PDA

View Full Version : The Lamberti papers #21



Studebaker Wheel
09-23-2011, 03:01 AM
Minutes of May 27, 1963 meeting of Studebaker department heads. For further background information on this series see the forum topic entitled “The Lamberti papers #1.” R. Quinn (this posting dated 9-23-11).

STAFF MEETING – May 27, 1963

ENGINEERING

1. 1964 Model Prototypes

Mr. Hardig reported that three ’64 model prototypes (Convertible, Cruiser & Station Wagon) will be ready for a VIP meeting on Tuesday, May 28.

An Avanti with all the running changes will also be shown.

2. Foot-Operated Emergency Brake

Tooling completion date for the foot-operated emergency brake is July 19th. All models in the Studebaker line, except the Avanti and Hawk, will be so equipped. The reel-type antenna cannot be used with the foot-operated emergency brake. This was agreed to by Sales and Parts & Accessories.

3. Post Office Van

Tooling releases are on schedule and will be completed by June 15th if the prototype comes back from Metro by June 6th or 7th. The first prototype must be delivered to the Post Office by June 24th.

4. New Truck Series

Engineering has started a full-size layout for the mockup of the new truck series.

5. 185” Engine

A new 185 cu. in. engine has been installed in a 1963 Station Wagon and another will be installed in a 4-door Sedan for road performance evaluation.

Tools for this engine should be available for 1964½ model production sometime after the first of the year.

6. ’64 Tooling

With completion of the prototypes, engineering setups will be completed by the first of June for the 1964 model.

MANUFACTURING

1. Shipments as of May 24

Larks and Hawks 57,746
Avanti 3,315
Commercial Truck 5,120
Military Truck 672

2. Budd Tooling

Mr. Whitmer reported that Mr. Gierke visited the Budd plant and found that although Budd is not ahead of schedule, they are on target. However, the F-quarter panel may be a bottleneck. Mr. Whitmer had hoped to start a pilot model a little early but this will not be the case.

3. Material Shortages

Mr. Whitmer is extremely concerned about material shortages resulting from the inventory reduction program. He said cars are stored in the yard waiting for materials or parts to come in. This is resulting in considerable down-time.

4. May 31st Production

An Accounting Department study of manufacturing variances indicated that a complete plant shutdown on Friday, May 31 would result in a loss of from $20,000 to $25,000. It was decided to operate the entire plant that day.

SALES

1. Dealer Count

Friday, May 17 2,031
Week of May 20 – Franchised + 4
Terminated - 7
Total – Monday, May 27 2,028 – with 3 in process

2. Retail Sales

Mr. Bender reported that retail sales for the 2nd period of May were 1,743, of which 75 were Avantis and 11 were home-office sales. Retail rate of travel for the 2nd ten-day period (8 selling days) was 208 per day on the part of dealers and retail stores.

For the first ten-day period, home office sales amounted to 369 of which 131 were Avantis. The dealer-retail store selling rate for that period was 195 Larks and Hawks per day.

Retail sales on the part of dealers and retail stores for the month of May may be a little short of reaching Sales’ estimate. Home-office sales, so far, have exceeded the estimate of 162. It is still possible that overall retail sales will reach the forecast of 6,200 for June.

3. Dealer Inventories

As of May 20 16,306 of which
1,032 were Avantis and
Approximately 1,200 in retail stores.

Mr. Bender estimates that at new model announcement time, dealer inventories will be approximately 7,200 Larks and Hawks and 1,100 Avantis, excluding retail store inventories.

4. Orders

Larks and Hawks have been framed through May 29th and production of June 4th.

Open dealer orders 859

As of this morning (5/27) orders required to cover line production for June – 3,330.

5. Factory Stock

As of Friday, May 24 1,109
In production – being built for stock 284
Zone stock as of 5/22 974

To run out production starting May 8th, 271 orders per day were required for the first nine days. Order intake averaged 228 per day. The second eight days required 240 orders per day. During the first four days of that 8-day period, order intake averaged 158. For the 13 days involved, order intake will be approximately 1,400 short of covering production. This would bring factory inventory and float up to approximately 3,600 units at the end of June.

Zone inventory – 1,100 new cars (not including assigned cars.)

