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  • Blue 15G
    replied
    Joe, yes, that had to be Langer's dealership. Right near the famous "Horseshoe Bend" in West View on U.S. Rte. 19.

    Bill, when my Dad bought the Checker in March of '63 McKean Oldsmobile was in the city of Pittsburgh itself. Either East Liberty or Bloomfield, I'm not sure which. The PA turnpike is some distance away from there. I wasn't aware of a McKean Studebaker unless McKean was one of those "short lived" Studebaker dealers who only carried them for a short time in the early Lark era.

    As for the Checker, we loved it, but it wasn't "cool" by any stretch of the imagination. People were always intersted in looking it over though, just because it was so unusual.

    Interesting that you mentioned the Pitt connection to Studebaker. My Dad worked at Pitt and told me that he could buy a Studebaker through them at "Fleet Price", whatever that was. You are thinking of chancellor Litchfield, who died in the plane crash. I thought though that he was on Studebaker's board of directors, not his wife. But I could be wrong about that. Anyhow, it was through his connection to Studebaker that the offer was made to the Pitt employees.

    My Dad didn't take them up on it though, because he didn't care much for Studebakers. When I asked him why, he said he was happy with other makes of cars he always drove and it just never occurred to him to even consider one. One of his co-workers bought a '62 Lark V-8 through the Pitt deal, though. Dad says that this guy's complaint about that car was that he "couldn't keep tires on it". (Too many burnouts? ).

    Dave Bonn
    '54 Champion Starliner
    Valencia, PA

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  • jfh
    replied
    I grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. My dad bought a jeep at an old dealership somewhere around Horseshoe Bend on Perrysville Ave I know they used to carry Kaisers and willys. Was that the old packard dealership?

    Joe Heaney
    Waldoboro Maine

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  • jfh
    replied
    I grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. My dad bought a jeep at an old dealership somewhere around Horseshoe Bend on Perrysville Ave I know they used to carry Kaisers and willys. Was that the old packard dealership?

    Joe Heaney
    Waldoboro Maine

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  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    Blue 15G (Dave), your Dad had a '63 Checker Station Wagon? How cool! (Probably wasn't considered so then, though, was it? Probably right up there at the time with a Studebaker or Rambler!) I was in Kalamazoo, MI on business a few months back and looked in the phone book and there was still a listing for Checker Motors Corporation! A little searching on the net showed they now provided body stampings for Big 3 automakers.

    You mentioned McKean Oldsmobile. What road were they on, do you remember? A friend's '61 Lark Convertible was bought at "Mc Kean Studebaker" in Pittsburgh; the road name escapes me except that I know it crosses over the PA Turnpike at some point; I always remember seeing it when I go over that way! His car was tagged "University of Pittsburgh" on the production order; we later learned the President of Pitt back then was married to a lady who was on Studebaker's Board! The President later was killed in a small plane crash in northern PA in the late '60's I think it was. I cannot recall his name unfortunately.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

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  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    Blue 15G (Dave), your Dad had a '63 Checker Station Wagon? How cool! (Probably wasn't considered so then, though, was it? Probably right up there at the time with a Studebaker or Rambler!) I was in Kalamazoo, MI on business a few months back and looked in the phone book and there was still a listing for Checker Motors Corporation! A little searching on the net showed they now provided body stampings for Big 3 automakers.

    You mentioned McKean Oldsmobile. What road were they on, do you remember? A friend's '61 Lark Convertible was bought at "Mc Kean Studebaker" in Pittsburgh; the road name escapes me except that I know it crosses over the PA Turnpike at some point; I always remember seeing it when I go over that way! His car was tagged "University of Pittsburgh" on the production order; we later learned the President of Pitt back then was married to a lady who was on Studebaker's Board! The President later was killed in a small plane crash in northern PA in the late '60's I think it was. I cannot recall his name unfortunately.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

    Leave a comment:


  • Blue 15G
    replied
    Bob, thanks for the interesting post. The previous owner of my '54 Champion Hardtop told me that he bought it from your family's dealership in 1966. As I recall, I contacted you several years ago to see if any records were still in existence about its previous owner, etc., but you said you didn't have anything on it.

    I worked in North Hills, not far from your family's West View dealership from '81 to '89 and I can still remember the place. Unfortunately, I didn't stop in back then.

    The Zellsmann dealership in Butler I remember quite well. He carried Studebaker until the very end in '66, and serviced them for years after that. I looked at a '61 Lark for sale (elsewhere) when I was a high school senior in 1972, but it needed some work. I asked my local mechanic about parts, and he told me that Zellsmann's was still servicing Studebakers.

    I still recall going to visit Mr. Zellsmann, and at that time he was mainly selling new Datsuns (Nissan). But he pulled down the fold-out attic stairs, and let me follow him up there to look through his leftover Studebaker stock, of which he still had quite a lot! He also mentioned that he was still getting parts in from South Bend on a weekly basis. (I didn't buy that '61 by the way, which I could have had for $45.00!)

    Fast forward ten years later, I was fixing up a '60 Lark convertible I bought, and I phoned Zellsmann's again. The parts man at that time told me they had no Studebaker parts left. They sold them out to a man named Harold Hendricks of Punxatawney, PA, who back in the '70s was quite well known as a Studebaker parts supplier and enthusiast in the central and western PA area. He has since passed away.

