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Stu Chapman
08-15-2013, 02:33 PM
Today, August 15th, marks the 50th anniversary of my first day with Studebaker and it was spent in South Bend, Indiana becoming acquainted with the Studebaker empire stateside. My first, and life-remembered, impression was that this great company occupied such a huge part of South Bend. Little did I then know that Studebaker would remain an integral part of my life these many years. The first Studebaker I drove was a Wagonaire and there has been at least one Studebaker in our life for all but four years of this half century. We probably have had at least twenty Studebaker products over that time, two of which included a Mercedes-Benz 220S and a DKW Junior. That DKW was certainly a piece of work!

Allow me to do a little reminiscing about those 50 years. Many of you are aware of my stories about the relentless efforts us Canadians put forth to try and save this company. But living Studebaker daily back then only lasted for under three years. Soon to become a Studebaker collector, I quickly formed friendships with an international group of Studebaker aficionados who were instrumental in ensuring that the Studebaker legacy would become part of my life. Sandy Ross in Canada purchased one of my old company cars and got me interested in SDC. Crossing the border for the first time for a Studebaker meet, the Dudeck family and the Shrock brothers made us feel very welcome. Before too long I became Zone Coordinator, National Director and International President with encouragement from George Krem and Skip Lackie. And for sure I must acknowledge the support of Gary Lindstrom along with Phil and Cindy Brown.

Over the years I've managed to stay continuously involved with SDC with responsibilities including the Studebaker National Museum Capital Cost Committee, International Meet Committee, Turning Wheels Advertising Arbiter, Studebaker National Museum Life Trustee and, most recently, SDC's By-Laws Committee. Locally, I'm able to keep in touch with former Studebaker staff personnel such as Jack Holden, Peter Sant, John Spillett, George Wingfield, as well as Studebaker dealer Roy Graham, all of whom are SDC members.

I'm only too happy to have been able to record some of my memories in my two books, Requiem to a Pioneer and My Father The Car: Memoirs of my life with Studebaker. I continue to appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with all of you through the Studebaker Forum and Turning Wheels. I hope this will continue for many more years. Thank you for your support.

Stu Chapman

Blue 15G
08-15-2013, 02:54 PM
And thank you Stu, for your many years of support to both Studebaker the company and the SDC. As time goes on there are fewer and fewer people that were there when the cars were still being built, and your first-hand knowledge of the events back then is invaluable.

Dave Bonn
'54 Champion Starliner

studegary
08-15-2013, 04:16 PM
Congratulations, Stu!
I realize that I have know you for the VAST majority of that time and consider you to be a friend.
We don't work as closely together as we did for a couple of periods of time, but it seems like we can just pick up a conversation when we do meet.
Hello to Thelma and "Flex".

avantilover
08-15-2013, 05:07 PM
Congratulations Stu. Happy Anniversary. From the Aussie contingent.

2moredoors
08-15-2013, 05:13 PM
Happy anniversary. I always enjoy our chats.

jclary
08-15-2013, 05:40 PM
It is folks such as yourself, ability to adapt, accept the inevitable, embrace the moment, and cheerfully move forward, that make this Studebaker experience so special.:) I get the impression that some walked away bitter, disillusioned, disappointed... never to return to enjoy or participate with us enthusiasts and collectors.:(


It is folks like you, Bob Bourke (RIP) and others, that occasionally hung out, visited, and shared with us memories and experiences that provide perspective, debunked myths, and a continuity of history, that would have otherwise been lost to the ages. Like it or not...that makes you one of our treasures.:!:

Thanks for hanging around:)

BobPalma
08-15-2013, 05:52 PM
Cool beans, Stu, and congratulations on the milestone.

I've always admired you guys who had to have an inkling -or maybe not?- of what was going on while you were pretending that Studebaker was serious about remaining in the car-making business. Some of the dispatches from Byers Burlingame must have made your hair stand on end.

On the other hand, there were advantages:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/stuchapmanwagonphoto_zpsddea3419.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/stuchapmanwagonphoto_zpsddea3419.jpg.html)

I always wondered if the actual position of your left arm was well air-brushed out of that photo in the days before photoshop...:D

;):cool: BP

gordr
08-15-2013, 06:08 PM
Congratulations on a big milestone, Stu. Thanks for being there then, and for continuing to be a part of the Studebaker legacy today.

Greenstude
08-15-2013, 10:16 PM
Congratulations, Stu, on achieving this anniversary! And "Thank You" for your continuing contributions towards keeping the Studebaker name alive. Hopefully there will be many more anniversaries as you continue to keep Stude-fans such as myself well-informed on our favourite make.

Bullet
08-15-2013, 11:41 PM
Congratulations and thank you for all you have done for Studebaker and the SDC over the years!

