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Stude Shoo-wop!
04-20-2018, 11:10 PM
All of us here know just how vaunted the Studebaker nameplate was at one point in American history, but did this same passionate (almost religiously fervent) fire consume the international community? Did Studebaker and its automobiles ever win over a significant portion of non-American hearts and minds or did they tend to get snubbed compared to what else was available? Inquiring minds would like to know...

Noxnabaker
04-21-2018, 02:47 AM
In the days here in Sweden Studebaker always had a position quite high up above Ford, Chevrolet, Plymouth & AMC, more like Mercury, Buick & De Soto/Chrysler.
It wasn't just any one who bought such a special car, & if you lived in a serious working class area you better had a garage.
(There's a thing called "the Swedish envy" as any swede knows about.)
So here quality & style was always recognized!
& it was actually the same all over Europe, even if swedes always had more US cars because of the long distances in a big country with few people.
There was also Euro-asembled cars that held higher quality, mostly because of paint & rust protection.

packard352
04-23-2018, 04:27 PM
Good question and not sure I can answer for Europe or the UK. However, my father worked in
Vancouver during the mid-1950's. When he returned to the UK, he vowed to own a Studebaker Golden Hawk. When I was a baby, he bought a '56 Golden Hawk, which he ran as his company car in central London. His business also ran VW panel buses and a VW Pick-up Bus as well as a Mini or two. So, as a baby until I was about 5 years old, he ran a solid white 56J as well as a solid '57 Silver Hawk. He then moved on a '61 Oldsmobile 88, a new Pontiac Tempest Le Mans and finally a new '65 Plymouth Fury (4-doors) ~ all as his company car.

In the mid-1990's, I'd located his '56 Golden Hawk down in Cornwall and it was a shadow of it's former glory. The photos I'd taken upset him so much, he didn't get beyond the third picture, before the tears overwhelmed him and he left the living room to make a cup of tea. It was my hint to collect up the photos and get them out of sight. We never spoke of the car or photos again.

After my father passed away in 1997, I had the opportunity of buying his 56J, which I did. However, when the car finally arrived at my house, it was in worse condition than when I'd photographed the car in 1994.

See below a few pics...

71960 71961 71962 71963 71964

Without a shadow of a doubt, the '56 Golden Hawk was by far the favourite car my father had owned; more than the Rolls-Royce's he'd had, the Jowet Jupiter, a Triumph TR3 and a host of other equally lovely cars ~ he spoke of reverence of that specific car. The Silver Hawk by comparison was under-powered, so it didn't stay very long with the family!

christophe
04-23-2018, 05:50 PM
I can only second what Nox said. In France, Studebakers were considered as a connoisseur's choice. They were much more exclusive than other US brands for many people. I can add that when they became used cars, they were liked by those who pulled large trailers! You also have to remember that a 56J cost more than 4 Citroën DS 19 at this time. So, unfortunately, only few of them found a place here. When I started my quest for an American car, I knew that a Mustang would be too ubiquitous for my taste but my Hawk suits me perfecly even if she gave me some hard times recently.
Richard, I feel sorry for your father's car. I hope it is restored now.
Good night to all.

53k
04-24-2018, 08:09 AM
In the days here in Sweden Studebaker always had a position quite high up above Ford, Chevrolet, Plymouth & AMC, more like Mercury, Buick & De Soto/Chrysler.
It wasn't just any one who bought such a special car, & if you lived in a serious working class area you better had a garage.
(There's a thing called "the Swedish envy" as any swede knows about.)
So here quality & style was always recognized!
& it was actually the same all over Europe, even if swedes always had more US cars because of the long distances in a big country with few people.
There was also Euro-asembled cars that held higher quality, mostly because of paint & rust protection.
Several years ago I was talking with an older lady who had come from Sweden as a bride shortly after WWII. I guess I was asking about life during WWII when Sweden was a neutral country. She told me that life was still very difficult with many things not available during the war. She said her dad had to put their car on blocks for the duration of the war because of shortages of gasoline and other supplies. I asked her what make of car it was and she replied "a 1937 Studebaker".

8E45E
04-24-2018, 08:30 AM
In the mid-1990's, I'd located his '56 Golden Hawk down in Cornwall and it was a shadow of it's former glory. The photos I'd taken upset him so much, he didn't get beyond the third picture, before the tears overwhelmed him and he left the living room to make a cup of tea. It was my hint to collect up the photos and get them out of sight. We never spoke of the car or photos again.

Too bad it got to that state of disrepair before being 'rescued'. It appears it was an aborted restoration project before being left outside in the elements for an untold number of years. Hopefully, it will be restored back to its former glory.

Craig

plee4139
04-27-2018, 04:17 AM
I can only second what Nox said. In France, Studebakers were considered as a connoisseur's choice. They were much more exclusive than other US brands for many people. I can add that when they became used cars, they were liked by those who pulled large trailers! You also have to remember that a 56J cost more than 4 Citroën DS 19 at this time. So, unfortunately, only few of them found a place here. When I started my quest for an American car, I knew that a Mustang would be too ubiquitous for my taste but my Hawk suits me perfecly even if she gave me some hard times recently.
Richard, I feel sorry for your father's car. I hope it is restored now.
Good night to all.

