View Full Version : SHARE YOUR MOMENT

09-27-2008, 06:16 PM
Share the moment you fell in love with Studebakers.

I was 11 and it was 1955. My Dad had a 55 Stude 4 door
with 259, 4-bbl duals (power pack). He was challanged by a
local young man with a 55 Chev. 265 power pac. I remember we were leaving a local gas station, and Dad told the guy to go out front
and hold his hand up when he wanted dad to pass. He did, and dad drove right by him and left him. I fell in love with Studebakers that day. I have owned one of some kind since 1959.


Tex E. Grier

09-27-2008, 06:43 PM
I was 10 in 1953 and was walking to school past a Stude dealer. In the window was a 53 Regal Hardtop, Black with a white interior. It was love at first sight.

Warren Webb
09-27-2008, 06:46 PM
Being the son of a body man, I was taught the importance of fit. One day I came along with my dad to pick up some parts he had ordered for a 55 Studebaker President. While he was at the parts counter I was looking in the showroom, admiring the fit of a 4 door Lark, how all the door gaps were the same, door fit, how they closed so level, so perfect, hood gaps, deck lid gaps. I was so impressed as Dad was leaving I called him over to show him what I saw. Patiently he allowed me to demonstrate my findings & then smiled.
Years went by, a couple of letters to Studebaker followed including one requesting a copy of the annual report for my economics class in high school. I was so excited with the replies with the start "Dear Friend of Studebaker".
At 17 I finally got my drivers licence. Dad came home from work one evening and while we were all sitting in the living room, gave me a 59 Lark accessories manual saying "I found this in a used car & thought you might like it." (he was the body shop manager at Queen City Pontiac in Plainfield, N.J. at the time) I smiled broadly & thanked him. Then he threw me the owners manual & said "this was with it". Gee thanks Dad, I replied, but the full importance didnt sink in. I think finally he knew I didnt get the meaning of it, so he thru me the keys & didnt say a word. I couldnt say anything either. All I could feel were my eyes tearing up. I ran over to him & hugged him. It was one of the greatest things he could have done for me, my first car, a seafoam green 59 Lark 4 door!

60 Lark convertible
61 Champ
62 Daytona convertible
63 G.T. R-2,4 speed
63 Avanti (2)
66 Daytona Sport Sedan

09-27-2008, 06:57 PM
The moment I became the owner of one by virtue of my wife's childhood memories of custom Starlight in her family since before her birth. The Studebird! I knew virtually nothing about Studes until becoming a member of SDC. This forum and much reading have enlightened me to the uniqueness of owning one of America's iconic cars. I will never be the same again and that is a good thing.

Tim-'53 Custom Starlight aka The Studebird in Yuma, AZ

09-27-2008, 07:15 PM
My older brother drove a 53 coupe home in 1966. I woke up the next morning and saw the car. Needless to say, when my brother came out of the house to leave, I was sitting in his car. I was there for at least three hours. I was eight years old and hooked.

Jamie McLeod

Hope Mills, NC

09-27-2008, 07:18 PM
I was aware of Studebakers for a long time, but a couple stick out in my memory.
In 1946-1947, I saw my first 1947 five passenger coupe (later commonly referred to as a Starlight coupe - Starlight name not used in 1947) parked at the curb on a street that I walked down nearly every day. I stopped and made a couple of trips around the car examining every aspect.
I remember when two friends purchased new '53s. One was a Champion coupe and the other was a Commander hardtop. I had lost track of both for a period of years. One evening in 1971, I was having dinner at the Elk's Lodge with the couple that purchased the Commander Starliner new. They mentioned that they were going to sell it. I hadn't seen the car for years, but I immmediately stated that I would buy it. I "restored" that car and showed it for nine years. It still exists with my 35 year old paint job in NC (the last that I knew). I bought a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special from the same couple shortly after this. The engine in the Studebaker was bad with less than 100K miles on it. I found out that when they changed the oil in the Cadillac, the used oil became the oil for the Studebaker. And I always said that oil is cheaper than engines.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

09-27-2008, 07:27 PM
It all happened before my memory fully developed. :D

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA

09-27-2008, 08:57 PM
quote:Originally posted by Flashback

I was 11 and it was 1955. My Dad had a 55 Stude 4 door
with 259, 4-bbl duals (power pack). He was challenged by a
local young man with a 55 Chev. 265 power pac. I remember we were leaving a local gas station, and Dad told the guy to go out front
and hold his hand up when he wanted dad to pass. He did, and dad drove right by him and left him. I fell in love with Studebakers that day. Tex E. Grier

:D [u]THAT</u> is a cool story, Ted. Few of us, myself included, have such a specific moment in time to recall. Good story. I hope your Dad knows (knew?) how that event influenced your passion. :DBP

09-27-2008, 09:07 PM
mbstude writes: "It all happened before my memory fully developed."

Matthew, I think it's fair to say it started even before you were a twinkle in your mom's eye.[:X]

Miscreant Studebaker nut in California's central valley.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

09-27-2008, 09:10 PM
quote:Originally posted by studegary

One evening in 1971, I was having dinner at the Elk's Lodge with the couple that purchased the Commander Starliner new. They mentioned that they were going to sell it. I hadn't seen the car for years, but I immmediately stated that I would buy it. I "restored" that car and showed it for nine years.

This one??



09-27-2008, 09:30 PM
A neighbor of ours also bought a 53 Studebaker, but unlike the Champion 4 door sedan that my Mother bought, it was a Commander hardtop, dark blue over light blue with whitewalls and full wheel covers.

I was only 8 years old, but I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. I used to stand at our driveway and wait for him to come home from work, so I could just look at his car.

Leonard Shepherd


09-27-2008, 09:46 PM
That's a great picture and article find, Craig. I think we've all performed a little legerdemain to get our Studes where they are today.
I've had Studes in my family life back to almost fifty years ago, but I distinctly remember the day 26 years ago as I was driving down Clifton Blvd. coming up behind a black 1960 Lark convertible; calling a friend who's dad only owned Studebakers since 1947 and asked by visual description what year he thought it was. "They only made that convertible in 1960" was the answer. That led to finding an ad in Hemmings in the mid-nineties and finally a purchase. Two more projects just like it came and went, but I still have that original car and the moment it fell in love with me and quit fighting coming back to life is the day I remember best.

First completed convertible, 1997

How my current Lark looked since 1971, in 1995


Pat Skelly
09-27-2008, 09:56 PM
In 1962 I was 11 years old. While hanging out in front of the neighborhood ice cream shop, I saw the most beautifull car I had ever seen, come around the corner. The driver pulled under his carport about 50 feet past the store. It was my neighbors brand new, shiney black and chrome GT Hawk.Years went by and just before I came back from Hawaii in 81, the old man died. He still had the Hawk, and now his son was driving it.Then in 2000 while visiting my mother, I tracked the old Hawk down. Not for sale. A few months later, the owner called me to inquire if I was still interested in it, I was. 2 months later I finally got the Hawk. 38 years after I first saw it. No it's not for sale.

