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TWChamp
09-24-2016, 12:00 PM
I don't know much about the final days of Studebaker, but I do remember my dad blaming the shut down on bad management decisions. I also remember my relatives, 40 miles north in Benton Harbor, saying how bad that was going to be for South Bend. I have read that the cars were still making a profit for the company when they closed the doors, so what was to be gained by shutting down? As far as I know they didn't sell any machinery nor buildings, so what was to be gained? Also it seems if they didn't get a large monetary income from shutting down, why not just sell it off to some employees or businessmen for a small amount?

Skip Lackie
09-24-2016, 12:50 PM
There are at least a half dozen thick hard-cover books that tried to answer that question, so no one is gonna be able to cover all the bases here. The company made money in 1959, and a little bit in 1960. By 1962, it was losing a couple of hundred bucks on every vehicle they sold, and had had to shut the plant down for 6 weeks in 1961. They endured a strike by the UAW local 5. The new 1964 models had not been the success the company had hoped for. By December 1963. the company had a large inventory of unsold 1964-model cars, and another 3,000 leftover 1963s. The banks had already loaned the company $16.5 million and would not agree to loan any more to cover the losses of the automotive division without more collateral, something to which the board of directors would not agree. Several of those bankers were on the company board. The board had granted Sherwood Egbert a grace period to try to turn the company around with the Avanti, but that had not worked to their satisfaction. The non-automotive divisions were making money, and the modern Canadian plant provided a means to avoid penalty payments to dealers (for not providing a product) and the possible promise of continuing operation.

Your dad was right, but some of those bad decisions were made 5 or 10 years before the final blow came. They had not modernized the plant when they had the money to do so, and had placated the local union when a harder stand might have been better in the long run. And there's plenty to discuss about the 53-54 sedans, which were supposed to be the bread-and-butter cars. And the lack of funding for the truck division. And . . . . . .

Stu Chapman
09-24-2016, 01:18 PM
As Skip said: And.........
Although this is a shameless plug, one of the books available is the one I wrote titled "My Father The Car: Memoirs of my life with Studebaker". In it I make it very clear that the Studebaker automobile did not need to be discontinued and in Canada we made some very viable efforts to continue. You can obtain my book from the Studebaker National Museum or the Avanti Owners Association International.

Stu Chapman

56Golden
09-24-2016, 03:00 PM
<snip> As far as I know they didn't sell any machinery nor buildings, so what was to be gained?

Actually, they did!!!

They sold buildings, complete assembly lines ...AND even walked away from a new $81,000,000 government contract!!!:ohmy:

Skip Lackie
09-24-2016, 04:08 PM
Actually, they did!!!

They sold buildings, complete assembly lines ...AND even walked away from a new $81,000,000 government contract!!!:ohmy:

Technically, they sold both the Army contract and the buildings (their most modern), fixtures, and parts necessary to assemble the Army trucks to Kaiser Jeep Corp.

StudeMichael
09-24-2016, 07:59 PM
The top five reasons:

1) Antiquated factory facilities.

2) The President of Studebaker, Sherwood Egbert battling cancer.

3) Horrible dealer network.

4) Over paid factory workers due to Union always getting it's way.

5) It was planned strategically, hence the diversification program that started in the early 1960's.

Egbert hit the majority of these issues head on but once he could no longer work due to his illness it was over.

SN-60
09-24-2016, 08:18 PM
Actually, at the time, the only reason that counted was.........STUDEBAKER COULD NO LONGER COMPETE WITH THE BIG GUYS!!!! :ohmy: :(

56Golden
09-24-2016, 08:37 PM
Simply Unbelievable …when all those people who were NOT even there at ground zero (South Bend) before, during and after production stopped spin their tales …or should that be tails?:D;)

Studebakercenteroforegon
09-24-2016, 08:54 PM
Another unfortunate reality - it was depressing the value of Studebaker Corporation stock if they continued to make automobiles.

StudeMichael
09-24-2016, 08:59 PM
Simply Unbelievable …when all those people who were NOT even there at ground zero (South Bend) at the time and afterwards spin their tales …or should that be tails?:D;)

What are you referring to Jim?

StudeRich
09-24-2016, 10:34 PM
What are you referring to Jim?

Most of us understand that, so it is best DROPPED right there! :rolleyes:

The OTHER unsubstantiated "Story" is, that the "End" did come a little earlier than expected when the Sedan Decklid Form Die broke.
Remember EVERY Car they built in 1966 except the Wagonaire needed that Decklid! :(

This certainly was not THE reason, but I am sure it did contribute.

BobPalma
09-25-2016, 06:51 AM
Most of us understand that, so it is best DROPPED right there! :rolleyes:

The OTHER unsubstantiated "Story" is, that the "End" did come a little earlier than expected when the Sedan Decklid Form Die broke.
Remember EVERY Car they built in 1966 except the Wagonaire needed that Decklid! :(

This certainly was not THE reason, but I am sure it did contribute.

;) Here would have been an interesting scenario...if the broken die story was true, what if they had kept building out station wagons for several more days or weeks?

