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StudeMichael
02-09-2012, 09:11 PM
This is the first time I have seen this photo. I really dig the water tower with the Circle S!

BobPalma
02-09-2012, 09:56 PM
Cool beans! 'First time I've seen that one, too. Thanks, Michael.

Authenticity is confirmed by the "Studebaker stripe" along the rearmost edge of the 1955 Commander's front fender at 8 years of age! <GGG> BP

Roscomacaw
02-09-2012, 10:05 PM
After a quick scan, I too focused on the rust line on the rear of that 55s front fender.

Does anyone know if fotos were taken on the South Bend car lines that last day of production??? Seems unbelieveable that there weren't any official (or UNofficial) shots of that historic day. Maybe lurking in some cigar box or dresser drawer in South Bend, there's record of that Daytona going down the line with no more cars behind it.

BobPalma
02-09-2012, 10:19 PM
After a quick scan, I too focused on the rust line on the rear of that 55s front fender.

Does anyone know if fotos were taken on the South Bend car lines that last day of production??? Seems unbelieveable that there weren't any official (or UNofficial) shots of that historic day. Maybe lurking in some cigar box or dresser drawer in South Bend, there's record of that Daytona going down the line with no more cars behind it.

That's where they would have to be, Bob.

You see, it's easy to forget that they were taking every precaution to avoid making it look like they were going out of business.

The whole charade was as carefully as possible orchestrated and presented as a simple shift of production to a more modern, more efficient manufacturing facility; no more, no less.

The last thing they wanted in the press or elsewhere was a whole bunch of tear-jerking "last this" and "last that" photographs being circulated.

Can you imagine what would happen today with cell phones and various digital devices if they tried to play the same hide-and-seek (mostly hide) game? It would be all over the internet before the paint dried on that last Daytona. BP

Chris_Dresbach
02-09-2012, 10:21 PM
This is the first time I have seen this photo. I really dig the water tower with the Circle S!

I know where that photo was taken. It looks like building #84 is in the far background and 113/114 is in the foreground. Sad, sad day indeed.

BobPalma
02-09-2012, 10:29 PM
Yep, Chris. If the photographer turned around 180 degrees and shot another photo, you'd see the little gray brick Fire Station / Guard Shack front and center. BP

SN-60
02-09-2012, 10:33 PM
I'll bet folks who lived in South Bend and worked for Studebaker during this time took a lot of 'heat' from their coworkers if they showed up for work in, say, a Ford or GM vehicle. I don't mean an older one,
I mean someone pulling into the lot driving a brand new 'brand X'. A LOT of heat!!

Chris_Dresbach
02-09-2012, 10:41 PM
I'll bet folks who lived in South Bend and worked for Studebaker during this time took a lot of 'heat' from their coworkers if they showed up for work in, say, a Ford or GM vehicle. I don't mean an older one,
I mean someone pulling into the lot driving a brand new 'brand X'. A LOT of heat!!

There's actually a book about that. It's a crazy read, and probably would not happen by todays standards, but the entire line once shut down because somebody bought a competitors car... :eek:

Chris_Dresbach
02-09-2012, 10:43 PM
Yep, Chris. If the photographer turned around 180 degrees and shot another photo, you'd see the little gray brick Fire Station / Guard Shack front and center. BP

I need to do some digging about Studebaker's plant protection department. I want to write about it in the near future, but aside from a few photos I don't have a whole lot on it in my collection.

StudeRich
02-09-2012, 11:30 PM
Ya hafta wonder if that API Photographer was driving his White with Blue Interior, Heavy Duty Suspension '64 Daytona V-8 Wagonaire! ;)

StudeMichael
02-09-2012, 11:34 PM
There's actually a book about that. It's a crazy read, and probably would not happen by todays standards, but the entire line once shut down because somebody bought a competitors car... :eek:

That reminds of Sherwood Egbert, President of Studebaker who drove through the Union picket line on purpose in a Mercedes Benz!

clonelark
02-09-2012, 11:58 PM
With all the Studebakers sold in SouthBend, you'da thought they'd still be some sittin around, but after looking at that 9 year old 55 predident i can see why they're all gone.