Pat Skelly
62 GT Hawk
53 Studillac
37 Dictator Coupe

09-27-2008, 09:56 PM
quote:Originally posted by barnlark

That's a great picture and article find, Craig.

In 1976, the wife of my grandfather's accountant opened up a new bookstore in a strip mall not far from where I lived at the time.
She knew about my car and my love of all things Studebaker when she got this small hardcover book in, and pointed it out to me. To show my patronage/support, I ended up buying it as does have lots of color photographs, even though only three pages pertain to Studebaker.


John and Tracy Smith
09-28-2008, 12:15 AM
While I had already had a fondness for Studebakers for some time, I fell in love with our Studebaker the day John and G.D. brought it home on the trailer from California. I walked out the front door and there they all were in person. We had talked about having a truck of our own, and it was finally a reality! I knew I was hooked completely as I watched John maneuver himself through the driver's side window in order to get in the truck and back it off of the trailer. I remember laughing and thinking (correctly) that this was just the beginning of many more Studebaker adventures to come!

The moment I fell in love with my Studebaker was the day we brought it home and our kids got to see it for the first time. We all piled into the front seat and I took them for a drive down the road. They were so excited and thought it was just the coolest thing. How can you go wrong with that? -John

John and Tracy Smith
Queen Creek Arizona
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_3130.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_7458.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/studebakertruck/IMG_2129-1.jpg

Bill Pressler
09-28-2008, 05:57 AM
Grew up loving cars, although never had a Dad/older brother type who could teach me to work on them. I was a master at automotive trivia, as a kid able to identify cars from the front porch to the amazement of relatives, and pored over the brochures, memorizing options, colors, etc. Going with Dad to the new-car showings at our local Chevy dealer each fall is one of my fondest childhood memories (along with taking the Erie Lackawanna railroad to visit relatives in NYC area).

Anyway, there seemed to be a lot of Studes in our small town in the sixties. We had a small but long-established Stude dealer called Carl E. Filer Co. I can't remember seeing cars there, but the big blue vertical "Studebaker" neon sign hung out there for a few years after they were out of business.

I always thought Studes seemed totally different from other cars...in a good way!

There was a Strato Blue '64 Daytona Hardtop around town that was beautiful....original owner had it 'til '90. I always admired that car.

In around '86 I looked at a black '64 GT with a reported 26K miles at a dealer in Cleveland, OH, but at $6K it was out of my league. Joined TW later that year. Decided I wanted a '64 Lark-type.

Saw an ad for my '63 Skytop in the April or May '88 TW, at a price I could swing. Decided I'd take a '63 since this one had factory R1 and Skytop. Soon learned all about Stude rust and front-end 'idiosynchrosies"!

Gave it to Westmoreland Studebaker in '93 to do a driver-level restoration, with attention to authentic color, emblem placement, interior, etc. They did a good job within my parameters and I consider Craig a friend. The paint is still beautiful.

In the interim, I linked up with Carl E. Filer Jr. from my hometown Stude-Packard-Benz dealership, and he has been a wonderful friend in telling me about the dealership days and giving me mementos of the dealership. In 2004 I bought the door with the large red-ball "Studebaker Parts and Accessories" logo still on it, from the current owner of the old dealership building, and use it as a desk in my office.

I have met good friends through SDC and have enjoyed Stude ownership greatly (although have to admit that now that I'm 50 and more impatient, my frustration level with things that need fixing is increasing!)

I love the SNM and poring through the Archives there. South Bend is always a special place for me to visit; love the nationals and the May Swap Meet there every year. As mentioned in another post, I'll miss eating at Steak and Ale there, though.

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH
'63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

09-28-2008, 06:42 AM
:) Ironically, I can't recall one specific, life-changing moment when I "fell in love with" Studebakers. It was more of a gradual thing, beginning with my father and his brother Milton acquiring the Paris IL Packard dealership and franchise June 15, 1953, when I was seven years old.

Earlier, I had seen Grandpa Palma's circa 1938 Commander on the Palma family farm around 1951, but by then it was just an infrequently-used old car that he had brush-painted green...and the paint hadn't flowed out much, "if you get my drift," as The Fonz used to say. The car might as well have been a Ford or a Dodge, though; the fact that it was a Studebaker was of little interest.

But in early June 1955, Dad and Uncle Milt joined forces with the Studebaker dealer in Paris IL, Harry Rhoads. They moved from their smaller quarters (Page 31, January 2006 Turning Wheels) to form Palma-Rhoads Motors. Harry needed the money and they needed the space; "corporation" papers I still have specify Palma Brothers' interest in the new venture at 85% and Harry Rhoads, 15%.

In late June or early July 1955, the Studebaker "road man" was making his rounds in a new lemon-lime Speedster. I was 9 years old and spent most of the summer hanging around the dealership; the original "cool beans" for a 9-year-old. I was at the dealership when he pulled up out front in the Speedster and was really taken by it; now here was a cool car!

My hero de jour was Uncle Milt, the Service Manager. The shop emptied to come out and see the Speedster. Talk immediately ensued as to who would get to drive it...and who could ride along. As luck would have it, I got to sit in the rear seat right behind the driver, Uncle Milt, while Dad and The Studebaker road man occupied the other two positions.

I forget who was in the back seat with me, but I'll never forget that ride up Illinois Route One north of Paris that day with Uncle Milt at the wheel. I was hooked on Studebaker V-8 performance on that fast ride. Only 7 years later, at age 16 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, would I meet the only fellow I thought could ever wring more out of a Studebaker V-8 than Uncle Milt: Ted Harbit.

And the rest, as they say, is history. :DBP

09-28-2008, 09:21 AM
Bob Palma, just a note to let you know my Dad did know how much he
influenced me, and I have a thread in mind on that. I wish I could answer every one. You all have GREAT stories, and the pictures are
fantastic. Please keep you MOMENTS coming. THANKS fot sharing

Tex E. Grier

Chris Pile
09-28-2008, 09:58 AM
Well, Grandad drove Studebaker trucks and cars until they went out of business. My dad learned to drive in a heavy Studebaker farm truck taking cattle to market. So I was intodced to Studes early on.

I remember an old blue bulletnose I would sit in front of at about age 4 and fantasize about airplanes (I live in Wichita - the Air Capital), as the sculted prow of hood and fenders from low in front reminded me of a twin motored airplane.

Chris Pile
Midway Chapter SDC
The Studebaker Special

Dan Timberlake
09-28-2008, 10:28 AM
My mom's mom had a string of interesting cars, several of which she totaled. A yellow 1953 Mercury Sun Valley with the green glass front roof, like a Ford Crown Victoria. A few Corvair Monzas (one of which rolled entering or leaving a toll booth. A few Porsches. My mom spoke with special disdain about a Studebaker convertible. Color and year unknown.

My dad started his own business around 1960, and leased some property for a small plant from a man in Maine who had also started some kind of Studebaker dealership. So my dad bought a new dark green Lark VIII station wagon from him too. The Lark had racked up over 100,000 hard miles long before I had my license, so I never got to drive it. I remember my dad saying he liked that Lark because it "goes where you point it."

