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BobPalma
01-19-2012, 02:47 PM
If all goes as planned, this will be yours truly's 10,000th Post to The Studebaker Drivers Club Forum. I noticed it creeping up about a month ago and have been paying attention since, just for fun.

Coincidentally, next month will mark the 50th Anniversary of attaining my Drivers License so I could legally drive Studebakers...and anything else, for that matter.

The operative word is TEN, so to celebrate the occasion, I thought I'd reflect on The Ten Most Significant Studebakers in my life BEFORE I HAD A DRIVERS LICENSE! In fact, most of the ten had come and gone before I turned 16, although one of them survived the 16th birthday and became the Studebaker I most drove in high school.

Before we get started, Honorable Mention goes to the First Studebaker I ever remember, period. Honorable mention because I never saw the whole car(!), never sat in it, and never rode in it!

That would be Grandfather "Jedda" Palma's mid-1930s Studebaker coupe of some sort, IIRC. I probably saw it in 1950 or 1951 at age 4 or 5 when visiting the family farm in North Judson IN. It was tucked in a "Model T" garage, such as they were at the time, and all I ever saw was the tail of it sticking out the back of the garage. It seemed too long for the garage. It was dirty and painted a horrid green with a brush, as legend had it.

Other than walking by Jedda's old car and seeing it there, I have no further memory of it. Cousin George Krem, being four years older than me, doubtlessly has better memories of the car and may post to this thread as he sees fit.

So to celebrate "Ten on Ten Thousand," please pull up a chair and a cup of java or brewski and join me in a trip down Pre-Sixteen Studebaker Memory Lane:

Studebaker #1 was a direct result of this conglomerate merger on June 1, 1955:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2603.jpg

That is self-explanatory and resulted in my father and his brother Milton doing their own little kind of OSD (Occupy Studebaker Dealer) when they joined Studebaker dealer Harry Rhoads in this building:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2068-1.jpg

The above photo was taken in late 1953 or 1954, when Harry Rhoads' Studebaker dealership was known as Paris Sales Company. The name changed to Palma-Rhoads Motors on June 1, 1955.

They moved from this building to join Harry Rhoads:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2522.jpg

Joining Harry Rhoads accomplished at least five things, all of them good:

1. Harry didn't need all the space he had, and couldn't afford it.

2. Harry needed operating capital. 1953 and 1954 had been tough years on any Studebaker dealer despite the product's beauty, and a small-town dealer could be hit pretty hard.

3. It moved them to a busier street, Central Avenue.

4. It allowed them to have the used car lot right next to the building, as opposed to their previous satellite locations a couple miles away that had always presented their own problems.

5. It gave Dad and Uncle Milt about three times as much square footage, which they needed.

And it also furnished me with Significant Studebaker #1 of 10:

1. A brand-new, lemon-lime 1955 Speedster. The Studebaker "road man" brought the car by in late June or early July and parked it right out front, below the above showroom window where it says Paris Sales Company in the first photo. I was 9 years old at the time. I was invited to go along on a ride! Uncle Milt drove; Dad rode "shotgun." I hopped in the back seat right behind Uncle Milt. The Studebaker road man, of which I have no memory compared to that cool Speedster, sat in the other side of the back seat.

We charged up Illinois Route 1 north out of Paris as chronicled on Page 32 of the March 1995 Turning Wheels.

2. Studebaker #2 was this one:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2605.jpg

As you can see, it is a rather loaded 1956 President 2-door; black with white side spear and white halos around the side windows. I remember this car because it was the 1956 Studebaker displayed on the showroom floor the day the 1956 Studebakers were introduced, whatever day that was. (Note that it was Body #51, certainly an early '56!)

Note the Salesman's initials: LSP. That indicates it was my father who actually sold the car to Mr. Fechtig.

