View Full Version : Great blog posting by Roger Ebert

12-19-2008, 11:48 AM
In Thursday's (Dec. 18, '08) Chicago Sun-Times online blog, movie critic and Studebaker driver Roger Ebert posts a great journal of his Studebaker history:

I've got the sweetest set of wheels in town - Roger Ebert's Journal
Andy Granatelli designed the Avanti engine, and, Wikipedia says, he drove
it to establish or break broke 34 U.S. land speed records. So timeless was
this sports car, its manufacture was continued until four year ago, and
even now plans ...
Go to Roger Ebert's Journal: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/12/ive_got_the_sweetest_set_of_wh.html

Lew Schucart
Editor, Avanti Magazine

12-19-2008, 12:38 PM
Loved it.

Claude Chmielewski
Fillmore, Wisconsin
47 M-16 Truck
62 GT Hawk
63 Lark
64 Commander Wagonaire
50 Champion Regal (parts car)
63 GT Hawk R2

Chris Pile
12-19-2008, 01:05 PM
Roger has a way with words, don't he?

Chris Pile
Midway Chapter SDC
The Studebaker Special

12-19-2008, 01:05 PM
The SDC should send him a small Christmas gift...a book, model or just a note of acknowledgement and an invitation to the new museum.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

12-19-2008, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the link, oh how times are a changing.

Ebert mentioned Ride of LaPorte.....I never heard of it. Has anyone attended or have pictures? Or would anyone suggest that its worth attending? Thanks


12-19-2008, 01:23 PM
Super article. Probably too long for a TW reprint but worth a try.

Don Wilson
53 Commander Hardtop
64 Champ 1/2 ton
Centralia, WA

Bellingham Studenut
12-19-2008, 02:28 PM
Great exposure for Studebaker!
His influence can also help create more unique movies, using unique cars.:)


The Bell Collection
Bellingham, WA.

12-19-2008, 05:02 PM
Read Ebert's review of the movie "Streets of Fire" in one of his books. He liked the Studebakers in the movie a lot.

12-19-2008, 05:38 PM
What a great site this is. Every day I see and learn something.

Many thanks for this post



12-19-2008, 05:53 PM
:) Did anyone take the time to watch the 10-minute Jamie Foxx video embedded therein? Wow! I haven't seen that much exposure of a 1957 Golden Hawk in years! Cool beans! :DBP

Desert Explorer
12-19-2008, 06:22 PM
That was cool, thanks!

Studebaker Wheel
12-19-2008, 06:41 PM
A few years ago I was on my way to South Bend and stopped at the Steak and Shake in Michigan City. As I sat down I noted Roger Ebert was seated just a few feet away. He was by himself and reading a book. I introduced myself and mentioned that I had written about his ownership of the ’57 Golden Hawk in my TW Almanac column a few years previous. He said he remembered that article. I ask about his ’57 Hawk and he told me he had sold it to Dan Jedlicka. Since I had run into a long west bound backup I inquired as to whether he was heading east toward Michigan (and South Bend) or west toward Chicago. He said he was going to Michigan. As I recall this was in the summer of 2005 prior to his surgery. I did not wish to interfere with his lunch or intrude further on his privacy so did not make any further comments.

A few observations re his blog. As one would expect it is very well written and certainly places Studebaker in a positive light. Obviously he knows his Studebakers pretty well and has done some research. Second it generated lots of feedback. I hope you will read some of those as well plus his comments to those. One I noted from our own Bill Pressler.

I really have very little negative to say about it except the reference toward the Lincoln Carriage being built by Studebaker. Of course it was not. In 1865 Studebaker was not making fine carriage of this quality. I noted this same mistake in the draft I read of the recent book by Patrick Foster. Since I did not buy the book I don’t know if it remained in the final version or not. The other minor miscue is about Loewy’s contributions. As we know Loewy did not design the coke bottle. Many of the other designs attributed to him were done by some of his talented employees (i.e. Robert Bourke). I have the utmost admiration for Mr. Loewy and do not wish to diminish his reputation as an industrial designer of the first order. However I believe it would be more proper to attribute the designs to the Loewy organization or as he would say Loewy and Associates.

