View Full Version : What sparked your love for Studes?

Nelsen Motorsports
05-01-2010, 08:56 PM
What sparked your love for Studebakers? Was it family, obsession with speed, style, just by one being your first car?[?]

For me it was just seeing this lovely little Lark VI sitting beside the road[8D].
The deal never made it to the table, but I was scarred for life.[}:)] From then on we looked for a 59' 2 door wagon, but we found the car I own today.

I digged those tevas and shorts when I was a kid...;)

Alex Nelsen, 15 year old Studebaker nut.
1954 Champion Coupe
Lizella, GA

05-01-2010, 09:04 PM
I've never been one to have something everyone else has. Studebakers are different and I like going to local car shows in a car nobody else there has. [:0]

Besides, Studebaker made some great looking cars that were WAY different from their competitors. [:X]

THen I got involved in the club and fell in love with the people. I guess we are all a little warped (not that there's anything wrong with that!) [}:)]

Jon Stalnaker
Editor, Hawk Talks
Karel Staple Chapter SDC

05-01-2010, 09:26 PM
Much like Jon, I like having things no one else has and I like having a car at a show that is 'different' from the others (although this doesnt happen when I'm at a Studebaker car show :). I also have some International pickups and a Crosley car and other 'different' things that I have collected.

The other reason for getting into Studebakers is that my mother and her parents are originally from Indiana. I'm not aware of any family working directly for Studebaker, but my grandparents had neighbors that worked there and my great grandma worked at a Delco plant in Kokomo building radios. Back in MN, some of my dad's relation worked for companies that were divisions of Studebaker (Onan and Franklin). My great uncle told me of the many Avantis and Hawks that were parked at the offices of Onan back in the day as that is what the big shots at the company drove at the time.

Oh, and one more thing, I think they look great! The '53 coupe and '56 Hawk look far more stylish than anything Detroit produced at that time.

Love birds...Red Hawks in mating season.
In the middle of Minnestudea

05-01-2010, 09:40 PM
Dad bought his first (of many) Studes back in 1972, a 53 coupe (I was 12) and he would drag me out to "help him" with his projects. My cars in high school were a 54 Land cruiser, a 63 sliding roof and a 65 Daytona. After high school I moved into a 66 Implala which years later I traded Dad for a 60 Lark VIII.

Had to sell Lark in 1990 when plant I was working in closed and I used the money to go to college. Thought I was done with Studes until wife caught me looking at my dream car, a Packard Hawk [:p], which I bought from California 2 years ago (currently undergoing total restoration) and 2 weeks ago we brought home an M5. Wife doesn't care much for the Hawk, but I am looking to turn heads at the local car shows. After all who drives a Studebaker or a Packard [?] Looks like I more like my Dad than I thought :D



05-01-2010, 10:11 PM
I don't know what started it, but I've been in love with 53 Studes since I was in the 3rd grade. Thats when I bought my first model of the car and built it to my own specs. I built that model again in 6th and 9th grades, then when I was a Senior in High School I bought mine. I still think its the best looking car on the road.... almost 50 years later.


05-01-2010, 10:18 PM
I was poor. I only had $100 from my paper route and a 1950 Studebaker Champion was the only good running car I could afford. I would always be kidded by my friends about my stupidbaker. But whenever we went anywhere as a group they would always want to go in my stupidbaker. As time passed I had dreams of a better car. I got a better job and started looking for my dream. I really didn't know what I wanted until I saw a Black 1955 President hard top in a car lot. Well the hard top was too much money $500, but I found a 55 Commander coupe in the paper for $300 with only 32,000 miles. That was the beginning of my love of Studebaker.....Bob

55pres- Cascade Chapter Oregon

05-01-2010, 10:29 PM
I have been asked this before, and for some reason I really don't know what sparked my interest.[?] I have just always liked them for as long as I can remember. Maybe I was just dropped on my head when I was younger[?][:o)] It does sort of make sense with my being from South Bend, but still even back then I had no idea what those buildings were, or where studebaker were made, and they were never really talked about. I didn't have any family who worked there. In fact, I come from a family of FORD drag racers who worked at Bendix. Figure that one out.[?][^][:0]:) But how many 16 year olds can say they own a 1940 Studebaker[?][^];)[8D]:D

Chris Dresbach. South Bend, In.
1940 Champion two door.
Parts of the 1952 Model N prototype.
1963 Prototype cart built by Studebaker.

52 Ragtop
05-01-2010, 10:44 PM
While I was in High School, I took "Power Lab" (auto shop) That was taught by one Ron "rusty with oil" Johnson. He drove a 58 Silver Hawk to school everyday (except when he rode a motorcycle)
He purchased a 56 Golden Hawk from Bob Kapteyn in 1972. I ended up taking some of the body parts to the Vocational Shop where I was taking a body shop class. Eventually, Ron told me about a 57 Golden Hawk in a "Salvage yard" Hanover Auto Salvage in Hanover Wisconsin. I bought it, and the rest so to speak is history!

BTW, Ron is completing a second restoration on his 56J, and I am completing my 63 Avanti, we hope to get the two of them together soon at a meet!

