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BobPalma
06-29-2007, 12:34 PM
:) How many others enjoyed former Studebaker employee Jack Smith's Seminar in South Bend last week regarding Studebaker's [legal] tricks to win The Mobilgas Economy Run in the early 1950s? Jack gave a great, and revealing, presentation. :D

Even though Studebaker swept the field in 1954, Studebaker's Advertising Dept apparently paid more attention to it than did customers, judging from 1954 sales [xx(]. Probably with good reason, thanks to the UAW's pay & benefits scale enjoyed in South Bend :( that kept the cars from being competitively priced, among other things. ;)

[}:)] Consider: Let's say you were going to buy a new 1954 station wagon for local deliveries in a small business. The lowest-price 1954 Ford 6 station wagon listed at $2,029, whereas the lowest-price 1954 Studebaker Champion station wagon listed for $2,187. (OK, the Stude had an automatic choke and Ford didn't, but Ford had overhead valves and Stude didn't, so that's a technological wash at best.)

Let's say the Ford gets 21 MPG and the Stude, 25 MPG under the same driving conditions. If you kept the Ford for 30,000 miles at 21 MPG and $.30 per gallon, you'd use $428 worth of gasoline over the car's ownership. The Stude, getting better mileage, would use only $360 worth of gas to travel the same miles, a savings of $68 over the Ford during "your" ownership.

But the Stude cost $158 more to begin with. [V] OOPS.

History doesn't happen in a vacuum. :( Too often, we fail to factor in the "unobvious" during automotive history discussions. :DBP

showbizkid
06-29-2007, 12:54 PM
Wow! What an interesting observation! Of course, we look at a cost differential of $100 now and laugh, but $100 in 1954 dollars is equivalent to ~ $730 in today's money. That's something any of us would take seriously when purchasing a new vehicle. In this case, that $158 difference in purchase price would be $1,150 in today's dollars.


[img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard
http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

showbizkid
06-29-2007, 12:54 PM
Wow! What an interesting observation! Of course, we look at a cost differential of $100 now and laugh, but $100 in 1954 dollars is equivalent to ~ $730 in today's money. That's something any of us would take seriously when purchasing a new vehicle. In this case, that $158 difference in purchase price would be $1,150 in today's dollars.


[img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard
http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

Dick Steinkamp
06-29-2007, 02:00 PM
quote:Originally posted by BobPalma
The Stude, getting better mileage, would use only $360 worth of gas to travel the same miles, a savings of $68 over the Ford during "your" ownership.

But the Stude cost $158 more to begin with. [V] OOPS.



The only problem with that logic is that consumers don't do the math. If they did, Toyota wouldn't be selling as many Prius.

You will never pay back the $10,000 premium a Prius gets over a Corolla in fuel savings.



http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

Dick Steinkamp
06-29-2007, 02:00 PM
quote:Originally posted by BobPalma
The Stude, getting better mileage, would use only $360 worth of gas to travel the same miles, a savings of $68 over the Ford during "your" ownership.

But the Stude cost $158 more to begin with. [V] OOPS.



The only problem with that logic is that consumers don't do the math. If they did, Toyota wouldn't be selling as many Prius.

You will never pay back the $10,000 premium a Prius gets over a Corolla in fuel savings.



http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

BobPalma
06-29-2007, 02:01 PM
quote:Originally posted by showbizkid

Wow! What an interesting observation! Of course, we look at a cost differential of $100 now and laugh, but $100 in 1954 dollars is equivalent to ~ $730 in today's money. That's something any of us would take seriously when purchasing a new vehicle. In this case, that $158 difference in purchase price would be $1,150 in today's dollars.


http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard
http://studeblogger.blogspot.com


:) And here is yet another way to look at that, Clark:

One of Lee Iacocca's first genius moves at Ford was to create a payment program encouraging customers to "Pay $56 for a '56" in 1956. That is, they set up a credit program to finance new 1956 Fords for $56 per month.

Now if $56 was a good monthly payment in 1956, three times that would be $168. So the 1954 Champion station wagon in the example would have required about [i]three more months to pay for [:0][xx(]:(than the 1954 Ford 6 wagon if it had been financed.