Mr. Bender estimates that if dealers maintain their retail rate, dealer inventories at the end of June will be approximately 12,000 plus 1,200 in retail stores. This would be about 4,000 units less than last year.

6. Wholesale Deliveries – Thru May 23:

Larks and Hawks 3,602
Avanti 164
Trucks 408

The target for the month of May is 5,300. With 5 days to go, this will require 325 to 350 per day, including sales out of zone inventory.

PARTS AND SERVICE

1. Service Campaigns

All service campaigns have been completed except on the Avanti hold-down clamp.

2. Drip Molding Kits

Drip molding kits will be made available to dealers at a dealer net of $5.00. Our manufacturing cost is $2.53. The $5 charge will cover all expenses including packaging and shipping. Installation for drip molding kit will require 2 hours, which will result in cost to the owner of approximately $11.00 to $16.00, depending on location.

3. Owner Complaints

Mr. Challinor stated that owner complaints are increasing each month; that Service is getting into some difficult situations in certain areas. He is placing his top service men in these areas who will talk to dealers about how they are handling service complaints in an effort to pinpoint the areas in which the most trouble exists. This will be a part of our dealer development program.

Mr. Challinor further stated that there are some very difficult situations in the Avanti line which are taking a tremendous amount of time, not only on the part of the dealer, but also the service personnel in South Bend. He said he had received 7 complaints since Friday morning, May 24.

Mr. Dredge said Tom Fry of D’Arcy had taken delivery of an Avanti and shortly thereafter the windshield wiper driver broke loose in the cowl. Mr. Challinor wants to examine the car because he was under the impression that windshield wiper problems had been corrected.

Oil consumption leaks….Mr. Challinor reported that it appears that Quality Control is getting oil leaks under control but the correction problem in the field is costly because Service must pay for replacing gaskets and seals.

Mr. Challinor said that with the two-year warranty now in effect, service costs will increase considerably as a result of these items.

4. Air Scoop Kit

Kits have been ordered for Service. Estimated availability is June 15th. These will be made available at our regular dealer net price.

QUALITY CONTROL

1. Molded Fiberglass Body Co.

Mr. Capsey reported that a man will be sent from MFG to go over the Avanti body defects. He feels that the MFG representative’s visit will be helpful.

2. Avanti Rear Window

The No. 1 problem with the Avanti is still the rear window. Mr. Capsey said the last fix (a revised clip) did not absolutely correct the situation.

Dr. Lamberti suggested that reports be obtained from owners describing the driving conditions at the time the window blew out. Mr. Challinor said it will be impossible to tell whether the “fixed” cars have been corrected because the driver may not yet have encountered the same condition which existed when the back glass blew.

PURCHASING

1. 5-Ton Military Truck

Mr. Soelch reported that costs on the 5-ton Military Truck would be completed by noon today.

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

1. Richards-Davidson Discharge Case

This case has been set for July 1st. Outside of the fact that the chief witness has had two heart attacks and the second witness is in jail, Mr. Gallagher said “we’re in good shape.”

2. New York City

A 10-day labor negotiation session broke off early last week and will be resumed today. No progress has been made. Although the Union has not yet backed off, Mr. Gallagher feels sure they will do so. There has been no extension of the contract which expires May 31st. Local has taken a strike vote authorizing the Bargaining Committee to strike if it sees fit.

3. Treasury Bond Drive

The drive will begin and will be completed this week. All employees will be personally contacted.

4. Clarke Floor Machine Division

Clarke employees have been approached by the U.A.W. Mr. Gallagher has reviewed the employee benefits and recommends an increase in the pension benefit from $2.00 per month for each year of service to $2.80 per month, recognizing all years of service. Clarke’s present plan limits the years of service to 15, resulting in a maximum of $30.00 per month pension, which he feels is inequitable.

Mr. Gallagher said the Union will use the pension program as a tool and suggests that the revised program be approved as early as possible.

LEGAL

Mr. Feuer had nothing to report.

FINANCIAL

1. Tooling Commitments

Mr. Rickus reported that $104,000 had been committed during the past week for a total of $4,250,000. $2,400,000 uncommitted.

2. Factory Inventories

Since the first of May, Lark and Hawk inventories increased approximately 1,100 units, trucks 65 and Avanti 50.