It was the same as the 1956 non-Hawk brochure catalog car, save the front bumper guards:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2609.jpg

The showroom below those letters Paris Sales Company (by then gone, of course, due to the name change) was really only big enough for one car, but you could squeeze two in and it wasn't terrible. This President was on the south side of the showroom and I remember sitting in it, still age 9, running the 2-way power seat back and forth until, for some reason, it started going slower and s-l-o-w-e-r. Hmmmm....

Oh, and the car displayed next to the President was a 1956 Nash Statesman 4-door. Needless to say, I recall little of it.

3. Studebaker #3 was this famous 1956 Golden Hawk:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2606.jpg

I redacted the key numbers because this car is accounted for, fully restored to an SDC First Place at the 2002 South Bend International Meet, and owned by Idaho SDC Member Pat Doherty.

I remember this car when it was brand new, sitting in the Service Department at Palma-Rhoads Motors awaiting delivery. I remember taking in the wonderful smell of the new red leather with which it was equipped while I was sitting in it in late March, 1956. By then, I was ten years old.

A complete report of this car is on Page 14 of the November 2002 Turning Wheels.

(No more pictures from here on out, I'm sorry to say.)

4. Studebaker #4 would be our family's turquoise and white 1957 Commander DeLuxe 4-door sedan. We moved from Paris back to Oak Park IL for about nine months (it's a long story) from fall 1958 through summer 1959. I turned 13 years old while we lived there.

While living in Oak Park in the winter of 1958 into 1959, Dad decided we needed a better car than the 1953 DeSoto Firedome (yes, "it had a hemi"); the family ride we brought up from Paris, so we went car shopping. I accompanied Dad to at least a dozen dealerships in Chicago and the western suburbs, looking at cars.

We wound up at Gorman Studebaker in Oak Park, where I got to look over the new 1959 Larks on the showroom floor while Dad traded the DeSoto toward this nice, two-year old, two-tone Commander with Flightomatic. When we moved back to Paris the following summer, I looked at the back end of that '57 all down the eastern edge of Illinois because I rode with Dad in our second car, a 1951 Kaiser 2-door, while Mom drove the Commander in front of us with my two younger brothers in it.

5. Studebaker #5 would be a family treasure, the 1957 Silver Hawk V8 with overdrive my Dad's youngest brother, Jerry, bought new in LaPorte IN in 1957. When Jerry went in the Army, I was 14 and the car was left with my Dad for care and feeding. Dad took me out on the back roads around Paris and essentially taught me how to drive in Jerry's Hawk...and, somehow, the clutch survived.

The complete story, with period photos of Jerry and his new car, is on Page 11 of the August 1998 Turning Wheels.

6. Studebaker #6 would be the only bullet-nose-era Studebaker with which I would ever flirt; a reasonably-nice, aqua, 1952 Commander Starlight Coupe with overdrive, circa 1960. At the time, I was still 14 and had a morning Chicago Daily News newspaper route in Paris.

For weeks, my return home from the end of my route took me past a vacant lot on North Main Street in Paris. On that lot sat this decent Commander Starlight for sale; $75! Every day for weeks, I'd stop and look at it in the early-morning mist, and get in it and play with the controls, since it was unlocked. But $75 might as well have been $7,500, and I was two years away from having a drivers license, so all I could do was dream.

'Neat old car, though...and then, one morning, my lust turned to dust: It was gone.

7. Studebaker #7 would be the most famous one of these top ten, and the one that survived my early, legal driving: The family's 1957 President 2-door sedan in Coppertone with White quarter-panel coves. A pretty car with no radio...but a 4-barrel carb (optional on non-Classic 1957 Presidents) and Flightomatic.

I was with Dad in mid-March 1960 (just turned 14), when he went across the state line from Paris IL to Terre Haute IN, to trade the 1957 Commander toward a couple cars he decided we needed. He still knew some dealer buddies from "the business." I would later understand why we went out to a farm south of Terre Haute to look at a Chrysler-Plymouth dealer's inventory on the grass, hidden behind a barn!

That didn't make any sense until I learned later in life that Indiana automobile dealers were taxed on their inventory in stock on March 1 of each year. Hence, it behooved a dealer to hide everything somewhere, anywhere, off the premises while "the count" was tallied for The Tax Man.

