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Chris_Dresbach
12-08-2012, 11:11 PM
DECEMBER 9TH, 1963 at approx. 3:30pm Studebaker executives made the announcment that Studebaker would close its South Bend plants. 49 years ago today, the anniversary will always be known as "Black Monday".
As grim of a post as this may sound, if the weather is nice in your area try to get our the Studebaker's and go for a drive. I am going to take the '40 down to building #84 and take some photos.

Welcome
12-08-2012, 11:43 PM
I remember that day well, but believe it was actually the South Bend Tribune (newspaper) that broke the news on December 9th ...the Studebaker Corporation was planning to announce it on December 10th.

63 R2 Hawk
12-08-2012, 11:52 PM
Drove my Hawk to a local gun show today. It was sunny when I parked, pouring rain when I came back out....

candbstudebakers
12-09-2012, 01:16 AM
We the Sequoia Chapter had our Xmas party today at my daughter's house 40 people and 2 Avanti's, a 64 GT, a 53 custom coupe, a 62 Convert, and a 57 Golden hawk were driven to the party, nice day and nice people.

BobPalma
12-09-2012, 05:51 AM
Yep; 'twas a tough day in Studebaker-land.

I remember coming home from high school (Senior Year) and Mom meeting me at the door with the news. She wasn't sure how I'd take it and kind of kept an eye on me. I just went out in the garage and quietly sat in my 1955 Champion Regal Coupe for awhile, reflecting. :(

Ironically, I don't remember a first conversation with Cousin George D. Krem after the announcement. That's hard to imagine, as thoroughly immersed in Studebakering as we had together been for about five years at that point. 'Think I'll ask him if he remembers the first words we spoke to each other. They may have been written, though, as we lived 200+ miles apart and long-distance telephone calls were still costly at the time. :cool: BP

COMMANDERPINK1
12-09-2012, 08:21 AM
Yes a sad day indeed, will always wonder what the Studebakers may have looked liked in todays market. I also was going to get the 66 out for the trip to the Big Six River Bend Christmas party today just for that reason but its now raining with anticipation of snow beginning.
Tom

BobWaitz
12-09-2012, 08:54 AM
...as we lived 200+ miles apart and long-distance telephone calls were still costly at the time...

Ain't that the truth. Can you imagine how the announcement would unfold today with social media and all the portable digital devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets?

8E45E
12-09-2012, 09:00 AM
Ain't that the truth. Can you imagine how the announcement would unfold today with social media and all the portable digital devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets?

What happened to GM in 2008/09 is a good example of how the news spread like wildfire with the communication we have now.

Craig

Flashback
12-09-2012, 09:07 AM
I am sorry to say I don't remember that day. However my driver was a 53 coupe then, and my driver is a 53 coupe now. The one now has cost me twenty times what the one then did,

rockinhawk
12-09-2012, 09:31 AM
Sad time indeed but that's what got lots of folks, me included, into Studebakers. I remember the talk that with cars no longer being made, Parts would be impossable to get,so people were selling their cars dirt cheap. "Get rid of'em while you can!" My Dad bought a 59 Lark wagon because it was cheap. Then he bought me a 48 Champion convertible for $35.00. That was the beginning of 4 generations of Studebaker owners.

studegary
12-09-2012, 12:00 PM
I was at work at a moulded and die cut rubber factory at that time. I was an engineering assistant to a Vice President. I don't remember when I first got the news. I probably read it in the newspaper that day or the next day.

Chris_Dresbach
12-09-2012, 01:54 PM
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/blackmonday.jpg
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/007-3.jpg

Chris_Dresbach
12-09-2012, 01:56 PM
While at the factory we found a couple old employees just standing around by the docks. Said they were waiting for the semi to come back from final assembly so they could send over another load of finished bodies...
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/001-12.jpg

thunderations
12-09-2012, 02:22 PM
My uncle worked the night shift and it was announced that when the shift was over to drop their badges into a box by the timeclock, their jobs had been eliminated. South Bend, Mishawaka, the whole Michiana area was struck hard. Jobs were few and far between. My uncle passed away within the year, still unemployed, he was in his mid 30's. My aunt thinks he died from a broken heart due to Studebaker closing in South Bend. I don't think that man could say a complete sentance without the word "Studebaker" in it, that's how much it meant to him.

Welcome
12-09-2012, 02:30 PM
While at the factory we found a couple old employees just standing around by the docks. Said they were waiting for the semi to come back from final assembly so they could send over another load of finished bodies...
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/001-12.jpg

Does that number "3" to the left side of this photo indicate 3 BLOCKS to the "South Bend Homeless Center" ...which of course it actually is located 3 blocks away.

PS: Great location, idea and pic.!!!:!!:

Welcome
12-09-2012, 02:43 PM
My uncle worked the night shift and it was announced that when the shift was over to drop their badges into a box by the timeclock, their jobs had been eliminated.<<<

My father was also to work the night shift on Dec. 9, 1963, but kept his badge. He had to turn in his badge some days later as a condition to receive his last Studebaker paycheck ...after 27 1/2 years there.:(

r1lark
12-09-2012, 03:52 PM
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/blackmonday.jpg
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/007-3.jpg

Chris, is this later picture taken in the same location/looking in the same direction as the '63 picture?

Lark8girl
12-09-2012, 03:56 PM
After I came home from School , my parents told me that Studebaker was going to close. In the Fort Wayne , IN , TV news was a full report with stock film of the production line.
The next day it was still in the news, with film provided by the South Bend TV station. They showed the worked leaving gate 1, and the cars in the parking lots.
As a 10 year old I was aware of Studebaker cars, our neighbor was a Studebaker man with a 60 Lark 2dr. I had not seen the late model Studebakers as Huntington, IN , no longer had a dealer. About 2 years later a 1950 Studebaker business coupe became the car my mother drove.