Then, the company's first and last products over its 114-year history would have been wagons! :cool: BP

Skip Lackie
09-25-2016, 09:02 AM
Simply Unbelievable …when all those people who were NOT even there at ground zero (South Bend) before, during and after production stopped spin their tales …or should that be tails?:D;)

Along with Michael, I am uncertain about to whom you are referring. If it was me, I agree that I wasn't there when the plug was pulled. But I tried to summarize my understanding of what I have read in the three or four books on this particular subject. I wasn't in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 either, but thanks to some good historians, I have a pretty good idea of what happened there on that day.

57pack
09-25-2016, 09:22 AM
And I read some where in the past that Studebaker also saw the increasing government safety and emission mandates coming down the road. That also could have been a contributing factor.

Stu Chapman
09-25-2016, 09:35 AM
Along with Michael, I am uncertain about to whom you are referring. If it was me, I agree that I wasn't there when the plug was pulled. But I tried to summarize my understanding of what I have read in the three or four books on this particular subject. I wasn't in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 either, but thanks to some good historians, I have a pretty good idea of what happened there on that day.

Thanks Skip for your always-respected input. But, as you know, I was there, and part of the ongoing saga of less than corporate support. Despite anything anyone can project what might have happened if the door wasn't closed on Studebaker, the fact is, like so many other orphans created since that fatal day in 1966, it is highly unlikely that Studebaker would be here today.

But I will say it again. We could have made it work in Canada if only those exercising control from New York and South Bend had given us a reasonable level of support. As we now know, the Studebaker Corporation just didn't wish to continue building automobiles and trucks, but it wasn't economical to quit altogether in December 1963. If you read my book you know that we were working closely with more than one off-shore company in an attempt to make it work. Those companies all went on to greater heights in North America. It just would have been great if Studebaker could have continued for several more years as part of that success story.

For us in Canada the glass was well over half full those last three years. But for Messrs Guthrie and Burlingame the glass only held a couple of drops. Fortunately, SDC has kept Studebaker alive for another 50 years. I guess we should be happy for some small mercies.

Stu Chapman

StudeMichael
09-25-2016, 10:48 AM
Jim is out of his league. That is why he is not responding. Those who posted above his post are Studebaker historians. I was not there is 1963, but I have certainly been to South Bend and a member of SDC since 1977 since I was 12 years old. I just wanted to hear where he was coming from but I doubt we will hear back from him. Just to clarify I do not consider myself to be a Studebaker historian, just a long time Studebaker lover.

TWChamp
09-25-2016, 11:05 AM
Actually, at the time, the only reason that counted was.........STUDEBAKER COULD NO LONGER COMPETE WITH THE BIG GUYS!!!! :ohmy: :(

That's another thing I never understood. Most people will shop by price, rather than quality, so why try to compete with the big three? As long as the company can make a quality product and keep making a profit, just keep building and selling. I can see if a robot helps the bottom line, then it would be wise to invest in the robot, but if the building is sound and functions well, then it really isn't necessary to have new buildings. With all the nice vehicles that Studebaker had in the 50's and early 60's, it's just too bad the sales weren't there to keep them in business.

A couple years ago I read on the internet where some guy wanted to restart Studebaker and was looking for investors. Can you imagine what a gamble that would be today with all the government controls and red tape!

56Golden
09-25-2016, 12:38 PM
;) Here would have been an interesting scenario...if the broken die story was true, what if they had kept building out station wagons for several more days or weeks?

Then, the company's first and last products over its 114-year history would have been wagons! :cool: BP

A very interesting thought ...thanks for sharing it!:!:

56Golden
09-25-2016, 01:10 PM
<snip>But I will say it again. We could have made it work in Canada if only those exercising control from New York and South Bend had given us a reasonable level of support. As we now know, the Studebaker Corporation just didn't wish to continue building automobiles and trucks, but it wasn't economical to quit altogether in December 1963. Stu Chapman

Stu, I fully agree with the point (above) you make! The same thing happened in South Bend, but Kaiser Industries (Kaiser Jeep Div.) did give US reasonable support and a reasonable amount of time (2 years) to make the operations in South Bend profitable.

56Golden
09-25-2016, 01:32 PM
Jim is out of his league. That is why he is not responding. Those who posted above his post are Studebaker historians.<snip>

So StudeMichael, exactly what does it take to be a "Studebaker Historian" in YOUR mind???:D

Scott
09-25-2016, 02:13 PM
Thanks Skip for your always-respected input. But, as you know, I was there, and part of the ongoing saga of less than corporate support. Despite anything anyone can project what might have happened if the door wasn't closed on Studebaker, the fact is, like so many other orphans created since that fatal day in 1966, it is highly unlikely that Studebaker would be here today.

But I will say it again. We could have made it work in Canada if only those exercising control from New York and South Bend had given us a reasonable level of support. As we now know, the Studebaker Corporation just didn't wish to continue building automobiles and trucks, but it wasn't economical to quit altogether in December 1963. If you read my book you know that we were working closely with more than one off-shore company in an attempt to make it work. Those companies all went on to greater heights in North America. It just would have been great if Studebaker could have continued for several more years as part of that success story.

For us in Canada the glass was well over half full those last three years. But for Messrs Guthrie and Burlingame the glass only held a couple of drops. Fortunately, SDC has kept Studebaker alive for another 50 years. I guess we should be happy for some small mercies.