Anyway, we returned to Paris with a medium-green 1959 Chrysler New Yorker 4-door sedan for Dad to drive...and since his buddy had made him such a good deal on this decent, 3-year-old Studebaker President 2-door, Dad bought it, too!

The President would serve us well and even accompanied us on our move to Indianapolis in July 1962. By that time, I had my legal drivers license and drove the President 2-door quite a bit. I think Dad became suspicious of how enthusiastically I was driving it, so one day I came home from high school in Indianapolis and it had been sold. Phooey. I really liked that President.

We published a fuzzy 1963 photo of me and that '57 as a Co-Operator masthead photo in Turning Wheels many years ago, but I can't remember which one right now, nor can I locate the photo here to reproduce. Sorry.

8. Studebaker #8 drove me nuts in spring 1961; a brand-new, bright red, 1961 Lark DeLuxe 2-door with V8 and overdrive! We still lived in Paris, but there was no longer a Studebaker dealer in Paris because Harry Rhoads went out of business in June, 1960.

Rather, this new Lark was sitting on the showroom floor of Johnny Moore Studebaker in Terre Haute. Dad was tired of the 1959 Chrysler New Yorker after one year, so he and I had returned to Terre Haute to shop for yet another family car! Johnny Moore Studebaker was just a couple doors down from the Buick dealer in Terre Haute, where dad had stopped to see the old dealer friend who owned the Buick store.

Dad and I wandered down to Johnny Moore to see what used cars he might have and There It Was: That new Lark V8 2-door with overdrive right on the showroom floor! I drooled to the point of dehydration and all but got on my knees begging Dad to buy it, promising everything short of my left n*t if he would just buy that cool Lark! Cousin George would be soooo jealous! <GGG>

Well, anyway, that is when Dad uttered one of his two famous quotes I carry with me today: "Bob, I was a missionary long enough." As I figured out on my own, that meant he had promoted and sold the independents long enough in the 1950s, and did not consider it necessary to keep carrying that torch.

We went back to the Buick dealer and traded the 1959 Chrysler toward a white 1958 Cadillac DeVille convertible with black top, red interior, and factory air conditioning! Man, was that weird, I thought; an air-conditioned convertible! Who would ever do anything so stupid as to have an air-conditioned convertible!

Well, ignorance is bliss...and I had to wave good-bye to the new, red 1961 Lark DeLuxe V8 2-door with overdrive in the window of Johnny Moore as we headed back west to Paris.

9. Studebakers #9 (and 10) take us north of Paris to my #1 accomplice in All Things Studebaker, my older cousin George D. Krem. George is best known to most of you as the original owner of The Plain Brown Wrapper; his 1964 R3 Challenger 2-door. But that was after I was 16 years old, and this discussion is confined to pre-drivers-license puberty.

Anyway, in the years immediately before I turned 16, George had as his own personal car, a 1954 Commander DeLuxe Coupe with overdrive. It was light green with a dark green roof; a very nice car he drove back and forth from Roselle IL to Wheaton and Wheaton College. When I visited George many summers for a week or two, we might take his '54 out and about.

But more likely, we would take:

10. Studebaker #10. This was one of my favorite Studebakers before age 16, a car that George's father, George Krem, ordered new in the spring of 1960:

A cute-as-a-button 1960 Lark 2-door sedan in Colonial Red with Power Kit 259 and straight three-speed! Man, that thing was almost as fast as I think it was. George and I spent hours in and around that car, his tearing up the streets around the far western Chicago suburbs while I wished I was old enough to drive...but I don't ever remember running into Forum Member Jeff Rice, who lived in Roselle's neighboring town of Itasca with the 1961 Hawk his father bought new.

Well, that reviews my whole Studebaker life before I got my drivers license!

If I get to 20,000 Forum Posts, maybe we'll pick up from age 16 forward.

