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View Full Version : December 9th, Black Monday



Chris_Dresbach
12-08-2013, 11:21 PM
Fifty years ago today is when our favorite auto maker made the announcement that they would be closing, a day that is forever grim in the minds of every South Bend native. In that time South Bend has been through some tough times, but we seem to be heading in the direction to get back on track with things, it just takes a lot of time. For being an orphan make, I think the SDC is very fortunate, probably lucky, and blessed to have such a huge following so many years after the last car rolled off the assembly line; and what I find most amazing is that we're still growing. The past (in 1963) was grim, but the future looks bright, and I'm proud to be part of this club. But for this moment, we should never forget what happened 50 years ago today. Lets keep those wheels rollin' for at least another 50 years.

56H-Y6
12-09-2013, 08:10 AM
Well said, Chris! Mourn what was lost, perpetuate what remains!

Commander Eddie
12-09-2013, 08:57 AM
I'm in. I was 12 years old when they closed the South Bend plant. My family owned Studebakers but the closing did not get noticed in our household until dad went to buy another new car and came home with with an AMC Javelin. We knew then something bad must have happened. No more NEW Studebakers. It suddenly seemed that a valued member of the family had died.
But they live on and I feel great knowing there is a big following and I still see them now and again on the road. Everyone in my town has seen my Commander and Champ truck plying the local roads. Every time I stop at a store or the gas station they come up to me to tell me they have seen them around town and are happy to finally meet the owner. I make new friends every day in my Studebakers.
Another 50 years? You bet!

alex54
12-09-2013, 10:12 AM
I was -10 when South Bend closed. I like cars of all types, and became pretty good at identifying the "everyday" classics. I really don't remember Studebakers at all growing up. I did grow up far from big cities where they may have been more common. I can say that I see many more today than I ever did my whole life. Now, I am a proud Studebaker owner who is younger than Studebaker--at least the non Avanti II.

rbruner
12-09-2013, 10:44 AM
Today also marks the opening of my wife's business, "Hamilton Consignments". The Champ doors have been lettered by a sign company & the truck sits proudly in front of her newly renovated shop. It's been a long time in the planning & completion process. Building has been boarded up 7 years.
What better time to give a nod to Studebaker & its legacy. Will post pics when the fog clears. Hamilton Consignments has a Facebook page in the meanwhile. When in Charleston, stop in & say hey!

WinM1895
12-09-2013, 10:58 AM
I was -10 when South Bend closed. I like cars of all types, and became pretty good at identifying the "everyday" classics. I really don't remember Studebakers at all growing up. I did grow up far from big cities where they may have been more common. I can say that I see many more today than I ever did my whole life.

Now, I am a proud Studebaker owner who is younger than Studebaker--at least the non Avanti II.
Every SDC member is younger than Studebaker...since it was founded in 1852!

Stu Chapman
12-09-2013, 11:41 AM
Fifty years ago today is when our favorite auto maker made the announcement that they would be closing, a day that is forever grim in the minds of every South Bend native. In that time South Bend has been through some tough times, but we seem to be heading in the direction to get back on track with things, it just takes a lot of time. For being an orphan make, I think the SDC is very fortunate, probably lucky, and blessed to have such a huge following so many years after the last car rolled off the assembly line; and what I find most amazing is that we're still growing. The past (in 1963) was grim, but the future looks bright, and I'm proud to be part of this club. But for this moment, we should never forget what happened 50 years ago today. Lets keep those wheels rollin' for at least another 50 years.

Chris, I really appreciate your very well thought out dedication to this anniversary. As you can appreciate, this day will be always remembered by me, having had a significant position in the release of this sad news 50 years ago today. I only wish I was able to get to South Bend on December 20th for the commemoration there at the Studebaker National Museum, but my thoughts will be with all of you on that day as well.

Stu Chapman

52 Ragtop
12-09-2013, 11:52 AM
Today also marks the opening of my wife's business, "Hamilton Consignments". The Champ doors have been lettered by a sign company & the truck sits proudly in front of her newly renovated shop. It's been a long time in the planning & completion process. Building has been boarded up 7 years.
What better time to give a nod to Studebaker & its legacy. Will post pics when the fog clears. Hamilton Consignments has a Facebook page in the meanwhile. When in Charleston, stop in & say hey!

Dang it! We were just in Charleston a week ago! Had to stop in and have some good food at High Cotton! We arrived about 7:15 in the evening, and we were gone by 8 am Sunday morning. Next time we're down that way, we'll be sure to look you up.

Jim

57pack
12-09-2013, 07:00 PM
Remember Dec 8 1963 very well. Upon hearing
of the South Bend Studebaker plant closing,
My Dad told me to grab my coat as he was
going to Przywara Motors to purchase a new
Studebaker. We came home with a 1964 Commander.
Now we had a 1955 Champion at that time
that became my Mom's car/taxi to take us
to school and trips to the A&P.
Chris, I'm doing my best to perpetuate the
Studebaker / Packard Automobile brand.
Restoring my 57 Packard Clipper wagon and
getting my Wagonaire back on the road.

alex54
12-10-2013, 01:56 PM
Every SDC member is younger than Studebaker...since it was founded in 1852!

Ok, you got me there.

I meant I am younger than the youngest Studebaker....by 10 years.

One of the earliest impressions that I remember is Vintage air's "cool 200" 53. I think it was featured on a hot rod magazine a good while back. That pretty much solidified my goal to own one.

Warren Webb
12-10-2013, 02:15 PM
I was 16. That day I was visiting friends that lived next door to my grandmother. Their father had just bought a new Rambler American 440 hardtop with the Twin Stick trans. They were bad mouthing Studebaker, putting it down saying it was shutting down. I stuck up for our brand noting that all were to be built in Hamilton, a newer factory that was able to make a profit at a much lower scale. Then I pointed out that if they had bought a Studebaker they could have had a "real" floor shift in the 4 speed that was offered!

Studedude1961
12-13-2013, 01:27 AM
I was two when Studebaker shut down in South Bend and remember nothing. What is amazing is Studebaker lives through one of the finest owner clubs out there. As long as we are we, Studebaker lives!