Mark

decappastubbie
08-16-2013, 12:08 AM
Thank you for making this club the best. I can remember 50 years ago going to the Madren Brothers Studebaker dealership in Spokane. My dad always enjoyed seeing the new cars.

fpstude
08-16-2013, 12:20 AM
Your input to our forum is always appreciated. 50 years of training help accomplish this.

HAWK64
08-16-2013, 02:54 AM
International congratulations from Melbourne. I linked up with Studebaker here back in 1959. Well Done.

JimC
08-16-2013, 03:15 AM
Stu -

Congratulations on celebrating 50 years in the Studebaker family. I for one enjoyed My Father the Car, and having you here to share with us is an invaluable resource for younger enthusiasts such as myself, who never had the privilege of living during the era of Studebakers being built.

Thanks for (sharing) the memories!

davepink53
08-16-2013, 05:15 AM
Jim has been a Studebaker man for a long time John.

studegary
08-16-2013, 02:06 PM
[COLOR=#008000I always wondered if the actual position of your left arm was well air-brushed out of that photo in the days before photoshop...:D

;):cool: BP


To me, I never considered the picture to be altered. I just figured that Stu had his left hand/arm behind his back (his hand in the small of his back) like I would have done to prevent anything inappropriate from happening or being perceived.
This is just my opinion. I will leave it up to Stu to give the true "rest of the story".

BobPalma
08-16-2013, 03:19 PM
To me, I never considered the picture to be altered. I just figured that Stu had his left hand/arm behind his back (his hand in the small of his back) like I would have done to prevent anything inappropriate from happening or being perceived.
This is just my opinion. I will leave it up to Stu to give the true "rest of the story".

Gary, you can't be serious: Of course I was joking.

(Geeze, this place is as serious as a morgue on occasion.....:ohmy:) BP

JRoberts
08-16-2013, 10:17 PM
Congratulations Stu. I, like so many others, appreciate your input here. It positive and informative. Thanks.

Milaca
08-17-2013, 12:08 AM
Congratulations Mr. Chapman! By the way, can you tell us more about the lovely Miss Dominion of Canada? :)

Scott
08-17-2013, 12:57 AM
Happy anniversary Stu!
I have not read your book yet, but I've always wondered what some of the executives did or said just after the announcement the Studebaker was going to quit making cars. They didn't all just shrug their shoulders , did they? Or maybe they did.

Stu Chapman
08-18-2013, 01:02 PM
Congratulations Mr. Chapman! By the way, can you tell us more about the lovely Miss Dominion of Canada? :)

During the 60s there were two beauty contests in Canada, one which was called "Miss Canada", and the other organized and sponsored by a Hamilton Ontario businessman which was called "Miss Dominion of Canada". Since it was conceived in Hamilton, Studebaker of Canada was approached to sponsor it. Mary Lou Farrell's talent was as an opera singer. Our Vice President of Marketing, Bob Orr, was never totally enthusiastic about this contest but, as an opera buff, decided to test Mary Lou's ability and asked her if she could sing "Un Bel Di" from "Madame Butterfly" for him. She said she could and her rendition was spectacular so Studebaker's participation in the contest was a given. Unfortunately, I lost track of the lovely young lady and have no idea if she went on to pursue her singing career.

Stu Chapman

8E45E
08-18-2013, 01:45 PM
Thanks, Stu,

What always impressed me was how supportive Canada Track & Traffic magazine was with the coverage they gave Studebaker at the time.

Craig

JoeHall
08-18-2013, 01:49 PM
Happy anniversary Stu!
I have not read your book yet, but I've always wondered what some of the executives did or said just after the announcement the Studebaker was going to quit making cars. They didn't all just shrug their shoulders , did they? Or maybe they did.
Congrats Stu,
Are your books still available?
Thanks,
Joe

Stu Chapman
08-18-2013, 01:56 PM
Thanks, Stu,

What always impressed me was how supportive Canada Track & Traffic magazine was with the coverage they gave Studebaker at the time.

Craig

Actually Craig, in the three years preceding my joining Studebaker I handled the Volvo account for an agency in Toronto as you probably know. At that time I made some very good contacts with the people at Track and Traffic who took a great interest in Volvo. As you can appreciate that contact was very was to continue with Studebaker.

Stu Chapman

Stu Chapman
08-18-2013, 02:00 PM
Congrats Stu,
Are your books still available?
Thanks,
Joe

Requiem to a Pioneer was published in 1986, sold out, and is no longer available. Occasionally one pops up on EBay. My Father the Car is available at the Studebaker National Museum, Avanti Owners Association International and the Living Legends of Auto Racing Museum in Daytona Beach Florida.

