View Full Version : Real Studebaker???

07-21-2017, 06:31 AM
I'm just gonna post this, and leave the room for a short motorcycle ride with friends. However, I'd be interested if I'm the only one here, a bit skeptical, about the claims on this "Studebaker" wagon.:yeahright: I have seen quite a few Studebaker wagons, but for some reason, even if it is a smaller one horse or buckboard, the wheels don't exactly look like the "overbuilt" heavy wheelwright work of genuine Studebaker offerings of the era. The "canted" out spokes look about right, but more like "buggy" weight rather than farm wagon. Also, if this is truly a "First incorporated year" of Studebaker production...it would deserve "Museum" attention.

Post away...I hope to be back this afternoon.:)


07-21-2017, 07:01 AM
I would ask the seller. He sells a lot of Studebaker parts. My sisters law has one and it actually has the letters studebaker painted in black on the axle

07-21-2017, 10:00 AM
It looks legitimate to me. There were all sizes of wagons built, depending on what you needed to use it for. I wish it were closer to home, I would like to check it out.

07-21-2017, 12:20 PM
First year Studebaker production!

07-21-2017, 01:31 PM
I would ask the seller. He sells a lot of Studebaker parts. My sisters law has one and it actually has the letters studebaker painted in black on the axle

It looks legitimate to me. There were all sizes of wagons built, depending on what you needed to use it for. I wish it were closer to home, I would like to check it out.

OK, I made it back home safe!:) Three of us old geezers made a quick 58 mile (that's 58 for me, the other two had about 50 more miles to go) trip up to a little N.C. mountain town for a BBQ lunch. It was our first trip together this year. My motorcycle is 22 years old, and I had to pretty much dismantle it to get to the carburetors and replace the leaking gaskets.:( So, for me, this was the "shake down" ride to be sure I had put it back together correctly.:rolleyes:

So, about this wagon...Milt, since you seem to know the seller, I'll defer to your opinion regarding legitimacy. I know that Studebaker made all sorts of wagons and many years ago, I had the privilege of thumbing through an authentic Studebaker horse drawn vehicle catalog. However, the catalog was from the late 1800's, and there were commercial offerings I had never known existed. Street sweepers, dump wagons, gravel haulers, in addition to the more domestic farm wagons, buggies, and carriages.

Obviously, I am deficient in what is characterized as "buck board" type wagons. I've seen flatbed (no side boards) wagons called "buck boards." However, especially for 165 year old wagons, I would have expected heavier built wheels. I realize my expectations can fall short of actual facts. Therefore, my skepticism carries no intent to cast the seller in a bad way. It is just as likely that my skepticism will expose my ignorance. However, if it can be authenticated as an 1852 Studebaker wagon...truly a "Barn Find" of more than a century...and worth investigating as a candidate for the Studebaker National Museum! No matter what the storage issues are, there can't be many 165 year old Studebaker wooden wagons in existence.

07-21-2017, 07:37 PM
I think that the wheels may have been rebuilt using the original hub and new spokes.

When I tried to buy a similar wagon about 30 years ago, it was $3000.

If it is a Studebaker wagon, I doubt that it is an 1852 model.

nebraska stude
07-21-2017, 08:29 PM
In my opinion, It does have Studebaker axles, probably whole running gear, Studebaker was the main maker that used extended iron spindles on the axles. Compared to my freight wagon gears, the axles are very small. A buckboard is only a step above a buggy, and this is a light duty farm wagon. Looks like they used too narrow of iron tires when the wheels were redone.

07-21-2017, 09:23 PM
I have no expertise whatsoever on these wagons, but, that being said... why could the wheels not have been rebuilt by any wheelwright at some other period of time in its long life? Would a wheelwright, in 1898 Utah, for example, be compelled to rebuild a set of broken wheels only to the standards for which they were originally built? Perhaps he rebuilt them to the standards for which he was trained, or by the availability of wood stock available at the time?????
Lets fast forward to today... If I came across an R3 Avanti which had its wheels replaced with Ford rims at some point in its history, would I be equally critical? I don't think so. I'd be too busy dancing a happy dance that I'd found a rare and valuable treasure.

07-22-2017, 12:40 AM
Okay... first off this is not a Buckboard. It is a box wagon. However because there are springs in the bolsters (strange arrangement, I have never seen before) this might even be classified as a Spring-Wagon. I would not be at all surprised to find out the Bolster springs were added later. It is a light-wagon, looking to be authentic. The wheels have indeed been replaced. Actually, only a very tiny number of antique vehicles still have their original wheels. Usually only those which were very carefully cared for, as this vehicle appears to have been. That said, these wheels look to be old enough to be original.