A few years later I had a friend who had a flashy blonde mom, and a technically very handy dad (Mr C) with strong automotive and racing leanings. He had been a real Chevy mechanic, and had gone to the Fuel Injection school so he got to work on then current Fuelly Vettes. He'd talk of returning after a Corvette "road test" with the rear tires hot and gummy. When I knew them they owned a string of interesting used cars. A baby blue 1960 Lincoln whose rusted through headlight eyebrows (after just 5 years) Mr C repaired with fiberglass (he was using that material to make parts for artificial heart prototypes in his basement) and painted under the carport. A 1962 T-bird Mr C would drift around corners while loaded to the gunwales with us members of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. He painted it metalFlake gold after a few years. Then A 1965/6 Galaxie with a 390 that often left their driveway with tires squealing when Mrs C was at the helm. Mr C mentioned the Hawk they had a few years before I met them, and that the fins were separate from the fenders.

Earlier this year my wife bought me a 1960 Hawk. It should be driveable in a few weeks.
We found my dad's Lark owner's manual, which did duty as the Hawk manual that year, so it is perfect for my Hawk.
My older daughter said Grampy had kept the manual because he knew I'd need it.

09-28-2008, 12:02 PM
I was 20 in 1959. I had taken my drivers test at 15 in a 1952 Studebaker (because it was small and relatively easy to park), but was seriously into Fords (1931 Five window coupe, 1939 coupe, 1952 Two door with flathead V8, 1955 Ford Victoria with ohv V8).

However, I saw the most beautiful car ever designed, in an old copy of '53 Mechanics Illustrated and I was hooked. Sometime in my life I would own a 1953 Sudebaker Starliner Hardtop.

I found a shot rod version of a 53 Stude two years later, bought it, and soon realized it was too far gone to be repaired. In 1961, we had our first child, started looking for a house, and the dream was put on hold indefinitely.

Two children fully grown, 25 years of marriage and one amicable divorce later, I started looking again for my 1953 Sudebaker Starliner Hardtop.

I found one in Oklahoma in 1984 that needed most everything but was generally solid, joined SDC, and began several years of swap meets, searching for what I needed.

I still own that car.

[img=left]http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j259/stude53/studesmall2.jpg[/img=left]Bob Feaganes (stude53)
53 Starliner Hardtop
Newton Grove, NC

09-28-2008, 12:36 PM
I was nearly born in my Studebaker, so I have loved it (them) literally all my life. The one I call mine was my Dad's 3rd, and we had 2 more bought by my folks while I lived at home. My brother bought a '57 Hawk while he was a teenager, and a number of my relatives owned them. So, like Matthew, I have no moment -- only my whole life.

'50 Champion, 1 family owner

09-28-2008, 01:52 PM
For me it was gradual like Mr.Palma. The process was most likely started by my memory of going to get my Dads fisrst stude at 3 years old. Know my Dad claims I know more about them than him and calls me obsessed.I am looking forward to the day when he calls me insane,wich will happen as soon as i got my own garage.[D:]


09-28-2008, 03:54 PM
It was the spring of 2004. Thru a course of fate, my daughter had found the '64 cruiser that was sold in a divorce 5yrs earlier. It was also a fortuitous occurrence that I was able to find someone who could take me from Wisconsin to Delaware and bring the car back home. When I finally got to the car I became emotional. I remember facing away from the driver and the owner as i ran my hand along its fender with tears in my eyes. But that isn't the end of the story.
Later that year the car was rejoined with its companion car, a '63 white wagonaire. The wagon had been sold at the same time as the cruiser, but remained in the area in the hands of a member in our Badger Wheels stude club. I had brought them both back from California when we moved back to Wisconsin in 1989. Both had been purchased from the same estate. And now in August of '04 they were rejoined at the regional meet in Chippewa Falls, Wi. The phrase, "together again" ran thru my mind as the emotions were mixed with the rain on my face that also fell on the meet that day. But that isn't the end of the story.
Just recently, due to financial hardship, I had to sell the '64 cruiser. This time the emotion wasn't there like it had been before because she was going locally to a kindly old gent that planned on giving her the paint job that she needed. Call me a fool if u want, for doing it with out worrying about the old guy paying for it, but I am now installing a nos dash that I had for it. It just seemed like the right thing to do after he gave it the paint job. His health isn't the best, and he wanted it done soon. So it's a labor of love for the car, and fulfilling this kindly old gents dream. And something tells me that this won't be the end of the story.

09-28-2008, 08:53 PM
My father started buying Studebakers in the mid fifties, every couple years he would trade on a newer model (always used..never bought a new one) and they were all 4 door "family cars". In the summer of 66 I was 12 years old, going to the city park pool on a daily basis and I often saw a 64 dark blue Lark with a teardrop hood(like the Ford "Thunderbolts" came with, and a set of Keystone mag wheels cruising thru the park. That was it...I told my buddy that some day I was going to have a car just like that Lark! The following year my Dad did his usual upgrade.. but this time he traded for a 66 Daytona, yellowknife gold w/ black interior....it was beautiful, I was already planning how I would modify it someday. Two years later my Dad's 63 Wagonaire was totaled when someone ran into it when it was parked, and, at the age of 14 I dismantled the whole car for parts....one of the best things I ever did...learned so much. I came home from school in January of 69 to find a wrecked dark blue 64 commander w/ a teardrop hood, blown up 259, 3spd on the floor. Turns out my dad had bought it for me, and the towing company lost it going around a turn in the snow & hit a telephone pole. We decided not to fix the car, removed the 160 mph speedometer, rear swaybars, clutch setup, & that "teardrop hood". I don't remember what my dad did with the car;after reading a Hemmings Muscle Car article about the 64 Superlark that Nelson Bove has, I'm 99% sure its the same car ( whats the chances of 2 -64 Superlarks coming from Washington, Pa!)I eventually talked my mom out of the 66 Daytona, modified it with an all steel tilt front end ( with that teardrop hood!), 350 SBC, 4spd, etc. and still own it to this day, took my drivers test in it, took it on our honeymoon, and to my first SDC meet @ South Bend in 72, its been dismantled since 85...my goal is to have it back together for the next South Bend meet!

09-28-2008, 09:06 PM
My Dad was a salesman at Steele Motors Studebaker dealership in Clifton Heights, PA. When he came home with the first Avanti the dealership got in, this seven year old, car crazy boy thought something from outer space had landed at our house. He asked what I thought, then took me for a ride....
Yep.. that was it!! :)

Regards- Matt

1963 GT Hawk
1960 Metropolitan Convertible
1972 AMC Javelin/ AMX
1958 Cushman Eagle

09-29-2008, 05:52 PM
My first inkling of Studebakers came while watching the Muppet Movie! I loved the Stude that Fozzie bought! Driving and singing on this clip&gt;
Even though I was young enough at the time not to appreciate it "A bear in his natural habitat, a Studebaker" was one of my favorite lines in the movie.
Twentyish years later, Steve found his Dad's Stude and relit the spark started so many years before. I love my Lark, but my next car will be the smiling Bullet nose!! Thanks Fozzie!