05-01-2010, 10:53 PM
It's all my Grandmother's fault!:( She did it, from beyond the grave at that![}:)] I didn't pay much attention to the little wagon she bought in early '62. After all, I was only six years old. She died six months later and left the car to my mother. Well more precisely, she left my Mother a choice between a '32 Pierce Arrow and the '62 Studebaker. Mum wanted the P.A. Dad told her she was taking the Studebaker. She took it home to the ranch (I got to ride with her in May of '63) and parked it in the barn and had my brother put a tarp over it. It stayed there for another six or seven years till I started Seventh Grade. There was no room for me to attend at Paynes Creek elementary (K-9) So, I had to go to Red Bluff for school. Problem was, there wasn't a bus for me either. Mum said they could have just had me ride on the High School bus, but the School District said no. Well, she didn't want to drive me to school and home again every day, so she arranged for me to have a special permit. Eleven years old and I was driving a, to all practical purposes, new car.:D Even better, Grandmum's car!:D We returned to So. Cal. the following fall so the car went back under the tarp and stayed there till the ranch was sold in 1975. I've always wondered what happened to that car...

Fast forward to about ten years ago... My last new car fell apart (it was five years old by that time) and I was thoroughly disgusted. So, I started looking for an older/classic car to drive. Something decently built and yet something I could work on. Two years later I found my '71 Caddie Coupe' DeVille. Nice car, even if it only satisfied the first qualification.;) I was befriended by the old fellow who sold me the Caddie and we used to talk about old cars. He had a really nice Studebaker early thirties hot rod Coupe. She was just right in Arrest Me (Candy Apple) Red![8D] Pops also had a beautiful 48 or 49 Commander show car in the barn he never took out.[:p] Anyway, after drooling on that for several months, Pops showed me a wagon he had just picked up. Well to make a long story short, I bought his '64 Commander wagon. Wish I'd been able to swing the '48-9 Commander, but oh well.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/december%2006/HPIM0234.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/56%20Parkview%20Wagon/56wagonleftfrontclipped-1.jpg
Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

05-01-2010, 11:10 PM
Hmmm...I think it all first started with my Dad, grandpa, cousin, and I, going to get the '62 Lark. Skip all the details and events, and now here I am, LOL!

Dylan Wills
Everett, Wa.
'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

05-01-2010, 11:14 PM

05-01-2010, 11:51 PM
Well I just turned 36 last week. I bought my first stude ( a 52 2R10 ) when I was 19. It was freshly restored (the wrong way, that I know now) but it was beautiful. It was burghandy with a 350 4 speed 4X4 with headers and 33" tires. I never knew Studebaker made trucks and only ever seen pics of a golden hawk and a bullet nose in books. I just had to have it so I barrowed some $ and bought it. Man I can't believe that was 16 years ago. Anyhow I drove it for a while and just sold it about 5 years ago. Now I am a full force stude lover, I can't get enough of them.


62' Deluxe R2 4SPD.

63' R1 Wagonaire

57' Transtar 259 punched to 312 NP540 4:09 TT Under Construction

58' 3E6D Stock

64' (Studebaker Built) Trailer Toter


JGK 940
05-02-2010, 12:07 AM
1) Grandfather's 1950 Land Cruiser 3/OD
2) Father's 1953 Champion Starlight 3/OD
3) Aunt's 1959 Regal 4D Sedan Lark VI/FOM
4) Neighbor's early-production Avanti R1/PS
5) The Daytona HT/vert double-page spread in the full-size "Different... By Design" catalog for 1964

Keoni Dibelka / HiloFoto
In Hawai'i; on Hawai'i; on the Windward Side
If da salt air never chew 'em up bumbye da lava will...

1950 Champion RegalDeluxe
05-02-2010, 12:18 AM
I always liked Studebaker Trucks and liked the look of all of the 1950's Studebaker vehicles.

05-02-2010, 12:22 AM
I bought my 1st Studebaker in 1973 when I was still in High School. I picked up a 1972 copy of Classic Car magazine at the local newstand and was very impressed by a pic of a yellow '53. No one in my family had owned a Stude to my knowledge. My Dad was a Cadillac man. And, I had a 1970 Trans Am at the time. After school I worked in the family automotive parts and accessories business. I was showing the mag around and, by chance, one of the customers said he knew where a '53 coupe was located and thought the owner would sell it. Next day we went to an obscure farm and sure enough, parked beside a barn with a 1967 tag on it, there was a yellow '53 Champion 6 cyl automatic coupe. The chrome was all pitted, the interior completely shot, and with rust holes in the floorboard. It hadn't been cranked in 6 years. Didn't matter though. The car beckoned to me like "Christine." I handed the farmer $100 cash, got the title, and had it towed the next day. My friends and I put hundreds of amateur repair hours into it. I had the motor completely rebuilt, but it still wouldn't pull a greasy string. I also had it repainted in the original canary yellow. Never accomplished a whole lot with the interior except repairing the rust holes. Anyway, the next year I happened upon a one owner black 2dr Hd Top '59 Lark V-8 with factory 4V carb and dual exhausts for $275. That car was sharp and would move on. I never worked on the '53 again :( and eventually sold it to a friend. But anyway, I've had a special love for "Stupidbakers" since 1972...[:p]

'63 Avanti
'66 Commander

05-02-2010, 04:27 AM
In 1963 I purchased a flat head six 1957 Silver Hawk for $50. Drove it for a while and sold it for $5. Since then I have owned 2 more Hawks, 3 Larks, and 2 Avantis. I have been buying high and selling slow every since. Kind of the Anti-JDP.

