View Full Version : What is the SMALLEST Studebaker dealership you have seen?

03-04-2011, 06:11 PM
What is the smallest Studebaker dealership you have seen? How big was it? Do you have any photos?

03-04-2011, 08:04 PM
Well I suppose this isn't the smallest but it was mainly John Deere that sold Studes. It was in Neshanic, New Jersey. When they sold the building in 1985 my '53 Commander was still inside so I guess I can say I bought mine right from the dealer in 1985.

03-04-2011, 08:27 PM
There was a dealer in Santa Monica, on 3rd. St. Building was owned by a guy named Shell. He owned half of Santa Monica. The repair shop was on the alley, you had to get to it from the back. It is 3rd. St Promenade now.

Bob Caser
03-04-2011, 08:39 PM
Bendix Motors, 11 Anderson Ave, Fairview ,New Jersey. Probably became a dealer in 1963, when I believe many were put on board. They h d a store front and no showroom to fit a car inside they had a parking lot across the street for new cars.
I bought a new Avanti from them in October of 1963, they traded a GT Hawk with a R2 engine for my car,with a dealer in Merrick, New York.

It is now a pizza store.

Bob Caser

Bill Pressler
03-05-2011, 04:52 PM
I think the dealer in my hometown and in my signature photo, was a small dealer although I found 40 retail sale cards for '64's for them at the SNM archives. Our town had a population of 8,800-some in the 1960 census.

Two-car showroom, curved parts counter, building was wider in the rear than the showroom...each service bay in back had its own overhead door. Closed in Dec. 1968.

I have color photos of the inside of the building that I wish I could post here sometime.

Location is 43 South Race Street, Greenville, PA 16125. The building is still there and looks largely the same, except a peaked roof has been added and the letters in front are gone. The place is a laundromat now (at least the front of the building).

03-05-2011, 06:30 PM
Knight's Garage in Wappingers Falls, NY had a two car showroom (lengthwise - one car in front of the other). Parts and service were in the old barn in the rear of the property. Many people that I knew purchased Studebakers there. I learned much of my Studebaker mechanical knowledge from the head mechanic there after he went into business for himself and I worked part time for him and hung out in his shops a lot.

Richard Quinn sent me a picture from a Studebaker publication from when Knight's showroom was new - about 1946-1947. I went and took a similar picture from the same angle (standing in a state highway to do it) and sent it to Richard. This was before the days of digital photography. I thought that he might have been interested in the before and after for his Almanac column.

Knight's barn/service area burned down later when it was used by a body shop. The showroom was torn down a few years ago to build a Chamber of Commerce building. That Chamber went bankrupt and merged with the Chamber in Poughkeepsie. I never forgave them for tearing down the Studebaker showroom that was in excellent condition.

03-05-2011, 06:41 PM
Does anybody have a photo of the dealership?

03-05-2011, 06:57 PM
Does anybody have a photo of the dealership?

If you are referring to Knight's Garage, I provided my photo, from shortly before it was torn down, to Richard Quinn. He also had the photo from when the showroom was new from a Studebaker newspaper.

03-05-2011, 07:11 PM
Thanks.Does anybody know of any small showrooms?

03-05-2011, 07:27 PM
I am hopeful of getting a few pictures of the dealership that was here in Delano,MN.I talked to one of the local historians yesterday and he said he had a few pictures he would let me scan.In 1960 the population was 1,612 and by his description the dealership was a 1 car showroom.

03-05-2011, 07:34 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing them.

03-05-2011, 07:58 PM
Small dealerships? This is part of a much longer piece I wrote about the dealer in my home town and a car there.

It was 1946. I was 11.

After school one day, I was ambling down Broadway in Hamilton, Illinois, pop. 2700, my books in my war-surplus back pack, when (I know it sounds trite to say it but…) out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed something so futuristic it actually took my breath away.

There in a dimly lit room at the dealer, my unbelieving eyes saw an apparition, a dark red ’47 Commander 5-passenger coupe. I say “dealer”—it was a guy who sold Studebakers as a sideline to his auto repair biz. I think there were many of those quasi-dealers after the war. As I recall now, there may have been a table and chairs and a brochure stand and this one car on a concrete floor in a dimly lit room. Certainly was not the picture we have today of a DEALER! But after all, WWII was barely over and he was the only thing that even resembled a car dealer of ANY kind in that town.

But even in the gloom, the car SPARKLED! The chrome wasn’t chrome at all, but polished silver. The paint—royalty. The lines—unbelievable! The glass—crystal. The windows---oh, those wraparound windows. Breathtaking! Mesmerizing!! I lusted for them! Wait! Let me re-phrase that. Being 11, I didn’t know about lust….but I sure liked ‘em a lot! That car talked to me—in the voice only kids hear when they see something they just can’t live without. Being 11 there was no chance I could own one. Heck, my new Schwinn bike cost $22.50 and I had mowed grass, wheedled relatives and saved all during the war to be able to afford IT.

I had only seen pictures of the new Studebakers in magazines, none “in person”.


But my schoolboy eyes did a double take on that “which-way-is-it-going” dream. I probably cupped my hands over my eyes and pressed my face against the display window, scoping out every sleek feature. I remember I DID sneak inside and scored one of those 2-fold brochures. And touched the car. Didn’t dare open the door.