Can't wait to drive my V-8!
'63 Lark

09-29-2008, 06:33 PM
I was ten years old when the new '47 Studebakers came out. I went with my dad to see the new cars at F.E.H. Motors in Hempstead, NY. When we entered the showroom, we saw a 5 passenger coupe (later called the Star Light) on the floor.
All I can remember was that the car blew me away. Ever since then, I've lusted for one of those great cars. Who knows, maybe one will turn up in my driveway one of these days.
I've owned Studebakers during my life and now own a '59 Lark Regal Hardtop, whick I love. I've owned it for 17 years, but that StarLight Coupe is still in my head.
I'm now 71 years old, but still look forward.

'59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop

09-29-2008, 06:42 PM
My dad started getting Studebakers just after the war - he had driven a Studebaker truck in WW2. It kept him alive. That was the defining moment for him.

Even though many Studebakers would come and go, (and many would stay) there were a many real defining moments for me:

(1) Coming home at 130 mph from the cottage (mom driving) in a black 1955 Speedster. (still have it, #2 of the 14 prototypes). Lemon/ Lime colour was covered up.

(2) Mighty Hawk, Red 1963 GT, bought new by my dad, 310,000 miles, restored, and a star of the small Studebaker exhibit at the Canadian International Autoshow 2006. (the preshow to the CIAS of 2007) My dad would load up the trunk and it would be the only car able to go down the unplowed street in the snow. (Twin traction). It also was able to pull boats out of the water when no other car was able.

(3) Loading up a 1960 Lark with all of my rock bands equipment & hauling a trailer easily. Eating alive any Mustang that dared to think it was faster.

(4) Driving my $1 1964 Lark to university for 4 years, with only one incident. (distributor weights came off). Drove this same car at 125 mph south of Montreal.

(5) Driving my dad's R2 Avanti 140 mph. I haven't felt the need to speed since, and my insurance rate thanks me for no speeding tickets in years - touch wood. Recently talked to new owner. Nice gentleman.

Paul R

09-29-2008, 07:14 PM
I wasn't going to add mine, but these great stories and experiences need to be balanced by a super-lame story[:I]:

I've always loved old cars. I had some work done at a local shop, and while I was waiting I wandered around the side of the building and saw a sad-looking 64 Commander. The shop owner caught me looking at it and came right out to show me it ran. Turns out he had completely rebuilt the 6 banger and put in new S/S exhaust- purred like a kitten. He needed to get rid of it fast because the town was after him; in 4 days. He was going to pull the engine and crush the rest unless it sold. I left but for some reason couldn't stop thinking about that sad old car. Long story short, I paid too much for it and drove it the 7 miles home, first time on the road in 13 years. I ended up driving it and offending snooty people for about 2 months until reverse went out. That was almost 5 years ago. I still have the car, and am waiting for the right recipient for that sweet engine[^]

Told you my story was lame [V]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

09-29-2008, 08:57 PM
It would have been in 1974. I was a 20 year old and sick of messing around with my '61 in line six cylinder Holden sedan ( slow and gutless ) and set out with $1200 looking for a Holden Monaro, the car of my dreams. There was nothing for that kind of money, so late in the day, my brother,Ted and I are about to give up when this salesman points out a '64 Cruiser 289 3 speed floor shift ex police sedan. I didn't care for it much and did not even know what a Stude was. Once I test drove it I was hooked. I drove it home and my Dad thought that I was crazy [}:)] maybe so! A 4 speed gearbox and a little work on the motor and there were not too many Monaro's that could keep up with it. It is well gone now, but we have plenty more Studes now. :);):Dhttp://www.studebakercarclub.net/40years105.jpg
Here she is. I had a little hair back then.

Dave Pink
Victoria, Australia

1916 SF Roadster
1925 ER Tourer
1925 Panel Delivery
1953 Champion Sedan
1957 Golden Hawk
http://www.studebakercarclub.net/concours200732a.jpg http://www.studebakercarclub.net/concours200724a http://www.studebakercarclub.net/concours200733a

Studebaker Car Club Of Australia Website

09-29-2008, 09:41 PM
Ok, Lets Hit It: At age of 3 or 4 I was standing in the rear seat of Dads 1928 Commander, looking out the rear window, while waiting for on coming traffic to clear to allow Dad to make a left turn, when CRAS. Hit from the rear, I received a cut on my forehead. I carry the scar to this day at the age of 78.

09-29-2008, 11:47 PM
Car crazy teenager, had a route I'd follow on saturdays to see if all the old beaters were still there to peer at and dream about fixing up when I got my learner's permit.....One was this strange coupe with what looked like a small pickup bed sticking out of the trunk...It had these little bat shaped rear windows. Too buried in the front for me to figure out what make it was, until 40 years later....then there was the almost condemned garage behind my dad's store...It had a bustle-back 4 door in it with a swoopy grill. I hadn't seen anything like it in Rod and Custom, but lusted after it. My dad tried to figure out how to buy it, but when the old woman who lived there died, the 35' Stude went to the proverbial nephew from south dakota....Next, about 15 years ago, a guy told me he had a spanish dirt bike to sell me cheap, and by the way, there was a Stude there too...would I be interested? Thought it'd be a lark, which I thought were ugly at the time (I was young....) but it was a 53' champ hardtop. That was what finally started the ball rolling. Since then, I have owned or shared two more 53's, a 47', the turbostude, the low mileage Avanti r2 (remember the video jim mccuan put up...), a 38' four door, a 37' two door, and the Tribaker....Oh yeah, and the 62' Champ 3/4 ton "Lips"....I'm hot on the trail of a 37' parts car now....

http://turbostude.com/Tribaker (LP three-wheeler project)

09-30-2008, 12:12 AM
My interest or affair started only about 11 years ago. My girlfriend who became my future wife and I were living in Houston and I was finishing up my post graduate medical training. We left for lunch one day and went down to a Taco Bell which was close by. While sitting there eating, a convertible white with red interior 2 door Lark came into the parking lot and I was hooked. I remember saying to my wife that I think that's a "Studebaker", mind you that I was not even a car nut at the time. That memory of the white convertible haunted me for about the next 6 months- until I bought my own Studebaker. I still fondly remember that first day.

09-30-2008, 12:55 AM
It began as a blind date that grew into deep affection, or some might say, affectation.

I was raised in a Chevy family with 5 older brothers so I never even looked at Studebakers. In the spring of 1983, when I was 25, my Stude loving friend, Rob asked if I would give him a hand swapping the cracked block in a green 63 Lark VI 4 door. After a test drive with the newly installed used engine, my friend said, "You should buy this car!" I only had a 55 Triumph 500 motorcycle at that time so I took his advice. I had a great time driving that car. I also dated my wife while driving that Lark. She loved it too so I knew she was a keeper.

Now 25 years later, although I don't have the Lark anymore, I still have Yvonne (my wife) and I have my 5th Studebaker, Elsie, a 51 Land Cruiser, given to me by my wife for my 50th birthday. So now we all drive around with smiles on our faces: me, Yvonne, and Elsie, our bulletnose Land Cruiser.


p.s. I think I'm successfully passing the torch to the next generation: my 15 year old son came home with pictures taken on his cell phone of a 55 Commander 2 door sedan that he saw on the street. With a little training he is becoming a pretty good Stude-spotter!