GOVERNMENT

1. 5-Ton Truck Proposal

The proposal is due on Wednesday, May 28.

2. ¼ Ton Cargo Carrier, 2½ Ton Truck, and 8-Ton Truck

No further information on these proposals.

3. Turtle

Mr. Isley reported that the Turtle was demonstrated at Tomahawk Hills and photographed by ATAC personnel. The Turtle covered all the courses without any difficulty. ATAC personnel’s reaction was favorable and they admitted it was better than anything they had seen so far.

On June 13th, the Turtle will participate with 25 to 30 vehicles in the ¼-ton class in a demonstration for all of the Army agencies.

ATAC will consider an unsolicited proposal on the Turtle.

4. 1/8-Ton Cargo Contract

This contract was delayed again. The man at the Procurement district in Chicago who was writing the contract had a heart attack and his work is being redistributed.

5. New Suspension System

While at ATAC, Mr. Isley discussed our new suspension system for a small weasel-type vehicle. Although there is no established requirement for such a suspension at this time, ATAC has agreed to accept an unsolicited proposal which Mr. Isley’s group is preparing.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

1. Indianapolis “500”

Mr. Dredge stated that he had just returned from Indianapolis where Mr. Granatelli has managed to catch the fancy of the nation by qualifying his three Novis, which are the three most famous race cars in the world today. Only Mr. Granatelli and Ford will send three cars into the “500”.

Mr. Dredge feels that from a public relations standpoint, Mr. Granatelli’s rating has undergone a 180 degree turn.

2. R-3 Engine Horsepower Rating

Mr. Dredge has been contacted by the National Hot Rod Assn. urging that Studebaker place a horsepower rating on the R-3 engine which would qualify it for drag strip races. A discussion followed and Dr. Lamberti suggested that Mr. Dredge write a memorandum setting forth his feelings and reasons as to how this would affect sales.

56H-Y6
09-23-2011, 07:11 AM
Hi

"......Dr. Lamberti suggested that reports be obtained from owners describing the driving conditions at the time the window blew out. Mr. Challinor said it will be impossible to tell whether the “fixed” cars have been corrected because the driver may not yet have encountered the same condition which existed when the back glass blew."

Nothing would undo customer satisfaction with their expensive, exotic new Avanti quicker than the embarassment and trouble having the rear window blow out at speed..........! Just imagine how quickly that bit of unfortunate news spread throughout that segment of potential customers.....veering them off to the Ford or Buick dealers in pursue of a Thunderbird or Riviera!

Steve

starliner62
09-23-2011, 08:29 AM
Your not supposed to drive at 100 mph with the windows down!!!!....:cool:

jclary
09-23-2011, 08:31 AM
"INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

1. Richards-Davidson Discharge Case This case has been set for July 1st. Outside of the fact that the chief witness has had two heart attacks and the second witness is in jail, Mr. Gallagher said “we’re in good shape.”


Perhaps I have missed something in past postings, but I would like to know more details of this incident. It has, however, an element of comic relief in the telling of the story. Somewhere in the rather placid “middle America” stalwart home of Notre Dame…an element of criminal activity!

Reminds me of an event I was at about thirty years ago. It was a two-day 100-mile endurance horse race deep in the rugged mountains of North Carolina. About fifty of us were encamped by a river twenty miles from the nearest paved road. We were gathered around enjoying our “pot-luck” supper when the host of the event announced that the blue grass band that was supposed to entertain us for the evening would have to be postponed until the next day… when the banjo player was expected to make bail!:rolleyes::p:)

Blue 15G
09-23-2011, 08:52 AM
Regarding the proposed plant shutdown for Friday, May 31: I recall that Memorial Day used to be observed on May 30, not the last Monday of May as we do today. (Unless the 30th happened to fall on a Monday, of course.) So apparently they were going to be closed on Thursday, May 30 and considered giving everyone a long weekend, but decided against it. I wonder if it really would have made much difference financially?

ddub
09-23-2011, 10:24 AM
The discussions of oil leads are amazing to me. The V8 was introduced in 1951, the 6 in 1939 and they hadn't solved the oil leaks by 1963. I don't think they were trying to hard.

Jim B PEI
09-23-2011, 11:38 AM
"5. 185” Engine

A new 185 cu. in. engine has been installed in a 1963 Station Wagon and another will be installed in a 4-door Sedan for road performance evaluation."