05-02-2010, 05:31 AM
my grandpa drove them for many years. He started with a 41 Champion. His last new one was a 63 Wagonaire. He was a farmer,so we had trucks too. Whe I was in High Schoolin 1983 gramps got bit by the Stude bug again, and bought a 51 Commander. That is when I got hooked.

66 Commander R1 Clone
51 Commander 4dr

05-02-2010, 08:28 AM
quote:Originally posted by Nelsen Motorsports

What sparked your love for Studebakers? Was it family, obsession with speed, style, just by one being your first car?[?]

Alex, it was a little of all the above, but mostly about FAMILY!!!

Our Family, Studebakers & South Bend together, go back as far as 1884. Today, [u]6 GENERATIONS</u> later, it's still all about Family, Studebakers & South Bend.

05-02-2010, 09:06 AM
For me it was my Grandfather on my Mom's side. He drove a '55 President State. I always thought it was cool and way better looking than the Fords and Chevys of the era. He was a Stude guy from way back. He owned them from the 20's! I have the original invoice for his '41 President Cruising Sedan, '49 Land Cruiser, '53 Land Cruiser, and the '55 President. He also had a late twenties and a 36 or 37, which I have a picture of somewhere. IF I can find it, I'll post it.

'63 Cruiser
'57 Packard wagon
'61 Lark Regal 4 Dr Wagon

05-02-2010, 09:09 AM
My love affair began one day while in Youngstown Ohio back in the mid fifties, I spotted a two tone Champion HT on a used car lot, I think I ruined the paint job on that car slobbering over it....Of course I was still in High Schol and couldn't afford it.....I thought that was the most beautiful car I had ever seen, needless to say, the rest is history.....Keep on Studebakering

05-02-2010, 09:20 AM
My mom had a Studebaker Bullet nose when we moved to the Okanagan in 1961. Drove up from the coast with it full of furiture, plants and the dog. Dad drove the truck. But, on my first day of high school in 1965 I walked by a garage on my way to school and saw my first customized "lowboy" Dark green, Chrome slotted wheel, florecent painted rear end.[:p] I was "IN lOVE". Been building cars since I was 15, but it took me 40 plus years to find the right car to build my own "Dream Car".;) But it is started.
Good Roads

Brian Woods
1946 M Series (Shop Truck)

05-02-2010, 11:04 AM
No Studebakers in my backgound growing up in my little corner of Ontario. Zip. Nada. Not even mode than a handful of vehicles in the area. 50 Champion Starlight with every conceivable factory and aftermarket dress-up option added to it, a 52 Hardtop in Black Cherry and Green, (I know), 2 2R trucks, a red 63 Wagonaire, 1 Champ truck, a 59 Lark VI and a 54 Champion. Thats it for Studebakers of my childhood--there were more running Kaiser and Frazer cars than there were Studebakers.

I still cannot remember exactly how I drifted into my modern appreciation of Studebaker. It just happened in the late 90s. Its not like there were many running around here on the Island. Studebaker just suddenly made sense on an intellectual level: the engine block composition, overdrives as an integral part of mechanical philosophy, underseat heaters, flat floors in Larks, RANCO valves, timing gears, the Wagonaire, Hillholder, No-Roll, Avanti, DG automatics, second gear start for V8s, Climatizers with fender vents, Mobil Economy Run winners, disc brakes, Hawks, sensible SW gauges, supercharging, interchangability of parts, Refreshair, even king pins.

Of course, once I met other Studebaker owners, and the club, I really became interested. Studebaker people are just different, maybe by design just like the cars, and I mean that in a nice way.

I still am bemused with now having 4 Studebakers--especially since 3 of them are 1957 4 dr sedans, not the most common or collectible models. Could be worse--could be 58 sedans :D:D:D

Jim B on PEI
63 Wagonaire 259 o/d
57 Champion W4 o/d
57 Champion W4 automatic
57 Commander W4 automatic

Bill Pressler
05-02-2010, 12:32 PM
No one in my family ever owned a Studebaker, although a friend of my Mom's had her late father's Colonial Red '60 Lark Deluxe VIII 4-door with stick. I remember kidding her about it as a kid (my Dad used the term "Stupidbaker" or "Steadybreaker" more than once), and her husband said, "That Lark will run rings around our Chevy" (which was a two-door '64 Chevelle wagon with six). That always stuck with me.

I always liked the 'different' angle of them too, and even in our small town there were a decent number of Studes still being driven in the sixties, due to our small but long-established Stude dealer (seen in my sig line). I liked later Larks even as a kid, 'cause they seemed rare even compared to '59's and '60's, and with good reason...they were!

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH
'63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1 (sold new by Cordell Motors, Moorhead, MN)
'64 Daytona Hardtop (sold new by Carl E. Filer Co., Greenville, PA)


05-02-2010, 12:43 PM
1950, working in St.Louis, bought a 46 Chrysler T &C Wood Convertible for $700. Wood rotted out so traded it in for a 1950 for Studebaker Starlight in 1953. Paid $ 800 for it and got $150 trade in for the Chrysler .(That woodie today is $100.000). Loved that Starlight- went 18 mpg where Chrysler was 9 mpg. Retired in 1992 and found a 50 Starlight nicely restored. Bought it and had so much fun driving it , that I added a 1963 GT Hawk. Currently restoring a 57 Silver Hawk. So started as a Stude nut 57 years ago.
How many out there drove a Studebaker legally in 1953 ?


