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Thread: History of SASCO, SS, SI, etc?

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    Commander Member dadondemand's Avatar
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    History of SASCO, SS, SI, etc?

    Having just left the Michiana Chapter swap meet (well done, BTW), and driving down Sample street, I was trying to reconstruct the lineage of the current Studebaker International. Did Studebaker continue to supply parts after closing down auto operations? Who was first to take over the Studebaker parts inventory? Was Newman-Altman involved at one time? I recall names like Studebaker Surplus, SASCO, etc. Just need someone out there to put it all together for me. Thanks.

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    The chronology has been talked about here before, but under various Titles making a search difficult.

    I will likely forget a few minor details and dates here and there from 55 Years of memories, but here goes.

    The Studebaker Automotive Sales Division of Studebaker Corp. (SASCO) remained selling Parts into around 1970.
    There were still some Dealers and other Corp. Warehouses like the Burlingame, Calif. (Northern, CA) existing. The long time, Authorized Studebaker Dealer in Los Angeles, Frost and French Inc. purchased that Warehouse to become the West Coast Studebaker Parts Distributor receiving quarterly stock replenishment's via Semi Loads from S.B.

    Geoff Newman and Nate Altman were the Large Local South Bend Studebaker Dealers who back in 1964, had purchased the Complete Avanti Plant, rights to everything Avanti and the Truck Mfg. Operation and Parts less the Postal Zip Van Contract that had been sold to Kaiser Jeep.

    Newman and Altman Inc. also owned Standard Surplus Corp. to sell surplus Studebaker Parts from the Corp. long before Studebaker ceased production in the U.S.

    In about 1971 or '72 the HUGE remaining Studebaker Parts Factory Warehouse in Plant Eight S.B. was purchased by Newman and Altman.

    The portions of each Co. that they owned individually or together are very complicated and beyond my knowledge and must have taken a real "New York Lawyer" to keep track of.

    After the SASCO purchase they started Studebaker Parts Corp. to continue supplying the remaining Dealers with Parts.
    This was later re-named to Avanti Parts Corp. and later yet: Newman and Altman.

    Geoff Newman sold his business -less the Production Order Files and ratchet feed Printer to the at the time, Manager of the Warehouse/Store Dennis and Denise Lambert who moved the Parts from the Old Studebaker originally Wagon Works Building, to the Engineering Building across the Street, they re-named their new business: "Studebaker Autoparts Sales Corp." another "SASCO", in keeping with Stude. History.

    Years later, after losing that Building after many struggles with a small Fire on the top floor and the following Fire Suppression System (sprinklers) requirements from the City.
    The City acquired the Parts and the Engineering Building and demolished it and sold the Parts to Studebaker International in Greenfield IN, Owner and son of a Studebaker Engineer; Ed Reynolds.

    The loss of the Building to be demolished, caused Ed to move it to the Chippewa Truck and Aircraft Div. Plant and Warehouse just outside of S.B.
    I recall Ed Reynolds saying that it was an odd feeling locking the Engineering Building Doors for the very LAST time, as it was his Father who was the Last Man out the Door when Studebaker closed it back in the mid 1960's.

    I am not good with the years (Dates) that all these things happened and most are not really important, but many years after that, in late 2018 I believe, a deal was made to sell large portions or all of the Studebaker International Inventory and Business to still another existing "Caretaker" of this HUGE Inventory, the S.I. Greenfield Store Manager; Jim Lime and employee, his Son Cory Lime.

    This involved moving the Parts from the Chippewa Truck and Aircraft Div. Plant and Warehouse location and the Greenfield Warehouse & Store to it's New Store and Warehouse current location in Hope, IN.

    I think I will let someone with more Memory of some of the events that followed SASCO's original Sale to the N&A Corp. refresh our/my memory of some of the small Details that I may have miss-sequenced or missed.

    However, I did have personal involvement with quite a bit of it.