"Ahh, a bear in his natural habitat...a Studebaker!"
Fozzie Bear in 'The Muppet Movie'

51 Land Cruiser (Elsie)
Jim Mann
Victoria, B.C.

09-30-2008, 01:16 AM
Hmmmm, I would say I got the "bug" about 5th grade or so. We always had a Studebaker, but to my knowledge, it was just another car in the yard. We have a 55 Champion 4 door in I presume Red and Black with a 185. As the car was then as it is now it's a parts car. Anyway I got interested in the cars once my parents brought home a 55 2 door Commander hardtop. We would take it to the local shows, and the cruise nights here and on a few occasions, won an award. I loved the front of the car, it had that robotic beefy lower jowl look with the chrome and the foglights on the front. The car also had a slick, streamlined appearance, and at the time seemed to be the only one in the region. At the time this was an area that was pretty sparse for Studebakers as it was heavy Ford and GM country as well as typical midwestern corn country. The '55 also had a transplanted 289 with a 3spd and a 4.56 gear in the rear(Ozarks car). This vehicle launched like a slingshot, and we proved it against a FedEx truck one day from a tollbooth. But I digress.....
Soon after we joined the local club, and then the national club. I read the TW's and went to the meetings, and soaked in the color as the years went by. We had also discovered the entertaining aspect of not only the May meet and Newman and Altman(when they were all under one roof), we had also discovered how to make a vacation out of the International when we went to the Detroit meet all those years ago. The 55 was also joined by another hardtop parts car with 259 and modified floorshift 3spd. This was about 94 or so.

Five years later when I turned 17 I had received my license. A couple years prior we had picked up a 63 Avanti R2 with a 4 speed, so I got the high performance bug, lol. I was also car shopping for a high school car when I happened upon a 64 Commander with an R2 in TW's. We picked it up and throughout the latter part of high school I used it. I gotta say in the world of Mustangs, Camaros from 89 and prior, and the oversized trucks I stuck out like a sore thumb(to other students, as well as staff, and security around the high school, lol), particularly since despite no blower yet, it had the R2 engine and the 4.10 TT gear. Anyway, when leaving the parking lot it wasn't difficult to leave my mark, lol. About this point I really got into the mechanicals of the cars since I had to do my own maintenance from time to time. I have been hooked to them pretty much ever since, and prior before getting my wheels, and will pretty much loving them far into the future.:)


09-30-2008, 12:35 PM
I was 7 years old in 1966. My Dad drove home in a 1963 turquoise Avanti he had just bought from Jay Ward, the Rocky and Bullwinkle creator. I was hooked, as was my Dad. That car started a string of a couple of other Stude's for my Dad. A 50 businessman's coupe, and a 53 hardtop. The best memories of my childhood was working with my Dad in the garage on the Studebakers. He knew Ak Miller, and we used to hang out as his shop in Pico Rivera. Ak would fine tune the Avanti, and world land speed driver Jack Lufkin would test drive it! I was flying around all over the back seat, laughing the whole time! I bought a 49 2R5 truck in high school, painted rust and primer but I loved that truck. Been hooked ever since.

Minden, Nevada

1950 2R5 truck
1960 Hawk R1 4 speed project

Andy R.
09-30-2008, 12:52 PM
Five years old. My aunt came to pick up my family at LAX in her GT Hawk. I'll never forget the sight of that car lit from behind by headlights reflecting off the rear grille.

62 GT

Steve T
09-30-2008, 09:44 PM
Some great stories on here...I can't really cite one specific moment at which I became enamored of Studes, there were too many contributing factors. Have always liked cars...a lot...even from early childhood; and I do remember Dad talking about the Studebaker Avanti being ahead of its time (I doubt I'd yet seen one then). More recently, my interest in local history contributed, and my longterm desire to own a vintage car coalesced into a search for a Hamilton-assembled Studebaker. But there were probably two occurrences either of which could be "when the bug bit". First would be me as a young tour guide at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (I'm also crazy for old airplanes), showing a very sizeable crowd of SDCers around the museum back in the 80s. The Stude folks had parked their cars--about twenty of them, as I recall--in rows on the tarmac between the hangars, and I found the mass showing of an "extinct" make of car very cool indeed. Second, about the same time, while I was in Journalism at college, I went out to Kilbride ON, to do a mock radio interview with Gene Madjanovich, who a couple years later would be one of the founders of the SDC Hamilton chapter. The subject of the interview was Studebakers. Gene had two 51s at the time and we passed a very nice evening looking over the cars and reminiscing about the other Studes Gene had owned. Somewhere I'm fairly sure I still have a cassette of the resulting radio blurb. Must find it sometime...and maybe play it at a chapter meeting now that I'm a member of the chapter Gene helped found.



10-02-2008, 12:54 PM
Okay, I'll go ahead and thow in my semi-lame story...after the thread has become inactive...oh well. What the heck!

I was raised in a family that loved old cars. Mostly Ponitac, as my dad now owns three total. I had no real stipulations at the time for what cars I liked, I just wanted to learn as much as I could about them. However, Studebaker was not even on my radar at that time. In fact, the first time I became aware of studebakers was in an episode of M*A*S*H*. Col. Potter said something to the effect of "Why, its the hottest thing since Studebaker put the front end on the rear!!" And I thought to myself."wow, that would be something to see."

So I started to research Studebakers. I found that, along with other indepentent makes, they were totally unique to themselves and had a level of originality that was unseen in the bigger productin cars...ever. However, they were still really only an idea to me at the time.

Fast forward to about three years ago. A co-worker of mine is telling me about this old car that he wants to get rid of. The only reason that he purchased it was at the prompting of his father who was a Studebaker nut. He had owned it for about 6 years and was tired of looking at it. I asked him if I could see it. He seemed surprised and said, "you want a Studebaker?" My response was.

"Well, I would at least like to take a look at it."

My wife and I went to see it about two weeks later. My wife was sceptical, she was saying things like "What is a Studebaker?" "What kind of Studebaker is it?" and "Werent Studebakers ugly?" (oh, boy.)
We get there and the guy has a four car garage (it could probably actually fit five if he wanted too) that was spic and span. Inside the garage was a 1962 Avanti powered Stude pickup, a 1963 Lark (for sale) a 1949 Starlight coupe with a 1950 front clip and a 1957 Silver Hawk, all in pristine condition. That was the moment I became a Studebaker nut.
My wife asked..."Are ALL these Studebakers? I guess they aren't bad looking at all!"

We test drove the Lark and I sat down with my wife for a serious conversation. The price was right, but we would not have this kind of spending money again, for a long time. (we had saved up some money in the idea that we would spend it on a car...the original plan was to get a newer, reliable car, but when I saw the Lark, I had to ask my wife if we should spend it on this instead) My wife looks and me and says..."well, it isn't really MY type of car." I was dissapointed, but I knew we should be responsible with our money.
The next day she takes me aside and says "So, you really liked that car huh?"
I answered "yup"
She asked "So, maybe we could consider it an investment since a newer car can only go down in price whereas an older one can only go up, right?"
I brightend and said"yeah, I guess if you put it that way!"
Then to my delight she said, "Well, it is your birthday, Happy Birthday!"