05-02-2010, 02:59 PM
I must have got it from my Grandfather...and his brother. My Grandfather was a career body man...and worked very briefly in South Bend. He hated Studebakers and was always an Oldsmobile guy. His brother, however, was a career Studebaker employee. "Uncle Ed" has been gone probably 40 years, but as a young'un I can remember him, and his Studebakers. My grandfather's love of cars started the obsession, but his brother had the equipment I found coolest of all. I bought my first one about 17 years ago...

05-02-2010, 03:23 PM
My brother bought a 53 coupe from someone on this forum in 1965 or 66. I was only eight at the time. I remember walking out and seeing the car and was hooked.
My Dad and I were hauling something to the landfill a few years later and there was some guy collecting his stuff out of a 55 coupe to leave it at the dump. Needless to say, after a lot of begging and pleading, I had my first Studebaker at 14 years old.

Jamie McLeod
Hope Mills, NC

05-02-2010, 03:53 PM
I was a Studebaker baby.
My parents drove me home from the hospital in one after I was born.
Until I was five it was THE car. I stood in front of the back seat with my chin resting on the front seat when we drove. (No imprisoning car seats for babies in those days).
My father chose a Studebaker because he was from New York City and didn't know how to drive. Nobody in his family had ever owned a car or had a drivers license. But his job was in Princeton NJ, which had no public transportation, so he got tired of being a grown man who always had to carpool and bum rides.
The Studebaker dealer offered to throw in driving lessons and the trip to the motor vehicle department, to get his license, with the purchase of the car, so he got the sale.
His first Studebaker was a 1950 two-door Champion in gray. He dated the woman who would become my mother in that.
At some point after their October 1951 marriage, he traded in that 2-door for a black 1952 4-door Commander. That was the car I knew.
In 1959 I started kindergarten and they needed a second car for my mother to use. My family added a newly discontinued 1960 Edsel to the driveway with the Studebaker. (He really knew how to pick them--when he later bought a 1967 Dodge Dart I was sure Chrysler would be going under).
In 1962, when I was eight years old, we moved out of their newlywed cottage, into what they planned as their permanent house. We took the almost new Edsel with us, but the now 10-year-old Studebaker was sold to a local teenager for $50, and I never saw it again.
The Edsel became my car when I turned 16 and has been with me all 50 of its years. It made me into a car collector. Had he bought a Chevy or Ford it probably would have been scrapped rather than saved when repairs were more expensive than its financial value. But my Edsel was a future collectible that had to be saved.
This caused me to join car clubs and know car people.
When the editor of the local Studebaker club's newsletter quit, I was borrowed from another car club to be a temporary newsletter editor for them because one of the members knew of my Studebaker past.
(You know where this is going. If you hang around with Studebaker people, a Studebaker ends up following you home, whether you wanted one or not).
Eventually a member of that club had a car for sale that I could not resist. He had a 1952 Land Cruiser.
Seeing those huge gaping grille teeth again (now near my shins rather than at eye level as I remembered them) and the suicide doors convinced me that my Edsel and this replacement for my original Studebaker had to be united in my garage again.
And that's how this Studebaker baby became a Studebaker adult.

05-02-2010, 04:24 PM
I have been car involved my whole life. When I was introduced to the Studebaker people, that sealed the deal for me. Cars are cars. Each has its styling and engineering points, but the people that I have met in the club are the greatest folks around. They are the reason I enjoy the cars as much as I do. Thanks everyone!

05-02-2010, 05:14 PM
I grew up at home with Dodge cars and learned to drive in 1971~1972 on my Dad's 1969 Dodge Dart with slant six and 3 on the tree. When I started college at the University of Alabama in 1974, I lived about 1/2 mile off campus with my grandmother. Late in 1974 she bought a 1974 Dodge Dart and gave me her 1961 Studebaker Lark VI Regal automatic 4 door sedan. After getting the car I met an electrical engineer who worked at the educational (PBS) TV station which was on campus after seeing his 62 Hawk GT parked on the street. His name was Dodd Sellers, and was the President of the Yellowhammer Chapter of the SDC in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Even though I was the youngest member this club made me feel welcome and Dodd didn't seem to mine me hanging around his house talking Studebakers or watching him in the middle of a frame off restoration. I think the uniqueness of the Studebaker marque and the history of the company also caused me to be hooked early on. Here's a couple of pics of my first car ... (wish I still had her!)



63R-2386 under restoration & modification

05-02-2010, 05:38 PM
I guess I can blame my father. He always bought cars built by the Independent car makers. When I was a little kid, during WWII, Dad owned a '39 Studebaker Commander in maroon. I loved the way that car rode and how quiet the engine was. Even then, I could appreciate those things. I still do.
So, when it was time for me to own a car, my first one was a '40 Champion business coupe. It got me to the train station for me to commute to college in Brooklyn. A few years later, we had a '51 Commander State Convertible. Boy, do I wish I had that car now.
My first new car would have been a '61 Stude Hawk, but Dad talked me out of it because he thought the company was going out of business and I wouldn't be able to get parts. If he only knew that we can still get parts for those cars. Oh well, what can we do?

'59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
Long Island Studebaker Club

05-02-2010, 07:29 PM
When I was around 15 yrs. of age I had '53 LowBoy 1/25th scale model with a double blower motor called Double Trouble that got me hooked. I always wanted a '53 2dr coupe ( and still do ) but after seeing Frankenstude at a car show I fell for the Bulletnoses. I also love the M5's.

