View Full Version : Daily driver or fun driver????

09-01-2017, 08:40 AM
Time for this discussion. Now that it has been over half a century since the last Studebaker exited the final portal of the assembly line, is it possible to see the terms of “Daily Driver” and “Fun Driver” as interchangeable descriptions? Daily driver, means different things to different people. For some folks, it is a routine, short commute, to a specific location. For me, my entire career, has been an occasional commute to an office, but most times “on the road.” My shortest commute to an office was about 14 miles one way. Most of my daily driving involved visiting clients or customers over a three state region.

Even though I often had an “expense account,” that reimbursed my expenses, dependable transportation was of utmost concern. Another thing to consider, is “Image.” There are certain professions that require a certain appearance/decorum/impression, in order to be accepted, or taken seriously. That’s why you rarely see the big transport companies with old “Beater” tractor trailer rigs, or old Rental/lease cars. Even car dealers, usually have an “age limit” for cars they will retail off their used car lot.

We have all heard the comment, “Familiarity (or Dependency) breeds contempt.” I believe this to be true, for me, in terms of my “Daily Driver,” during my working years. I don’t care how desirable, comfortable, luxurious, or collectible...after a long day, once I arrived home, the last thing I wanted to do was crawl back into my “work vehicle.” Even for a short drive to the mall or visit a friend.

When using a vintage car for a daily driver, there is always the nagging concern of “dependability,” what half century part is going to leave you on the side of the road, when a group of executives have flown in from around the country, awaiting around a conference table for your presentation?

What I’m getting at is that, especially with the age of our Studebaker Fleet...some adjustment probably needs to be made to our concept of DAILY DRIVER. Like our Studebaker Meets/gatherings...where I believe FUN and Enjoyment should be the main objective...so should be our personal use of our lovable vintage rides. I currently have three registered, insured, and derivable Studebakers. Now days, I rarely “depend” on them, but enjoy them at my leisure. They are no longer “Daily” drivers, but...FUN DRIVERS! :!:

09-01-2017, 08:51 AM
My "Daily Driver" gets driven when I need to go into town to get food, library books, Dr's appointments, etc. Retirement, its great. (town is 20 round trip miles away) My '55 Land Cruiser does the job, saving miles on my low mile lease car. At least once a week we go to town, or somewhere else. About once a month we attend an antique auctions about 40 miles away . The LC does that duty, too, unless the weather is such that we need Air Conditioning. I keep a check on the various fluids, and it's never let me down. If we're planning a longer than an hour trip, the Lease Car does the job.

Commander Eddie
09-01-2017, 10:24 AM
Both of my Studebakers could fit the description of a daily driver but I switch hit for variety. I do not own a modern vehicle. I never get tired of driving them. So for me, the terms daily driver and fun driver are already the same thing.

T.J. lavallee
09-01-2017, 11:27 AM
I've always considered a daily driver the vehicle one uses daily. Back and forth to work, to shopping, to tag sales to the auto store for parts for your antique car, ect. My Studebaker I drive when I have no place to really go. Now that's fun driving!

09-01-2017, 12:43 PM
I used all my oldies as daily drivers when living in TN and AL, switching them out day to day, but since moving to Hawaii, we mostly use little 50 cc motor-scooters year round and the two oldies we have left are "just for fun". My wife does drive her little '08 model sporty car as her "go to work" car because of the road condition (narrow and too high a speed limit for her scooter) she has to take, but she puts the top down and pretends it's old, ha !

09-01-2017, 02:22 PM
ALL Studebakers were 'daily drivers' when new.
The real question to ask is exactly when did a Stude stop being a 'daily driver', and why...

Mike Van Veghten
09-01-2017, 07:53 PM
Funny all...
BUT...when it's my only car...it IS my daily driver..!

My newest car is my 60 Lark wagon. It's my Chevy powered, full roll caged hot rod (that needs finishing !). Next newest is my current "daily" driver, my 59 Lark wagon. Which hopefully sometime soon will be replaced with the 54 wagon I'm close to being done with...that WILL be my daily driver..!