    But basically that's IT, a very long and complicated Ride for IMHO, the World's or at least the U.S. Largest, most complete and longest surviving after demise, Automobile Mfg's Original, NOS Parts Inventory.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 05-05-2019 at 06:00 PM.
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    Might be worthwhile noting Ed Reynolds chose not to purchase the upholstery stock when he bought the rest of the inventory. Will and Lori of Colorado stepped in and formed https://starlightstude.wordpress.com/ , hauled it to Colorado, and now sell it to the public.
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    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    There were other players as well over the years.
    There was a company called Special Interest Autos of Saint Louis that was a big parts supplier. It got purchased by Packard Farms, which I believe was owned by Bill McDowell? (Bill produced the complete exhaust system for my '33 Rockne), which in turn got purchased by Studebaker of California, which was Ed Reynolds' operation before he moved back to Indiana and changed the name to Studebaker International. Not sure of the exact chronology, or if Studebaker of California was previously enriched by Frost and French. Ed could certainly fill in those gaps.
    Last edited by rockne10; 05-07-2019 at 01:31 PM.

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    Parts and Service Operations under the original SASCO continued until late 1971, and I was privileged to transport (in my '55), the late Carl Thompson, a Division Manager, to his speaking appearance at a panel during a South Bend International Meet in 2002 (I think). Carl was a Studebaker Employee hired just before receivership in 1933 , and developed the modern "exploded view", now used in most parts catalogs, while at Studebaker. Picking him up at St. Paul's Retirement Center, he was very insistent I got to see his pension pay stub, as he explained to me his pension remained intact, as did others for employees with similar terms of service. Quite an experience, I'm sorry this generation will never be able to have:

    https://studebakerarchives.photoshel...000bmADOe2R6p8

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    This is jogging some serious grey matter. I had hundreds of questions for Carl while in my car. One was if Studebaker was ever the subject of a NHTSA Recall. His answer was "almost", and it had to do with a technical issue on the 64-66 models. Ignition related, as I recall. His team worked to correct the issue, and no formal recall was issued. But there was an inquiry. He remained as a Manager until sometime in 1972 (Six model years past 1966), when all Automotive related functions were terminated. 39 Years with Studebaker,

    I have my own opinions and experiences with South Bend and the parts inventory. I helped Dennis move across the street, and then watched South Bend do everything it could to run the inventory out of town. Sorry, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if the May Meet followed the parts to the Indy area in the future. Sorry, I'm not going any further than that, as I could write a book on the nutty things I've seen happen in South Bend the last 40 years. I'm not making any more comments than that.

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    /Cut/Not sure of the exact chronology, or if Studebaker of California was previously enriched by Frost and French. Ed could certainly fill in those gaps.
    I worked at both Frost and French and Studebaker of Calif. and I believe that F&F was sold to Studebakers West of Redwood City, Calif. well before Ed started Stude. of Calif. so no connection there.

    I was focused on the Original Factory inventory, so did not mention that the Special Interests Autos (S.I.A.) inventory did slightly enhance the Packard Farm Studebaker inventory which was a part of the Packard Farm and Parts purchase by S.I. , along with many other former Parts Enterprises that were purchased over the years.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 05-05-2019 at 08:19 PM.

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    Commander Member dadondemand's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks Rich! And big thanks to all those entrepreneurs mentioned who stepped up to save those parts with no guarantee of profit.

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadondemand View Post
    Wow, thanks Rich! And big thanks to all those entrepreneurs mentioned who stepped up to save those parts with no guarantee of profit.
    Yeah, just LOOK what you started, that took about 4 Hours to "remember" and of course "publish"!

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    As a side, the owner of SIA of St Louis mentioned above was Bob Johnson whom then went to work for Bill And then Ed and I assume he is now working for the Corey’s. He is probably one of the most Studebaker parts literate guys still around.