Stu Chapman

I'm glad you mentioned the SDC Stu. Even being an underdog, Studebaker managed to earn the genuine affection and respect of thousands of people even today! I think that legacy is truly amazing considering so much time has passed. When Studebaker stopped making cars they continued making lasting friends and advocates. What corporation could ask for more?

Skip Lackie
09-25-2016, 03:13 PM
That's another thing I never understood. Most people will shop by price, rather than quality, so why try to compete with the big three? As long as the company can make a quality product and keep making a profit, just keep building and selling. I can see if a robot helps the bottom line, then it would be wise to invest in the robot, but if the building is sound and functions well, then it really isn't necessary to have new buildings. With all the nice vehicles that Studebaker had in the 50's and early 60's, it's just too bad the sales weren't there to keep them in business.

A couple years ago I read on the internet where some guy wanted to restart Studebaker and was looking for investors. Can you imagine what a gamble that would be today with all the government controls and red tape!

Coupla thoughts:
1. In 1963, Studebaker couldn't really compete on either quality OR price. Their bread-and-butter Larks cost $100-200 more than a comparable Chevy, Ford, or Plymouth. There were probably several reasons for this, but the ones I've seen mentioned the most were high labor costs, an inefficient South Bend physical plant, and (a big bugaboo) economies of scale. If you can't sell enough cars to keep the production line running 8 hours a day, then you have a lot of unproductive costs (both labor and infrastructure). And whether justified or not, Studebakers had a reputation for being rust buckets, a problem that management could have addressed, but chose to ignore. This reputation surely did not help sales.
2. Few automobile companies (exception: Morgan in the UK) can continue in business for long by building the same car for years on end. Even Avanti Motors discovered that class, beauty, exclusiveness, and panache has its limits. By the early 1980s,, their technology was at least a decade out of date, and they just couldn't make any money selling the small number of cars they were building. (Whether Blake, Kelly, and Cafaro did the right things to update the cars is a topic for another day.)
3. Again, unless you're building something like a Morgan or an Aston-Martin, you must compete with those in your class -- or die. Frazer, Kaiser, Willys, Packard, etc showed the way. Hudson and Nash pulled off a miracle and survived another 30 years -- but still got swallowed up.

StudeMichael
09-25-2016, 03:14 PM
So StudeMichael, exactly what does it take to be a "Studebaker Historian" in YOUR mind???:D

You go first Jim.


Quote Originally Posted by 56Golden View Post
Simply Unbelievable …when all those people who were NOT even there at ground zero (South Bend) at the time and afterwards spin their tales …or should that be tails?

What are you referring to Jim? (second request)

Skip Lackie
09-25-2016, 03:26 PM
Thanks Skip for your always-respected input. But, as you know, I was there, and part of the ongoing saga of less than corporate support. Despite anything anyone can project what might have happened if the door wasn't closed on Studebaker, the fact is, like so many other orphans created since that fatal day in 1966, it is highly unlikely that Studebaker would be here today.

But I will say it again. We could have made it work in Canada if only those exercising control from New York and South Bend had given us a reasonable level of support. As we now know, the Studebaker Corporation just didn't wish to continue building automobiles and trucks, but it wasn't economical to quit altogether in December 1963. If you read my book you know that we were working closely with more than one off-shore company in an attempt to make it work. Those companies all went on to greater heights in North America. It just would have been great if Studebaker could have continued for several more years as part of that success story.

For us in Canada the glass was well over half full those last three years. But for Messrs Guthrie and Burlingame the glass only held a couple of drops. Fortunately, SDC has kept Studebaker alive for another 50 years. I guess we should be happy for some small mercies.

Stu Chapman

No disagreements. I understand how disappointed you guys were when you did everything they asked you to do and they still pulled the plug on you. Clearly, they intended all along to get out of the car business, and just used you guys as a means to that end. We may never know what private, off-the-record agreements were made in late 1963.

And I also agree that even had the Canadian operation made a go of it and turned a profit, the company eventually would have starved it of the investments required to keep up with technology advances, emissions standards, etc. As you say, all the other orphans left the business, and even a lot of (big) European companies decided their sales here didn't justify keeping up with the changing safety and emissions standards and departed North America.

Stu Chapman
09-25-2016, 06:03 PM
No disagreements. I understand how disappointed you guys were when you did everything they asked you to do and they still pulled the plug on you. Clearly, they intended all along to get out of the car business, and just used you guys as a means to that end. We may never know what private, off-the-record agreements were made in late 1963.

And I also agree that even had the Canadian operation made a go of it and turned a profit, the company eventually would have starved it of the investments required to keep up with technology advances, emissions standards, etc. As you say, all the other orphans left the business, and even a lot of (big) European companies decided their sales here didn't justify keeping up with the changing safety and emissions standards and departed North America.

Actually Skip, when I was completing my research for my book in 2009, I spent a great deal of time with Ed Dunbar in South Bend picking his brains for some critical confirmation. As you will recall, Ed was the Corporate Controller who had the responsibility to basically put the final padlock on the door. During our many discussions, Ed confirmed that he was hired away from Curtiss-Wright in November of 1963 for one responsibility and one responsibility only, and that was DIVERSIFICATION. The next 3+ years were carefully planned.

