her if she remembers the exact year of it, but she called it a "frontward-backward" car because the styling was somewhat similar front and back.

    PS I wonder how old the tires on this car are, how long tires last in museum conditions—and how often they need to add air.








    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Glad you enjoyed it. I support that museum and have since it opened in that building in 2005.

    The museum released this video yesterday; apparently they had a "Cars and Coffee" meet there early Sat. morning, well-attended per the video and cars besides Studebakers there as well:

    https://www.facebook.com/StudebakerMuseum/videos/486326792716018

    Studebakers were never as wide as the competition, and in the Lark era were considered compact cars although they had interiors that were as roomy as earlier full-size Studebakers.

    I think such is the advanced styling that came out in '47, as the '52's, the last model year for the basic body, to my eyes looked as contemporary as anything else '52 on the domestic market.

    The Starlight coupes of '47-52, with the large wraparound rear window, were often said to look the same 'coming and going'.

    If you saw a 1994 cornerstone at the museum, that's earlier than I remember, but I do seem to remember the South Bend 'History Museum' was there first and the Studebaker National Museum was added and opened in 2005. Prior to that, the Studebaker National Museum was located in the former Freeman-Spicer Studebaker/M-B dealership building on S. Main St., just before the railroad overpass in front of the Studebaker Corp. Administration Building. That building was neat in many ways, but was falling apart. Bricks were falling down onto the sidewalks there.

    Much (but not all) of the museum's current collection was stored in a floor of the Administration Building, when Studebaker was still open. After that building was no longer used, a portion of it contained the collection and one weekend a month it was open for visits. In 1983 the former Freeman-Spicer building opened as the Studebaker National Museum.

    Much funding for the current building was taken up by private donations but also by the State of Indiana. Many people wanted the former Administration Building to be the 'new' museum, but the city and state and others deemed it unfit for storage of the collection, so far as climate control, etc. Much funding offered by the state required it to be built in the current neighborhood, which was somewhat of a urban-renewal project. The neighborhood there looks nice now I think.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,975
    edited May 2
    That video of the cruise in. WOW.

    Don't see Studebakers like that around my area.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    Need to get a group in late 50s/early 60s MBs to show up at a Stude facility meet, they'd be relevant.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Agree on the M-B idea. In fact I think a temporary display of them at the museum would be wholly appropriate.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821
    edited May 3
    The earliest Studebaker in the collection is from 1857. The hearse is from 1863. The barouche with Lincoln was actually made by another company.






    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Just a FB pic from this morning that I think is rather striking. 1949 pickup. Looks smoother than most pickups of the same year, due to the hidden running board/step (inside the door) and lack of a rolled edge on the pickup bed (although the bed is double-walled).


  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I can see why that gen of Stude pickups has some desirability, as it appears just a size smaller than the big 3. Sky in that pic looks like the photoshop trickery used by our beloved real estate industry when listing in a cloudy area.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821

    For about ten years in the early 1900s Studebaker was making electric cars, gas cars, and horse-drawn vehicles of various kinds.







    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623

    Our Ohio Region Studebaker Drivers' Club chapter has 'adopted' "Peg", above. I've "adopted" the 1928 Commander Roadster in the museum, in memory of my late friend and hometown Studebaker dealer, Ed Filer.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821
    edited May 4

    I'm not sure if I got a photo of your adopted 1928 Commander Roadster, but if by any chance I did please point it out. Or maybe you could post a pic of it? I loved how big the door was on this first one.




    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,733

    I would guess it is fairly well-known in the Studebaker/Avanti community that Alice Cooper owns a 1963 Avanti, white with turquiose interior. But here is an interesting tale of the back story of that car:

    https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/classic-cars/a36289737/alice-cooper-1963-studebaker-avanti

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited May 4

    I say this all the time, but mirrors put out on the fenders on Avantis to me are a personal affront, LOL. Like or hate the car, the shape is smooth and trim level is simple and clean, and those just stick out like a sore thumb!
    The Avanti's serial no. is only four digits after an "R", so it's not hard for someone to remember a specific Avanti that left an impression on them. There's a video of a guy who had a very nice, authentically restored '64 turquoise Avanti and when he bought it he recognized the serial no. as the car he was assigned in Studebaker's New York Zone Office. Seems hard to believe, but even I remember his car's serial no. as R-4892, LOL. In person it was striking.
    Despite his shtick, Alice Cooper seems like a pretty together guy. In the past week or so I saw a pic of him on Facebook, not looking at the camera, but working a food kitchen somewhere. It was funny, kids in line looked that they had no idea who he was.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited May 4