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    President Member WinM1895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    I worked at both Frost and French and Studebaker of Calif. and I believe that F&F was sold to Studebakers West of Redwood City, Calif. well before Ed started Stude. of Calif. so no connection there.
    Frost & French moved to Lancaster CA because Bob had sold his house in Sierra Madre, moved to Lake Hughes and was tired of driving into L/A every day.

    I stopped by one day, Walter was there...told me that he didn't want to move, because he knew they would lose their "walk in" trade. When Bob went home one day, he found his wife dead on the floor, he fell apart and it wasn't long before Walter sold F&F to the Thoms Brothers.

    I attended the 2004 meet in Charlotte, spoke with the brothers, I wanted to buy F&F's former Champ pickup, but even after I made a ridiculous offer, they refused to sell it. They had repainted it, removing all the F&F lettering, which made me mad...why did they do that?

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    Bill, about 8 or 9 years ago I was at SI and I asked Bob if he had a Delco
    1107-899 starter. He said they didn't have one which is what I expected,
    so I asked if he had just the nose cone. He said he would check and he went
    out back, about a half hour later he walked back with the part. He was so
    filthy I hardly recognized him. I don't think there is another person on earth
    that would do tat much work for a $35 part.

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    I'm curious, is it typical when an auto manufacture stops making cars to have such a significant surplus of parts? And, if not, why was it the case that Studebaker did? Their numbers were smaller than the Big 4 at the time (I'm including AMC). They continued building cars in Canada a few years after the USA manufacturing stopped. These aspects would seem to deplete a significant amount of surplus. The only situation that seems to come close is Delorian.

    I'm also curious that "dealers" remained after cars were no longer manufactured. Were they selling (new) old stock cars? Were they simply dealers who still had a significant service base and were riding a business to the very end?

    Lastly the volume of available parts..., is it an asset for the obvious reasons, or is there a detriment (to car valuations) in that "rarity" isn't a word too often used except for the few unique cars?
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    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post
    I'm curious, is it typical when an auto manufacture stops making cars to have such a significant surplus of parts?

    No, it isn't typical and hasn't been so for many years.

    In the late 1960s I worked for Davidson Rubber Co, which made dash pads and padded armrests for Ford, GM and Chrysler. They were all aggressively moving to Just-in-time, or Kanban parts procurement. They held virtually no parts stock, demanding parts delivery on the day needed, at most a day or two before. And they were serious about it. I recall one instance when we were two or three days late on a delivery to Chrysler. They kept right on building and shipping cars.

    We caught up with production needs in a few days, but ended up flying people all over the country to install dash pads in dealer's lots.

    When a dash pad or armrest was superseded, we scrapped the tooling. The car makers inventoried virtually no parts. So there are no NOS soft trim parts anywhere.

    Want to restore a seventies or later car? You may find generic hard parts which were used for many years and models, but year and model specific parts? There are probably none, except for a handful of highly desirable cars, for which new parts have been created, but even those parts will not be identical to new.

    OEM parts? Fuggitaboutdit.
    Last edited by jnormanh; 05-06-2019 at 02:26 PM.

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    I think the part of your statement you got Right was this: "Were they simply dealers who still had a significant service base and were riding a business to the very end?"

    Yes, they were very dedicated Dealers as was Studebaker, that is one major reason why there was such an over supply of parts dating way back to the early 1940's.

    At Frost and French, we had Service, Parts and Sales Dept's.
    Reconditioned GT Hawks and New Avanti II's were put in the showroom along with a few remaining 1966's until gone, and the Hawks sold like hotcakes! I had fun helping recondition them!

    Of course you cannot ignore the poor management of not being able to predict sales better, to not make too many parts for Production, that DID happen.

    It reminds me of the Hundreds of excess 1955 ONLY, expensive, cast, chromed window cranks and inside Door Handles, so many that they had to be put on Low Level "Custom Model" 1956 and 1957 Champions and Commanders along with the square shank Window Regulators to get rid of them!
    Way too many to put in Parts Stock, but not enough to use on the better more popular Models.

