View Full Version : Studies of my youth

10-22-2014, 04:08 PM
I see so many pictures of our favorite cars on line, yet I can remember only three people who had them. I grew up in Queens, NYC.

10-22-2014, 06:34 PM
That's three more than I remember in Bay City, Mi unless you count a couple of 20's/30's Packard Sedans owned by a local collector. Impressive beasts!!


10-22-2014, 08:05 PM
My maternal grandfather always drove Studebakers until he couldn't buy a new one in 1969. Directly across the street from my paternal grandmother's house there always sat a black Hawk, regularly traded on a new black Hawk each year. Then there was a fellow three years ahead of me in high school who drove a super clean 64 supercharged 2 door hardtop. Lucky guy!
That's really about all I can remember. I grew up within a block of Deik McClelland Studebaker-Mercedes dealership until we moved two days before my ninth birthday.

10-22-2014, 09:12 PM
Unfortunately, one of my earliest memories of a Studebaker, was not very good. It was a bullet nose. Can't recall if it was a 50 or 51. The reason for the unpleasant association was because it belonged to the husband of my mother's youngest sister.:( He was a smelly, unkempt, weasel of a human being. He abused my aunt, molested his daughters, and was rarely sober.:mad: They lived in Virginia, and would occasionally visit us in S.C. (Probably while waiting for the local Virginia law enforcement to tire of looking for him.)

About his Studebaker...I don't know if he bought it or stole it. But, he managed to cram all kinds of stuff on the poor little car. It had front and back add-on bumper guards, fog lights, bullet nose propeller, goofy hood ornament, sun visor, mud flaps, curb feelers, and even a racoon tail on the antennae. Old Bud died rather young, but I bet there were more smiles at his funeral than tears.

The next Studebaker I recall was when I was ten years old. We had a music director at our church who traded in his bullet nose Land Cruiser for a brand new 1955 President. ( Could have been a Speedster) One thing, I recall , is my dad teasing him about the odd looks of the car. In retrospect, my dad should have been ashamed. Teasing someone about their "new car," when it would be a full eighteen years before he was able to afford his first "new car."

Then, there was my older brother's high school friend. His father bought a brand new Commander (or President). Little did he know that his studious, mild mannered, straight A, honor student son...proceeded to take his car and "smoke" just about every other father's car in the neighborhood. That's about it for my early Studebaker memories, 'cept that in my hard scrabble neck of the woods...few folks had new cars. Certainly not high priced Studebakers. Usually, anyone with a Studebaker...had a used, older, discard, that was worn out, and inviting ridicule.

I got my first Studebaker about 40 years ago. Even then, I could hardly afford it. I was teased. Many times, I heard..."you'll not be able to find parts." Then, I discovered the SDC. Most of those who teased me, are now lying under a headstone. That "first studebaker"...I still have. :)

It is the truck below in my signature pic.:!: And...I have parts.;)

10-23-2014, 07:39 AM
You have terrific recall! Happily, the people I knew who had Studies were decent guys. It was all "Big Three" back then as the independents fell by the wayside. Their heyday was really before the war, although afterwards pent-up demand meant car makers could sell anything. Let's face it - most people are not adventurous or want to stand out in any way. It's mostly follow the leader. This is why you see so many overexposed and underwhelming (argh) '57 Chevys at shows.

10-23-2014, 08:58 AM
Although I got my first Studebaker in 1976 which I mentioned here, http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?340-Where-is-your-FIRST-Studebaker&highlight=cari+1970 , I do remember several others on the street from the early 1960's up until that time including my mom's 1950 Champion four door sedan. A particular Studebaker I remember was a Sienna red '65 Commander in Winnipeg that was bought new by the grandfather of a fellow Foothills Chapter member. In early 1965, I asked my dad one day what a brand-new Studebaker looked like as we were still using the '50 Champion as a second car. My dad said he would point one out to me the next time we were out driving which he did. Two or three years ago, I happened to mention it to the fellow member who came originally came from Winnipeg, and described the driver of this new Commander I saw, including the 'odd' hat he wore. Given the timeline, and the description I gave of the driver, it was no doubt the same car and his grandfather driving it. Unfortunately, the car was poorly stored for several years, and the frame rusted away to pieces during that time and could not be saved, though he did keep some of the body parts that survived.


