View Full Version : Studebaker Graveyard Re:video on youtube

12-25-2008, 08:08 PM

My name is Mike Lenyo. I am the person doing the narrating on the video which was done April 1st 1993.

It was made by Dave Axom (?) from Iowa.

To start out, we removed the Woody in May of 1980. It was myself, Phil Brown, then SDC president Max Corkins, Pete Wilson from Keystone Chapter, Jim Bressler, John Borkowski, Brian Webster and Gust Saros who was the new director of Discovery Hall Museum. With Bendix representatives Pete Leatherwood and Jim Baugh.

Being able to get in there legally was a mass confusion of red tape and legal issues but we did it. The original plans were to remove the model N which was later crushed and the Woody. To get in there we had to cut a road, cut down trees and tip the Sandcar on its side. Lift the Woody up and set it on a trailer. We were allowed one day to do this. It took all day to get the Woody out. The tow truck driver that was going to remove the Model N refused to take his truck back in there so we had to leave the Model n behind. Although we did manage to remove a lot of sheet metal from various cars.

At this time the Studebaker collection was in storage in a Dreweys beer warehouse. It's a long story but you need to read my article "the Museum via the Woody" on my website. One person who should receive more credit would be Max Corkins who finally got the ball rolling. It took a long time but he did it.

Most of these cars were test vehicles and every one of them had an engineering code number painted on the windshield. The model N was supposed to be the 1952 centennial car. If it had been there would not have been the '53 loewy coupe.

In 1993 I was on the road and I talked to my wife by phone. She told me that never seen before graveyard videos for $20 were for sale in Turning Wheels. We ordered the videos and what we received was shocking. This individual took videos of my pictures that I took in 1980 and put them on a table and zoomed in on them with a camcorder.

At first I was mad but then I laughed about it. How he got my pictures I do not know. I then contacted him and told him if he wanted to come in and see those cars to be in South Bend the following weekend. He did and he brought a lot of recording equiptment which we carried over a fence and through the woods. It was also very cold. The polaroid camara was mine that I bought in '66. The young man in the red jacket is my son, Mike Jr. who worked at Avanti Motor Co. when he was 17 years old.

I have in my possession the complete VHS video. I have been in one time since this video was made, maybe 8 years ago. The cars at that time were in real bad shape. Many of the cars don't exist any more, although the sandcar was probably the best one.

Several weeks ago I was contacted by the Stude Museum about any knowledge of the sandcar. An individual from the west coast is interested in removing as many cars as we can. We are working with the city of South Bend. We have to wait until the weather clears up here before we can survey and make a further decision.

I am heading the committee to remove the cars. If possible it will be a monumental job which will take a lot of man power.

There is no Studebaker Graveyard Museum being built in South Bend.

I am in touch with the museum almost weekly and nothing is being done at the moment and not intended. The museum does not have the funds nor the room for any more vehicles.

Hopefully this answers some of the mystery currounding my Youtube video.

My father worked at Studebaker for 33 years. He was the Local 5 union representative for Proving Ground employees. he had a vast knowledge of what was out there, which is entirely another story of how we ended up getting out there.

I've been a member of the SDC and the AOAI for over 30 years.

I am interested in any comments. It's amazing how this thing got going. All the rumors and myths.


Mike Lenyo

P.S. That was me who gave the tour of the old Stude buildings with Herb Phillips from Kentucky. We had a ba

Desert Explorer
01-06-2009, 06:13 PM
I was floored by the videos when I first saw them. You know I am all for the rescue of any Stude history that can be saved form forever dissapearing to the elements.
Count Me in!

Bordeaux Daytona
01-07-2009, 09:19 PM
I've seen the video too. I would love to see something saved from the graveyard too. This is the best news I've heard about it in years!
Thank you for your efforts!
John V.

Desert Explorer
01-08-2009, 01:02 PM
quote: I've seen the video too. I would love to see something saved from the graveyard too. This is the best news I've heard about it in years!
Thank you for your efforts!
John V.
The support is truly appreiceated.[^] :D
It means everything to have our fellow Stude fans behind us. As Mike mentioned it will be a huge project just getting to, and rescuing what can be removed. I will do my best to help him coordinate it all, and keep you all posted on progress here at the forum.
Anyone intrested in being involved is welcome to contact Myself or Mike.