'Hope everyone who got this far found this an entertaining 10 for 10,000 review.

Onward. BP

FlatheadGeo
01-19-2012, 02:55 PM
Very nice memories, BP. Thanks for sharing!

ST2DE5
01-19-2012, 03:01 PM
The 56 Studebakers was introduced November 22 1955. And I will take the Rambler Cross Country parked next to the building.

BobPalma
01-19-2012, 03:13 PM
The 56 Studebakers was introduced November 22 1955. And I will take the Rambler Cross Country parked next to the building.

Thanks, Carl.

If we still had the Cross Country, I'd be glad to entertain selling it...but wouldn't you rather have The Pace Car at the 1955 Edgar County Fair:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2067.jpg


<GGG> BP

jclary
01-19-2012, 03:56 PM
Congratulations Bob. For once...being called a "Motor-mouth" can be considered a compliment.(Pun intended!)

For me, your posts have been informative and entertaining. This thread is a good example. Keep 'em coming!:):cool::)

STEWDI
01-19-2012, 04:02 PM
Congrats on your 10,000th, Bob!!. I always enjoy your posts and this "commemorative" one is icing on the cake! Looking forward to many, many more "cool beans"!

BTW, the first Studey I ever bought was a '57 Commander Deluxe 4dr, 259 w/FOM, in Glendale Green and Artic White, which seems much like your #4. However, mine was a $50.00 car that you could literally hear shedding rust flakes onto the driveway if you shut the door too indelicately!

And BTW, where's that '51 Kaiser 2dr today? Carl can have the Rambler - I'd like the Kaiser with full wheel covers and wide whitewalls!

All the best.

ST2DE5
01-19-2012, 04:21 PM
BP This the one I always wanted. He won't sell and I can't afford to buy
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd185/51stude/RamblerCroosCountry.jpg

BobPalma
01-19-2012, 04:40 PM
Congrats on your 10,000th, Bob!!. I always enjoy your posts and this "commemorative" one is icing on the cake! Looking forward to many, many more "cool beans"!

And BTW, where's that '51 Kaiser 2dr today? Carl can have the Rambler - I'd like the Kaiser with full wheel covers and wide whitewalls!

All the best.

Thanks, Roger.

Hey, if you'da said something, I'da bought you some chances on the 2011 Newport Indiana Antique Auto Hill Climb Raffle Car. It was a dead twin to the car we had in 1959. I couldn't believe it:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2008.jpg

cruiser
01-20-2012, 01:29 AM
I sometimes wonder why people who like (love) Studebaker vehicles , seem to be partial
to a bunch of the other 'Independent' marques , then I stop wondering and remember
with great fondness some of the non - Studebaker vehicles that I have owned .

1947 Frazer Manhattan Sedan . That was some car , which I owned for three years ,
finishing off a restoration that was over half way through when I started . This was
back in the early Eighties and when I finally got it on the road , I really enjoyed it .
It was one of only three or four that somehow made their way to Australia as new cars.
It was painted Gunmetal Grey Metallic and had a mid blue and biege cloth interior .

1954 Hudson Super Wasp Sedan . I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this
car which I purchased as the third owner back in the early Eighties . The car had been
purchased new by a local gentleman and both he and the second owner really had
looked after it to the extent that all I had to do was maintain it and drive it . And it was
a great drivers car . Solid and reliable , it has jet Black paint with original green leather
interior and burgandy interior garnish molds , now in the hands of its fifth owner .

1972 AMC Javelin 401 Coupe . I still have this car which I bought off the umpteenth
owner in the early Nineties . It is a Big Bad Orange car with black and white vinyl interior.
It is number 34 of only 48 that were originally brought to Australia as CKD kits and sold
here in 1973 . I did some body and mechanical repairs and it now motors really strong.
The 401 has been rebuilt and the 727 is a great transmission . It's a keeper . !