Who would have wanted to make payments for three more months to have a bare-bones Champion wagon instead of a bare-bones Ford? Not too many folks, it would appear: Ford sold 44,315 lowest-trim 1954 2-door wagons, 6 and V-8 combined, whereas Studebaker sold only 5,822 lowest-trim 2-door wagons, 6 and V-8 combined...Mobilgas Economy Run winning notwithstanding. [xx(] BP

BobPalma
06-29-2007, 02:01 PM
quote:Originally posted by showbizkid

Wow! What an interesting observation! Of course, we look at a cost differential of $100 now and laugh, but $100 in 1954 dollars is equivalent to ~ $730 in today's money. That's something any of us would take seriously when purchasing a new vehicle. In this case, that $158 difference in purchase price would be $1,150 in today's dollars.


http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard
http://studeblogger.blogspot.com


:) And here is yet another way to look at that, Clark:

One of Lee Iacocca's first genius moves at Ford was to create a payment program encouraging customers to "Pay $56 for a '56" in 1956. That is, they set up a credit program to finance new 1956 Fords for $56 per month.

Now if $56 was a good monthly payment in 1956, three times that would be $168. So the 1954 Champion station wagon in the example would have required about [i]three more months to pay for [:0][xx(]:(than the 1954 Ford 6 wagon if it had been financed.

Who would have wanted to make payments for three more months to have a bare-bones Champion wagon instead of a bare-bones Ford? Not too many folks, it would appear: Ford sold 44,315 lowest-trim 1954 2-door wagons, 6 and V-8 combined, whereas Studebaker sold only 5,822 lowest-trim 2-door wagons, 6 and V-8 combined...Mobilgas Economy Run winning notwithstanding. [xx(] BP

BobPalma
06-29-2007, 02:05 PM
quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

The only problem with that logic is that consumers don't do the math. If they did, Toyota wouldn't be selling as many Prius.

You will never pay back the $10,000 premium a Prius gets over a Corolla in fuel savings.

http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg



:) Of course, Dick...and even fewer were doing the math in 1954!
(Maybe because they had to use an abacus instead of a computer?) :D BP

BobPalma
06-29-2007, 02:05 PM
quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

The only problem with that logic is that consumers don't do the math. If they did, Toyota wouldn't be selling as many Prius.

You will never pay back the $10,000 premium a Prius gets over a Corolla in fuel savings.

http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg



:) Of course, Dick...and even fewer were doing the math in 1954!
(Maybe because they had to use an abacus instead of a computer?) :D BP

lstude
06-29-2007, 04:41 PM
Also, most Ford (and Chevy) dealers were giving bigger discounts than Studebaker dealers. Studebaker dealers
liked "old lady school teachers" like my Mother, who never dickered on the price. She just paid what they said the car cost!

Leonard Shepherd
http://leonardshepherd.com/

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/lstude1/Mein64DaytonaatBradfieldssm2.jpghttp://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/lstude1/AlmostreadyforSB6-4.jpg

lstude
06-29-2007, 04:41 PM
Also, most Ford (and Chevy) dealers were giving bigger discounts than Studebaker dealers. Studebaker dealers
liked "old lady school teachers" like my Mother, who never dickered on the price. She just paid what they said the car cost!

Leonard Shepherd
http://leonardshepherd.com/

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/lstude1/Mein64DaytonaatBradfieldssm2.jpghttp://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/lstude1/AlmostreadyforSB6-4.jpg

8E45E
06-29-2007, 05:30 PM
quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

:)


But the Stude cost $158 more to begin with. [V] OOPS.

History doesn't happen in a vacuum. :( Too often, we fail to factor in the "unobvious" during automotive history discussions. :DBP




Let's factor in one more 'OOPS!'. How much would you get for a trade-in for your Stude, vs. your Ford, assuming they didn't get too tattered and torn given the nature of a station wagon? Sad to say, a used car dealer probably would have had an easier time moving a used Ford wagon off the lot from what I would figure.:(

Craig

8E45E
06-29-2007, 05:30 PM
quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

:)


But the Stude cost $158 more to begin with. [V] OOPS.