Out in the shop, one of the mechanics raised his head from the innards of an old truck and yelled, “Hey kid, ya wanna look inside?” He didn’t have to ask me twice.
Last time I was in Hamilton, the Studebaker “dealer” location was a Super Valu grocery store. Any idea that it had once been a place of youthful dreams, a heaven on earth for me, was gone, replaced by gherkins and Gravy Train. And tho I guess it could be said of ANY car, to my way of thinking, there is simply NO other car like a Studebaker—almost ANY Studebaker.

But especially a mystically futuristic dark red 1947 5-passenger coupe in a dimly lit room at the Studebaker 'dealer'. I can still almost hear a faint, “Hey, kid, ya wanna look inside?”

I know I'd want to do it again, even today.


03-05-2011, 09:25 PM
There was a small Stude dealer in Shanonville, Ontario (Near Belleville) that sold cars for a few years. Never seem to have more than one car on hand. The last car that I saw was a turquouse '65. Sorry no picture.


03-06-2011, 11:20 AM
Dwight Illinois, To gert to the service area from the front of the building you had to drive over the grease rack.

03-06-2011, 06:02 PM
Johnnywiffer, did you know a Bill Limberg from Hamilton? I went to Bradley U. with him in the early 50s.
73, Jim

03-06-2011, 07:32 PM
Johnnywiffer, did you know a Bill Limberg from Hamilton? I went to Bradley U. with him in the early 50s.
73, JimNope, sorry. I lived on a farm several miles from town. Graduated 8th grade from a 3-room country school, so never went into town much and never went to HS there. Which means I didn't mix with the town crowd. I'm sure there were many people in Hamilton I didn't know.:(


03-07-2011, 09:13 AM
Stump Creek, PA

03-07-2011, 09:26 AM
I bought out the parts inventory of many tiny dealers, a few without a showroom of any kind. I'd find letters from the factory begging them to stock a Hawk, or a convertible instead of just 4 doors. IMHO, that kind of dealer base hurt the corporation in the end. A converted gas station is not much of a dealer and selling a half dozen cars a year does not support a decent service department.

Blue 15G
03-07-2011, 11:41 AM
Zellsmann in Butler PA had only a one-car showroom, but a larger service area and a couple of decent sized outdoor lots. The smallness was typical of a lot of Studebaker dealers, and they were often located on some back street of town. I think he sold a decent number of Studebakers though. I plan to research this dealership further some day. The building has housed several other businesses through the years after Studebaker, but is currently vacant and for rent.

M15 Trucker
03-07-2011, 01:01 PM
There was a very small dealership in Fullerton, Ca on the north-east corner of Chapman Ave and Harbor Blvd. The building was "L" shaped with a terracotta Studebaker wheel at the top of the parapet on the long side of the building. The building sat on the back of a rectangle shaped lot, with asphalt parking lot in front to the sidewalk. The lot with size including the building was about 150' x 65' and parking for about 8 or 9 cars. My buddies and I were just leaving the Fox movie theater next door, in the summer of ‘63, talking about going to junior high school that fall. When we saw it! Sitting up on a metal stand, at the edge of the parking lot, a 1963, jet black, R2, Avanti. It set nose down at a rake. Had an emblem that said Supercharged. We looked inside and saw that it had switches on the ceiling and down the center consol like an airplane. And lastly the speedometer, 160mph unbelievable, I have never seen another car that has impressed me as much as that one did until I joined the SDC and Orange Empire chapter and went to the La Plama meet for the first time.

03-07-2011, 01:26 PM
There was a famous little Studebaker dealer (with a longish history) on the TransCanada highway in between Antigonish and New Glasgow in Nova Scotia. I think the nearest hamlet or dot on a map of a very few souls was Kenzieville, but this was on the highway in the middle of nowhere. It was in a two bay garage, I seem to recall, with a the usual small office up front. but no showroom? I knew it in the early 70s when it was an AMC dealer by then, and it usually had 3 or 4 new cars--no more--out front. Several fellow chapter members remember it well, back when it was a Studebaker dealer. Mind you, you must remember that both New Glasgow and Antigonish were SMALL places then, and about 20 miles in either direction, and there was almost literally nothing at all in between, except woods. Not much even in the way of paved or unpaved side roads. Just the one road, and woods. Where did the customers come from? Must have been a good mechanic(s), because it stayed in business a long time.

We had a one-person (more or less) Mercedes dealer until a few years ago on PEI--the only dealer on the Island, and in the middle of nowhere too. It had a one car showroom, and the building still has a new 1970 250 sedan in it. I also recall a Kaiser dealer in south-western Ontario in extremely rural farming country that somehow managed to remain a Kaiser dealer for the entire lifespan of Kaiser-Frazer.

03-07-2011, 06:47 PM
Kickert Studebaker - South Holland Illinois. i think it was a one or two car showroom, but Ed George could tell you for sure. they had a used car lot across the street with a two car garage on it. went there to look at a used avanti in the mid sixties with Grandpa, and it was in that garage. maroon w/ white interior. gramps was a ready buyer, but grandma was having no part of a
$4,000 used stude when you could get a NEW ford or chevy for over a grand less.