Two weeks later, I had my very own 1963 Studebaker Lark Custom! (that was the only present I got that year!!)

Edited for spelling

1963 Lark Custom, 259 V8, TT, 4 doors, 2 tone paint. Driven often, always noticed. Man I love this car!!

10-02-2008, 01:38 PM
Circa 1963-64, I was 8 and my older, car crazy brother was 15.
He'd buy magazines and build AMT model kiits and set-up our Strombecker slot car set.

He bought a Avanti model and when we saw one on TV he'd comment on it. He said it was a fast luxury car. Being my older brother, his worlds were believed like car gospel.
All I knw is they didn't look like anything else. It made even nice cars like our neighbor's 57 T-Bird and new Riveria look old fashioned.
Occasionally on our airbase we'd see one. The fighter pilots and young officers loved fast cars so there was always one or two mixed in with the Corvettes and MGs in front of the BOQ and Officers' Club.

So a couple of years ago I was looking for another collector car.
I thought about the usual suspects (Mustangs) but kept thinking about an Avanti. It was stylish, powerful and well within my price range.
I could buy a car that hadn't spent the last 30 years parked in front of a succession of high schools!
I had driven a Chevy-based 87 Avanti a couple of years before, but I was sure I wanted the "real deal" so started looking.
The International meet came to town so I looked at the Avantis. I was impressed by the parts suppliers in attendence and bought a 1/32 metal model to take home and gauge my wife's opinion about the car's looks.
Finally found one in South Bend. The prevuious owner was "down sizing" following the death of his wife, but he had taken very good care of the car in his decade of stewardship.
Had it inspected by the president of the Avanti club (he was in town for the opening of the Studebaker Museum) and bought it on his recommendation and a dozen emailed photos.

Driving it is far better than I expected.
It epitomizes eary 60's cool and its thin steering wheel reminds me of our family's beloved 63 Rambler that hung around long enough for me to learn how to drive in it.

So that's it. Not a Studebaker family (my dad had new Cadillacs, Rambelers, and Fords while I was growing up) but mine is a sincere appreciation nonetheless.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

10-03-2008, 12:12 AM
I was 4 or 5 years old when I can first remember anything about a Studebaker. I can still see the V8 Emblem on the hood of my neighbor's car. Then, when I was in 3rd Grade I built a model of a 53 HT. Built it again in 6th grade and again in 9th grade. Then when a Senior in H.S., I found my car sitting under a tree in my little town here in No. California. The 54 Coupe you see below. Paid $50 dollars for it and hauled it home. That was in 1971. Still love the little beast. This was my dream car for as long as I can remember. Been driving it since '77 when my wife and I got married and it was our first car. An Avanti is on my wish list. But of all the cars I've owned, and they number in the hundreds, the one I miss the most is my 60 Lark Convertible with a V8 3 spd. I still ache for that car. Made a lot of money on the sale of it, but dang... I still miss it.


10-04-2008, 08:56 AM
It was around 1959, I was eight. My father's 48 Ford left us stranded on vacation at my Great Aunt's on LI. We went to a local used car dealer in Patchogue, NY and he had a choice between a 53 Chevy and a 52 Champion. My little brother and I begged him to buy the Studebaker. He did and we had it until 1963. Needless to say, my little brother and I hated Chevys and loved Studebakers. Go figure?

1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

10-05-2008, 08:33 PM
Interesting how many people credit the '53s with getting them in to Studebakers. Well, me too.
In probably '54 or '55 I was walking down the main street of my home town, a town with no Studebaker dealer, a family with no Studebakers. A white '53 Commander Starliner pulled in to a parking place as I walked by. It was slightly customized- a pale purple frosting along the crease in the front fenders and doors. I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. To that point I was a MoPar fan, but after that, whenever a used car dealer in town got a Studebaker I had to "test drive" it. I remember a black '51 Commander 4-door with overdrive- I thought it was the fastest car I had ever driven (probably was since all I had driven was my '38 Plymouth or my folks '49 Chrysler Windsor).
Anyhow, I sort of lost touch in the late 50s- bought a '53 Plymouth then a '53 Dodge Red Ram (hemi) and finally a gorgeous '57 Plymouth Belvedere four-door hardtop. Then the Studebaker dealer in the town where I was going to college got in the first '59 Larks. It seemed that he ordered mostly V-8 stick models. They hooked me. I was getting ready to graduate and get married (and go in to the Navy) and wanted to get rid of the Plymouth (whose beauty was only skin deep- junk otherwise), so I tried out all the compact cars. The Larks were so much more solid- door closed with a silent ka-chunk instead of a tinny reverberation (Falcon, Olds F-85, etc.). One day I was traveling across Northern Georgia when we passed a Studebaker dealership that had the "All New '61 Larks". We stopped, the salesman tossed me the keys to a black Cruiser and we went for a ride. That did it. I tried to find a red '61 Regal four-door with overdrive and reclining seats. Never did and settled for an Autumn Haze Cruiser with automatic, but I did get reclining seats. That was truly the best car I ever owned (even wrote an article for TW some years ago). Three years later, faced with going overseas and having 65,000 miles on the Cruiser, I traded it for the '64 Wagonaire which I still have. In '64 I was transferred to Hawaii where I bought a '50 Champion ex-taxi cab for $50 to have until my Wagonaire arrived. I drove it until '66 when an ad appeared in Honolulu paper for a '53 Studebaker hardtop. I went to see it- turned out to be a recent arrival from California so it hadn't rusted much compared to the local Studebakers (and there were many in the local junkyards). It was solid Chippewa Green Commander with automatic and quite a few options. It had a recent valve job and ran great. Paid the seller $295 and drove it home. When I left Hawaii I got it shipped back to Oakland, CA on a Navy ship while my Daytona Wagonaire rode commercially courtesy of the government. Over the years I had added some items to the '53 and I did a "poor amateur restoration". It needs to be re-restored, but still runs well with very little care.
So, I have owned Studebakers continuously since January '61- many different ones including a dozen or so Avantis. Right now I can't take on any more due to other commitments, but I still watch the ads.

Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia
'53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
'64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
'64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
Museum R-4 engine
1962 Gravely Model L (Studebaker-Packard serial plate)
1972 Gravely Model 430 (Studebaker name plate, Studebaker Onan engine)

10-05-2008, 10:38 PM
I have motion picture footage of me at the age of 3 in a 47 2 door sedan in the parking lot of the old LaGuardia Airport. Plus footage of the airport with DC-3's DC-4's and original Lockheed Connies.

Maybe I can transfer the video copy to DVD and post it.

Hanson Motor Co.
10-06-2008, 03:32 PM
Not my memory, but that of my parents regarding my first Studebaker awareness.
As a small child I would always say "dobombbass" whenever I saw a Studebaker on the road. (I believe this would have typically been a bullet nose) It took my parents 6 months to realize that this was my way of saying Studebaker at about 4 years of age in 1962.
No idea where that came from, however my father got great satisfaction in telling people that story for many years.