I don't know how private or off the record that was, but I can assure everyone that Automotive Division President Gordon Grundy was not apprised of Ed Dunbar's assignment. As far as we were concerned, Ed Dunbar was Corporate Controller, nothing else. Ed continued with the corporation until the early 70s to finally complete the divestment of the Automotive Division. Ed and I maintained fairly regular contact until his passing one year ago this month.

Stu Chapman

56Golden
09-25-2016, 06:13 PM
You go first Jim.

Thank you StudeMichael, sure I’ll go first if you like.

Anyone who was NOT actually there at ground zero (South Bend) before, during and after December 1963, is basically speculating OR simply repeating things they have read and/or heard.

I was there before, during and after …how about you?:cheers:

OK now StudeMichael, your turn (second request). Exactly what does it take to be a "Studebaker Historian" in YOUR mind???;)

StudeMichael
09-25-2016, 10:32 PM
I am speechless.

8E45E
09-25-2016, 10:44 PM
;) Here would have been an interesting scenario...if the broken die story was true, what if they had kept building out station wagons for several more days or weeks?

Then, the company's first and last products over its 114-year history would have been wagons!

The last true AMC passenger car was the 1988 Eagle Wagon. It was produced for a year after the sedan was dropped from the catalog.

Craig

56Golden
09-25-2016, 11:15 PM
I am speechless.

You know they have very good doctors here in Florida that might be able to help you with that condition!:D

If/when you get over here to the "Sun Coast" side of Florida, I’ll buy you a beer and we can discuss whatever you like as long as it pertains to …STUDEBAKERS!:cheers::!:

Warren Webb
09-26-2016, 01:37 AM
That's another thing I never understood. Most people will shop by price, rather than quality, so why try to compete with the big three? As long as the company can make a quality product and keep making a profit, just keep building and selling. I can see if a robot helps the bottom line, then it would be wise to invest in the robot, but if the building is sound and functions well, then it really isn't necessary to have new buildings. With all the nice vehicles that Studebaker had in the 50's and early 60's, it's just too bad the sales weren't there to keep them in business.

If you think that the buildings at the South Bend factory did not have a part in Studebaker's demise then do a search on the build process in building 82 as a starter. A more modern setup would have helped just with that. Or why the car back in (53?) was made narrower because of the boards opinion. Or why the conveyor, that was built around 1953, was too narrow to build a wider car that may have let them build the 57 Packard on the 56 body instead of using the President as its base.

A gentleman I purchased some parts from a couple of years ago had worked in the foundry and told me how many blocks were rejected due to core shift. The Lambreti (if I spelled it right) papers spoke of the need & want to change to thin wall castings, but that never happened. Cars at that time were starting to be dipped for rust proofing. Studebaker couldn't do that again due to the way building 82 was set up so they had to go to a spray on process that helped somewhat but was a stop gap situation.

Hamilton had a newer & more modern plant but needed additional investment for these improvements to be met. Stu's book well chronicles the efforts & ambition that management at Hamilton had & performed in trying to make it there a going concern but the minds controlling the purse strings had a different agenda.

Emissions wouldn't have been much of an issue for 66/67 since the engines were being purchased from G.M. however the additional safety standards were looming in the near future. Minor items like the padded sun visors were already in place. Steering column safety could possibly been done on the cheap as Ford did in 67 with a thick pad on the steering wheel but 3 point seat belts would have required reword and additional reinforcements to meet testing needs & that wasn't in the cards. It is too bad for those of us that loved the marque back then & continue that love now. But too many things that required big money that was no longer there came to it's conclusion.

56H-Y6
09-26-2016, 08:00 AM
Notwithstanding all the good efforts of Stu and his contemporaries to develop a viable operation, without on-going substantial corporate support, it was all futile.

Then, for a few minutes, step back a few paces and look at the qualities of competitive makes with which the last Studebakers competed. All were unibody construction, newer-technology powertrains, overall designed within the immediate decade, distributed widely by strong dealer networks, with good resale values. Contrast those to what was an again-reworked/restyled 1953 model, powered by an engine no longer of their own manufacture, with old body-on-frame construction, which had a well-earned reputation for rust issues in many areas of the country, represented by a thin dealer network, having poor resale value. Price issues also put Studebakers at a disadvantage for too long, and financing became increasingly difficult for customers to secure, the lenders feared lending on a car whose value seemed likely to diminish below the value of the loan. All this lead to a loss of public confidence that was irreversible.

Steve

T. Turtle
09-26-2016, 08:46 AM
@ Stu Chapman: there might have been a way to save Studebaker but that would have required an outside investor with money and balls, and I always felt there might have been an opening for the Israeli government who at the time still saw a thriving motor industry as something the country would benefit from. Unless I am totally mistaken, when management decided to shut shop everything car-related was sold, and cheaply at that. The Hamilton plant, all dies, prototypes and drawings might have been purchased as a job lot and production could have continued. A tie-over loan allowing Hamilton to produce the Spectre for the North American market could have been awarded; the flat-four small sedan would have been ideal for Israel and other markets, and if they could have built Japanese-like reliability into it, come 73 they could have had a hit on their hands. There were other benefits on strategic (e.g., Israel not relying on imported military trucks - the US6 could have been modernized very easily to produce the same performance as the M35 etc.) and political (being able to sell Canadian-made cars in markets not accessible to Israeli products, reducing Israel's dependency on other countries) levels.