To BOB PALMA : - Congratulations on your 10,000th Post . That story that you have set
out is really well done . Hope your Dad will get a chance to read it . You are really lucky
to have been brought up in an environment that involved exposure to so many really
interesting vehicles . Unfortunately , such was not the case for me . In the Fifties and
Sixties , Australia was a land populated by mostly British cars and the perenial Holden.
Oh sure , there were some American cars around , but they were few and far between .
The ones I remember from my youth were , a 1963 Chevrolet Stationwagon which was
used by a local builder as his work vehicle , a 1959 Buick flattop 4 door hardtop owned
by a local shopkeeper , a 1961 Lark Cruiser owned by a banker , a 1961 Pontiac which
I think was called a Laurentian owned by a guy who ran a pottery wholesaler . This guy
eventually traded that car on a 1968 Pontiac Parisienne which he bought new . And I do
also have a vivid memory of the 1954 Hudson Super Wasp which I eventually was able
to buy . The original owner , a Mr Mcgowan picked me up for a lift home from Primary
School on a stinking hot day , and then I was served ice cold home made Lemonade by
his Maid whilst his wife phoned my Mum to tell her where I was . Different times for sure
and just as I finish this , the Television news tells me that Kodak has just filed for its
Bankruptcy proving that indeed whilst life goes on , some things continue to fade away .

CRUISER

clonelark
01-20-2012, 03:42 AM
Great post Bob, enjoyed every word and walking thru the oldies. Congrats on your 10,000 post also.

Bob Andrews
01-20-2012, 04:36 AM
What a great history, Bob, and best of all, that you are able to recall (and partially document!) it. I've said before, how bitterly I regret not being a picture taker as I was growing up. Alas, most of my memories live on only in my mind, and will be gone when I am.

Thank you for taking the time to craft and share this thread. Hoping for many, many more!



Special mention to Cruiser for sharing his history as well. I love history, especially where cars are involved:)

Bill Pressler
01-20-2012, 04:45 AM
Great post, Bob--thanks for sharing!

And I love the slogan at the bottom of the one ad..."For happy roads, see Palma-Rhoads!"

mbstude
01-20-2012, 05:06 AM
BP.. Was the '56 President two door the same one owned by the late Earl Drews (Nancy Bacon's father)? There couldn't have been too many black and white '56 President two doors in Indy. Last I heard, the car was in good hands in Washington state.

Very cool post. :cool:

BobPalma
01-20-2012, 06:48 AM
BP.. Was the '56 President two door the same one owned by the late Earl Drews (Nancy Bacon's father)? There couldn't have been too many black and white '56 President two doors in Indy. Last I heard, the car was in good hands in Washington state. Very cool post. :cool:

Thanks, Matthew.

I doubt the 1956 President was the one owned by Earl Drews in Indianapolis. Remember, the one sold by Palma-Rhoads was sold in eastern Illinois, not Indiana. (However, it's barely 100 miles from Paris IL almost straight east to Indianapolis, so it is entirely possible.)

It would be easy to verify one way or another, though, because Nancy [Drews] Bacon will certainly remember if her father's '56 had a two-way power seat. There can't be but a handful of those built with a power seat, and that would clinch it.

What I can't remember right now is if the Drews President started life Black and White and was changed to Yellow and White, or the other way around. That would also be an identifier. If you remember, black with white accents was the 1956 non-Hawk brochure color combination for a 1956 President 2-door, and early cars tend to be built in brochure colors.

The 1956 President 2-door on Palma-Rhoads showroom floor on introduction day was like this brochure car; colors, wheel covers, whitewalls. We can't see tinted glass or rear bumper guards in this brochure line art, of course, and there is no record of the Palma-Rhoads car having front bumper guards, as on this brochure car:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2609.jpg

I will see Joe and Nancy a week from today (Saturday, January 28) at our SDC Indy Chapter January meeting here in Brownsburg. I'll ask her then, assuming they attend.