Despite what some may say...yes, my daily driver is an old Studebaker..!


09-01-2017, 08:27 PM
My newest drivable car is my 56 chevy pu , takes me to work everyday. my weekend driver is my 37 chevy coupe ,tunnel ram 400 sbc 5spd 12 bolt posi , straight axle. The 59 lark is my newest car but not quite on the road yet:rolleyes:

09-01-2017, 08:51 PM
Don't get me wrong, regarding my initial post. There was a time when my '60 Lark became my Daily driver. During that time, I owned my '55 Studebaker Pickup, and a driver quality '62 four speed GT Hawk. I rescued the four door V8 Lark from a deep pile of leaves. Rebuilt the 259, installed an under dash Air Conditioning unit, and it was my main "Company Car" for nearly three years. Even then, when I returned home from driving it on the road all day, I would choose another ride for any local driving.

Even after buying new dependable modern vehicles, I have had occasions to use my collector cars as "door openers." When the new BMW plant was in the early planning stages, I became very frustrated attempting to get appointments with key personnel. After many attempts, in which I was turned away by the receptionist, I happened (once more) to stop by their temporary headquarters while driving my '51 Land Cruiser. Again, I was turned away. However, on my way down the elevator, a man who had ridden down with me, exited the building, and headed out into the parking lot with me. As we made a bit of small talk, he stated he had noticed a bullet nose Studebaker in the parking lot from his office window, and was going to get a close look. Turned out, he was the main construction Project Manager. That very afternoon, was spent with me in their engineering conference room, meeting with key planners, engineers, etc. If it had not been for my Studebaker, it is possible that I would have never had that opportunity. That "chance" meeting resulted in a great customer of mine for about ten years!

I had similar experiences with my Truck, and Hawk. But, I always tried to "Pick & choose" the appropriate times to use these cars to my advantage.
The BMW experience was purely accidental. :)

There are some people who don't have any interest in vintage cars, and view discussing them as an annoyance and waste of time. With those folks, it's better to keep communication strictly business or about things that interest them.

09-01-2017, 09:22 PM
Hey John I have to give you credit for not walking away from short sighted people who see old cars - history as a waste of time.

09-01-2017, 10:28 PM
My wife has a newer car (2011) as her bomb around town car. I drive my 64 Cruiser everyday to work and around town. I have rebuilt just about everything (motor, 700r4, all suspension and reared). It has taken awhile but I trust it to go anywhere now and that's why I built it, just to do that because I enjoy driving it!

I have driven a Studebaker for 35 years to work and vary rarely have they stranded me....except that one time in Gallup headed to the 2012 South Bend International, but that is now why everything has been rebuilt or renewed.


t walgamuth
09-02-2017, 06:00 AM
I just call my CE a driver. My goal is to have it completely finished and capable of driving anywhere I want to go pulling a small trailer if necessary. Whats the use of having an old car and not drive it?

09-02-2017, 07:56 AM
IMHO those people have no soul:-(
Hey John I have to give you credit for not walking away from short sighted people who see old cars - history as a waste of time.

09-02-2017, 11:35 AM
Many of us used to drive them daily for every occasion, but most now have classic auto insurance, so can only drive them within certain stipulations. We can no longer drive them to work or school, or to run errands, but we can "exercise" them regularly/daily if we are blessed with opportunity, i.e.retired.

Whether driven daily or exercised regularly, every Studebaker mile has been a fun driving adventure for me, and have now racked up over 700,000 such miles in the past 32+ years. The wife and I still exercise our three Studes a cumulative total of about 10,000 per year, and I still consider other autos as brand 'X', and boring. Have yet to drive even a single boring mile in a Stude though. :)

09-02-2017, 07:07 PM
If I could figure out a way to tow a 13,000+ lb trailer with my Lark, it would be my DD. Being as my F-350 dually grunts a bit towing it, I think I'll skip the attempt with the Lark.

Like jclary, the Lark has been an icebreaker. If I'm going out to a local project for bid purposes, I will sometimes take it instead. Always a conversation about it, especially if I take them to lunch in it.