Unfortunately, Efraim Ilin who had the rights to assemble Studebakers in Israel did not belong to the "right" political circle, and the idiots at the government of the day already got themselves into bed with losers like Leyland and Shubinsky (who made the dreadful Susita and Cramel cars which would not have sold anywhere outside Israel) so there was no one to pick that challenge up.

Sigh...

8E45E
09-26-2016, 08:59 AM
@ Stu Chapman: there might have been a way to save Studebaker but that would have required an outside investor with money and balls, and I always felt there might have been an opening for the Israeli government who at the time still saw a thriving motor industry as something the country would benefit from. Unless I am totally mistaken, when management decided to shut shop everything car-related was sold, and cheaply at that. The Hamilton plant, all dies, prototypes and drawings might have been purchased as a job lot and production could have continued. A tie-over loan allowing Hamilton to produce the Spectre for the North American market could have been awarded; the flat-four small sedan would have been ideal for Israel and other markets, and if they could have built Japanese-like reliability into it, come 73 they could have had a hit on their hands. There were other benefits on strategic (e.g., Israel not relying on imported military trucks - the US6 could have been modernized very easily to produce the same performance as the M35 etc.) and political (being able to sell Canadian-made cars in markets not accessible to Israeli products, reducing Israel's dependency on other countries) levels.

Unfortunately, Efraim Ilin who had the rights to assemble Studebakers in Israel did not belong to the "right" political circle, and the idiots at the government of the day already got themselves into bed with losers like Leyland and Shubinsky (who made the dreadful Susita and Cramel cars which would not have sold anywhere outside Israel) so there was no one to pick that challenge up.

These 'outside investors' were definitely interested, but backed out at the last minute. We would have seen Isuzu-badged Studebakers: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?13407-65-Merger

Craig

Skip Lackie
09-26-2016, 09:52 AM
Actually Skip, when I was completing my research for my book in 2009, I spent a great deal of time with Ed Dunbar in South Bend picking his brains for some critical confirmation. As you will recall, Ed was the Corporate Controller who had the responsibility to basically put the final padlock on the door. During our many discussions, Ed confirmed that he was hired away from Curtiss-Wright in November of 1963 for one responsibility and one responsibility only, and that was DIVERSIFICATION. The next 3+ years were carefully planned.

I don't know how private or off the record that was, but I can assure everyone that Automotive Division President Gordon Grundy was not apprised of Ed Dunbar's assignment. As far as we were concerned, Ed Dunbar was Corporate Controller, nothing else. Ed continued with the corporation until the early 70s to finally complete the divestment of the Automotive Division. Ed and I maintained fairly regular contact until his passing one year ago this month.

Stu Chapman

Diversification, in and of itself, was/is not a bad idea, especially if it provides an income stream that is not subject to the same profit/loss vagaries as the core business -- and if it provides support for that core business. It is my understanding that Sherwood Egbert supported Studebaker's purchases of non-automotive outside companies as a way to expand the company's business base. The part that was apparently kept secret was that these new business purchases were to become THE core business of the company.

Given the timing you state of Mr. Dunbar's hiring (Nov 63) and the state of Egbert's health at that time, it doesn't seem likely that Egbert would have approved that secret strategy.

Stu Chapman
09-26-2016, 11:09 AM
Diversification, in and of itself, was/is not a bad idea, especially if it provides an income stream that is not subject to the same profit/loss vagaries as the core business -- and if it provides support for that core business. It is my understanding that Sherwood Egbert supported Studebaker's purchases of non-automotive outside companies as a way to expand the company's business base. The part that was apparently kept secret was that these new business purchases were to become THE core business of the company.

Given the timing you state of Mr. Dunbar's hiring (Nov 63) and the state of Egbert's health at that time, it doesn't seem likely that Egbert would have approved that secret strategy.

Skip, you are quite correct. Egbert would not have approved this strategy. However, in that regard, Guthrie et al were already proceeding with the planned phase-out as it turned out. That future did not include Egbert, whose destiny through ill health just made it easier to proceed with the new plan.

Stu Chapman

Scott
09-26-2016, 03:40 PM
Maybe it's just me, since I was so young then, but I've always had the sense that it was about 1966 that huge social changes were really taking hold all over. Could it be more than coincidence that Studebaker faded into the background at the same time?

56Golden
09-26-2016, 05:11 PM
<snip>As far as I know they didn't sell any machinery nor buildings, so what was to be gained?

Further …

Studebaker sold their foundry and machinery to Cummins; their machine shop and engineering buildings to South Bend Lathe; their stamping plant and machinery to Allied Stamping; their Plant #8 world-wide Studebaker parts distribution center to Kaiser in 1968 under a 5-year phase-in/phase-out agreement; their proving grounds to Bendix; 200+ mostly vacant acres of land formerly owned by Peter & Mary Studebaker included the adjacent former Studebaker South-side Little League baseball complex to Kaiser; their Administration building to the City of South Bend; various other smaller buildings to the Newman & Altman/Standard Surplus/Nate Altman groups.