Regarding the name Studebaker being used in movies I recall especially the reference in Rainman in which Dustin Hoffman rattles off the vital statistics on the ’57 Golden Hawk. The one best remembered however (at least in my mind) is from the 1985 movie Mischief wherein the lead character tells his new buddy, “Girls don’t put out in a Studebaker.” I can tell you that this not true! See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGbV_b3bMsc

Richard Quinn
editor: Antique Studebaker Review

12-19-2008, 09:53 PM
:) As long as we are critiquing historical accuracy in the piece: I'm sure most have noted the Golden Hawk pictured is a 1958, not a 1957, as would be inferred by the writing. Dick Quinn has noted the often-incorrect statement that Lincoln's carraige was of Studebaker manufacture.

The reference to Hudson and NASCAR was off by several years and several makes. Hudson didn't really become a NASCAR threat until the new Hornet, with its excellent new 308 engine, was introduced mid-year 1951. The earlier Driving Miss Daisy varieties were competitors, but did not dominate as did the Hornet. He correctly identified the reason for the Hornet's success; not brute speed, but toughness, superior handling, and cornering ability.

Nor were "Fords and Chevys" the Hornet's primary competition. Virtually nobody ran 6-cylinder Chevys in early 50s NASCAR events, and few ran Fords. Hudson's primary NASCAR competitors were the new Olds 88s and the early Chrysler 331 CID "hemis." (Although the Olds 88 had a Rocket theme, the Rocket-style Hornet emblem on the deck lid of Hudson Hornets was the rocket emblem with which Oldsmobile 88 drivers were more familiar.;))

(Speaking of Driving Miss Daisy, here's an interesting factoid: The script originally specified Packards as Miss Daisy's "first" motorcars to appear in the movie. The production company needed two virtually identical cars for shooting and could not locate two "similar enough" Packards. When two virtually identical Hudsons were located in close general proximity, the first-generation cars for Miss Daisy's ownership became luxurious Hudson Commodores! True.)

Anyway, Ebert's article is a good read and looks like it will be widely read within the hobby, and probably by much of the general public. We couldn't ask for a much more popular endorsement. Given the current state of affairs in the domestic automobile industry, we are certain to see more nostalgic writings of this nature. Sometimes people don't realize what they had until its gone. :DBP

12-19-2008, 10:11 PM
:) Dick Quinn is right: Be sure to read the comments posted after Ebert's article.

One guy brings Ebert up to speed on Loewy's other design achievements, stating that Raymond Loewy designed the 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air! [:0][}:)]

Now that's a hoot; Raymond Loewy would have never signed off on an automobile with so many useless design gee-gaws and trinkets. :DBP

12-19-2008, 10:47 PM
Bob and Dick, I'm surprised you didn't mention those darn SDC apostrophes, too.:D He's sharp enough to catch all of those things before it it went online, but a wonderful, positive blog entry nonetheless. I should have known he was a Studebaker guy, but sure didn't remember. I watched the video right away, too. Great thought to do that. Did Jamie Foxx call it a '57 in that, or was it just a '58 Hawk that matched the look for his story?

12-19-2008, 11:03 PM
Wow, just finished the article. Great read. Even enjoyed the video too.


12-20-2008, 06:41 AM
quote:Originally posted by barnlark

Bob and Dick, I'm surprised you didn't mention those darn SDC apostrophes, too.:D He's sharp enough to catch all of those things before it it went online, but a wonderful, positive blog entry nonetheless. I should have known he was a Studebaker guy, but sure didn't remember. I watched the video right away, too. Great thought to do that. Did Jamie Foxx call it a '57 in that, or was it just a '58 Hawk that matched the look for his story?