    The only explanation is; Sales crashed with so many issues, strikes, the Economy, etc. and too many changes in '55 to make a profit.

    The downside is, they were way too expensive to put on a cheap Car, but it happened!

    I don't think having the NOS Parts to maintain and restore many '50's and '60's Studes. is a bad thing for Value.

    The Pencil pushing Bean Counters at the big Three would have scrapped everything 5 years old and older, to save Storage, Maintenance, Tracking System etc. Money and write off a loss. Was it poorly financially managed? Certainly!

    Was it GOOD for Us, definitely!
    Last edited by StudeRich; 05-06-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post
    I'm curious, is it typical when an auto manufacture stops making cars to have such a significant surplus of parts? And, if not, why was it the case that Studebaker did? Their numbers were smaller than the Big 4 at the time (I'm including AMC). They continued building cars in Canada a few years after the USA manufacturing stopped. These aspects would seem to deplete a significant amount of surplus. The only situation that seems to come close is Delorian.

    I'm also curious that "dealers" remained after cars were no longer manufactured. Were they selling (new) old stock cars? Were they simply dealers who still had a significant service base and were riding a business to the very end?

    Lastly the volume of available parts..., is it an asset for the obvious reasons, or is there a detriment (to car valuations) in that "rarity" isn't a word too often used except for the few unique cars?
    Tax laws in 1966-72 did not allow for tax credits if the parts were destroyed. By the time AMC and Chrysler merged in c. 1986, that had changed, and I cried when our parts manager came to me with a list of AMC (and Mopar) parts that were going to be destroyed at the time of the merger. Heard stories from our Parts Rep of sledgehammers being taken to B Block and the big AMC engines.

    Studebaker could only realize cash from the sale of the parts, not tax laws. And they were sold cheap, because in 1973 or so when my 55 was freshened up by its previous owner, the N&A receipt for two NOS front fenders, a new radio, and a bunch of other goodies came to less than $40. The parts were being sold by the pound at that time. I can remember the scale at N&A, but darn it, never got to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post

    I'm also curious that "dealers" remained after cars were no longer manufactured. Were they selling (new) old stock cars? Were they simply dealers who still had a significant service base and were riding a business to the very end?

    Lastly the volume of available parts..., is it an asset for the obvious reasons, or is there a detriment (to car valuations) in that "rarity" isn't a word too often used except for the few unique cars?
    These questions deserve a separate response. Studebaker did not go out of business, they just went out of the auto business. Therefore, product liability and safety issues remained with the "Mother Ship" for, according to the regulations of the time, five model years. I believe if a similar case happens today, that stretches to ten model years. Most recently, Suzuki stopped it's auto business in the US, and I listened to a Chicago Radio Show that explained Suzuki will have to maintain service centers that can perform recalls and such for ten model years from the model year they pulled out. Even if they don't have a Suzuki sign. I'm sure all Suzuki owners have a phone number or website to go to today for help locating a service center.

    Handling the termination of dealer contracts was a huge issue with the closing, better explained by reading Studebaker books and articles available on the matter. The production in Canada is often called a band aid for the best dealers. But yes, even back then, successful dealers had profitable service departments, and Studebaker, still technically in business, supported them as they supported people with the product.

    As far as your final question, that's hard to say, and my opinion will certainly be disagreed with. I would say in the early years, it kept many from being junked. As time moves on, only the plentiful Lark stuff is common, but even it is getting pricey. And, even the early Lark stuff is getting thin. Overall the availability of parts has drawn more into the fold than it has turned away, so overall, I'd call it a huge positive. But unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Enjoy it while you can.