Chris_Dresbach
12-09-2012, 06:40 PM
Chris, is this later picture taken in the same location/looking in the same direction as the '63 picture?

Unfortunately, no. None of the buildings in the '63 photo are there anymore so we went over to Plant 1 in front of building #84 and tried to reinact the photo as best we could.

57pack
12-09-2012, 07:18 PM
As we were (are) a Studebaker family, I remember well the evening news breaking the news of South Bend's closing. Remember the Studebaker workers looking shell shocked.
Bucking the then trend, my Father promptly went to Przwara Studebaker and ordered a 1964 Commander 4 door with V8 and overdrive. Guess he got a good deal, had that car untill 1979!

Stu Chapman
12-10-2012, 06:42 AM
As we were (are) a Studebaker family, I remember well the evening news breaking the news of South Bend's closing. Remember the Studebaker workers looking shell shocked.
Bucking the then trend, my Father promptly went to Przwara Studebaker and ordered a 1964 Commander 4 door with V8 and overdrive. Guess he got a good deal, had that car untill 1979!

Sorry guys for not logging in yesterday. Boy, how I remember December 9th. As you can appreciate I was one of the first in Canada to be apprised of the situation. But in Canada, despite our concern and sympathy for our South Bend employees, we were strangely excited about the opportunity we were given to keep the marque alive. In hindsight, how little did we know. Despite everything, we're still alive and kicking today.
Stu Chapman

Welcome
12-10-2012, 07:07 AM
Sorry guys for not logging in yesterday. Boy, how I remember December 9th.<<< Stu Chapman

Very interesting!!!

Stu would you please share with us here exactly how you got the word in Canada on December 9, 1963 ...through Corporate? ...or news media? ...or??? Now 49 years later, we're still trying to piece together exactly how that information leaked out in South Bend ...and apparently elsewhere ...a day BEFORE the Studebaker Corporation was to make the official announcement from New York on Tuesday, December 10, 1963.

TIA

BobPalma
12-10-2012, 08:00 AM
Sorry guys for not logging in yesterday. Boy, how I remember December 9th. As you can appreciate I was one of the first in Canada to be apprised of the situation. But in Canada, despite our concern and sympathy for our South Bend employees, we were strangely excited about the opportunity we were given to keep the marque alive. In hindsight, how little did we know. Despite everything, we're still alive and kicking today.
Stu Chapman

You know, Stu, I think you guys' position in Hamilton defined the word bittersweet when the South Bend closure "came down," eh? :cool: BP

Stu Chapman
12-10-2012, 02:09 PM
Very interesting!!!

Stu would you please share with us here exactly how you got the word in Canada on December 9, 1963 ...through Corporate? ...or news media? ...or??? Now 49 years later, we're still trying to piece together exactly how that information leaked out in South Bend ...and apparently elsewhere ...a day BEFORE the Studebaker Corporation was to make the official announcement from New York on Tuesday, December 10, 1963.

TIA

I was called into a meeting with our President, Gordon Grundy and Director of Marketing, Bob Orr with the confirmation and was directed to prepare the necessary press releases for Canada, which had already been developed by Joseph DeFranco and Bill Dredge in South Bend. Subsequent to the news release going out here, Gordon Grundy was named President, Studebaker Automotive Division, Bob Orr was named Marketing Vice President, Ralph Wilson was named Purchasing Vice President and Bill Moeser was named Manufacturing Vice President. They also were given those titles with Studebaker of Canada, Limited. At the time, I was Assistant Advertising and Public Relations Manager, reporting to Paul Durish, Advertising and Public Relations Manager. Paul was subsequently named Director of Advertising for both corporations. Paul resigned a few months into 1964 and I was named Director of Advertising and Public Relations. Messrs Grundy, Orr, Wilson, Moeser and Durish are all now deceased.

Stu Chapman
12-10-2012, 02:10 PM
You know, Stu, I think you guys' position in Hamilton defined the word bittersweet when the South Bend closure "came down," eh? :cool: BP



You got that right Bob!
Stu Chapman

Stu Chapman
12-10-2012, 02:19 PM
I was called into a meeting with our President, Gordon Grundy and Director of Marketing, Bob Orr with the confirmation and was directed to prepare the necessary press releases for Canada, which had already been developed by Joseph DeFranco and Bill Dredge in South Bend. Subsequent to the news release going out here, Gordon Grundy was named President, Studebaker Automotive Division, Bob Orr was named Marketing Vice President, Ralph Wilson was named Purchasing Vice President and Bill Moeser was named Manufacturing Vice President. They also were given those titles with Studebaker of Canada, Limited. At the time, I was Assistant Advertising and Public Relations Manager, reporting to Paul Durish, Advertising and Public Relations Manager. Paul was subsequently named Director of Advertising for both corporations. Paul resigned a few months into 1964 and I was named Director of Advertising and Public Relations. Messrs Grundy, Orr, Wilson, Moeser and Durish are all now deceased.

It's amazing how the mind works when things like this come up. I also remember that on December 4th or 5th, Bob Orr asked me if I knew how to reach Paul Durish, who at that time was away on a business trip. I did know where Paul was and Bob Orr contacted him and told him to fly home immediately. So clearly, in hindsight, Bob Orr already knew and had to ensure the appropriate staff were in position for the announcement. My guess would be that about 8-10 senior executives knew in advance.
Stu Chapman
Stu Chapman

1952stude
12-10-2012, 03:11 PM
Sure was a sad for all.I also lost my job at Studebakers. I was laid off before Dec.9 because the avanti line had run out of bodies.