History doesn't happen in a vacuum. :( Too often, we fail to factor in the "unobvious" during automotive history discussions. :DBP




Let's factor in one more 'OOPS!'. How much would you get for a trade-in for your Stude, vs. your Ford, assuming they didn't get too tattered and torn given the nature of a station wagon? Sad to say, a used car dealer probably would have had an easier time moving a used Ford wagon off the lot from what I would figure.:(

Craig

wagone
06-29-2007, 05:37 PM
I don't believe my dad ever dickered on the price back in the '50s either. The dealership always smiled when they saw dad coming. I imagine dad thought of it as cheating the dealer to attempt to get a lower price. Now that I think back on it it seems as though he never gave me much of a break. I guess he couldn't afford it as he was saving them for the dealer.;););)

wagone and the Old R2 Avanti

wagone
06-29-2007, 05:37 PM
I don't believe my dad ever dickered on the price back in the '50s either. The dealership always smiled when they saw dad coming. I imagine dad thought of it as cheating the dealer to attempt to get a lower price. Now that I think back on it it seems as though he never gave me much of a break. I guess he couldn't afford it as he was saving them for the dealer.;););)

wagone and the Old R2 Avanti

BobPalma
06-29-2007, 05:55 PM
[/quote]

Let's factor in one more 'OOPS!'. How much would you get for a trade-in for your Stude, vs. your Ford, assuming they didn't get too tattered and torn given the nature of a station wagon? Sad to say, a used car dealer probably would have had an easier time moving a used Ford wagon off the lot from what I would figure.:(

Craig
[/quote]

:) Absolutely, Craig. In my example, the used wagon(s) would have been traded in, in 1957. By 1957, Studebaker resale values were tanking daily:(; a 1954 Champion wagon probably wouldn't have brought 80% of what a comparable Ford would have brought at the auction, and that's probably high. [V]

To wit: After my Father and Uncle Milt sold out their part of Palma-Rhoads Packard-Nash-Studebaker in July 1956, Dad went on to become Sales Manager at Widdis-Neilsen (spelling?) Pontiac up the road from Paris in Danville IL. He's marveled more than once how easy it was to sell Pontiacs. :D

He even had a couple come in in a new 1957 Dodge (this was February 1957) that needed modest collision repair in the dealership's well-regarded body shop. While they were in on that mission, they took a liking to a new 1957 Pontiac wagon on the showroom floor and Dad couldn't believe how easy it was to get them to trade the Dodge for the Safari...and make a ton of money on it. :D

Dad has said many times, "The people just came in [to a GM dealership] mezmorized, ready to write the check with little provocation!" (This from a man who had just spent a hard four model years (53-54-55-56) selling Independents against GM.)

Those were the days. Nowadays, it's the Toyota and Honda dealers who have folks mezmorized and the GM dealers who have to continually resharpen their pencils! ;) BP

BobPalma
06-29-2007, 05:55 PM
[/quote]

Let's factor in one more 'OOPS!'. How much would you get for a trade-in for your Stude, vs. your Ford, assuming they didn't get too tattered and torn given the nature of a station wagon? Sad to say, a used car dealer probably would have had an easier time moving a used Ford wagon off the lot from what I would figure.:(

Craig
[/quote]

:) Absolutely, Craig. In my example, the used wagon(s) would have been traded in, in 1957. By 1957, Studebaker resale values were tanking daily:(; a 1954 Champion wagon probably wouldn't have brought 80% of what a comparable Ford would have brought at the auction, and that's probably high. [V]

To wit: After my Father and Uncle Milt sold out their part of Palma-Rhoads Packard-Nash-Studebaker in July 1956, Dad went on to become Sales Manager at Widdis-Neilsen (spelling?) Pontiac up the road from Paris in Danville IL. He's marveled more than once how easy it was to sell Pontiacs. :D

He even had a couple come in in a new 1957 Dodge (this was February 1957) that needed modest collision repair in the dealership's well-regarded body shop. While they were in on that mission, they took a liking to a new 1957 Pontiac wagon on the showroom floor and Dad couldn't believe how easy it was to get them to trade the Dodge for the Safari...and make a ton of money on it. :D

Dad has said many times, "The people just came in [to a GM dealership] mezmorized, ready to write the check with little provocation!" (This from a man who had just spent a hard four model years (53-54-55-56) selling Independents against GM.)