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    Studebaker probably scrapped parts at about the same rate as other manufacturers, but they refreshed their styling less frequently than the big three, and so often carried over body parts and trim for several years -- thus obviating the need to dispose of stuff to make room for new replacement parts. Second, they had a ready market for left-over parts -- Standard Surplus Division of Newman & Altman. They were always so short of money that selling surplus parts to N&A was a significant source of income.

    And after December 1963, they had almost no need to make room for new replacement parts, at least in South Bend. That froze the leftover inventory at the Dec 63 level, and no further parts were scrapped or sold until the SASCO parts dept inventory was transferred to the newly-created Avanti Parts Corp in 1971(?) and then sold again to N&A in 1982(?). [Can't confirm the dates right now.]

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    President Member WinM1895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post

    At Frost and French, we had Service, Parts and Sales Dept's.
    Reconditioned GT Hawks and New Avanti II's were put in the showroom along with a few remaining 1966's until gone, and the Hawks sold like hotcakes! I had fun helping recondition them!
    Rich, Frank French told me that when Studebaker stopped selling cars, he and Walter bought all the 1966 cars that SoCal dealers would sell them. Several times, they bought the dealers parts inventory too.

    When Studebaker folded, Toyota sent 'road men' to the dealers attempting to sign them up...and they were quite successful doing this.

    Here in LA LA Land, both Hamer in Mission Hills and A.C. Almind in Redlands signed on, and Hamer is still in business.

    btw: F&F was not a Avanti II dealer, they did a few "courtesy deliveries," but that was it. Nate Altman visited F&F several times.

    At one time, F&F was offered a VW franchise, but they weren't interested.

    I assume you're aware that F&F was originally a Ford dealer.
    Last edited by WinM1895; 05-06-2019 at 05:12 PM.

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    Thanks everybody, for the valuable input. I had read bits and pieces over the years, but this puts it all into better order, with other interesting information added. I have driven Studebakers since the late 70s, but relied mostly on junkyards, and parts cars, for parts. After the internet came to be, it became a lot easier to find sources for used and NOS parts.

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    Thank you all for taking the time to enlighten me. The subject(s) are rather interesting and I'm glad the initial question was broached.
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    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    And I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the fate of the Packard Corporation's parts inventory when they folded shop in Detroit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    And I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the fate of the Packard Corporation's parts inventory when they folded shop in Detroit.
    Agree, because I'm not a regular member of the Packard Club, I don't remember reading anything on the Detroit divesture. However, the leftover 275hp 352" Packard V8s sent to South Bend for 1956 Golden Hawk production were for sale at Standard Surplus as late as 1964 for $395. That might appear a bargain until inflation is calculated to $3,239.03 in today's scrap dollars.

    Or the South Bend urban legend of how the dozens of NOS 259" crankshafts were salvaged from the (Hurwich Iron ??) scrap yard and wound up at a vendor in (WI ??).

    Or the legend of how a truckload of complete R2 engines were pirated to a boat yard in Seattle?

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinM1895 View Post
    Rich, /Cut/ I assume you're aware that F&F was originally a Ford dealer.
    Yes Bill, and I also remember that they were Packard Dealers after Ford, and that you said that Bob Moss the Parts Manager, had come from another Packard Dealer. That explains his Passion for the Detroit Packards.

    He could pull all the parts to rebuild a Twin Ultramatic and write all the 4XXXXX & 64XXXXX Part Numbers on the Shop Work Order from Memory, just about in his sleep!
    Last edited by StudeRich; 05-07-2019 at 03:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    Yes Bill, and I also remember that they were Packard Dealers after Ford, and that you said that Bob Moss the Parts Manager, had come from another Packard Dealer. That explains his Passion for the Detroit Packards.