:) Dave: Jamie Foxx properly credits "his" Golden Hawk being a 1957. And in the under-hood shots, you can even see the supercharger; Cool! :DBP

12-20-2008, 10:35 AM
Folks the exposure that this article/blog has given us is worth all of the mistakes that we attribute to it. While I believe that accuracy is important, i can overlook some of the minor issues that this blog/article contains. Coming from a family that owned one of the first 15 Coca Cola franchises ever issued, I can tell you that Loewy did indeed have a hand in the design of the "Coke" bottle. However that effort had nothing to do with the original 61/2 oz. bottle. He was retained to take that shape and fashion it into a 10 oz. and larger bottle. This was what he contributed to the Coke Bottle design and of course it was accepted by the Coca Cola Corp. He also was responsible for the design of the Soda Fountain Dispenser that appeared in the late 40's and early 50's at a drugstore soda fountain near you. His design studio also deserves recognition for the things he got credit for such as all of the Sachs Fifth Avenue stores in the NYC area. As we all know he was also responsible for the design of the GG-1 Electric Engine built by the PRR and that ran in the northeast. His staff also designed many Railway Stations for them as well as for the N&W. The best example of that is the Roanoke VA. station that currently houses the Roanoke Visitors Center along with a small Loewy display but more importantly many of the works of O. Winston Link, one of the greatest photographers to live. If you do know who Mr. Link is the first picture that Mr. Ebert used in his blog is just one of the many taken by Mr. Link. It is a striking and stunning use of electrical lighting in the pursuit of a great photograph.

See you in the future as I write about our past

12-20-2008, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by BobPalma

:) "As long as we are critiquing historical accuracy in the piece: I'm sure most have noted the Golden Hawk pictured is a 1958, not a 1957, as would be inferred by the writing."

Sorry, BP, confused by what you meant, since I'm still learning the 57-58 nuances, among many others! [B)] Is it the stock photo, or the one in which he's posing that you referenced? I thought you meant the movie clip.

What a great PR blog/article for our club. Reader blogs are amusing, though. I like his direct answers. It would be great if we invited him to South Bend in May and got him interested enough to be in Iowa, too.


12-20-2008, 11:10 AM
Stuff like this is required reading for all Studebaker enthusiasts, especially those new to our corner of the automotive world. To that end, I have formally requested permission to archive this fantastic article in our site's "Studebaker Stories" section. This would keep it accessible should the Sun-Times web link change or is deleted. Hopefully, Mr. Ebert and the Sun-Times will permit me to do so.

BShaw, Webmaster

Woodbury, Minnesota

Bellingham Studenut
12-20-2008, 11:51 AM
The 1st picture would be the 58 Golden Hawk he's refering to.
The center grill emblem, different hubcaps (14" wheels were standard that year), white top and they were lowered 2" in 58 with 1 peice drive line (-1") and 14" wheels (-1"). The parking lights on fenders also gained wings.
The Golden Hawk on stamp, photo with Ebert and movie clip are all 57 Golden Hawk's.


The Bell Collection
Bellingham, WA.

12-20-2008, 07:45 PM

Autoblog picked up Roger's article, and I felt compelled to rebut, at some length, someone's uneducated commentary which followed the entry on the subject. Hope I did OK. [8)]


I really hate it when people prattle on like they know something when they don't really know ... well, anything! :(

Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY


12-20-2008, 07:58 PM
Bob, hopefully that will happen. I saved it to may Studebaker file and also printed it, including the pictures, to place in my memrobilia collection

12-20-2008, 08:53 PM
I will also add that Loewy's fingerprints were also all over the PRR's Class Q's, S's, and T's. These were the 4-4-4-4, 4-4-6-4, and 6-4-4-6's. I know I'll probably be hearing the groans after this statement, as I like to beat it to death, but although Loewy did the station, he did not do N&W's Class J, the streamlined 4-8-4 now inside the station. That was an in-house design from N&W's passenger car department. N&W did alot of their own builds from their hallowed Roanoke Shops, and this was no exception. :)

I like O. Winston Link's work as well. The interesting part was how he got the shots. The man had an extensive knowledge on the physics of light and he loved his night shots, so he engineered his own equipment(not withstanding the flash that could fire 60 bulbs at once, turn night into day, trip three camera shutters, and synchronize all of this in unison).