    Ben, the '28 Commander Roadster I 'adopted' in my friend's name is a green car with white lettering on it. You don't need to show me the pic; I've seen it there before. My dealer friend's Dad started his Studebaker dealership in 1926 so their family garage probably did move one of those cars. How did you guys like that Italian restaurant? Curious to know if I should add it to my list or not! If you'd rather you can PM me here.
    Some of the early '30's Studebakers are full Classic Car Club of America 'classics'.
    For totally selfish purposes, I wish the entire museum was postwar Studebakers! :)

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821
    edited May 5

    I did take a photo of the car you adopted. Looks great. If I may ask, did it cost a lot to adopt it? Kinda heartbreaking about this special hearse for kids....




    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownMember Posts: 1,158

    Perhaps the designers of the 1950 Champion were channeling the designers of Peg. The same (or nearly so in the case of the ‘50) forward and backward never goes out of style. :D

    2015 Honda Accord EX, 2019 Honda HR-V EX
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,975

    @benjaminh
    Thanks for the pictures. I'm enjoying the tour, since I'll never be able to visit there.
    Your pictures are good quality.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623

    Ben, to answer your question on the cost of the 'adoption' of the '28 Commander Roadster, it's $500 a year. I retire in August, and I may move my adoption down to a less-expensive vehicle there. You can adopt vehicles on the museum's website anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
    My two favorite vehicles in the museum are the red '64 and the turquoise Champ pickup. I guess it is true that like most people, I like most what I can actually remember seeing on the streets, LOL. The creamy white '53 hardtop is a beaut as well.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821

    I think my favorite part of the museum was the basement....





    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,826

    @benjaminh

    Thanks for the pictures. I'm enjoying the tour, since I'll never be able to visit there.

    Your pictures are good quality.

    x2 :)

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Ironically, since fintail and I recently mentioned this car, it came up in my Facebook memories from three years ago, yesterday. My guess is the car is still sitting there. Across the street from the former Studebaker Administration Building, 635 S. Main St., South Bend, IN.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    edited May 6
    That photo makes the front of the Administration Building look like it's about to fall over!
    I didn't notice that in person. For some reason I'm thinking the above might be a photo-of-a-photo.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821




    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Blackout '42 model, and the '63 truck prototype for Westinghouse!
    A good friend of mine loaned his very low-mileage yellow '73 Mustang convertible to them for their '70's display.
    People are sometimes surprised that Studebaker built not only pickups up until the end of U.S. production ('64 model year), but also one-ton and considerably larger trucks, gas or diesel. That differentiates them from other independents IMHO.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    I grew up loving a lot of '70's cars, but the hood on that Mark IV, in relationship to interior space, sheesh. Of course, Lincoln was far-from-alone in that aspect of design then.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821
    Yeah. Lincoln Mark IV specs
    Engine 460 cu in (7.5 L) Ford 385 V8
    Transmission 3-speed C6 automatic
    Wheelbase 120.4 in (3,058 mm)
    Length 228.1 in (5,794 mm)
    Width 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
    Height 53.5 in (1,359 mm)
    Curb weight 5,264 lb (2,388 kg)
    Legroom: 1st row: 42.2 in
    2nd row: 36.6 in
    0-60 c. 11 seconds
    c. 11 mpg
    Inside it looked about the same size as today's Civic, although of course today's Civic is almost mid-sized.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I like how there's over 100" difference between wheelbase and length.

    In the same vein:

    image

    I also wonder how these compare:

    image
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    I normally am not at all attracted to '75-78 Eldorados, but there's something about that green one that is sort-of grabbing me. I think it's a color I don't expect on those cars...I'm so used to that russet-y orange, or firethorn, or white.
    My guess is that the Newport is roomier inside than an Eldo or Mark, only because it's not all hood. Of course, with the Eldo you get that completely flat floor.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,821





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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,975
    edited May 16
    Why do this to a beautiful car?


    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,623
    Horrible. There's a beautiful Hawk underneath that all.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    Here's the daily driven Lark - looking a little dirty as it appears to be street parked every day, but it's all there and in sound condition. This is a "TT" badged car, too:


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,975
    I like the wide whitewalls and the red rims showing around the chrome wheel covers. Looks like the seats are brown. Vinyl?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,066
    I want to say brown or dark red, I will take a look when I am on foot near it again (seems to always be there when I pass by, yet is being moved and used - window was down in the heat today etc).
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