Have I missed anything as far a real estate goes???:)

Skip Lackie
09-26-2016, 05:46 PM
It would nice to see a color-coded map of the old plant properties showing what, where, when (and to whom) each parcel was sold. What was the last piece of Studebaker-owned property to be sold?

8E45E
09-26-2016, 06:03 PM
It would nice to see a color-coded map of the old plant properties showing what, where, when (and to whom) each parcel was sold. What was the last piece of Studebaker-owned property to be sold?

BP did an excellent article in the December, 1983 Turning Wheels on what became of each building up until that point in time.

Craig

56Golden
09-26-2016, 06:40 PM
It would nice to see a color-coded map of the old plant properties showing what, where, when (and to whom) each parcel was sold. What was the last piece of Studebaker-owned property to be sold?

I'm sure you are thinking of the post-1963 era. Some Studebaker buildings had multiple owners from that point on.

And of course the first to be sold was the Power Plant. Sold to the City of South Bend who demolished it and built the police station on that site.

Can someone fill-in the blanks regarding Buildings 84, 113, 47, 48, etc. at the far north/northeast end of Studebaker (Plant #1) complex?

Here is a link to a very informative site with maps & pics. circa 2002: http://www.monon.monon.org/sobend/studebakeraerial.html

56Golden
09-26-2016, 07:12 PM
Technically, they sold both the Army contract and the buildings (their most modern), fixtures, and parts necessary to assemble the Army trucks to Kaiser Jeep Corp.

A very reliable source of mine for nearly 50 years got back with me this afternoon on this. Below is to the very best of mine and his recollections:

1.) In 1963/64, Studebaker Corporation did not SELL their new$81,000,000 Army (truck) contract to Kaiser rather Studebaker Corporation repudiated it. Then ATAC (Army Tank Automotive Command) the vehicle procurement arm of the DOD “AWARDED” that same contract to Kaiser Jeep Corporation.

2.) The US Department of Labor also got involved; stipulating Kaiser was to hire former Studebaker employees to fulfil that Army truck contract as long as there was a need. All-in-all Kaiser would eventually hired approximately 10% of the 6,500 former Studebaker employees for positions ranging from Plant Manager down to the lowliest sweeper (NO Executives from Studebaker were hired!;)). The DOL had a hand in allowing the UAW (Local #5) to be the labor representative for all Kaiser's hourly employees in St. Joseph County Indiana.

3.) Kaiser purchased what many of us call the Studebaker Aviation Plant (Chippewa Ave. Plant) not from Studebaker, but from Curtiss-Wright.

64V19816
09-27-2016, 08:53 AM
One factor not mentioned was the November 22 1963 shooting of President Kennedy. An unprecedented and horrific event in many people's lives it no doubt took the urge to buy a new car off the table. It was the worst possible timing in relation to the 1964 model introduction.

Stu Chapman
09-27-2016, 09:17 AM
One factor not mentioned was the November 22 1963 shooting of President Kennedy. An unprecedented and horrific event in many people's lives it no doubt took the urge to buy a new car off the table. It was the worst possible timing in relation to the 1964 model introduction.

You are absolutely correct Ray. During that Studebaker era, Mercedes-Benz was part of Studebaker and on November 22nd 1963 we had scheduled the Canadian media launch of the Grand Mercedes 600 Pullman limousines in Toronto. My department associate and I were driving to that event when we heard the devastating news on the car radio. Needless to say, our PR event was significantly less than successful. During the weeks that followed there was little on anyone's mind except the assassination of President Kennedy.

Stu Chapman

Skip Lackie
09-27-2016, 05:08 PM
BP did an excellent article in the December, 1983 Turning Wheels on what became of each building up until that point in time.

Craig

Thanks Craig. Had forgotten that -- will have to dig it out of my archive.

Skip Lackie
09-27-2016, 05:12 PM
A very reliable source of mine for nearly 50 years got back with me this afternoon on this. Below is to the very best of mine and his recollections:

1.) In 1963/64, Studebaker Corporation did not SELL their new$81,000,000 Army (truck) contract to Kaiser rather Studebaker Corporation repudiated it. Then ATAC (Army Tank Automotive Command) the vehicle procurement arm of the DOD “AWARDED” that same contract to Kaiser Jeep Corporation.

2.) The US Department of Labor also got involved; stipulating Kaiser was to hire former Studebaker employees to fulfil that Army truck contract as long as there was a need. All-in-all Kaiser would eventually hired approximately 10% of the 6,500 former Studebaker employees for positions ranging from Plant Manager down to the lowliest sweeper (NO Executives from Studebaker were hired!;)). The DOL had a hand in allowing the UAW (Local #5) to be the labor representative for all Kaiser's hourly employees in St. Joseph County Indiana.

3.) Kaiser purchased what many of us call the Studebaker Aviation Plant (Chippewa Ave. Plant) not from Studebaker, but from Curtiss-Wright.


Okay. That is doubtless a more accurate version of events. Now that you mention it, I seem to recall that as part of the Curtis-Wright management agreement (1958?) engineered by by the Eisenhower administration, C-W purchased the Chippewa Ave plant from Studebaker and then leased it back to Stude. This provided an infusion of cash to Studebaker and gave C-W both a tax write-off and a steady cash stream.