    He could pull all the parts to rebuild a Twin Ultramatic and write all the 4XXXXX & 64XXXXX Part Numbers on the Shop Work Order from Memory, just about in his sleep!
    That's because Twin Ultramatics may have been the source for the common slang experession, "it went TU". Bob Moss was familiar with the part numbers because they required rebuilding ever 50,000 miles, if not sooner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Agree, because I'm not a regular member of the Packard Club, I don't remember reading anything on the Detroit divesture. However, the leftover 275hp 352" Packard V8s sent to South Bend for 1956 Golden Hawk production were for sale at Standard Surplus as late as 1964 for $395. That might appear a bargain until inflation is calculated to $3,239.03 in today's scrap dollars.

    Or the South Bend urban legend of how the dozens of NOS 259" crankshafts were salvaged from the (Hurwich Iron ??) scrap yard and wound up at a vendor in (WI ??).

    Or the legend of how a truckload of complete R2 engines were pirated to a boat yard in Seattle?

    jack vines
    I don't know about the "urban legend" part of it. I do remember NOS V8 crankshafts being sold at Hurwich for $10 each. I didn't buy any because I didn't need any at the time. I did buy a couple of sets of NOS front fenders for cars that I owned at the time for $10 each fender. I knew of some that bought a few crankshafts. I heard of someone that bought a truckload of parts from Hurwich at $10 per item prices.
    Last edited by studegary; 05-08-2019 at 11:55 AM. Reason: clarity
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    President Member WinM1895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    And I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the fate of the Packard Corporation's parts inventory when they folded shop in Detroit.
    Packard erected a new V8 engine plant and parts depot in Utica, adjacent to their test track.

    When Packard folded, the parts were shipped to South Bend, the test track was sold to FoMoCo.

    Members of Packard Automobile Classics and the Classic Car Club said that James J. Nance had ordered old parts to be scrapped, but there was no truth to this rumor.

    Some of the parts were stolen while being transferred from Detroit to Utica.

    George Hamlin interviewed Nance while he was president of a bank in Cleveland for an article he wore in the Packard Cormorant, the house organ of PAC

    Nance, formerly with Hotpoint, Packard, Studebaker-Packard and the only president of the Edsel Division dispelled many rumors.

    Rich: Bob was the parts manager of the Packard factory branch in Kansas City MO

    When Packard folded, Bob moved to L/A in 1957, went to work for F&F as their parts manager.

    I asked Bob one time how he could recall so many Packard/Studebaker part numbers. He said one word: rote.
    Last edited by WinM1895; 05-08-2019 at 02:46 AM.

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    Silver Hawk Member Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    I don't know about the "urban legend" part of it. I do remember NOS V8 crankshafts being sold at Hurwich for $10 each. I didn't buy any because I didn't need any at the time. I did buy a couple of sets of NOS front fenders for cars that I owned at the time for $10 each fender. I knew of some that bought a few crankshafts. I heard of someone that bought a truckload of parts from Hurwich at $10 per item prices.
    As I recall, there was possibly an ad or letter to the editor in Turning Wheels circa 1974 on the $10 crankshafts. Not going to go searching for it now but I am thinking in March or April.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido View Post
    As I recall, there was possibly an ad or letter to the editor in Turning Wheels circa 1974 on the $10 crankshafts. Not going to go searching for it now but I am thinking in March or April.
    The time that I remember these bargains at Hurwich was in the 1971-1974 time frame. Of course, $10 then would equate to more now, but it was still a good price.
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  30. #30
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    What about the supposed stash of parts left over in Hamilton Ontario? I'm in need of seat fabric

  31. #31
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commander cody View Post
    What about the supposed stash of parts left over in Hamilton Ontario? I'm in need of seat fabric
    Your answer is in Post number 3, if I understand it correctly a Lot of parts and material were sent back to South Bend from Hamilton, so "some" Canadian Production interior pieces may still be in the Starlight Studebaker Warehouse.