'Glad you enjoyed the post; it was fun putting it together. My mind remembers those cars, places, and events as clearly as if they happened last week....in fact, given my recollection of last week, probably better! <GGG> BP

Bill Pressler
01-20-2012, 06:49 AM
Not quite the same thing, but here are the three Studebakers I know about but WISH I could've seen:

64V-14402, black '64 Cruiser, red cloth, R2 package car, Powershift, certified speedometer, rear seat speaker, sold to the Service Manager of my hometown dealer.

64V-5962, Bordeaux Red '64 Daytona convertible, 289 4-speed, white top, black buckets, sold at my hometown dealer.

(I'm amazed our smallish dealer in our smallish town sold two such neat '64's).

63V-31238, Super Red '63 Lark Custom 2-door sedan, R2 package car, white Skytop, solid black vinyl buckets, Powershift, sold new in Hollidaysburg, PA.

Where, oh where, did these three cars go? In Pennsylvania, I'm afraid I know the answer!

BobPalma
01-20-2012, 06:58 AM
Where, oh where, did these three cars go? In Pennsylvania, I'm afraid I know the answer!

Their fate is scriptural, Bill: Ashes to ashes, dust to rust...or is it rust to dust?

Well, something like that.

'Glad you guys enjoyed the post. The idea came to me at 5AM Thursday morning. We had ham and beans, cornbread, and coffee the night before, but I am uncertain as to the correlation. <GGG> BP

gordr
01-20-2012, 10:34 AM
Congratulations on your milestone, Bob, and thanks for an interesting thread.

studegary
01-20-2012, 01:12 PM
What a great history, Bob, and best of all, that you are able to recall (and partially document!) it. I've said before, how bitterly I regret not being a picture taker as I was growing up. Alas, most of my memories live on only in my mind, and will be gone when I am.





I, too, was not a picture taker. I have some Polaroids and snapshots of some of my cars, but not most of them. I have owned many unusual and low production cars out of the more than 100 cars that I have owned. Most are just in my memory bank. I have owned some cars for more than nine years and never took even one picture of them. I have written about many of them in various posts on this Forum.

Recently, the Editor of Old Cars Weekly contacted me about doing a picture story about me and some of my unusual/low production cars. I had to decline due to a dearth of pictures.

I don't know the number, but I am probably approaching the 10K posts mark. Do I have to come up with something special for that event <G>?

8E45E
01-20-2012, 01:20 PM
Recently, the Editor of Old Cars Weekly contacted me about doing a picture story about me and some of my unusual/low production cars. I had to decline due to a dearth of pictures.

Perhaps if you compile a list of your cars, and the events you attended, no doubt many others have taken photos of your cars and will provide a picture. Or if you have ever had any appraisals of your vehicles done over the years, the appraiser might still have the photos of them in his files.

Craig

BobPalma
01-20-2012, 01:31 PM
I don't know the number, but I am probably approaching the 10K posts mark. Do I have to come up with something special for that event <G>?

Your number is constantly being updated and posted, Gary.

Just look in the information right below your name any time you post.

AFAIK, you can't remove it! BP

Bish
01-20-2012, 07:03 PM
Bob, Do you remember the Jag XK 120 turned in on the '56 Golden Hawk? Kind of a special car to be traded at an independent dealer. Worth some money today.
Bish

BobPalma
01-20-2012, 09:00 PM
Bob, Do you remember the Jag XK 120 turned in on the '56 Golden Hawk? Kind of a special car to be traded at an independent dealer. Worth some money today. Bish

No, Bish; I do not remember the Jaguar.

I DO remember my Dad screaming bloody murder at Harry Rhoads for being so flim-flammed as to taking that deal! Dad had no idea how they'd ever sell that Jaguar in a small farming community in the midwest, and he was right.

He wound up shopping the car all over the place, wholesale auctions and such, and couldn't get 'er done, trying to get it sold. He ultimately sold it cheap to the owner of Stewart Hog Ring Company in Paris. (I'd look up and post that invoice, but I am not at home right now. I'm at my daughter's house babysitting overnight as both she and her husband are working at their respective medical jobs; she until midnight and he until 6AM.)

