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View Full Version : The last new Studebaker was'nt assembled in Canada, but rather Australia?



Milaca
05-26-2010, 10:54 PM
I read forum member Jim Quigley's article in Turning Wheels with great interest about his working for an assembly plant in Melbourne, Australia that assembled Studebakers from 1960 to 1966. What really peaked my interest was that the final Studebaker assembled there was in August of 1966! That's four months later than the end of production in Ontario, Canada! Thanks for sharing this information Jim as it took me by surprise. Now if that last car could be found and placed in the Studebaker museum. :) If you have any pictures of Studebakers in or near the assembly plant, I would love to see them. And if you could post that 1963 Melbourne Motor Show picture here on the forum, I would appreciate it. :)

studevic
05-27-2010, 03:45 AM
hello all , i think the last STUDEBAKER ever assembled was built in New Zealand , turning wheels had a article on it some years ago . cheers from roger

Milaca
05-27-2010, 07:17 PM
hello all , i think the last STUDEBAKER ever assembled was built in New Zealand , turning wheels had a article on it some years ago . cheers from roger

Thanks for the information Roger. Anybody know which issue discussed the New Zealand assembly of Studebakers? Perhaps I read it and forgot? Wouldnt be the first time. :)

HAWK64
05-28-2010, 05:03 PM
There was a TWs article on Studebaker assembly in NZ but it may have gone up to the 1963 Lark / Cruisers. I also believe the Haifa Plant in Israel was assembling CKD units up till 1967. In fact, Israel brought out a set of postage stamps in the early seventies showing the 1965 style Studebaker cars as Police units.
JIM QUIGLEY

avantilover
05-29-2010, 08:38 PM
We would have to be extremely fortunate to discover the "last assembled kit" vehicle still extant. Perhaps there are Israeli forum members who can answer the question. Jim, do you know if "our" last vehicle is still extant? What about the NZ car?

HAWK64
05-30-2010, 01:42 AM
John,
The records I have plus my recollections virtually confirm that car still exists today with the original purchaser still owning the vehicle. I can tell you that it was delivered on the 18th August 1966. You have triggered my mind to do further research & perhaps do an article on the subject. The Haifa Plant I would like to know more about. I have an Israeli postcard showing an illustration of 1962 sedans being dropped onto the frames at that Plant. Also those Israeli police car stamps were issued in 1977 showing the various services by the Israeli Police. The SDC Roster shows only one member from Israel so I doubt if there are any lookers from that Country watching the Forum.

8E45E
05-30-2010, 01:56 AM
John,
The records I have plus my recollections virtually confirm that car still exists today with the original purchaser still owning the vehicle. I can tell you that it was delivered on the 18th August 1966.

How long did that car languish on the lot before it got sold? I recall reading in TW some time ago about two 1966's that sat on a dealer's lot until 1970 before the actually got sold.

Craig

Warren Webb
05-30-2010, 02:55 AM
There is a seller on E-Bay from Isreal once in a while. Perhaps they have some knowledge or know of someone who has info on the plant there. The things for sale I see look to be spare parts that possibly were used in case of damage in shipping on CKD cars.

NZ George
05-30-2010, 03:57 AM
The last Studebaker assembled in New Zealand was assembled on the 31st March 1966. It was a CKD 1965 Cruiser, C518238. The car was sold to Ted and Gayle Stanley from Timaru and is now owned by their son Eion. The car is still in excellent condition and has done only approximately 50,000 miles. The article covering the New Zealand assembled Larks and Cruisers appeared in the September 1993 Turning Wheels. Hope this info is of help, George.

HAWK64
05-30-2010, 05:37 AM
Craig,
This car was completed at the beginning of August & sold a couple of weeks later. The Studebakers in both auto & manual had heavily & attractive discounted prices no doubt like excess stock in Canada. There was a '66 model held over by a well known Dealer in Sydney & sold new in 1970.
Thanks to NZ George for posting those important details of the last new Studebaker sale in New Zealand which is important information for all of us.

Milaca
05-30-2010, 06:39 PM
Thank you George and Jim for the information. I agree that it would be interesting to know the last date of Studebaker assembly in Israel in order to determine where the last Studebaker was assembled. More information/details and pictures pertaining to the last Studebaker from each plant would also be greatly appreciated. How about the last assembled Studebaker truck? Would that possibly have been assembled in Australia?

58PackardWagon
05-30-2010, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the info George, for a second there I was thinking that we were going to have the same problem as the Tucker Club with their recent find......

HAWK64
05-31-2010, 01:35 AM
Thank you George and Jim for the information. I agree that it would be interesting to know the last date of Studebaker assembly in Israel in order to determine where the last Studebaker was assembled. More information/details and pictures pertaining to the last Studebaker from each plant would also be greatly appreciated. How about the last assembled Studebaker truck? Would that possibly have been assembled in Australia?

Milaca,
We only assembled the Champ pickup here in Melbourne & barely 100 in total. I can tell you we sold 9 of those during 1966 but alas, I have no information on the last one assembled re date or ownership.

avantilover
05-31-2010, 04:16 AM
I tried looking for Israeli details last night without success. There was a link to a Jim Donnelly Hemmings colum which stated (end of article) :

Beyond this, we also found out something else. It's commonly held that Studebaker production in South Bend, Indiana, ended on December 20, 1963. That's almost true. What actually happened was that in January 1964, some of the remaining parts inventory at South Bend was boxed into kits, packed with knocked-down V-8 Studebakers going to South Africa for assembly and sixes shipped to Haifa. Some of the last Larks from "Indiana," then, were actually built in the Holy Land. Sometimes, getting the whole story takes more than one attempt.

This article originally appeared in the DECEMBER 1, 2007 issue of Hemmings Classic Car.

http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2007/12/01/hmn_feature13.html

It may be interesting if it's possible to obtain production records in the Countries the CKD Kits were shipped to.

What we have is the definite last "ever built" car in the museum unless the Canadians built some after that one which nobody knows about (unlikely). Perhaps we can establish the last built of the various models, say Champs, and the trucks- records must (?) exist, seems more important to establish if any of the large trucks survived or maybe they're all gone.

Say a topic on this - Last Known Studebaker Vheicles and see what arises?

I take issue with the word built as the cars were "built" in the USA then boxed for assembly in other countries, like Ford did with my Focus, Cologne (Germany) Build, Port Elizabeth (South Africa) Assembly.

aenthal
05-31-2010, 11:09 AM
I too take issue with the build date of knock down kit cars. The January 1964 cars were built before December 20 1963. They were not shipped until 1964. Then you add time for shipping and assembly and sales. But they remain part of that late 1963 production run. They do not become cars made in 1964, just cars assembled in 1964 (or whenever) from the 1963 final production run.
Ditto with a 1966 Canadian-built car. It remains part of the 1966 final Canadian production despite where it was shipped, assembled, and sold.
Otherwise I could gather an assortment of leftover NOS parts today, put them together and have my own last Studebaker--a 1964 model made in 2010.

To carry the argument a wee bit further...a central New Jersey Chevrolet dealer kept the last Corvair that he received in 1969. He did not sell it. He did not title it. He parked it on a balcony as a display.
If I were to go back to that dealership and somehow purchase and title that car, would it really be the last Corvair sold?
I think not. The purchase date of that car was when it arrived at the dealership, even though it was never sold to a customer.

Likewise, the kits were purchased legitimately, while Studebaker was in business. Somebody still working for them crated them and sent them off.
Where they were between that time and the time they became working vehicles can not be counted beyond the curiousity level. A 1966 Studebaker does not become a 1967 Studebaker by sitting around.