Studebaker Wheel
02-10-2012, 03:40 AM
Chris; Don't know if you have read or have access to the March and April 2009 Turning Wheels but if so you might find the two articles (2500+ words) in the Almanac feature a good start on your project.

BobPalma
02-10-2012, 08:10 AM
With all the Studebakers sold in SouthBend, you'da thought they'd still be some sittin around, but after looking at that 9 year old 55 president i can see why they're all gone.

Yep, Bob; so true.

To wit: Ted Harbit likes to tell the story of looking for a 1951 Commander Starlight Coupe, from which he would ultimately build The Chicken Hawk, in 1961.

Ted and buddy Fred Robinson thought the best place to find an old '51 (this was in '61, mind you) would be South Bend. So they went to South Bend and intentionally spent a whole day driving around, up and down allies and everywhere they could think of, looking for any suitable 1951 Commander Starlight "core."

There weren't any and they came home empty-handed. BP

8E45E
02-10-2012, 08:17 AM
Ted and buddy Fred Robinson thought the best place to find an old '51 (this was in '61, mind you) would be South Bend. So they went to South Bend and intentionally spent a whole day driving around, up and down allies and everywhere they could think of, looking for any suitable 1951 Commander Starlight "core." There weren't any and they came home empty-handed.

It really makes one wonder why they didn't pay more attention to rust-proofing; especially when the effects of road salt attack could literally be seen right out the front windows of the engineering building on a car that was only a few years old....

Craig

DEEPNHOCK
02-10-2012, 08:29 AM
Here an interesting urban explorers video.... All still shots that have been seen before, but still interesting.
(Turn your sound down)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNrOG4DNqUY

BubbaBear
02-10-2012, 08:45 AM
Whew! Thank God for the mute button!

comatus
02-10-2012, 09:55 AM
...drove through the Union picket line on purpose in a Mercedes Benz!

I don't think that would have come into play. Mercedes was a Studebaker "captive brand."

studegary
02-10-2012, 03:18 PM
It really makes one wonder why they didn't pay more attention to rust-proofing; especially when the effects of road salt attack could literally be seen right out the front windows of the engineering building on a car that was only a few years old....

Craig

The problem was known at that time, and before. In the 1950s, cars were built assuming the original owner kept them for three to five years. This is what the manufacturers planned to. They wanted to keep selling new cars, not build something for a 50 year life.

StudeMichael
02-10-2012, 03:21 PM
...drove through the Union picket line on purpose in a Mercedes Benz!

I don't think that would have come into play. Mercedes was a Studebaker "captive brand."

It actually did cause a big problem. Egbert ended up in a fist fight and got arrested!

Bill Pressler
02-11-2012, 08:27 AM
About the rust on that '55--trust me, in NW PA, our '56 Chevy didn't look much better by summer '64. Rust-out over both headlights and at bottom of fenders. Probably not as 'dramatic' looking as the old Stude vertical 'stripe' of rust, though.

Bill Pressler
02-11-2012, 08:33 AM
Also...that dark-colored '63 Daytona in the photo--is it me, or does it look like the white portion of the wheel covers had been painted to match the body of the car? They look too dark to not be showing any white at all, even with road salt and snow covering it up.

BobPalma
02-11-2012, 09:12 AM
Also...that dark-colored '63 Daytona in the photo--is it me, or does it look like the white portion of the wheel covers had been painted to match the body of the car? They look too dark to not be showing any white at all, even with road salt and snow covering it up.

Correct, Bill; that '63 probably does not have 1963 "Lark" wheel covers. 'Might be 1963 Hawk, or even 1957 full wheel covers; hard to see for sure.

I can tell you from wandering the employee parking lots in South Bend during that time, few employee Studebakers had the "right" wheel covers for a given car's year and model.

It was common for them to sport something from another year or model, an easily-changed "customizing" thing because so many sets and types of Studebaker wheel covers were floating around South Bend and available so cheap. Mix and match parts were common on employee cars. BP