Anne F. Goodman
10-06-2008, 04:47 PM
Well I have to say I came about on my Studebaker aflicktion a little differently than most. Never really heard of Studebakers growing up My Dad had gas Stations that the whole family helped run, he also was a mechanic. Mainly Chevy's he rebuilt engine and sold them , V 8 . 283 , 307, 350 mainly ocassionaly a 235 6 too. My first car was a 1958 Chevey Belaire 4 door no motor. Dad took a 6 clylinder in in trade told me I had to install the engine myself.. I was taking Auto shop in school so no big deal. I am the middle child two brothers and two sisters one of each older and younger. Any way fast forward to 2000. My dad's friend Casey next door neighbor had Studebakers. Casey and my husband David are good friends fishing Buddies. Well the 1957 Silverhawk had been sitting outside for about 7 years the neighbor had died wife finally ready to sell them.
Well David had a 1957 Silverhawk back in the 60's he really loved that car and he wanted another one. First that I had heard of Studebakers. We bought it and fixed it up I really didn't like it but I did my part in the clean up of the car. Well Bobby saw that they had a 1955 Champion 4 door that he wanted for his first car. We had looked at a Toyota Pickup and he wanted that so I bought the pickup. Well he said he wanted the Stude so we sold the pick up and bought the 55 for him. They also had a 1958 Champion there that they thought that they would get me to love I said no way. See I had my Dad's old 1969 El Camino and I was happy with it.
Ok So now finally we get to my moment went to Turlock swapmeet in Jan. of 2006 Mabel was there with her paint runs and all missing I watched and listened to people putting her down how ugly she was. Well I thought that she was homely I named her Mabel and felt sorry for her. We needed to rescue her from there. She needed a loving home so we bought her. And I have spent the last two years helping her to be the best she can be.
We rescued Gus the 58 Transtar in September of 2006 also he was in Petaluma Ca. Mr Biggs told us about him so we went to see him and Brought him home. Hmm see Mr. Biggs could have ended up with Gus Mater also ArkieJazz was considering him too. I wonder what his name would have been.

Mabel 1949 Champion
1957 Silverhawk
1955 Champion 4Dr.Regal
Gus 1958 Transtar
1955 President State
1957 Golden Hawk

10-08-2008, 04:00 PM
Had a Skylark, a few Novas, a few Blazers, and a Scout. Sold them all. Had and sold a beautiful 65 Riviera.
Next, at age 31, decided I would build me a race car/fun car/show car. I did not limit myself to any year or model. Any car ever built was under my consideration. And from 100 years of automotive production I decided the coolest car I could choose would be a 1952 Studebaker hardtop. True story.
Studebaker had shut down right before I was born, and I am sure no one on either side of my family ever owned one. So there was no outside influence. I just think it's a great looking car. Which is odd because even in Studebaker circles 52's are not universally praised. But they speak to me.

It is now 11 years since that decision, I have always been an active SDC member, and I even keep a Studebaker registry. But I have NEVER ridden in or driven a Studebaker. I figure at least 2 more years before mine is running.

52 hardtop

10-08-2008, 04:57 PM
As Yogi Berra is reported to have said, "I think it's deja vue all over again". Could this be the reason? :D


02-03-2014, 02:59 PM
This one??



Sorry, Craig, I just noticed that I never answered your question. Yes, that is the 1953 Commander Starliner that I referred to earlier in this thread/topic.
The car was not quite finished in that picture, but it did have four new fenders, new rocker panels, new chrome, new whitewall tires and a new lacquer paint job (all by me) when that photo was taken in Cold Spring, NY next to the Hudson River.

02-03-2014, 07:11 PM
I have a confession, I grew up surrounded by Chevies and I didn't really know or care about Studebakers.

When I was young, my Dad drove a 55 Chevy wagon, followed by a 61 Chevy wagon, followed by a 64 Chevy Impala 4 door HT . My older brothers drove a 56 Chevy 2 door post and a 57 Chevy ragtop, both with high-performance 327 small blocks. I remember examining a set of cylinder heads in the basement that had huge intake valves (2-1/4?). My first car was a 51 Chevy, so it would seem I was destined to follow in my family heritage of Chevies until I picked up a 63 Lark VI 4dr when I was in my mid-twenties.

I really began to develop an affection for my Lark as I began to drive her around Vancouver Island and then out to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and home again. She was a great little car. It didn't hurt that I met my new love, and future wife, Yvonne, in Saskatoon also she also loved the Lark. As the relationship got serious, I decided to move to Saskatoon to 'court' Yvonne. Unfortunately, I had to bring my Ford pickup for work (carpentry etc.) and leave the Lark behind for my folks to sell. We missed the little Studebaker so within the first year of our marriage we bought a 51 Champion Starlight on impulse. When the Ford pickup's transmission packed it in during the cold winter the Champion became our daily driver even after we moved to Vancouver when I enrolled in Graduate School to become an Architect. After a few years it became clear that the bullet-nose needed to be taken out of service for a major rebuild so we parked her in the backyard at my parents place in the hopes of a future

Looking back I realize the Studebaker seed was planted when I was a pre-teen in the late sixties/early 70's when I loved to make scale model plastic cars. When I was about 12, I purchased a 1/24 scale AMT model of a 53 Stude. At first I thought the front end of the car looked a little 'odd' compared to the tri-five Chevies I had grown up with. However, the new look began to grow on me as I began to build and customize the model. I built it as a gasser with a straight front axle with skinny wheels, headers and big slicks on the back. I glued wispy cotton on the slicks to mimic a burnout and took close-up ground level photos with my Polaroid camera as if I was really at the drag strip. Now my dream Studebaker (one of many) is a 54 Commander Starliner with 53 grille bars.

In my 56 years of life, I have had a personal relationship with 4 Chevies, 1 Ford, 2 Toyotas, 2 Hondas, and 5 Studebakers. Of all these marques, I have grown to love the Studebakers the best. My love for Studes has grown to a steady, slow burn that is hard to extinguish.


02-03-2014, 07:18 PM
Early 1970s, as a young boy, I remember an older gentleman in our neighborhood puttering past our home is a gloss black Starlite Coupe. I was hooked!. Bought my first Studebaker in 1989. Have had everything from a 1937 Dictator to a '63 Champ since. My latest love is my 1963 Rose Mist Cruiser. Can't wait til warmer weather to drive it!

02-03-2014, 07:25 PM
My Dad bought a new '61 Lark convertible, ermine with red interior and black top. V8 3-speed. Liked that car a lot. But it was first sight of a '63 Avanti on the showroom floor that was the real moment.

02-03-2014, 10:44 PM
There have always been Studebakers in my life. I came home as a newborn in 1944 in dad's 1940 Champion 2 dr. It was his first Studebaker but not his last as he drove them until he stopped driving all together in about 1985. They were his transportation and not something that I was really interested in. For one thing they were all Champions and were no substitutes for a V8. During the 50's I was more excited by almost anything else but Studebaker.