By the by, this is a Studebaker buckboard (so named by the floor taking the place of springs):

Note the complete lack of sideboards. Sometimes these would have a simple wagon seat with a lazy-back suspended by iron braces on wagon-seat springs. My friend Lionel Harris had one of those with a back seat. It was much larger than this one and quite a lot heavier built.

07-22-2017, 09:09 AM
One part of the "Studebaker" experience that makes it so attractive, to me, is its history that extends way beyond the automobile. While there are many terms related to horse drawn vehicles, and combustion engine vehicles, enough time has elapsed for memory and expertise to evaporate into the abyss of the ages. The bulk of automobiles, made of iron, steel, and all sorts of stable composite materials, retain their physical integrity with reasonable care. There are what we consider "perishable" items on an Automobile, such as belts, rubber hoses, spark plugs, upholstery, light bulbs, bearings, etc., etc.

An argument can be made that, most of the components of any wooden horse-drawn vehicle, are perishable. Think about it, unless kept in a very tight controlled environment, just about everything will get eaten, dismantled, or waste away. Too much moisture, fungus will attack, too little moisture, it will dry rot. Paper wasp, will strip away the wood, one tiny fiber at a time, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, termites, and rodents, take their toll.

In the SNM, and other museums, there are historical reproductions, like the early Studebaker blacksmith shop. Some such displays are a combination of reproduced items, and authentic original artifacts. These scenes preserve "Historical Perspective," and experience. Therefore, how much leeway, or license are we willing to accept in an attempt to support and encourage anyone to preserve historical legacy? Just yesterday, I once again rode my motorcycle by two horse drawn wagons sitting out in the weather as advertisement signs at antique shops. While I enjoy seeing these ghosts of the past, I am also saddened by the fact that they are neglected, deteriorating, and fading away.

Years ago, after my picture was in a local newspaper with my Studebaker truck, I received two calls offering me two different Studebaker wagons. One, a large heavy two horse, had extensive replanking, but no markings, axle mfg. tag, nor anything identifying it as a Studebaker. It was well worth the $600 asking price, but already stressed for storage, I couldn't justify the responsibilities of caring for it. The other was a "Log Hauler." Basically, a huge wheeled chassis, designed to expand in length depending on the length and size of logs being hauled out of the forest. Asking price was $1,200.00, but in the absence of "Studebaker Authenticity," I passed on that one too.

How much time will pass, until sometime in the future, others will be having this kind of discussion regarding the authenticity of a Lark, Hawk, or President?

I've said all that to emphasize that I have no intent to disparage the seller of this vehicle. But rather, to highlight the importance and responsibilities of possessing, preserving, and retaining records of such artifacts.

07-22-2017, 09:45 AM
My thread/topic in Stove Huggers ties in with this one: Thread: "Wagon Wheels - Revelation"

Madd Doodler
07-22-2017, 02:36 PM
I have an 1881 grain wagon that is a Studebaker. In 1852 though it was just Henry and Clem in their blacksmith shop. If I remember correctly they built just three wagons that year. Mostly they were doing repairs and shoeing horses, typical blacksmith stuff for that era. It seems hard to imagine that this is one of three known to be built. the 1852 stamp could just be because that was to signify that's when they started. Starting with just a handful of wagons built for local farmers it would seem odd to mark them like that with part numbers and all.

07-23-2017, 03:28 AM
Well John I have to agree with you. A year or so ago, the lady I work for bought a little (pony sized) French Dos-a-Dos (back to back). It was a beautiful little thing with a lovely paint job. The shafts and poles looked like they were glass. It had been found in a corner of the American Embassy in Paris several years previously. The new owner brought it home to Florida and sent it off to a professional to be restored. We were told by the lady who purchased it off e-bay that it was "in beautiful condition and show ready." Imagine our disappointment when it rolled off the transport with loose wheels and cracked body panels. The little thing had gone from a French swamp (Paris means city of mud) to a property bordering a swamp (the everglades) and then to Phelan California, which is south of Palm Desert. It dried to a quick even though it had been kept in the lady's carriage house. The lady who bought it from us spent around seven thousand dollars fixing it. The lovely little thing now resides in her Dining Room.