Personal Website - 1950 Studebaker Retro-Rod Project

05-02-2010, 09:02 PM
My dad had a '50 2R (don't if it was a 5 or 6)when I was really young. My grandfather had a green '52 Sedan, I assume a Champion. My uncle had at least two Studebakers and I was always impressed with them. (The Cruiser I now own was one he bought new!) But that only made it so I knew what a Studebaker was. As young adult I got into sports cars (Sprite, Elva Courier, TR 3 and TR4). My wife and I bought a new Saab 96 shortly after we got married and did a lot of rallying with it. Eventually kids showed up and it was not until my daughter turned 16 and wanted to drive to school that I began to look for something I could drive so she could drive the van. I came across some Studebaker folks at Autofair and found them to be really nice folks. It was all downhill from there. Shortly after I bought a '59 Lark Hardtop. Painted it, put a 289 in it, all in a friend's front yard. Of course that meant I was hooked, and I still am.

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

05-02-2010, 09:17 PM
There was always somthing special about them. Then when I was 16, my dad bought me a 17 year old Stubebaker Champion Convertable. I'v been hooked ever since. Today I took a trip through the area I lived in back then. It brought back memories of cruising down the beach with a surfboard sticking out the back of the convt. Then several years later of ruahing through three little beachside towns at speeds from 90-110 mph in a 56 Sky Hawk to get my young wife who was in labor to the hospital. 14 hrs later they brought me a little girl.

Neil Thornton
Hazlehurst, GA
'57 Silver Hawk
'56 Sky Hawk
'51 2R16 dump truck
Many others.

05-03-2010, 12:38 AM
I was born into it. Didn't have a choice.

quote:Originally posted by rockinhawk

It brought back memories of cruising down the beach with a surfboard sticking out the back of the convt.

So... Who's surf board was it? [:o)]

05-03-2010, 02:17 AM
quote:Originally posted by mbstude

I was born into it. Didn't have a choice.
You and me both buddy!!! ;) :D

(a search will find my StudeHistory...)

StudeDave '57 [8D]
Ferndale, WA

'54 Commander Regal 4dr 'Ruby'
'57 Parkview 'Betsy' (she's a 2dr wagon)
'57 Commander DeLuxe 2dr 'Baby'
'57 Champion Custom 2dr 'Jewel'
'58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
'65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'

05-03-2010, 06:56 AM
There have been at least 2 of these "How did you get started" threads.



I wrote basically the same thing in each. You can read it there.

And the 1st one I ever owned here (top of 2nd page): http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8321&whichpage=2&SearchTerms=Carol

OK, back to sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz [:o)]


05-03-2010, 07:05 AM
It was the CHROME that got me going initially[:p]
I was 11 years old and was travelling to Victoria with my parents and older brother.
We stopped at a motel unit for the night in Ceduna,South Australia.Ceduna is a port and the first big town worth talking about on the journey.It's about 1300 miles from home after going through the world's longest straight stretch of road...the Nullabor Desert.
In the morning when we got up,I went outside and there was a near new 62 G.T.[:p][:p] parked next to an equally new R series Valiant.[:p]
I was awestruck as there was nothing else like those cars.[^]That chrome was GLEAMING in the SUN!!!:DYou could hardly look at the trunk of the G.T. as it was so bright!
I never forgot them and ended up with one of each.
The more I study the Study,the more I love its lack of straight lines.It truly is automotive art!!


05-03-2010, 08:34 AM
I know exactly what sparked my love of Studebakers...
The tach delete gauge bezel in Dad's new '61 Hawk.
The affair started the second day it was in the driveway.
(after Dad, Mom, and us munchkin's rode home from the dealer)


That was the day I discovered that the dash was incredible.
There were bomb bay switches, machine gun switches, altimeter guages, depth gauges...
(depends on whether I was racing, flying, or diving that day)
But the Tach delete....
That was pure magic.
It was radar, sonar, a gunsight... Everything all in one.
And there were switches and levers everywhere.
And there were two special switches.
They were time delay bomb switches.
They would cause Mom to explode and yell at me the next day.
Something about draining the battery dead if you left them either up or down...
Mom yelled at me a lot about those two switches more than a few times.
But the good news was... We won every battle, and every race we entered.
And we never swerved.
Those Hawk fins provided the utmost in stability.
Can't say the same for the dog.....


Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

Warren Webb
05-03-2010, 10:22 AM
My father was an auto body man, so I was his helper when he brought home a side job since I was at least 7. One day he was to order some parts he needed for a 55 Studebaker. Rather than get them from some unknown dealership, I suggested he order them from my school friends dad who owned Kovac Motors in Woodbridge, N.J. A few days later when the parts came in I went with him to pick them up. While he was at the parts counter I was examining the 60 Larks on the showroom floor and as a 12 year old that had been trained to check for alignment of doors, ect, I was impressed with how uniform everything fit, how well doors closed ect. Dad had worked for years before that for a Dodge dealer but those cars never impacted me like Studebakers did and a couple years later when Brian Kovac showed me a picture of the upcoming new Avanti, it was all over. After I got my drivers license Dad came home from work one night and handed me a 59 accessories manual that he "found in a used car". Then said " this was with it too" which was the owner manual. "Gee, thanks dad!" was my reply but nothing more than getting the 2 books sunk in. Finally he threw me the keys too & I became aware just what he had done! And so I became the proud owner of a Seamist green 59 Lark VI 4 door automatic with the only options of a heater & manual tune radio. Later I updated the wipers to electric, the AM radio to push button, the brakes to 11" front & 10" rear (from a 57 silver Hawk) and later to an ohv 6 when the original engine needed a valve job. It was my pride and joy for over 2 years until one day when approching a traffic circle, the trans froze in drive. I had reverse, but wouldnt go forward. Sadly, I had to sell it. The buyer came to the house & asked that we tow it to his house in the neighboring section of town (Morgan, N.J.) which we did. After unhooking the Lark he jumped in, started it, put it in drive & off he went!!! I was so sad that I hadnt tried doing that, but it was too late. My Lark was not mine anymore.