12-20-2008, 10:02 PM
Good work on the response. I too, struggle with the ignorance of so many when it comes to our Studes. All one has to do is drive one of those "ugly, poor handling" Stude Golden Hawks into any car show and watch the heads turn. Park a daily driver Golden Hawk next to a $150,000 Camaro and see who gets the looks. They're just jealous of the attention we get, that's all. They spend the big bucks looking for something original, and we get that and more for a tenth the cost.


12-20-2008, 10:20 PM
:) Yes, Jacob; good reply. Well stated. :DBP

12-21-2008, 03:19 PM
John, you are absolutely correct. Loewy had nothing to do with N&W's massive J-8 with 8' drive wheels. As a kid I watched just about every Sunday night as the Sothern Disiels were disconnected fro the Pellican Passenger Trin and replaced with the J-8's in my hometown of Bristol. I have bever forgotten that site and the train leaving the station Northbound. I also have pictures of the last J-8 leaving Bristol before it was retired.

O. Winston Link was an EE major and graduated from Columbia University. However the only place he practiced his trade was in the design of his lighting equipmeent and then the layout of it to get the dramatic photos that he took. His books and the gallery of his work in Roanoke is well worth the visit, IMHO.

See you in the future as I write about our past

12-21-2008, 03:37 PM
Nice job, Jacob.

12-21-2008, 06:41 PM
Thanks, guys. One of the later posters at AB said I "smoked" the uneducated commentator. I don't know if I'd go that far; heck, without many of the things I've learned from years of reading and you learning from you guys on here, I might well be as ignorant of the facts as he is!

Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY


12-21-2008, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the link. Lots of good publicity for Studes in particular and the old car hobby in general.



12-21-2008, 07:05 PM
Thanks, guys. One of the later posters at AB said I "smoked" the uneducated commentator. I don't know if I'd go that far....

For those of the much older set, smoked in other words he knew in much better terms what he was talking about. I saw the post, you did great. Remember this is the same public that confuse the Studebaker 289 with the Ford's. Also see:

pwned(derivative of owned, a typo that caught on)

[:o)] [^]


12-22-2008, 03:04 AM
There are a lot of what I call "unusual" terms that get used at AB, such as "FTW" (for the win), for example. Or "Epic Fail."

Kind of makes you wonder who's teaching English in our schools these days, doesn't it??? [:0][V]

Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY


12-22-2008, 07:19 AM
If you haven't gone back innto Roger E's article and read the blog posts you are remiss. There are some breat posts in there and many from forum members.

12-22-2008, 09:27 AM
:) Don is right; the blog posts are all over the place. Just about all of them are interesting in one way or another. Some are very introspective, and some of those downright worrisome. The relative emptiness expressed by some of the younger posters is troublesome; those who disdain the car in general and have their shorts in a wad about all manner of real or imagined ills credited to the automobile.

Those emotionally-bereft folks remind me of a comment made by Uncle Jerry Palma (former Studebaker salesman) maybe 45 years ago, discussing a particularily passionless person whose identify escapes me. Jerry said that person would "...likely die without having lived." I was a teen-ager at the time, but have thought of his remark often.

In another thread, I reported my emotion when first seeing that white, R2-powered 1963 Champ truck at Snider Studebaker in late 1962. Forty-five years from now I'll be long gone, but I wonder if someone who is now 17 will be posting to his hobbyist forum, his excitement of having gone to Best Buy in Winter 2008 and seeing one of only two iPod model# HCT665dEddei*hyTBs ever produced...[:0]...or will that 17-year old die without having lived the excitement of seeing something of later significant historical interest, like that R2 Champ truck, thanks to the emotionless, sterile country advocated by many of his well-meaning, but ill-advised, contemporaries? [8D]BP