10-23-2014, 09:43 AM
I remember 3. People a few blocks away from us had a 4 dr bullet nose,light green color.I was 6 or 8 yrs old.When I was 10 yrs old, my father bought one new car in his lifetime,it was a '62 Lark wagon. In 8th grade,there was George M.-flunked enough years of school that he was old enough to get a license, and drove a Lark 4dr to school.

10-23-2014, 10:44 AM
Growing up in the 40s and 50s I remember lots of Studes around. An organization called Technocracy had a fleet of them, all the same gray color. My family had 4 of them in my formative years, 39 Commander, 40 and 50 Champions and 53 Commander K. Two of my close friends drove them to high school. And you are right, they got no respect at school, except for one kid who drove a Golden Hawk.

10-23-2014, 03:08 PM
They were more rare than the big three, but my dad had an M15, a 50 Champion coupe and a 57 Silver Hawk flathead six. He always bought cheap and used. Being made in Canada (Hamilton) probably accounted for his luck at finding these cheap, used vehicles.

10-23-2014, 03:39 PM
When I was only 2 years old, my dad bought a '39 Studebaker Commander. Even as a kid, I remember how smooth and quiet it was going along the road. In 1950, he traded it in for a new Nash Ambassador. When I was in college, our family bought a '51 Studebaker Commander State Convertible. They bought it from a United Airlines pilot. Boy, I loved that car. In fact, I was allowed to drive it to school. I was a commuting student at St. John's University and needed to have a car my senior year. I wish I still had that car. It was a beauty in powder blue with tan convertible top.
The first car I actualy owned was a 1940 Champion business coupe. That car got me to the train station to commute to the St. John's Univ. campus in Brooklyn my first three years in college.
That brings me up to date with my '59 Lark, which I've owned for the past 23 years. Love that car!

10-23-2014, 06:51 PM
I remember quite a lot of Studebakers from my childhood in the 60's & early 70's but I don't think it matters here since non of you know much about Sweden...
But then again my parents was Studebaker-crazy so it was easy to know if there was one around or seen in the trafic.

Bill Pressler
10-24-2014, 08:09 AM
No one in my family had a Studebaker, and I heard denigrating remarks about them every so often, but we had a small but long-established dealer in our small town (established 1926 and lasted through Dec. '68) and I remember a good number of Larks around town as a kid. I specifically remember a Colonial Red '60 Lark VIII 4-door, a pastel green '59 or '60 Lark two-door sedan, an Autumn Haze '61 Cruiser, two '62 Lark sedans and one '62 Lark wagon, a '64 Strato Blue Daytona hardtop (which I ended up owning), a '65 white Commander 4-door sedan, and a gold '66 4-door sedan.

Oh--I also remember a perfect-looking dark-over-light-blue '55 Commander or President sedan, looked new--I'd see it while walking to Sunday School in the late '60's. It was driven by an elderly lady always wearing a hat..she was probably on her way to church too.

I didn't know the dealer then, but in the mid-eighties I began a long-distance friendship with him and we are good friends to this day.

I later learned about, but don't remember seeing, a black '64 Cruiser R2 he sold, a red '64 Daytona convertible 4-speed, and a red '63 Daytona convertible automatic they sold.

He told me they never sold an Avanti but had one in for a 'special salon showing', and that they never sold a '57 or '58 Packard.


Blue 15G
10-24-2014, 10:14 AM
I think Studebaker was fairly well represented in the Greater Pittsburgh Metropolitan area, as far as dealers and sales, because I remember them as being a fairly common sight in my youth (late 1950s to early 60s). My family never had one though. I think I noticed them more simply because I liked them. Anytime the talk turned to cars back then, the name "Studebaker" was usually met with either a blank stare or negativity.

Bob Bryant
10-24-2014, 10:37 AM
While in HS the daughter of the local Studebaker dealer was in my class. She married another classmate, Bill, and both are deceased. When I saw Bill at a class reunion about 14 years ago he was struggling with health issues. I told him we had an Avanti and he gave out a big smile.