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

05-03-2010, 12:20 PM
Seeing them on Mr. Ed.

05-03-2010, 03:01 PM
My Father's purchase of a 63 R1 4 speed Avanti in 1972,there IS NO turning back!

Joseph R. Zeiger

05-03-2010, 05:10 PM
I had two Uncles that loved Studebakers. Uncle Bob had a '50 and a'53 and Uncle Worth had a '57 and a '59. Later I bought the '59 Lark from my Uncles widow, drove that car in High School and College.I always believed that our Studebakers were ahead of their time.

05-03-2010, 07:41 PM
The surf board belonged to Darrell Singelton. I didn't care about surfing but I did like the beach. Darrell didn't have his own wheels, so if I would take his board for him, he would pay for gas. WIN-WIN!! NT
quote:Originally posted by mbstude

I was born into it. Didn't have a choice.

quote:Originally posted by rockinhawk

It brought back memories of cruising down the beach with a surfboard sticking out the back of the convt.

So... Who's surf board was it? [:o)]

Neil Thornton
Hazlehurst, GA
'57 Silver Hawk
'56 Sky Hawk
'51 2R16 dump truck
Many others.

05-03-2010, 10:40 PM
It was happening everywhere.;) While aenthal was standing in the backseat of his folks Stude on one side of the country, I was doing the Same on the westcoast in Vancouver B.C.:)
I remeber trying to sleep in the backseat on those long, cold, and rainy nights, looking down at those rubber mats in their 50 Studebaker as the street light lit them up as we passed under them on our way home from my aunts place.[|)]
Good Roads

Brian Woods
1946 M Series (Shop Truck)

06-08-2010, 10:36 PM
Simple my twin cousins, every time we went to there house they had a old car they were working on
then one day were at there house they say they want to show me something new
it was a Crosley station wagon Black roof with a Red body the colors of the Chicago Fire Department it had a hood ornament a chrome devil with his thumb on his nose we went for a ride in that it was like a clown car

Right next to it was a two tone 54 Studebaker Commander coupe Light Blue & Dark Blue
with a thin Gold stripe dividing the colors & a V8 on the quarter panel
The car looked like no other the dash especially, then going for a ride in the front seat
when standing still it looked like it was in motion, i'll never forgot that day or the look of that coupe

06-09-2010, 08:06 AM
My first car was 1952 stude and i was hooked. I have owened 7 studebakers but none now i sure miss not haveing one now.

06-09-2010, 10:03 AM
Nobody in my immediate family ever had a studebaker. I don't think there were ever a lot of them in the part of rural MN I am from. When I was old enough to notice cars (mid-late 70s), there weren't any around.

One day in the early spring of 1991, probably mid March or so while I was home from college, I tagged along with my Dad when we went on a parts or vet supplies run. On the way back for some reason we stopped at a vacant farm yard that neighbored my parents farm. It was about a mile from home as the crow flies. Out in the trees behind the chicken coop and the barn amongst other junk and a old lawnmower was this strange car:


The emblems said it was a Studebaker Champion. Last plated in 1961. We could smell the mouse pee from outside the car...

I was curious, and when I was back at college later that spring, I found a copy of the 1979 Richard Langworth book on Studebaker in the library. In the book is a picture of Raymond Loewy sitting in a '53 Commander out at the Studebaker proving grounds. This picture taken at the same time is very similar to the one in that book:


What a cool looking car :cool:

For the next year I worked on how to get that car from its resting site and the rest is history...

06-09-2010, 10:38 AM
My dad started working at the dealer in Clinton, Tn. when we moved there when I was 5. I was already a car nut, but we had not had a car of our own till then. He got a grey 47 Champion coupe, then a 50 Champion coupe, then a 55 Champion 4 door, then a Lark V-8 wagon. All this is over several years, of course, but with those cars, getting to go to work with him quite often, going for test drives, parade rides, witnessing the 1st Golden Hawk in town arriving and getting to ride in it, watching them unload and hearing those loud factory pipes on the 1st Avanti received at one of the dealers he worked at in Knoxville, Tn., him "blowing the dust out of 'em" tune-up rides, etc, etc, etc, - - -how could it not have made a good imprint on this little brain?? THEN,- - - started getting my own Studes- - -another story. I still want more- - -but- - -downsizing and moving, guess I'll have to wait. John

06-09-2010, 10:45 AM
Not being from a Studebaker family I really don't know except my first car was a 48 land cruiser and it was cheap $25.00 in 1958 and smoked like a train, a friend of mine always had use of his mothers 52 commander convert, just like the pace car but with out the markings, always loved that car but to this day have never owned a 52 convert but over 200 other Studebaker's and a few other 52's still have a 52 commander 4 door right now and i am the 2nd owner of that one. also really like the finned hawks and over the years have had my share of them along with most of the cars from the late 40's till 66 and on with the Avanti's II....