Dad was right that they were going to lose money on that 1956 Golden Hawk deal, big time. I have most of the financial records from the dealership, as well as these Purchase Agreements (Retail Invoices). I once went through that whole deal since they took two cars in trade. They took another car in trade on the 1951 Studebaker Champion trade-in from Barrister McClain, so they had to recondition and sell it, too.

By the time everything washed out, they had lost a little over $1,000 1956 DOLLARS on that Golden Hawk. Dad wished they'd never seen the car; a small dealership just couldn't afford to be taking a $1,000 hit on a car when he, Harry, and Uncle Milt were struggling to take home as close to $100 per week as possible from the place in 1956.

Of course, that was then and this is now. If you read the cited page in Turning Wheels, Dad is more than happy to be associated with that car today! <GGG>

My, how times change. BP

SN-60
01-20-2012, 10:16 PM
Great story! About the '56 President, could that model, equiped as described, be considered the 'perfect' postwar Studebaker? (either a two-door like this, or a four door on the shorter wheelbase) They really drove nice!

Johnnywiffer
01-21-2012, 07:06 AM
How in the pluperfect heck does ANYONE remember all that minutia? I understand that you, BP, have all the records from the dealership. However, even so, I’d be hard pressed to remember where to FIND such info. Heck, I don’t remember what I had for breakfast YESTERDAY, let alone in 1956. I THINK I was around for the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel. But don't remember who invented ‘em nor how much money they made or lost on the invention.

When I write about happenings from the past, it’s because I have a sudden flash (truly!) and think, “Heck, I remember when….”and I write about it. But I sure don’t remember whether the weatherstripping on the rear fender of a ’51 Land Cruiser was painted or un-painted from the factory. Or whether a hood ornament was REAL gold-plated or fake.

But someone does. Maybe we need to get someone to glean all the wheat from the chaff on the Forum and put it in a book. Call it “Not So Important Stuff That Someone Remembered One Day Then Forgot”. Index it so all you have to do is look up “What kinda bolt held the fake spare on the ’58 PH?” And you’d know. Could be used to settle all the arguments about such important questions as “What year did the factory change from LH to RH threads on lug nuts?” or “When were leather seats available on convertibles?”

Yep, someone sure oughta do that little thing. But as Lou Costello said in “Africa Screams”, “Somebody else. Not me.”

(See? I DID remember SOMEthing!)

John

BobPalma
01-21-2012, 11:40 AM
Great story! About the '56 President, could that model, equipped as described, be considered the 'perfect' postwar Studebaker? (either a two-door like this, or a four door on the shorter wheelbase) They really drove nice!

Well, Ed, SDCers would likely debate what constitutes the "best" postwar Studebaker until the cows had not only come home, but had been milked and put to bed. Personally, I'd think the 1956 President series would be close to the top of most lists, though, as you say.

However, why not the longer-wheelbase President Classic? They rode even nicer than the shorter-wheelbase models.

Generically, at least 1956 gave you 12-volt electrics and Flightomatic transmissions; definite improvements over 6 volts and Automatic Drive. BP

BobPalma
01-21-2012, 01:14 PM
Bob, Do you remember the Jag XK 120 turned in on the '56 Golden Hawk? Kind of a special car to be traded at an independent dealer. Worth some money today. Bish

Here ya' go, Bish (and anyone else interested).

That Jaguar XK120 (I believe it was red, now that I think about it) might be worth a lot today, but when it was a three-year-old used car, all it could garner was $1,500, cash plus tax, no trade:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2611.jpg

BobPalma
01-21-2012, 01:39 PM
How in the pluperfect heck does ANYONE remember all that minutia? I understand that you, BP, have all the records from the dealership. However, even so, I’d be hard-pressed to remember where to FIND such info. Heck, I don’t remember what I had for breakfast YESTERDAY, let alone in 1956. I THINK I was around for the discovery of fire and the wheel. But not who invented ‘em nor how much money they made or lost on the invention.