The earliest Studebaker I recall was during and after WWII. A local man owned what I think was a 1940 Commander sedan. It was light blue with the dark blue contrast stripe. He maintained it very well and it served him for many years. I always wondered what happened to it.

10-24-2014, 01:16 PM
My first remembrance of Studebaker was in 1953 at the dealership Christmas party at the Wellington Hotel (I was 10 years old) The owner Mr. Bokermen gave me a model car (1953 Studebaker Coupe) for a Christmas present. I still have it... My dad was a mechanic there and I worked there during high school. I've owned a Coupe 1953 or 1961 Hawk from the age of 15 until the present, I still have a 53 coupe.

10-24-2014, 09:00 PM
I grew up around many Studebakers . We were a 2 or 3 Stude family most of the time. Dad bought a new 52 champion that I dont remember,I was 4 yrs old at the time,a new 55green and white champion,a black/white 56 president demo in early 57,a new 59 lark wagon and his last stude was 63 lark regal. All this time my Mom was driving a 51 champion,then a 57 commander,and then 60 lark. My brother had a 48 starlight champion then a 54 Packard. My 1st cousins both had 56 Golden Hawks at same time. Fourth grade teacher had a 55 president sedan. My high school FFA teacher drove a sharp 50 commander and school music teacher drove a 60 lark sedan .Moms brother also drove Studes. He had a red and white 58 commander and then a 63 blue mist regal sedan.My1st car was a well used 57 president I paid 65 bucks for it when I turned 16. then a 60 hawk I drove to college .When I got my 1st job I trade the 60 for a 62 GTHawk and so on an so on.

10-24-2014, 09:57 PM
I was born and raised on a central IL farm in a Studebaker family. While my mother was in the hospital having me, my father brought home a brand new 49 Stude grain truck that I grew up with and managed to have my first accident in.The truck stayed in service until around 1966 when Dad had replaced the truck with a 63 Ford truck, then Dad had the cab and front end cut off, making the rear bed, frame and tires a trailer used for storing ground feed in for the cattle.

My first memory of the Studebaker cars was riding up on the rear package tray of a 52 Stude when we drove from IL to New Mexico for vacation. Other Studes through the 50's and 60's my parents and brother had were: 55 Commander 4 door, 56 Stude wagon, 57 Scotsman wagon, 58 Commander 4 door sedan, and a 61 Hawk. My brother, being 5 years older, first had a 60 Lark convertible, then a 61 Hawk, trading it later on for a 62 GT 4 speed Hawk. My first Stude was the 61 Hawk handed down from my parents, which I traded 4/1/66, my senior year in high school, for a 64 round headlight Black R1 Avanti with red and fawn interior, ac and automatic. I had the Avanti for just over 3 years. I remember having the motor worked on replacing the rubber seals on the valve stems in the heads, 2 or 3 expansion tank repairs, and a transmission rebuild along with an accident taking out the right headlight and about a third of the right front fender. I sold the car and bought a 67 Chevelle SS396 in 1969 ending my Studebaker/Avanti association until January 2011 when I bought a 76. December 2013 I also added a 89 convertible to the collection.

10-25-2014, 07:18 AM
Here's the cars I remember: A friend had a used '53 or 4 Starliner coupe, another had a '56 or 7 wagon, and another had a 10 year old bullet nose which crapped out on him. He was really upset because he had just put gas in it. My parents and their friends all had big three cars.

10-26-2014, 01:49 AM
There were never any Studebakers in my family growing up. My older brother was introduced by a teacher in school and for his first car ,he bought a 1963 cruiser. I was hooked ,I was 13, I loaned him $25 to help buy it and paid the $7 to join him to SDC . There were two old ladies in our small towns that had
larks 1964 and 1962. The big Studebaker sighting came when a Guys brother came to visit from Pekin, Il. He had a1963 or 1964 GT hawk, all white always looked good . A few years later , late 70's, I saw this car, had been traded back into the dealer on a new Peugoe {sp} On closer inspection then it was an R-2 ,powershift with 13,ooo miles !! nameplate on the dash was him, Adolf Keyes. Is it still out there ? would enjoy hearing . My first car was a Cruiser ,and many more to follow, Now just one 1963 r 2 lark