06-09-2010, 10:47 AM
I couldn't make the links to my previous post work, so here it is again. Hope it doesn't bore anyone to tears...

BY John Wipff

“…thru the mist of a memory, you wander back to me, breathing my name with a sigh….”

Peter DeRose
“Deep Purple”

It was 1946. I was 11.

After school one day, I was ambling down Broadway in Hamilton, Illinois, pop. 2700, my books in my war-surplus back pack, when (I know it sounds trite to say it but…) out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed something so futuristic it actually took my breath away.

There in a dimly lit room at the dealer, my unbelieving eyes saw an apparition, a dark red ’47 Commander 5-passenger coupe. I say “dealer”—it was a guy who sold Studebakers as a sideline to his auto repair biz. I think there were many of those quasi-dealers after the war. As I recall now, there may have been a table and chairs and a brochure stand and this one car on a concrete floor in a dimly lit room. Certainly was not the picture we have today of a DEALER! But after all, WWII was barely over and he was the only thing that even resembled a car dealer of ANY kind in that town.

But even in the gloom, it SPARKLED! The chrome wasn’t chrome at all, but polished silver. The paint—royalty. The lines—unbelievable! The glass—crystal. The windows---oh, those wraparound windows. Breathtaking! Mesmerizing!! I lusted for them! Wait! Let me re-phrase that. Being 11, I didn’t know about lust….but I sure liked ‘em a lot! That car talked to me—in the voice only kids hear when they see something they just can’t live without. Being 11 there was no chance I could own one. Heck, my new Schwinn bike cost $22.50 and I had mowed grass, wheedled relatives and saved all during the war to be able to afford IT.

I had only seen pictures of the new Studebakers in magazines, none “in person”.


But my schoolboy eyes did a double take on that “which-way-is-it-going” dream. I probably cupped my hands over my eyes and pressed my face against the display window, scoping out every sleek feature. I remember I DID sneak inside and scored one of those 2-fold brochures. And touched the car. Didn’t dare open the door.

Out in the shop, one of the mechanics raised his head from the innards of an old truck and yelled, “Hey kid, ya wanna look inside?” He didn’t have to ask me twice. Couldn’t get that door open fast enough! (Hey, the handle pulled OUT instead of DOWN!) Sat behind the wheel, moving it back and forth. I couldn’t see over it but I could imagine. Good thing there wasn’t a key because I twisted the knobs, stepped on the pedals, pushed the push-buttons, shifted the shifter, opened the glove box. There was no one there to tell me, “Don’t touch that!” So I touched, pushed, twisted, opened--all the while inhaling that “new car” smell! (Which I understand is mostly glue!)

Clambered into the back seat and sat there, imagining myself floating down some highway, that wraparound vista crowding my head with images, too many to assimilate. If you’ve ever sat in the back seat of one, you know the feeling. And you know that just SEEING it from the outside doesn’t really do it justice. It may be beautiful or even futuristic from the outside but you have to SIT in it to feel the rapture, the ADVENTURE. In that instant, I knew there WAS a heaven on earth and it was in the back seat of that car on Broadway in HamiltonIllinois!

Went home that afternoon and searched every old “Saturday Evening Post” and “Collier’s” we had. Later in the year, even confiscated that September 15 “Life” mag with the article showing how they made ‘em. Tore out, er—skillfully removed--all the Studebaker pictures I could find. Began tracing the outlines of the cars on tracing paper. Began a scrapbook of those pictures and my artwork. Began talking to all my friends about STUDEBAKERS!! One of whom said, if they opened up my brain, there’d be a little STUDEBAKER whirring away up there!!

At the time, I lived on a farm 4 or 5 miles out of town with my great aunt (who drove a ’35 DeSoto) and over time, told her I wanted to be a designer for Studebaker. (I swear I’m not stretching any of this!) She told me if I didn’t spend more time on studies and less on Studes, I’ll be designing in the DUST—meaning I’d be the janitor, not the designer.

Back then, just after the war, in order to get almost ANY new car, you had to be on a LIST and theoretically you got your car in list order. I’m sure crossing the right palm with a little silver never hurt, either. And there were a few new cars actually on the STREET in Hamilton. One of the biz owners drove a big new ’46 Buick 4-door.

And Corabell Iman, the lady who owned the greenhouse down the road, had a ’46 Ford wagon.

But in my young mind, there was simply NOTHING to compare with that beautiful new Studebaker downtown. And I went past it every chance I got, stealing a brochure when I thot no one would see. I really acquired a bountiful supply of those colorful treasures.

One day I coasted by on my Schwinn and the coupe was gone. A green Land Cruiser was in its place. “Hey, where’s the other one”, I asked one of the mechanics.

“Sold it”, was the terse reply, “wanna buy that one?”

“Nope”. I sneaked another brochure and left.

Over time, there were other cars in the “showroom” but, in my youthful mind, none really compared to that first amazing vision. I know it may sound maudlin today but, looking back, when that car left, it was truly like losing a friend or my Captain Midnight decoder badge.