I've noticed in films shot in Paris in the fifties, such as "Breathless" that there are quite a few Starliner coupes. in Jacques Tati's "Mon Oncle" there's a Studie in several shots. Aussi, je suis tres heuereux avec votre President M. Macron, et comme il avait parle sur le sujet de comme le monde deviens plus chaud. Viva la France! Votre ami, Pierre de L'isle Longue.

Hallabutt
04-27-2018, 01:07 PM
I would like to know, what part of the disparity in price, between the Citroen and the Studebaker, was import duty. Was the tariff environment between the European countries and the one they had with the US different?

christophe
04-30-2018, 02:56 AM
I've noticed in films shot in Paris in the fifties, such as "Breathless" that there are quite a few Starliner coupes. in Jacques Tati's "Mon Oncle" there's a Studie in several shots. Aussi, je suis tres heuereux avec votre President M. Macron, et comme il avait parle sur le sujet de comme le monde deviens plus chaud. Viva la France! Votre ami, Pierre de L'isle Longue.

Thanks for your kind words, Peter. I'm not very fond of Macron myself, but I do agree with what he said this very time. We don't have any planet B.
Yes, you could spot Studebakers in the streets of Paris in the 50's. This was mostly due to the dynamism of the French importer, M. Emile Dujardin. Unfortunately, most of his efforts to sell Studebakers with their very good V8 engine were hampered by the 1956 oil crisis. Moreover, the same year saw the introduction of a new tax: the Vignette Automobile. This tax was directly aimed at large displacement vehicles, so, mostly US cars.

christophe
04-30-2018, 03:08 AM
I would like to know, what part of the disparity in price, between the Citroen and the Studebaker, was import duty. Was the tariff environment between the European countries and the one they had with the US different?

I'll have to dig through my antique files to find a reference value for this, but I'll try. Roughly, I would say that the import taxes were at least 30% for a US vehicle. Yes, the vehicles imported from the EEC were less taxed.
Moreover, the maintenance costs were high. Insurance, gasoline and the yearly vignette prices were all meant to favor French cars, which were mostly of small or medium size.

Stude Shoo-wop!
04-30-2018, 04:23 PM
I've noticed in films shot in Paris in the fifties, such as "Breathless" that there are quite a few Starliner coupes. in Jacques Tati's "Mon Oncle" there's a Studie in several shots. Aussi, je suis tres heuereux avec votre President M. Macron, et comme il avait parle sur le sujet de comme le monde deviens plus chaud. Viva la France! Votre ami, Pierre de L'isle Longue.

On this interesting tangent into movies, I just revisited From Russia With Love (1963) last night and noticed this scene when Mr. Bond and his lovely Russian spy-girlfriend were still in Istanbul.

72110
http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=72108&d=1525122950&thumb=1 (http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=72108&d=1525122950)

If you look to the left, you shall clearly see the memorable face of a 1953-1954 Champion sedan. I wonder, christophe, if Studebakers were as popular in Turkey as they were in France.

ed ellis
04-30-2018, 10:45 PM
Christophe, I sold a black 53 C (232 with OD) to a guy somewhere north of Paris about 5 or 6 years ago. Did he have to pay import duties?

christophe
05-02-2018, 02:48 AM
On this interesting tangent into movies, I just revisited From Russia With Love (1963) last night and noticed this scene when Mr. Bond and his lovely Russian spy-girlfriend were still in Istanbul.

72110
http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=72108&d=1525122950&thumb=1 (http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=72108&d=1525122950)

If you look to the left, you shall clearly see the memorable face of a 1953-1954 Champion sedan. I wonder, christophe, if Studebakers were as popular in Turkey as they were in France.

I remembered the Traction Avant in this movie but not the Stude. That's a nice find. As you can see in every picture filmed in Turkey during the 50's and 60's (by the way, if you have not seen it, don't forget to watch Topkapi), american cars were predominant, especially in Istambul. They were favored for their reliability and ruggedness, and rightly so. Turkish people even created the dollmuchs, which were extended versions of american cars to be used as large capacity taxicabs. I don't know for sure, but I would say that the quality of Studebaker products would assure them a fair share of the turkish car market at the time.
Unfortunately, this almost came to a stop (at least in Europe) when Studebaker introduced the Lark, killing the Champion/Commander/President line and almost killing the Hawk line. European people bought american cars because they were large and roomy. Few of them had use for the Lark as it cost almost twice the price (in France) of a Peugeot 404, which was a much more modern car. I read (in a TW article, I think) that many people thought now that it was a management error to rely almost totally on the Lark line. Maybe, keeping the two lines was deemed unpractical.

christophe
05-02-2018, 02:56 AM
Yes, Ed.
On a 30+ years old car, the import duties amount to 5,5% of the declared value of the vehicle.
When the car is less than 30 years old, you have to pay the VAT (20%) and the import duties amount to 10%. Moreover, in this case the car has to comply with european safety regulations. This can imply some costly modifications to the lighting system or the braking system.
Nice day to all.