  32. #32
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    I remember a picture at Standard surplus bulletin board in the early 70's of a large pile of sheetmetal in the yard that had been thrown from the windows to create room in the warehouse.
    I asked about it and either Dennis Lambert or Jeff (spelling) Newman said that the pile of sheetmetal was mostly 1958 Packard stuff because in his opinion no-one would ever restore an ugly car like that.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    I remember a picture at Standard surplus bulletin board in the early 70's of a large pile of sheetmetal in the yard that had been thrown from the windows to create room in the warehouse.
    I asked about it and either Dennis Lambert or Jeff (spelling) Newman said that the pile of sheetmetal was mostly 1958 Packard stuff because in his opinion no-one would ever restore an ugly car like that.
    I believe that they tossed out a lot of truck stuff, particularly sheet metal because no one would pay to restore one of those.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 556063 View Post
    This is jogging some serious grey matter. I had hundreds of questions for Carl while in my car. One was if Studebaker was ever the subject of a NHTSA Recall. His answer was "almost", and it had to do with a technical issue on the 64-66 models. Ignition related, as I recall. His team worked to correct the issue, and no formal recall was issued. But there was an inquiry. He remained as a Manager until sometime in 1972 (Six model years past 1966), when all Automotive related functions were terminated. 39 Years with Studebaker,

    I have my own opinions and experiences with South Bend and the parts inventory. I helped Dennis move across the street, and then watched South Bend do everything it could to run the inventory out of town. Sorry, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if the May Meet followed the parts to the Indy area in the future. Sorry, I'm not going any further than that, as I could write a book on the nutty things I've seen happen in South Bend the last 40 years. I'm not making any more comments than that.
    I seem to recall that part of the deal when the City sold the parts inventory was that the parts had to remain in South Bend?
    Dan Peterson
    Montpelier, VT
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpson View Post
    I seem to recall that part of the deal when the City sold the parts inventory was that the parts had to remain in South Bend?
    I suspect that is why Ed sold the company to the present owners , so he was no longer stuck with that ridiculous $18.000 each month rent in South Bend.

  36. #36
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    I think there is or was some Federal Law requiring manufacturers to maintain a spare parts inventory for a certain amount of time, since Studebaker was "collectable" even after production stopped they may have still
    had to live with the regulation. Still yet people make a ton of money on old parts for anything that went out of production. That company in Columbus, Ohio that owns Value City, DSW and Odd Lots made a a bunch
    of money in the early 50's when the bought out the national distributor of FIAT cars and parts for 5 cents on the dollar, and supply parts for those little gems at full retail for years. I think they were the Shotenstein family
    (not sure of the spelling), in interestingly the owner of the FIAT USA that closed was FDR's son.

  37. #37
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    "in interestingly the owner of the FIAT USA that closed was FDR's son."

    Well that explains something I wondered about. The Studebaker dealer in Winooski, VT Archie Myers later became a Fiat dealer and when I bought the inventory there was paperwork from the Fiat dealership that referenced the exclusive distributor which was Roosevelt Motors (or something like that). So that explains where the name came from.
    Dan Peterson
    Montpelier, VT
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    I suspect that is why Ed sold the company to the present owners , so he was no longer stuck with that ridiculous $18.000 each month rent in South Bend.
    It would be interesting to see if that requirement remained with the inventory if it was later sold?
    Dan Peterson
    Montpelier, VT
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    I suspect that is why Ed sold the company to the present owners , so he was no longer stuck with that ridiculous $18.000 each month rent in South Bend.
    I thought that later location in northern Indiana was not within the City of South Bend.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
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  40. #40
    President Member Dwain G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpson View Post
    "in interestingly the owner of the FIAT USA that closed was FDR's son."

    Well that explains something I wondered about. The Studebaker dealer in Winooski, VT Archie Myers later became a Fiat dealer and when I bought the inventory there was paperwork from the Fiat dealership that referenced the exclusive distributor which was Roosevelt Motors (or something like that). So that explains where the name came from.
    Yes, Kermit Roosevelt became the sole US distributor. I was working for a shop that sold Fiat about the time the new 124 and 850 models came in.

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