View Full Version : Surprising Local Studebaker/SDC PR

07-06-2009, 11:17 AM
UPDATE: See the link to the article in a later post in this thread. Bob

:) Here's a self-explanatory copy of a letter to Editor David Zivan back in May, following an wonderful, extensively-researched article that appeared in the May 2009 Indianapolis Monthly magazine. It wasn't intended to be a Letter to the Editor for publication...but much to my surprise, they published it as the first Letter to the Editor in the July 2009 edition!

(Now before anyone jumps on my reference to Studebaker's financial position in May 1960, remember; even though they were just getting by at the time,;) they were still better off than was General Motors the day I wrote this letter![:0]) :DBP

Hello, David Zivan;

'Just a note to express appreciation for the wonderful Indianapolis Motor Speedway and "500" article your team assembled for the May 2009 [u]Indianapolis Monthly</u>. What an undertaking, studying all those images and having to pare them down to the ones selected. Colorfully written and nicely arranged, too. A great job all around, in which you should all take satisfaction.

As a life-long Studebaker enthusiast, I was pleased to see your including Studebaker's famous 1930s race car "assault team" and caption on Pages 70 and 71; a worthy inclusion from another famous Indiana company.

Also of interest was the Page 76 Pace Lap photo from the 1960 race. Understandably, the 1960 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible Pace Car is the most prominent element in the photo. Surprising, though, is the fresh new 1960 Studebaker Champ pickup truck support vehicle seen on the point at the south end of pit row! One would think General Motors would have supplied GMC trucks for support vehicles, yet the newest Studebaker truck on the market, the just-introduced Champ, was right there, almost "front and center."

South Bend's Studebaker was a going, profitable manufacturer in May 1960, contributing greatly to Indiana's economic base...as was General Motors, of course. Although 1960 was a profitable model year for Studebaker, only four short years after that photo was taken, the company would no longer be manufacturing consumer vehicles of any kind in the United States of America.

Now, today, Oldsmobile is gone...and General Motors executives would likely envy what was Studebaker's financial condition as of May, 1960.

My, how times change.

Thanks again for a great article; thoroughly enjoyable.

Bob Palma
Technical Editor
The Studebaker Drivers Club
(an international organization of almost 13,000 members)

Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 17:45:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Great Indianapolis Motor Speedway article
From: DZivan@indymonthly.emmis.com
To: bobcaripalma@hotmail.com

Bob --

Got your note this morning, and in the rush of deadline today I havenít had a moment to write and thank you. What a terrific and thoughtful thing.... Not just to appreciate what we did, but also to teach me something about it too ó I eagerly flipped open the magazine to look for the Studebaker. Fascinating!

I hope you wonít mind my sharing your note with some of the staff here ó they did the heavy lifting, of course, and itís great to be appreciated.

Thanks again, so much.


David Zivan Editor
Indianapolis Monthly
40 Monument Circle, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46204


07-06-2009, 11:57 AM
Neat-O. ;)

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1963 Cruiser
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

Warren Webb
07-06-2009, 12:46 PM
Bob, its your gift of putting the right, thoughtful words together that makes your articles & such so enjoyable to read. I am sure Mr. Zivan feels so good & will think, not only of you, but Studebaker in a whole new perspective. WELL DONE!!

60 Lark convertible
61 Champ
62 Daytona convertible
63 G.T. R-2,4 speed
63 Avanti (2)
66 Daytona Sport Sedan

07-06-2009, 12:54 PM
Bob, what a great letter. It is made even better by the responsible and respectful letter you received from Mr. Zivan. As a Chmap owner, I would like to see that picture with Champ truck.

As usual you are one of our best PR men. Thanks.

Joe Roberts
'61 R1 Champ
'65 Cruiser
Editor of "The Down Easterner"
Eastern North Carolina Chapter

07-06-2009, 01:17 PM
quote:Originally posted by BobPalma
One would think General Motors would have supplied GMC trucks for support vehicles, yet the newest Studebaker truck on the market, the just-introduced Champ, was right there, almost "front and center."

Interesting indeed! Especially since the GMC for 1960 was 'all-new' as well![:0]


07-06-2009, 01:17 PM
:) Joe (and others). I saw your request and just called Indianapolis Monthly in downtown Indianapolis. The receptionist was real nice and helpful.

I asked her about buying back issues; specifically, May 2009. She said they normally have back issues, but May 2009 "sold out right away because of the Speedway article" and they don't have any more (geeze, glad I saved mine!).

She hooked me up with this link to the article through The Indianapolis Motor Speedway:


You can click on "1930s" to see the Studebaker racing team photo. Click on "1960s" to see the 1960 Pace Lap photo with the Champ at the south end of Pit Row on the exciting pace lap. The image was much larger in the magazine, of course, and the new Champ was more easily seen.

Go to the bottom of each page and click on the image to make it bigger. The images will come up to about half the size they were in the magazine, so that's about the best we can do, I think, unless one of you computer geniuses out there can figure out how to capture these and post them here, even bigger. :DBP

07-06-2009, 01:31 PM
This is a little better than the picture. But man your eyes have to be sharp to see that truck!



07-06-2009, 01:37 PM
:) Thanks, Mark. The Champ truck really is much more visible in the print copy of the article, on glossy paper. Note that, even when you enlarge these photos through the website, it's still difficult (or impossible) to read the captions. Of course, in the magazine article, the captions were easily read because they were large and clear. :DBP

07-06-2009, 01:49 PM
Thanks, Bob P.
I noted in another thread that the dust cover photo for the new Indy 500 book clearly shows a Champ pickup support vehicle. It may be on the overfly of the front dust cover.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

07-06-2009, 03:49 PM
It won't let me copy, print or save those pictures. How did Bullet do it?

Leonard Shepherd


07-06-2009, 05:22 PM
:) I was playing around some more with this and just discovered something. Once you've clicked on the 1960 Pace Lap photo to make it bigger, then right click and a menu that includes Marquee Zoom will come up.

Click on Marquee Zoom and you'll be given a little tool where you can zero in by clicking and really enlarge the photo, seeing the Champ truck [8D] very well, and fairly clear.[:p] :DBP

07-06-2009, 09:34 PM
Well done, BP. [^]

07-06-2009, 09:51 PM
Thanks BP for the posting the link for the pictures. I really love that shot with the Champ.

Joe Roberts
'61 R1 Champ
'65 Cruiser
Editor of "The Down Easterner"
Eastern North Carolina Chapter

07-06-2009, 11:05 PM
quote:Originally posted by JRoberts

Thanks BP for the posting the link for the pictures. I really love that shot with the Champ.

Joe Roberts

:) 'Glad it came through, Joe.

That really is unusual, their having a brand-new Champ in that prominent place when General Motors was supplying the Pace Car that year.

Keep in mind, that photo was taken from Turn One. Sitting in the main grandstand anywhere near the start-finish line, many thousands of people in attendance really had a good view of the Champ...and it may have been the first one they'd seen, what with it being a spring introduction, IIRC. :DBP

07-08-2009, 12:12 AM
I used a program called Snag-it. It lets you zoom in on any part of an application, web page or even the entire web page and copy it to a .jpg file. Works great! We use it at work, so not sure on cost or where it came from.


07-08-2009, 06:19 PM
Bob, you're one helluva writer!

'59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop

07-08-2009, 07:16 PM
He is that, Rog, and when my bride and I visited son Glen and family in Carmel, at Bob's insistance we drove to The Track and had the time of our lives.

If you're ever in or near Indianapolis, the bus ride around the track (for what, $2?) is so worth it. Not to mention the museum!