I wonder if there is any engineering details or further information anywhere about the 'new 185 (OHV) engine'? They obviously made some up.

Jeff T.
09-23-2011, 01:58 PM
RE item 5.

I wonder if the six that Bob Palma and his cousin George saw all those years ago in one of their unauthorized tours was one of the factory 185s with a two barrel manifold?

Jeff T.

9echo
09-23-2011, 02:20 PM
A question for you knowledgeable Studebaker folks.
Mr. Bender estimates that at new model announcement time, dealer inventories will be approximately 7,200 Larks and Hawks and 1,100 Avantis, excluding retail store inventories.
What is the difference between dealer inventories and retail store inventories of cars?
I guess what I am asking is what is a dealer and what is a retail store?
Thanks.

Retired
09-23-2011, 03:40 PM
My WAG is that the retail store was at the factory containing those units that were returned to the factory for "fixing" and then being sold as executive driven units. along with actual ex-drivers and production units with faults that were repaired. Some one with actual knowlwedge. jump in. as I said "just a WAG".

StudeRich
09-23-2011, 05:42 PM
It appears to me that logically "Retail Stores" would be Factory or Corp. owned Dealerships, but I never heard of any existing.
I know they did not want to compete with the 2 quite successful local Dealerships, Freeman/Spicer and Newman/Altman, so South Bend would be off limits.

So much for logic!

BobPalma
09-23-2011, 09:50 PM
There was at least one "factory store" in Indianapolis by mid-model-year 1963: Studebaker of Indianapolis. It had been Charlie Stuart Studebaker but Charlie Stuart was making so much money with his Oldsmobile dealership 6 blocks north of his Studebaker dealership, that he bailed on Studebaker when things started going south during the 1963 model year.

Studebaker of Indianapolis was a glamorous facility right on Indianapolis' North Meridian Street, "automobile row" at the time. I'm sure Studebaker didn't want that to go under, so they kept it open themselves. 'Good thing they did, too, because George Krem's Plain Brown Wrapper 1964 Challenger V-8 2-door was shipped to Studebaker of Indianapolis! George and I found it stored in their gravel lot around back in July, 1964.

In fact, if George had been willing to settle for a Challenger Six, he could have had one for $1,629:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF1943.jpg

Sometime in late 1964, IIRC, Studebaker sold the franchise to a consortium of fellows looking for a tax loss, and those guys kept it open a little longer as Meridian Motors. How much longer I do not remember, but it was closed for good before the 1966 Studebakers were introduced.

The building became Master Glass & Color, an automotive paint and body shop supply store, which has since closed. The building is today For Lease, looking very much like it did in 1963, except that the showroom windows are now painted over. BP

StudeRich
09-23-2011, 10:52 PM
That is a really cool old ad, thanks for posting it. Those are the kind of thing, that when I have an old newspaper clipping in my "archives" I usually make some fresh copies because of the yellowing, cheap newspaper getting pretty fragile.

I am sure you have probably "restored" quite a few newsclips, having lived in the "State of Studebaker"!

avantilover
09-23-2011, 11:04 PM
In relation to the NHRA request re: the R3 Horsepower rating, and Bob's piece in the latest TW - It almost seems like Granatelli (and factory ?) were gearing up for drag racing in 1964 hence his "Your concerns are almost over" remark. Mr Dredge's comments re: "I'm sure you'll see Studebaker on the dragstrip next year" leads me to believe there were intentions of doing so, hence the power rating releases but the Board (due in no small part to Egbert's illness) were able to (A) get rid of Egbert (Perhaps the keenest proponent of keeping the Auto division) - (B) close the factory and (C) promote the move to Hamilton as "Keeping us in the Auto business" without the trucks, high power or (eventually) any Studebaker engines or the Avanti, let alone the design and engineering staffs required for progress to a modernised vehicle.

As many no doubt suspected at the time, and now known to be true, that was all BS to save the costs of dealer compensation.

Bob once wrote that Studebaker Automotive Division had no real prospects of future success as their sales were too small, let alone the lousy dealers, but if they had stayed in SB until the end of calendar year 1964, I wonder what may have emerged from the factory and how the cars would have fared on the Dragstrip?