I too hate to see wagons and carriages used as 'yard art.' The worst purveyor of this kind was John Traina, husband of Danielle Steele. When he died a few years ago (Gosh, has it been five years???) his collection was auctioned off. Many of the wagons and buggies were so far gone they had to be removed in pieces as they disintegrated when the buyer attempted to move them. In preparation for a party, Mr. Traina would have everything pulled out of the covered porches on the side of his barn in Napa and lined his driveway with them. Each would have its lamps lit or a small Dietz lamp would be hung off it. Some of the vehicles were too large to be moving around easily, so they were left out more often. All of them would sometimes be left out in the weather if he didn't get after the help to put them away. Hence, the four vehicles I purchased from that sale were all in pretty bad shape. One, a little Russian pony Troika Phaeton, is so bad that I had to tie the front axle to the back to keep it from collapsing. Had he taken better care of the vehicles, Traina could have likely gotten several hundred thousand for the whole collection. As it is, I doubt he got fifty thousand. Pretty poor management when one flushes a hundred-fifty grand out of laziness. If anyone is curious, the collection can be seen at this location:


There is a circus wagon displayed in that listing that looked great in the photos. When closely examined though it was rotten to the core! It's one of those that fell to pieces when they tried to move it.

07-23-2017, 08:03 AM
My thread/topic in Stove Huggers ties in with this one: Thread: "Wagon Wheels - Revelation"

Duly noted Gary. Your comments there, influenced me to post again (post #10) here. It got me to thinking about the most dinged around part of any horse drawn vehicle...Wheels...and the reason for the bold print portion of the first sentence in the second paragraph. I once watched one of those blacksmith's shows where they demonstrated the construction of a wagon wheel. A skill I would love to learn. Besides getting the wood cutting geometry correct, my other challenge would be the steel tire. How to construct a steel ring precise enough to fit the wood, then heat it just right to expand enough to slip over the wood, and then, contract for a tight fit. Not a chore for anyone so challenged with numbers (like me).

07-23-2017, 11:57 AM
You're overthinking it John. Were you an Engineer, I would guess? There are two types of wagon wheels, basically. Quartered (though there sometimes six 'quarters' of Felloes in a very large wheel) and bent Felloes where there are only two halves (American type). Studebaker was one of the companies who came up with the bent Felloes of the American-style wheel. This video might be of interest, though they are working on an English wheel where there are only two spokes to each of the quarters of the Felloes (the wooden rim onto which the steel tyre is shrunk.


Watching this again it occurred to me that this wheelwright does this a bit differently than the one I go to. Marcus first wets the wheel down thoroughly so that it doesn't get burnt like the Acton wheel did. All the same, this is the process used to set tyres and it's very much the same wherever you go. Sometimes they are heated with a wood fire and more often with coal(which is a hotter fire). Marcus puts his tyres in a large round forge to heat them and does the process inside. His forge has the most beautiful copper hood over it that is almost two hundred years old.

07-27-2017, 05:56 PM
OK...Hitch 'em up & Head 'em out!!! The bidding is about to end in a couple of hours. Apparently, someone thinks it is worthy. As I post this, 23 bids standing at $1,600 right now. Let us know if anyone here is the winner. Look forward to seeing it at the next meet!:!:



07-27-2017, 07:52 PM
Here's a real one. I guess I need to get pictures of the buggy and surrey too.


07-27-2017, 10:26 PM
I think old wagons, buggies, manure spreaders, etc. make beautiful yard art. I recall a guy in the desert in 29 Palms, CA who had several such pieces strategically placed here and there in his yard. It was very appealing to the eye. I would not suggest anything of great value be used as yard art, but cannot think of anything better to do with something that, otherwise, is just gonna rot away in a shed somewhere. Plus, in the desert, stuff like that tends to live forever when left outdoors, and ages beautifully. JMHO

07-27-2017, 11:57 PM
to each thier own Joe. Some of those 'yard art,' wagons, implements, and buggies were kept put away in an old shed and that's why they're around today. Does't appeal to my eye at all. Somewhat like seeing a Packard Hawk, an Avanti, and a Transtar being used as same...

07-28-2017, 07:20 AM
to each thier own Joe. Some of those 'yard art,' wagons, implements, and buggies were kept put away in an old shed and that's why they're around today. Does't appeal to my eye at all. Somewhat like seeing a Packard Hawk, an Avanti, and a Transtar being used as same...

You mean like THIS ONE? http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?23402-Studebaker-Waterfall