BobPalma
09-27-2016, 09:29 PM
One factor not mentioned was the November 22 1963 shooting of President Kennedy. An unprecedented and horrific event in many people's lives it no doubt took the urge to buy a new car off the table. It was the worst possible timing in relation to the 1964 model introduction.

:cool: Right, Ray. I've been following this thread and enjoyed the discussion. Thanks, especially, to Stu and Skip.

It's old enough now that I can post this link to my September 2013 "Gambler" column in Hemmings Classic Car. It touches on this, including the point Ray made:

https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hcc/2013/09/The-Gambler--Kenny-Rogers--Hudson--and-Studebaker/3729281.html

Interesting Trivia Dept: If you click on the little photo that appeared in the column, you'll see the three cars (red-white-blue, you'll note) we set up for the photo in that month's column. The blue 1954 Hudson Super Wasp convertible is the "newest" known Hudson convertible. It belongs to my Hudson friend Larry Kennedy, as does the red 1954 Super Wasp convertible also pictured with my Daytona. To the best of everyone's knowledge in the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club and elsewhere in the hobby, there is no higher serial numbered Hudson convertible extant. :woot: :cool: BP

56Golden
09-27-2016, 11:00 PM
One factor not mentioned was the November 22 1963 shooting of President Kennedy.<snip>

Ray, that was really a non-factor factor.

As early as August 1963, Studebaker Corporation Board of Directors were very busy meeting every other week alternating between New York and South Bend, planning to close down production in South Bend by year-end.*

As we all know they did a great job!:rolleyes:

* Source: The original typed minutes of the Studebaker Corporation Board of Directors Meetings, August 1963 – January 1964

Stu Chapman
09-28-2016, 08:01 AM
Ray, that was really a non-factor factor.

As early as August 1963, Studebaker Corporation Board of Directors were very busy meeting every other week alternating between New York and South Bend, planning to closing down production in South Bend by year-end.*

As we all know they did a great job!:rolleyes:

* Source: The original typed minutes of the Studebaker Corporation Board of Directors Meetings, August 1963 – January 1964

As I said.....this is why Ed Dunbar was hired. Amazing however was the fact they sold us the story they did. I seem to recall the statement "we came to Hamilton to live, not die". At least words to that effect.

Stu Chapman

8E45E
09-28-2016, 08:37 AM
To the best of everyone's knowledge in the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club and elsewhere in the hobby, there is no higher serial numbered Hudson convertible extant.

No doubt correct for the true Made-in-Detroit Hudsons as we all knew them, but I believe there was a Hudson-badged Metropolitan convertible offered after 1954.

Craig

BobPalma
09-28-2016, 08:59 AM
No doubt correct for the true Made-in-Detroit Hudsons as we all knew them, but I believe there was a Hudson-badged Metropolitan convertible offered after 1954. Craig

;) True, Craig, now that you think about it. :o It would be interesting to know how many Hudson-badged Metropolitan convertibles were made. :cool: BP

56Golden
09-28-2016, 12:23 PM
As I said.....this is why Ed Dunbar was hired. Amazing however was the fact they sold us the story they did. I seem to recall the statement "we came to Hamilton to live, not die". At least words to that effect.

Stu Chapman

I never [knowingly] met Ed, but if his place had that big "Party Barn" on it and butted up to the U.S. 20 By-pass then I was there on several occasions for Realtor events/parties. The Dunbar family really knew how to throw great parties!!!

…now getting back to Studebaker…

Since you say Ed was hired in November '63, there is a very good chance he is mentioned by name and his annual salary in those Studebaker Corporation BoD Meeting minutes. An example; at the Sept. ’63 BoD meeting in South Bend Egbert recommended hiring Anthony Granatelli as President of Chemical Compounds (STP). He further suggested to the BoD an annual salary of $40,000. ...plus expenses. [about a 1/3 of a million dollars a year in 2016 dollars OR 8 times what those Studebaker high paid union workers were making at the time]:eek:

Stu Chapman
09-28-2016, 09:09 PM
I never [knowingly] met Ed, but if his place had that big "Party Barn" on it and butted up to the U.S. 20 By-pass then I was there on several occasions for Realtor events/parties. The Dunbar family really knew how to throw great parties!!!

…now getting back to Studebaker…

Since you say Ed was hired in November '63, there is a very good chance he is mentioned by name and his annual salary in those Studebaker Corporation BoD Meeting minutes. An example; at the Sept. ’63 BoD meeting in South Bend Egbert recommended hiring Anthony Granatelli as President of Chemical Compounds (STP). He further suggested to the BoD an annual salary of $_ _,_ _ _. . plus expenses. (and yes, I do know that exact amount Sherwood proposed:D)

Jim, on the subject of compensation, do you happen to know what Egbert was paid? My recollection was $85,000 per year plus stock options and residency at the Proving Grounds. Not a really significant package when it's equated to 2016 figures, which probably would be about $1.25 million. Am I close?

Stu Chapman

56Golden
09-28-2016, 09:41 PM
Jim, on the subject of compensation, do you happen to know what Egbert was paid? My recollection was $85,000 per year plus stock options and residency at the Proving Grounds. Not a really significant package when it's equated to 2016 figures, which probably would be about $1.25 million. Am I close?