Those were the days. Nowadays, it's the Toyota and Honda dealers who have folks mezmorized and the GM dealers who have to continually resharpen their pencils! ;) BP

Guido
06-29-2007, 09:52 PM
Bob,

My father made such a purchase in 1954 when he bought his first new car, a 2 door Ranch Wagon. It was a basic car, 223 OHV 6, three on the tree (no O/D), push button AM radio and a heater. Of course, Ford had gone to suspended pedals by then too.

The rusting ramains of the car are still at my mother's house.

Gary

http://thumb14.webshots.net/t/53/453/1/21/36/2964121360097493054pVJTFL_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/57/757/2/88/4/2023288040097493054SEKowB_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/18/19/8/37/21/2050837210097493054IYBJJL_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/59/559/1/43/57/2876143570097493054jKVhDw_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/22/22/0/2/68/2589002680097493054ftBuBw_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/28/28/8/30/30/2075830300097493054aSSlFv_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/59/459/2/23/86/2067223860097493054YoeGMx_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/28/28/5/18/33/2537518330097493054OgEKcN_th.jpg
Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

Studebaker horse drawn doctor’s buggy; Studebaker horse drawn “Izzer” buggy; 1946 M-16 fire truck; 1948 M-16 grain truck; 1949 2R17A fire truck; 1950 2R5 pickup; 1952 2R17A grain truck; 1952 Packard 200 4 door; 1955 E-38 grain truck; 1957 3E-40 flatbed; 1961 6E-28 grain truck; 1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck; 1962 7E-7 Champ pickup; 1962 GT Hawk 4 speed; 1963 8E-28 flatbed; 1964 Avanti R2 4 speed; 1964 Cruiser and various other "treasures" (including a 1959 IH B-120 4 wheel drive and numerous Oliver and Cockshutt tractors).

Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

Guido
06-29-2007, 09:52 PM
Bob,

My father made such a purchase in 1954 when he bought his first new car, a 2 door Ranch Wagon. It was a basic car, 223 OHV 6, three on the tree (no O/D), push button AM radio and a heater. Of course, Ford had gone to suspended pedals by then too.

The rusting ramains of the car are still at my mother's house.

Gary

http://thumb14.webshots.net/t/53/453/1/21/36/2964121360097493054pVJTFL_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/57/757/2/88/4/2023288040097493054SEKowB_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/18/19/8/37/21/2050837210097493054IYBJJL_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/59/559/1/43/57/2876143570097493054jKVhDw_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/22/22/0/2/68/2589002680097493054ftBuBw_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/28/28/8/30/30/2075830300097493054aSSlFv_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/59/459/2/23/86/2067223860097493054YoeGMx_th.jpghttp://thumb14.webshots.net/t/28/28/5/18/33/2537518330097493054OgEKcN_th.jpg
Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

Studebaker horse drawn doctor’s buggy; Studebaker horse drawn “Izzer” buggy; 1946 M-16 fire truck; 1948 M-16 grain truck; 1949 2R17A fire truck; 1950 2R5 pickup; 1952 2R17A grain truck; 1952 Packard 200 4 door; 1955 E-38 grain truck; 1957 3E-40 flatbed; 1961 6E-28 grain truck; 1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck; 1962 7E-7 Champ pickup; 1962 GT Hawk 4 speed; 1963 8E-28 flatbed; 1964 Avanti R2 4 speed; 1964 Cruiser and various other "treasures" (including a 1959 IH B-120 4 wheel drive and numerous Oliver and Cockshutt tractors).

Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

56H-Y6
06-30-2007, 08:19 AM
Hi
On the resale differential between a three year old base Studebaker and Ford wagons from an NADA February 1957:
Average Wholesale Average Retail
'54 Studebaker Champion DeLuxe Wagon: $775 $1,095
'54 Ford Mainline 6 Ranch Wagon: $785 $1,110

Surprisingly less of a difference than I would have guessed.