In ’48, after graduating grade school (What the heck was a JUNIOR high?) I went to live with my father and his new wife in Dallas. In ’51, they bought a new Land Cruiser and traded for a new ’52 in December of that year. Since I was in my last 2 years of high school then, I had many an interesting experience in those cars. Some of which were not particularly good for the car (hit a skunk with the ’52!) and MANY of which are not suitable for a family forum.

And when I married in KeokukIA in ‘55, I had to have one—a ‘48 Champion 5-passenger for $200 was all we could afford. My new father-in-law drove a dark turquoise ’51 Land Cruiser and had a friend who had a ’50 Champion 2-door for the same $200. But who wants an ol’ 2-door when you can have the “which-way-is-it-going” car? So, of course, the coupe won hands down. The sticker under the glove box said it was Rodeo Tan, tho my new wife called it Mouse Brown. With teenage optimism and about $100, we headed to Texas almost immediately after the wedding, in our “new” car and had nary a problem.

Later, we traded the ’48 for a grey ’51 Commander Starlight and even later the ‘51 for a black/yellow ’56 Sky Hawk. And over the years have had a myriad of them. (Studebakers AND wives!)

In 1946, how could I, or anyone, have known that in just 8 more years, Henry Ford’s push to outsell Chevy would sound the death knell for most independents as we knew them. And in just 18 years, the magic of Studebaker cars would be gone from this country and in 2 more, from the world? All I knew at the time was that it was there and I truly loved it more than my Schwinn.

Last time I was in Hamilton, the Studebaker “dealer” location was a Super Valu grocery store. Any idea that it had once been a place of youthful dreams, a heaven on earth for me, was gone, replaced by gherkins and Gravy Train. And tho I guess it could be said of ANY car, to my way of thinking, there is simply NO other car like a Studebaker—almost ANY Studebaker.

But especially a mystically futuristic dark red 1947 5-passenger coupe.

From that dream-like instant in 1946 ‘til today.


06-09-2010, 12:16 PM
When I was a child, we passed by a used car lot with a 1951 bullet nose (not sure Champion or Commander) on the lot. I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. There you go.

06-09-2010, 01:39 PM
One day in probably late '53 I was walking down Main Street in my home town (Chanute, Kansas). Just as I went by the Crown Drug Store this amazing car pulled in to a parking place. It was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. It was a white '53 Commander Starliner with a stunning very mild custom paint job- a pale purple shading along the door and fender crease. We didn't have a Studebaker dealer in our town and no one in my family owned a Studebaker (though my dad took us to look at 2R trucks one time and he tried to convince his younger brother to buy a 2R pickup). Ironically we had more Studebaker families around us than cars. Anyhow, I knew I would eventually own one of those beautiful '53s. In 1966 the dream came true. I bought it for $295 and drove it as a commuter car for several years. Now it rests in the barn awaiting a better restoration than it got in 1966-67.

06-09-2010, 06:10 PM
I was one of those kids who used to sit on the front steps and keep track of the cars that went by. Nobody knows where that came from, as I'm the only person in my family who's "into" cars. When I was about 7 or 8 (around 1978 or 79) I noticed this little black two door hardtop that would often show up around the neighborhood. One day when it was parked at the curb I was able to give it the once-over and noticed that the little chrome letters on the trunk lid between the lollipop taillights spelled out "S-T-U-D-E-B-A-K-E-R" and the nameplates on the rear fenders identified it as a "Daytona." It was BEAUTIFUL! With a black body and jazzy red interior it was a real looker and definitely stood out from the run of the mill Chevys and Plymouths most folks drove in my neck of the woods.

The section of Philadelphia where I grew up had plenty of GM, FoMoCo, and Chrysler products as well as quite a few AMCs due to a very aggressive dealer who operated nearby. We also had a guy who sold them funny furrin' cars down by the El stop, and my dad had taken me down there a few times to look at the Triumphs, Jaguars, and FIATs in his showroom. I was pretty familiar with what the Big Two and the Smaller Two turned out and most of your popular imports, and this sure as shootin' didn't come from any of them! When I asked my Dad about it, he brushed me off with something to the effect of "it's just some old heap they don't make anymore." Not too long afterwards, the car disappeared but the memory of it stayed with me the way that memories of things like that tend to do.

As I got older and was able to independently foster my car craziness, I eventually found out about Studebaker and learned that the car I drooled over was a '63 Daytona hardtop. That Daytona got me interested in Studebakers. The more I found out about them the more I liked 'em and eventually I decided that I was going to have a Daytona like the one I remembered someday. I don't have one yet but someday I will.

06-09-2010, 06:28 PM
It was the 62 lark VI I have sitting in the driveway. I'm 34 now and have been in that same Stude my whole life it was my grandfathers. Have always loved it because there never seems to be another around and everyone always seems to smile when they see that little blue car. And of course when I was a kid we wanted to take that everywhere cause you didnt have wear a seat belt because it didnt have any lol. Now so many many years later its mine and my now 8 year old son loves it just as I did which is for me now the best part of my lifelong Studebaker experiance.

06-09-2010, 09:19 PM
My father drove 'em........brought me home from the hospital way back in 1950 in a '49 Commander.......later had '56 GH, later still '59 Lark........finally '64 Avanti.

06-09-2010, 09:53 PM
I had just graduated from college and moved to the country. I wanted a truck and found this one. I was not aware of a Studebaker club. Over 35 years, lots of friends, several more Studebakers have happened between these two combined pictures