View Full Version : Dec. 9, 1963 --- 41 years

12-09-2004, 02:39 PM
41 years ago today. "Black Monday" for the people of South Bend, and employees of Studebaker. Lest we forget.:(

12-09-2004, 03:49 PM
Sad anniversary indeed. Every time I think of this, I remember reading what one ex-employee wrote some time after Studebaker was done. This guy's job kept him at the plant for a time after the last cars were built.
He reflected that shortly after shutdown (a few days or so), he walked along one of the assembly lines. The lines held no cars, of course. But the gondolas and bins on either side were full of gleaming new parts, just waiting to be hung on a progressing vehicle. He thought to himself: How incredible! Here's this automobile production facility - all stocked and set to build new cars - and it will never noisily do so again! It was hard to swallow that no one would ever flip the lites on again and start forming new Studebakers from the contents of those bins. How could it be???:(

Miscreant at large.

12-09-2004, 08:58 PM
Man-o-man Bob, you sure know how to paint a depressing picture! :( After I read that, I went out in the cold, dark, dank weather, with the 40 knot winds tearing at my hands holding my jacket closed, to the garage, and hugged my ol' Starlight coupe! :D


12-09-2004, 11:15 PM
It's truly a depressing scenario, Sonny. But I remeind myself that had Studebaker managed to STAY in business, building cars, I probably wouldn't be as enamored with them as I have been for 31 years!
There's something appealing about the "underdog" and in Studebaker's case, the fact that we're left to prove what a superior car they really were makes them even more intriguing. 40 years after they were built, they're still surprizing folks with their performance! What a fantastic story!

Miscreant at large.

04-16-2005, 02:02 AM
Want a few goose pimples? Next time you go to South Bend take a few moments to stand across the street from the main entrance to South Bend Lathe (which is west of SASCO). You'll see (unless they are gone now) a small guard house and two pillars at the entrance to South Bend Lathe. It was from this spot that the major television networks announced the end of the line for Studebaker on December 9, 1963. It was a snowy cold day and most news accounts showed workers starting their Studebakers and leaving the employee lot. Lore has it that old time line workers, sensing something was in the air earlier that day, headed for the Studebaker Credit Union and withdrew their money. Lore is lore but certainly try to see this next time you are in South Bend. At the rate the old Stude buildings are disappearing, you might not get to take in this view much longer.


04-16-2005, 05:52 AM
As of last October, the main gate still stands. I was up there visiting my Mother. It's odd, I was born and raised in South Bend, but didn't buy a Studebaker until I moved to Georgia. (Of course, by then I could afford one.)[:I]

04-16-2005, 07:59 AM
I also was born and raised in South Bend and my brother worked on the Avanti line (I believe it was in the old truck line building) until they closed it down. Many of my friends fathers were Studebaker employes with 20-30 years at Studebaker.


P.S. My first Stude was a new 1962 Lark two door V8 o.d.

05-08-2005, 10:48 AM
Rummaging around SASCO saturday,I told my girlfriend,just think,out of business for 40 years,and people are still standing in line to buy their brand new parts!

not golden hawk,not silver hawk,just hawk.

05-09-2005, 12:57 PM
It's damned amazing when you think about it![:0] AMCer's can't say the same thing and their company held out until 1987!!![xx(]
That Studebaker thought enough of the faithful customers to maintain parts sales thru the company for 6 years after the last Stude was built is amazing in itself. To think that there's still warehouses full of NOS parts to draw from almost a half century later is astounding.:D

Miscreant at large.

05-09-2005, 02:03 PM
You don't go through so many parts when you build quality vehicles. Of all discontinued makes Studebaker seems to have the highest survival rate of all them. Plus Studebaker had the most well engineered drivetrains of all the independents. We think the Skybolt6 is a week engine but its problems were quite common among alot of engines. Many Ford and GM engines had valve seat cracking problems too. It's like I always say, Autozone always has that GM HEI coil in stock because they sell lots of them. That means they must break frequently. They don't have a coil in stock for a Toyota engine eventhough there are millions of them on the road too, but they don't break as often. GM coil $20.00, Toyota coil $60.00. I'll take the $60.00 one that never breaks any day over the $20.00 that leaves me on the side of the road.

Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going

05-10-2005, 09:54 AM
A couple of posts back it was noted that AMC'ers don't enjoy the same parts availability as us Studebaker drivers and there's a reason for that: Chrysler. When Chrysler bought AMC they landfilled literally tons of parts and alot of AMC history. I like Chrysler, but think they got just desserts when they themselves were bought out and became DamnearChrysler.