Of the penchant for folks to closely price shop, I recall that was a much greater consideration then than it is now. Although anecdotally related, a long-time dealer told me that in the 1950's as little as a $50 price difference would make or break a sale.
Now, most buyer are only interested in the monthly payment, don't even ask how long they will be making those payments.

And gas mileage was still very much a consideration for young men with families to support on laborer's wages. Sixes and stick with overdrive were their first choice.

A very different era in every way........
Steve

56H-Y6
06-30-2007, 08:19 AM
Hi
On the resale differential between a three year old base Studebaker and Ford wagons from an NADA February 1957:
Average Wholesale Average Retail
'54 Studebaker Champion DeLuxe Wagon: $775 $1,095
'54 Ford Mainline 6 Ranch Wagon: $785 $1,110

Surprisingly less of a difference than I would have guessed.

Of the penchant for folks to closely price shop, I recall that was a much greater consideration then than it is now. Although anecdotally related, a long-time dealer told me that in the 1950's as little as a $50 price difference would make or break a sale.
Now, most buyer are only interested in the monthly payment, don't even ask how long they will be making those payments.

And gas mileage was still very much a consideration for young men with families to support on laborer's wages. Sixes and stick with overdrive were their first choice.

A very different era in every way........
Steve

Bill Pressler
06-30-2007, 10:20 AM
"And gas mileage was still very much a consideration for young men with families to support on laborer's wages. Sixes and stick with overdrive were their first choice."

Boy, does that statement remind me of my Dad! Although he wasn't a car "nut" like I am, he was primarily a Chevy guy and liked to keep abreast of what was new every year out of them. When he did buy, he always bought a six-cylinder, 3-speed car. By the late sixties and afterwards, our dealer would rarely stock such a car and my Dad had an aversion to ever ordering a car ("I want to see what I'm buying") His last stick was a new '73 Nova coupe, no power steering or brakes, no air, six, 3-speed, but he indulged in one that had Rally wheels, whitewalls, Exterior Decor Group (bodyside moldings and side-window frame chrome moldings) and the optional floor-shift. Sticker price $2,625.00.

We used to joke that the dealer would get a green stick-shift Chevy in for stock when he'd see my Dad nosing around the lot!

We also joked that after the first gas crunch, the Chevy dealer regularly started stocking stick-shift six-cylinder Novas....that Dad was actually "ahead of his time"!

The Nova was crunched in an accident when one-year old and we got a good trade-in on it, so Dad "bumped up" to a new '74 Impala Sport Coupe (the true hardtop, four-windows roll down kind), had a '77 Impala Coupe after that then a couple new Monte Carlos after that (RWD ones). Guess that's when my sister and I had moved out and he was making more money!

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH
'63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

Bill Pressler
06-30-2007, 10:20 AM
"And gas mileage was still very much a consideration for young men with families to support on laborer's wages. Sixes and stick with overdrive were their first choice."

Boy, does that statement remind me of my Dad! Although he wasn't a car "nut" like I am, he was primarily a Chevy guy and liked to keep abreast of what was new every year out of them. When he did buy, he always bought a six-cylinder, 3-speed car. By the late sixties and afterwards, our dealer would rarely stock such a car and my Dad had an aversion to ever ordering a car ("I want to see what I'm buying") His last stick was a new '73 Nova coupe, no power steering or brakes, no air, six, 3-speed, but he indulged in one that had Rally wheels, whitewalls, Exterior Decor Group (bodyside moldings and side-window frame chrome moldings) and the optional floor-shift. Sticker price $2,625.00.

We used to joke that the dealer would get a green stick-shift Chevy in for stock when he'd see my Dad nosing around the lot!

We also joked that after the first gas crunch, the Chevy dealer regularly started stocking stick-shift six-cylinder Novas....that Dad was actually "ahead of his time"!

The Nova was crunched in an accident when one-year old and we got a good trade-in on it, so Dad "bumped up" to a new '74 Impala Sport Coupe (the true hardtop, four-windows roll down kind), had a '77 Impala Coupe after that then a couple new Monte Carlos after that (RWD ones). Guess that's when my sister and I had moved out and he was making more money!

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH
'63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1