Stu Chapman

Stu, I do not know Egbert's salary figure. I just added Andy’s salary figure to Post #51 (above).

Gunslinger
09-28-2016, 09:59 PM
I've read that Egbert received a $100,000 salary. Maybe that was cash plus options.

T. Turtle
09-29-2016, 05:56 AM
These 'outside investors' were definitely interested, but backed out at the last minute. We would have see Isuzu-badged Studebakers: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?13407-65-Merger

Craig

Craig, thanks for this of which I was not aware. So it seems my speculation was not as far out as could be. And as others posted above, everything was for sale. Efraim Ilin at the time was doing everything he could to keep Kaiser-Ilin afloat and I believe even had an agreement in principle to assemble M35s in Israel. But as noted, he was not connected with the Israeli Labor Party which was the ruling party (and hence the keys to room where the money was kept) and not being one of the boys was even more significant back then than today. He did even produce a Lark-based prototype with a view to producing the car in Israel so it was all realistic. An updated Studebaker truck would have been ideal for Israel because Leyland did not make any light trucks. I can also see that there were many export markets where simple, robust products like Studebaker's had the chance to succeed (Peugeot made good profits from selling its 404 all over Africa for example) and thus reduce the dependency on the North American market.

8E45E
09-29-2016, 07:31 AM
He did even produce a Lark-based prototype with a view to producing the car in Israel so it was all realistic.

Perhaps an explanation for this one: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?90334-Israeli-67-Prototype&highlight=israeli

Craig

56H-Y6
09-29-2016, 08:12 AM
My understanding is the corporation was willing to sell the complete Hamilton operation with everything to continue production of Studebakers, we know what price they placed on that package? Did they also price out the basic operation without the tools and dies specifically for continued Studebaker production?

As a speculation, the one U.S. car company that would have benefitted from acquiring Studebaker in 1966 to continue production was Checker Motors. As fuel economy and overall size in urban congestion became more of an issue, Checkers ran into more buyer resistance. Had they had the smaller heavy-duty, taxi-spec'd Studebaker sedans and wagons to supplement the larger Checker and eventually replace it as their primary offerings in the 1980's, we might well have had another generation of production.

Stu Chapman
09-29-2016, 09:57 AM
My understanding is the corporation was willing to sell the complete Hamilton operation with everything to continue production of Studebakers, we know what price they placed on that package? Did they also price out the basic operation without the tools and dies specifically for continued Studebaker production?

As a speculation, the one U.S. car company that would have benefitted from acquiring Studebaker in 1966 to continue production was Checker Motors. As fuel economy and overall size in urban congestion became more of an issue, Checkers ran into more buyer resistance. Had they had the smaller heavy-duty, taxi-spec'd Studebaker sedans and wagons to supplement the larger Checker and eventually replace it as their primary offerings in the 1980's, we might well have had another generation of production.

Steven, when we were working with the CMI group in 1965, a number of possibilities were being discussed. In the final proposal, if you reference page 73 of my book, you will see that CMI would receive all the assets of Studebaker's Automotive Division for the paltry sum of $1 million. That included everything...jigs and dies included.

Studebaker Corporation wanted to exit the automobile business in 1963 but, as we now know, the contingent liability of about $40 million precluded making such a decision at that time. This contingent liability applied in the United States, not Canada. A little over three years later, with U.S. dealers dropping off and virtually no new ones being added that contingent liability was reduced to approximately $1 million. The Studebaker Corporation would have placed that $1 million purchase price in a reserve account to protect them from any lawsuits against CMI should they have failed to provide Studebaker dealers with product.

The bottom line was simple. For $1 million, CMI would acquire a ready-made dealer organization of 1,200 dealers in North America who would continue to received Studebakers, plus an expanded line of compact and sub-compact cars. Plus, CMI would receive over $300 million in production equipment and all the Studebaker automotive facilities in North America. And Studebaker Corporation would get out of the automobile business for virtually nothing, which is what they wanted to do in 1963.

It never ceases to amaze me that, over 50 years later, every now and again questions about the demise of the Studebaker automobile resurfaces. Obviously there are still SDC members who never knew the rest of the story so I'm pleased I'm still here to answer their numerous questions. It certainly never occurred to me that when I left the Company in mid-1966 I would be actively involved in it for a half century. Scarcely a day goes by without me spending at least a half hour on the computer on Studebaker stuff. It is an honour and privilege to be able to do this. Studebaker has been, and will continue to be, my life.

However, there are other SDC members who have immersed themselves in Studebaker history these many years and can always be counted on to jump in here with so much corporate background information. We are so fortunate to have such members as Fred Fox, George Krem, Bob Palma, Craig Parslow and Richard Quinn to count on.

Stu Chapman

StudeMichael
09-29-2016, 05:01 PM
And here they are all are with big smiles on their faces.

56Golden
09-29-2016, 11:47 PM
And here they are all are with big smiles on their faces.

Maybe they all just got done unloading all their STUDEBAKER CORPORATION stocks???;):D

8E45E
10-03-2016, 07:55 AM
I've read that Egbert received a $100,000 salary. Maybe that was cash plus options.

$125,000 a year as per Posts #11 & #15: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?46419-Interesting-bit-of-1962-production-history

Craig