View Full Version : Question about '49 and '50 Studebakers

Bill Pressler
03-04-2011, 06:11 AM
I graciously received a very nice glossy 8 x 10 photo of Al Hundt Motors, Studebaker dealer in Milwaukee, from 1949, from the owner's grandson. I can tell it's '49 by the fine grille details of the cars in the showroom, and comparing to photos in Langworth's "Studebaker 1946-1966" book.

There is snow on the ground in the photo.

When did the '50 models get introduced? I know in my lifetime, new car introduction was always at the end of September, but were the '50 Studebakers introduced any earlier?

Reason I'm wondering...my brother-in-law has a '49 Champion convertible sold new by Hundt, in a color that looks like one in the showroom photo. I'll have to ask my B-I-L when his was built (from his production order), to see if there could have been snow on the ground when his car was at the dealership. I'm curious about the '50 introduction date, to see if there could've been '49's in the showroom in late calendar '49, before the '50's came out.

Also, does anyone know '49 Champion convertible production nos.?


03-04-2011, 07:21 AM

Interesting question, I await the answer. I also remember the September intro date as very historic!(unlike today) Does anyone remember all of the fanfare associated with this Sept event?

03-04-2011, 07:38 AM
Can't say as to the earliest date of new model introduction, but my '50 Champion was built and delivered to the dealer in late November, 1949.

Don Kelstrom
03-04-2011, 09:12 AM
I remember the new cars coming out in September also. We would follow the searchlights to the dealerships to look at all the new cars. A friend, who is now gone, was a mechanic at the local Studebaker dealership when the new 1950 Studebakers came out. The new cars came to the dealership under covers so nobody could see them until the BIG day. The cars were hidden away in the basement. A few of the mechanics waited for the boss to leave and then got the keys to the basement so they could see the new cars. We would have been 8 years old when the 1950s came out, but my most vivid memories are when we saw the new Corvettes, Thunderbirds, and Buick Skylarks. Those were the days.

03-04-2011, 09:17 AM
Here are a couple of news references examples from Google's News Archives which seem to indicate when the press intro and then when the dealers had 1950 stock to show/sell.
New York Times - Aug 4, 1949
Further contributions to highway safety coupled with increased utility of design are emphasized in the 1950 Studebaker models shown yesterday at a press preview at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, according to H. S. Vance, president and chairman of the board of the Studebaker Corporation.

Tri City Herald - Aug 25, 1949
New 1950 Studebaker passenger car models are now displayed in the showrooms.

03-04-2011, 09:39 AM
Could your photo be from early in 1949? I'm thinking January or February.

03-04-2011, 12:49 PM
Let's see the photo!!! :)

03-04-2011, 01:02 PM
8737 1949 convertibles. Probably 1/2 to 2/3 were Champions. Fed K. Fox's feature article covering 1949s in TW would give the breakdown.

Bill Pressler
03-04-2011, 03:02 PM
Thanks everybody, for all the information! Unfortunately, I'm "low tech" and don't have a scanner or the general know-how on posting pictures. It's a neat, street-view, corner shot of the dealership building at dusk, with the lighted "Al Hundt Motor Co." signs on and snow on the ground. The lighted signs are neat.."Al Hundt" is in italics. There's also a large vertical "Studebaker" sign on the roof of the building. There's a Champion convertible and two Commanders in the showroom.