That changed dramatically in 1960 when lifelong friend and well known Stude. member, Don Kelstrom, got a call from his stepfather's brother in The Dalles Oregon. The family owned the well known Studebaker dealership there, Urness Motors, in The Dalles, that had recently become a Chrysler dealership. They had just taken in a 1955 Speedster in trade on a new Chrysler. The car was a black and white, 30000+ car which they had sold new and was in beautiful condition. It would become Don's first car, when it arrived it caused quite a stir. No one had ever seen anything like it and I was hooked! Don remove some of the chrome and have it painted blue. When in 1964, Don ordered a new Buick Skylark he offered the Speedster to me for $25 over the $400 that he was offered as a trade-in. As a working college student the price was a stretch but I just couldn't let it get away so I bought it. It was my second car and was destined to replace my first car which was a 1953 Studebaker htp which I bought in 1961.

I drove it, wore it out and with some help, restored it back to original in the 80's. I still own it today, fifty four years after I first saw it and fifty years after I bought it from Don. If it hadn't been for "Oreo" my life probably would not have included Studebakers! Occasionally I try to envision what my life would have been without "Oreo" but just give up because my life is so intertwined with it and Studebakers that they have helped define who I am. They and I have become codependent the survival of both almost seems dependent on the other.-Bill

02-03-2014, 11:25 PM
I worked for the Railways in the state I live in and in 1969 after I finished my shift and
walking pass car sales yards to catch my train home I spotted this 1959 White with Red interior Silver Hawk
for $1499.
I figured this car was so sexy it was definitely pussy bait so I brought it...:cool:
I was right, had great weekends after that...:!!:

My story and Iím sticking to it....:rolleyes:

http://i1032.photobucket.com/albums/a405/WayneXG95/redsilverhawk_zpsad9f7e39.jpg (http://s1032.photobucket.com/user/WayneXG95/media/redsilverhawk_zpsad9f7e39.jpg.html)

The Hawk pictured is one I almost brought but was so rusty the floor fell out of the boot when I opened the trunk...:eek:

02-04-2014, 06:29 AM
'Probably June 1955. The Studebaker road man had arrived at Palma-Rhoads Packard-Nash-Studebaker at 232 N. Central Avenue in Paris IL, for a routine visit. He was driving a new, lemon & lime Speedster. This photo of the facility had been taken maybe a year or so earlier. At the time, it was Paris Sales Co., Studebaker only:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2068-1.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/DSCF2068-1.jpg.html)

Dad and me and Dad's brother Milton (Service Manager) and the Studebaker road man (IIRC; but it might have been the dealership's Studebaker partner, Harry Rhoads, not the Studebaker Road Man) all piled in the car for a run up Illinois Route One, north out of Paris.

It's an arrow-straight road across the Illinois prairie, with a gentle dip and curve just north of town; nothing you have to slow down for. Uncle Milt was driving and at age 9, I was directly behind him in the rear seat. :)

Uncle Milt wrung it out pretty good up Illinois One before turning around. I was sufficiently impressed that my interest in Studebakers became more pronounced and intense from that point forward; a certain turning point in my mental orientation toward the world, especially the 4-wheeled, self-propelled world. ;) BP

02-04-2014, 06:45 AM
We always had Studebakers in our family. I came home from the hospital in my Dads 1946 Champion when I was born.
Don't remember that but, remember our 1948 Champion because I would crawl up on the rear package shelf and fall asleep there.
I really fell headlong in love with Studebakers when my Dad heard Studebaker was closing it's South Bend operations.
He asked me to go with him to purchase a new Studebaker. We drove off in our 57 to Przywara Motors where Dad and Mom picked out a brand new 1964 Commander four door white/ blue interior V8. I was all over that gold Avanti in the showroom
Try as I might I couldn't get Dad to buy that Avanti! Mom got the 57 for her first her only car, we became a two car family!

Commander Eddie
02-04-2014, 08:20 AM
My parents owned Studebakers at least as far back as 1950. I was born in 1949 so they were all I remember riding in until I was about 11 when my dad bought a Morris Minor. He soon discovered it was too small for a family of six, so he traded it in a year later for a Lark wagon. Here is a photo of me standing next to my dad's brand new 1951 Land Cruiser.
32118 and even earlier. . . I'm the little guy my dad is holding. 32119 That is 1951 Champion Starlight Coupe in the background.

63 R2 Hawk
02-04-2014, 08:33 AM
Not exactly a love story, but when I was about 6 years old, my father traded his trusty, battered 1939 Ford Standard sedan in on a '50 Studebaker, breaking a tradition of having owned nothing but Ford products his entire life. The new Studebaker was pretty modern, even had an amazing dome light that would come on when you opened the door!! I was fascinated by the mind boggling technology in that feature and, with a little exploring, I found the magic button in the door jamb that caused the light to come on. While waiting to go to Grandma's house to show off the new car, I was using my thumb on the rear passenger "suicide" door to activate the light. The other three doors were closed, and my older sister came out, decided the rear door should also be closed and slammed it shut.....on my thumb. I began hollering and she tried to open the door but couldn't. Dad came running out and tried to open the door and he couldn't either. Meanwhile, I am hollering louder so Dad went to find a crowbar to pry the door open. Just then, a neighbor, hearing all the commotion, came running over. Luckily, he knew there was an interlock that only allowed the rear "suicide" door to be opened when the front door was opened first (I think it was a dealer installed device because I haven't seen that other Studes of that vintage).... Dad thought my thumb looked like it was crushed, it was totally flat, but it started to regain its shape and when he was satisfied it wasn't going to fall of, we all got back in the Studebaker and drove to Grandma's house. Dad traded that Stude in on a '51 Ford Crestline a couple of months later and never bought another Studebaker.

Lou Van Anne
02-04-2014, 08:47 AM
I was born this way...my family was the Studebaker dealer in town...everyone drove Studebakers, I had no choice! (No complaints though, it's been a life long love affair!).

02-04-2014, 08:49 AM
Luckily, he knew there was an interlock that only allowed the rear "suicide" door to be opened when the front door was opened first (I think it was a dealer installed device because I haven't seen that other Studes of that vintage).....

Unfortunately, the scan of the sales sheet of it is gone in this thread, but it was not an uncommon option. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?70822-Unusual-Studebaker-Items-6&highlight=safety+lock


02-11-2014, 09:32 AM
I was a young firefighter in 1967 and one of my fellow members came to work in a 1953 Stud pickup an my eyes lit up. not because it was a Stud, but because I was building a house and needed a pickup to haul building materials. The truck became the greatest asset I had ever owned it was undistructable. I abused and overloaded it on a regular basis and it never failed to go. It had a high 4s diff and would do about 45 flat out and would climb very steep hills with a full load with no trouble. In the winter with a good snow fall I would put on the chains and my wife and I would just go driving in the snow for fun. I would push and pull other stuck cars just for fun. The guy I got it off aquired it from a fellow that had a stuck cat in a swamp and made a deal with him that if he could get the stuck cat out he would give him the truck, he got the cat out and eventually I got the truck. After about 15 years of abuse I got a mild case of Studebaker fever and purchased a 54 four door sedan for $100 to date I have put about $7000 in to it and it is almost ready for the road but it still looks a little ratty. Another $3 or $4 K shoud just about do it. Dave