I'm still a proud Studebaker owner, albeit with an engine which seems to be running on 7 cylinders and is gutless, and a radiator and rear axle (differential) needing replacement. One of my club mates has offered me a 3.07 (now 3.31) axle (free) and I may take his 259 engine when he installs a 289.

How would the ratio change affect the car? The mechanic (and club mate) said better highway driving - all the different ratios confuse me - from 2 - 4 what's the basics? I mean were 2 something ratios easier to drive and 4 something easier to get cars moving (like the old Packards and 1930s cars)?

Gotta love old cars.
:-)~

BobPalma
09-24-2011, 07:29 AM
That is a really cool old ad, thanks for posting it. Those are the kind of thing, that when I have an old newspaper clipping in my "archives" I usually make some fresh copies because of the yellowing, cheap newspaper getting pretty fragile.

I am sure you have probably "restored" quite a few newsclips, having lived in the "State of Studebaker"!


'Glad you enjoyed it, Rich. A couple years ago, I actually ran into the elderly man who was Sales Manager at Studebaker of Indianapolis. He remembered writing that ad!

He stayed on when Studebaker sold the dealership to the consortium I mentioned in Post #12, to become Meridian Motors. He said Studebaker still had some unsold Challenger Six 2-doors (64S-F2s) deteriorating as new cars in South Bend and offered them to the new owners for about $1,270 each wholesale, IIRC!

Now, everyone, a: POP QUIZ:

Under the heading of Truth in Advertising, what is terribly wrong / misleading with this advertisement, also in Post #12?

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF1944.jpg

(I actually expected someone to pick up on this and post fairly quickly anyway.) BP

starliner62
09-24-2011, 07:43 AM
the picture shows a hardtop, not a sedan.

BobPalma
09-24-2011, 08:55 AM
the picture shows a hardtop, not a sedan.

Bingo, Jamie! Even if they were sixes, how many 1964 Daytona hardtops would we like to buy for $1,629 each...brand new! <GGG> BP

BobPalma
09-24-2011, 08:59 AM
In relation to the NHRA request re: the R3 Horsepower rating, and Bob's piece in the latest TW - It almost seems like Granatelli (and factory ?) were gearing up for drag racing in 1964 hence his "Your concerns are almost over" remark. Mr Dredge's comments re: "I'm sure you'll see Studebaker on the dragstrip next year" leads me to believe there were intentions of doing so, hence the power rating releases but the Board (due in no small part to Egbert's illness) were able to (A) get rid of Egbert (Perhaps the keenest proponent of keeping the Auto division) - (B) close the factory and (C) promote the move to Hamilton as "Keeping us in the Auto business" without the trucks, high power or (eventually) any Studebaker engines or the Avanti, let alone the design and engineering staffs required for progress to a modernised vehicle.

As many no doubt suspected at the time, and now known to be true, that was all BS to save the costs of dealer compensation.

Bob once wrote that Studebaker Automotive Division had no real prospects of future success as their sales were too small, let alone the lousy dealers, but if they had stayed in SB until the end of calendar year 1964, I wonder what may have emerged from the factory and how the cars would have fared on the Dragstrip? :-)~

John: 'Thought "you all" might like to see the cover letter from Bill Dredge I referenced in the September 2011 Co-Operator:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF1947.jpg

We'd have to admit, he sure was stretching the percentage of R2s ordered with 4-speeds! <GGG> BP

scott.rodgers
09-24-2011, 09:56 AM
So theoretically, someone out there might have a 185 engine? I have a 63 wagon with a OHV 6, hmmmm...

I also still curious about the new truck in development - anything else known about it?

Finally, what's the air scoop they're talking about? R2 air intakes?

8E45E
09-24-2011, 10:03 AM
I also still curious about the new truck in development - anything else known about it?

That is most likely the new cab-forward model, of which the prototype is in the SNM.

Craig

scott.rodgers
09-24-2011, 10:16 AM
Craig,

Yes - that makes sense. Thanks.

avantilover
09-24-2011, 03:56 PM
Thanks Bob, sounds like the 3.07 is the way to go.

9echo
10-14-2011, 02:31 PM
I am a bit late in replying to this, but thanks a lot for the information on retail stores.
Bob, you have my greatest respect for you knowledge of Studebaker.