When I write about happenings from the past, it’s because I have a sudden flash (truly!) and think, “Heck, I remember when….”and I write about it. But I sure don’t remember whether the weatherstripping on the rear fender of a ’51 Land Cruiser was painted or un-painted from the factory. Or whether a hood ornament was REAL gold-plated or fake.

John

Well, John, I've always been fascinated about how much the human mind can retain when it is interested in a topic...and, importantly, when the mind is relatively young.

As you see, I was immersed in the 1950s car culture just about as much as a person barely aged double-digits could be...and loved every minute of it. 'Couldn't get enough of it, quite frankly.

At age 8...eight, mind you....I was studying the 1954 Packard Salesman's Guide while seated on a chair in Palma Motors' original showroom. I discovered you could order air conditioning in a Packard! Man, was that seriously-good news!

I remember running into my Dad's office and informing him of my discovery with all the attendant excitement as if I had just run into the office to tell him the Edgar County courthouse was on fire a block away.

As if my Dad didn't already know that, of course...about the air conditioning, that is, because the courthouse wasn't ablaze.

Is it any wonder my mother had serious doubts about my -ahem- propensity toward all things automotive? She was genuinely concerned about the matter.

Oh, and I still have that 1954 Packard Salesman's Guide:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/DSCF2615.jpg

SN-60
01-21-2012, 08:33 PM
To: Bob Palma--- I've always thought the shorter wheelbase models had a slight edge in day-to-day city driving (and parking). Also, over the miles, they might stay a bit 'tighter'----I could be wrong about all that though!

BobPalma
01-21-2012, 08:45 PM
To: Bob Palma--- I've always thought the shorter wheelbase models had a slight edge in day-to-day city driving (and parking). Also, over the miles, they might stay a bit 'tighter'----I could be wrong about all that though!

No doubt the shorter-wheelbase models would stay tighter...and, of course, would be more maneuverable in traffic.

As I said, Ed, we'd get some spirited discussion going if we tried to address the topic of "best postwar Studebaker!" BP

jbwhttail
01-21-2012, 09:04 PM
Earl Drews 1956 President 2 door did not have power seats, I remember it well. It started out as a black and white, was painted later yellow and white. I returned the car to black and white. It also had power steering but no power brakes.


Funniest story ever on this car..... Nancy and I were visiting her grandmother in Michigan when Nancy was pregnant with our first, on the way home Nancy got to feeling ill. As we are doing 70 mph down interstate 69 Nancy looks at me and says, I'm going to get sick. My response........Don't you dare get sick inside or on the outside of this car, hold it till I can get stopped!!!!..........she did.

SN-60
01-21-2012, 09:24 PM
jbwhttail-------------------------------A REAL STUDEBAKER MAN! ( and hats off to Nancy also )

BobPalma
01-22-2012, 06:13 AM
Earl Drews' 1956 President 2 door did not have power seats, I remember it well. It started out as a black and white, was painted later yellow and white. I returned the car to black and white. It also had power steering but no power brakes.


Funniest story ever on this car..... Nancy and I were visiting her grandmother in Michigan when Nancy was pregnant with our first, on the way home Nancy got to feeling ill. As we are doing 70 mph down interstate 69 Nancy looks at me and says, I'm going to get sick. My response........Don't you dare get sick inside or on the outside of this car, hold it till I can get stopped!!!!..........she did.

Excellent, Joe; thanks for the clarification. (No wonder I couldn't keep the car's color scheme straight in my mind; it went from the OEM Black & White to Yellow & White and back to Black & White over the time I knew it! <GGG>)


'Good "save" on the interior...and exterior; 'what a man! More <GGG> Bob

BobPalma
01-22-2012, 06:16 AM
jbwhttail--A REAL STUDEBAKER MAN! (and hats off to Nancy also )

Under the circumstances, Ed, that might have worked as well...(had it been a "ten-gallon" Stetson, of course!) <GGG> BP

SN-60
01-22-2012, 11:03 AM
Your quick Bob!