Stu Chapman

Stu Chapman
08-18-2013, 02:01 PM
Actually Craig, in the three years preceding my joining Studebaker I handled the Volvo account for an agency in Toronto as you probably know. At that time I made some very good contacts with the people at Track and Traffic who took a great interest in Volvo. As you can appreciate that contact was very was to continue with Studebaker.

Stu Chapman

That last line should have read...was very easy to continue with Studebaker.

Stu Chapman

JimC
08-18-2013, 02:07 PM
Joe, I got a copy of My Father the Car just a couple weeks ago from the Studebaker National Museum. It was even signed by the author. :)

Scott
08-18-2013, 02:12 PM
Mary Lou Farrell did continue singing and also performed on Broadway. She died in 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Lou_Farrell

An obituary is here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tbo/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=154238625#fbLoggedOut .

Roscomacaw
08-18-2013, 02:20 PM
Stu, thanks for all you've shared with us thru the years. I always enjoy reading and RE-reading what you've written. Just yesterday, I was clearing out my office and came across a photo-copied document you handed out at a past meet. I'd read it before, of course - but found it worth reading again. Nothing like reading the firsthand record of someone who was there.

Stu Chapman
08-18-2013, 03:14 PM
Mary Lou Farrell did continue singing and also performed on Broadway. She died in 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Lou_Farrell

An obituary is here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tbo/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=154238625#fbLoggedOut .

Thank you so much for finding this information Scott. I am glad to have the opportunity to catch up on Mary Lou.
Stu Chapman

Scott
08-18-2013, 07:37 PM
Thank you so much for finding this information Scott. I am glad to have the opportunity to catch up on Mary Lou.
Stu Chapman

Reading about her made me feel that Canada made a good choice for Miss Dominion 1964.

Milaca
08-18-2013, 08:04 PM
Sad to read that she passed away but it is impressive that she accomplished many things.

Stu Chapman
08-18-2013, 09:03 PM
Sad to read that she passed away but it is impressive that she accomplished many things.

On the subject of lovely young ladies who performed talent functions for Studebaker, back in September of 1965 we hired a French-Canadian chanteuse by the name of Andreé Champagne to back up noted impersonator Rich Little for our nation-wide launch of the 1966 models. Following the product launch, she was provided a 1966 Studebaker to drive and did all sorts of PR work for our Québec dealers. Later on Andreé entered politics and was elected Member of Parliament and became a cabinet minister and Deputy Speaker. She is now a Senator in Canada and is properly addressed as The Honourable Andreé Champagne. Now did I know how to pick young ladies for Studebaker of what? Google her for more details and a taped interview. She is now 73 I believe and still as lovely as ever.

Stu Chapman

Roscomacaw
08-18-2013, 10:34 PM
Stu, you may have told us before, so forgive me for asking. When was it you first laid eyes on a '66 Stude?

Stu Chapman
08-19-2013, 08:49 AM
Stu, you may have told us before, so forgive me for asking. When was it you first laid eyes on a '66 Stude?

Bob, that's really hard to give an exact date. In late 1964 we had moved our marketing operation (sales, advertising, fleet, parts/service) to a new location on Dundurn Street in Hamilton in anticipation of expansion through a takeover by CMI. In that facility we had considerable space to work independently on our 66 model facelifting with some level of security. So in reality we had the opportunity to construct actual mock-ups with the designs of Marcks, Hazelquist & Powers. It was there that Refreshaire was conceived by service manager Jim Holloway. This is recollection only but I think we had the final mock-up of the 66s around January of 65. We then finalized interiors and color names soon after. After the collapse of the proposed takeover, everything was moved back to the Ferrie Street head office/plant location.

Stu Chapman

Stu Chapman
08-25-2013, 02:04 PM
Thanks to everyone for their kind comments. It is very much appreciated. Hopefully I will be able to continue contributing for many more years.
Stu Chapman

8E45E
08-25-2013, 06:34 PM
In late 1964 we had moved our marketing operation (sales, advertising, fleet, parts/service) to a new location on Dundurn Street in Hamilton in anticipation of expansion through a takeover by CMI. In that facility we had considerable space to work independently on our 66 model facelifting with some level of security.

Were there any of the Studebaker-badged Isuzu Bellets hidden away in there?

Craig

Stu Chapman
08-25-2013, 10:28 PM
Were there any of the Studebaker-badged Isuzu Bellets hidden away in there?

Craig

Actually no Craig. We had a couple of units in the Hamilton plant that we were experimenting with. They were being kept separate from the Studebaker project.
Stu Chapman

8E45E
08-25-2013, 10:31 PM
Actually no Craig. We had a couple of units in the Hamilton plant that we were experimenting with. They were being kept separate from the Studebaker project.
Stu Chapman

Thanks, Stu.

Do any photos of them exist at all?

Craig