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View Full Version : 50 years ago today - The Closing and how it went down - Lots of photos



Studebaker Wheel
12-09-2013, 02:44 AM
It was 50 years ago today that Studebaker announced the closing of the South Bend operation. The story has been told and retold and few are still around today who were still actively employed when the end came suddenly. The workers, media and the general public were notified in various ways as the attachments will attest:
Images 1-2-3-4: The press services were on hand to photograph hourly workers leaving the plant and these appeared with captions in newspapers and magazines nationwide.
Images 5-6-7: The official press release by Joseph DeFranco (public relations head) sent to all media outlets.
Image 8: Mimeographed page handed out to hourly employees on 12-10.
Image 9: Letter sent to employees by Byers Burlingame.
Image 10: Telegram sent to all dealers, Division Presidents and most salaried executives. To follow.

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Studebaker Wheel
12-09-2013, 03:39 AM
This is a cable that was sent to Canada Cycle and Motor Co. the Studebaker assembler in Australia. The "Chapman" mentioned in the first line was the general Mgr of the facility who had negotiated the assembly deal back in 1959. From the Jim Quigley collection. Jim worked at the facility and, in fact, helped assemble the last Studebaker (a GM powered V8 sedan) in late 1966.
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jimmijim8
12-09-2013, 03:43 AM
Thanks for sharing. cheers jimmijim

bosshoss61
12-09-2013, 06:13 AM
The letter is a good one...So the Studebaker name has been around since 1851, according to the letter. what was produced back then- the wagons I hear about?

bosshoss61
12-09-2013, 06:21 AM
When did the Canadian plant start to build Studebakers? And what were they doing right--- that could not have been transferred to the U.S. plant before the U.S. plant got in trouble many years ago?:(

jclary
12-09-2013, 06:49 AM
It is the rich history of Studebaker that captured and has kept my interest for the decades I have been a member. More than any car or artifact of the corporation...it is the legacy of the enterprise that reflects our progression as a nation, a people, and is woven into the very fabric of our collective character.:)

8E45E
12-09-2013, 06:57 AM
We can also add Leonard Shepherd's (and a couple of others') contributions here as well: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?9439-44-Years-ago-a-sad-time-for-Studebaker

Craig

56H-Y6
12-09-2013, 08:01 AM
Hi

Thanks Richard for posting the documents, they're very illuminating of the hardest day South Bend experienced. On Black Monday Plus Fifty, it's good to remember and mark this anniversary.

Steve

Skip Lackie
12-09-2013, 08:25 AM
When did the Canadian plant start to build Studebakers? And what were they doing right--- that could not have been transferred to the U.S. plant before the U.S. plant got in trouble many years ago?:(
That cannot be answered adequately here -- whole books have been written about why Studebaker lost money for years and quit the automobile business. Stude had been building vehicles in Canada since at least the 1930s (haven't time to look it up right now). The SB plant was old, inefficient, and needed to build ~100K vehicles a year to break even. The Hamilton plant was much smaller, modern, and the break-even point was supposed to be around 30K vehicles a year.

Stu Chapman
12-09-2013, 11:56 AM
When did the Canadian plant start to build Studebakers? And what were they doing right--- that could not have been transferred to the U.S. plant before the U.S. plant got in trouble many years ago?:(

The Hamilton plant began building Studebakers in 1948. Our profitability factor was directly related to a much more modern facility.

Stu Chapman

Stu Chapman
12-09-2013, 12:01 PM
This is a cable that was sent to Canada Cycle and Motor Co. the Studebaker assembler in Australia. The "Chapman" mentioned in the first line was the general Mgr of the facility who had negotiated the assembly deal back in 1959. From the Jim Quigley collection. Jim worked at the facility and, in fact, helped assemble the last Studebaker (a GM powered V8 sedan) in late 1966.
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Before anyone asks, the Chapman at CCM in Australia was not related to me. At least as far as I know.

Stu Chapman

Stu Chapman
12-09-2013, 12:03 PM
Wonderful piece Richard. It brings back so many memories. Thank you for this effort.

Stu Chapman

sochocki
12-09-2013, 12:53 PM
Thanks Dick! I was only 11 years old when this happened (only a few miles from my home), but I was way too young to realize the importance of the event. My dad never owned a Studebaker, but most of my relatives did at one time or another. My paternal grandfather retired from the foundry in 1955 (but never owned ANY car), and I had numerous uncles, cousins, etc. work at "Stoodies." My wife's family was also well represented as employees of the Corporation.

Studebaker Wheel
12-09-2013, 01:57 PM
The Hamilton plant began building Studebakers in 1948. Our profitability factor was directly related to a much more modern facility.

Stu Chapman

Actually Studebaker assembled cars at their Walkerville, Ontario plant from 1910 thru 1936. During that period 65,503 vehicles were assembled, mostly for export. Details on the Canadian operation can be found in the March 1986 issue of TW.

2R5
12-09-2013, 03:27 PM
As Richard mentioned ....here's a Cdn rad emblem that's sitting on a car out in the SW US desert , think its a 1926 model.
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l300/2R5/Canadianrademblem_zps1b11f6ef.jpg

HAWK64
12-09-2013, 06:03 PM
Actually Studebaker assembled cars at their Walkerville, Ontario plant from 1910 thru 1936. During that period 65,503 vehicles were assembled, mostly for export. Details on the Canadian operation can be found in the March 1986 issue of TW.

I have one of those radiator shaped employee badges from the twenties with Walkerville stamped on it plus the employee's number.