    I don't think the Zellsmann dealership was in business much longer than 1982 or 1983. Mr. Zellsmann died around 1987, I'm pretty sure.

    Before Datsun, I know that they also carried various other obscure foreign makes in addition to Studebaker, but Studebaker was their main line. He was also a dealer for Checker, which is how I first found out about his dealership. My Dad had a '63 Checker station wagon which he had purchased new in Pittsburgh. Then he found out Zellsmann carried them too, and their dealership was a lot closer to us than the one in Pittsburgh. (McKean Oldsmobile).

    I never saw a Checker displayed at Zellsmann's, but I was there with my Dad several times in the mid to late '60s and I'd give anything to have pictures of all the Studebakers (and Packards, including the first Packard Hawk I had ever seen) that were there.

    His showroom only held one car, but he had lots of room for cars outside.

    Presently, a welding supply shop operates out of the old dealership. I still hope to stop by one of these days and talk the guy into pulling those attic steps down one more time to see if anything got left behind....

    Dave Bonn
    '54 Champion Starliner
    Valencia, PA

    Leave a comment:


  • Blue 15G
    replied
    Bob, thanks for the interesting post. The previous owner of my '54 Champion Hardtop told me that he bought it from your family's dealership in 1966. As I recall, I contacted you several years ago to see if any records were still in existence about its previous owner, etc., but you said you didn't have anything on it.

    I worked in North Hills, not far from your family's West View dealership from '81 to '89 and I can still remember the place. Unfortunately, I didn't stop in back then.

    The Zellsmann dealership in Butler I remember quite well. He carried Studebaker until the very end in '66, and serviced them for years after that. I looked at a '61 Lark for sale (elsewhere) when I was a high school senior in 1972, but it needed some work. I asked my local mechanic about parts, and he told me that Zellsmann's was still servicing Studebakers.

    I still recall going to visit Mr. Zellsmann, and at that time he was mainly selling new Datsuns (Nissan). But he pulled down the fold-out attic stairs, and let me follow him up there to look through his leftover Studebaker stock, of which he still had quite a lot! He also mentioned that he was still getting parts in from South Bend on a weekly basis. (I didn't buy that '61 by the way, which I could have had for $45.00!)

    Fast forward ten years later, I was fixing up a '60 Lark convertible I bought, and I phoned Zellsmann's again. The parts man at that time told me they had no Studebaker parts left. They sold them out to a man named Harold Hendricks of Punxatawney, PA, who back in the '70s was quite well known as a Studebaker parts supplier and enthusiast in the central and western PA area. He has since passed away.

    I don't think the Zellsmann dealership was in business much longer than 1982 or 1983. Mr. Zellsmann died around 1987, I'm pretty sure.

    Before Datsun, I know that they also carried various other obscure foreign makes in addition to Studebaker, but Studebaker was their main line. He was also a dealer for Checker, which is how I first found out about his dealership. My Dad had a '63 Checker station wagon which he had purchased new in Pittsburgh. Then he found out Zellsmann carried them too, and their dealership was a lot closer to us than the one in Pittsburgh. (McKean Oldsmobile).

    I never saw a Checker displayed at Zellsmann's, but I was there with my Dad several times in the mid to late '60s and I'd give anything to have pictures of all the Studebakers (and Packards, including the first Packard Hawk I had ever seen) that were there.

    His showroom only held one car, but he had lots of room for cars outside.

    Presently, a welding supply shop operates out of the old dealership. I still hope to stop by one of these days and talk the guy into pulling those attic steps down one more time to see if anything got left behind....

    Dave Bonn
    '54 Champion Starliner
    Valencia, PA

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    Bob, neat '56 from Zellsman's! Was that on the back of his business card?!

    I know this is a longer shot, but if you've read posts on here long you probably know that in Greenville, PA the dealer was Carl E. Filer Co. Any memory of them? I know Greenville is farther north and a small town (even then), but they sold Studebakers from 1926 'til the end.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    Bob, neat '56 from Zellsman's! Was that on the back of his business card?!

    I know this is a longer shot, but if you've read posts on here long you probably know that in Greenville, PA the dealer was Carl E. Filer Co. Any memory of them? I know Greenville is farther north and a small town (even then), but they sold Studebakers from 1926 'til the end.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Langer
    replied
    Gary, very funny,I guess I should have said under what circumstances was the car "driven" to PA.,or was it?

    Bill,I do remember Zellsmann.









    Bob Langer
    63 Avanti
    Glenshaw,PA


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  • Bob Langer
    replied
    Gary, very funny,I guess I should have said under what circumstances was the car "driven" to PA.,or was it?

    Bill,I do remember Zellsmann.









    Bob Langer
    63 Avanti
    Glenshaw,PA


    Leave a comment:


  • BobPalma
    replied
    quote:Originally posted by Dwain G.

    I had to check and see how you did that Bob. Wow! That was the ONLY '64 conv. produced exactly that way!

    Dwain G.
    Yeah; easier than you'd think, eh, Dwain?

    'Just run your finger down the list of engines and check out all the JTS-prefix numbers as they come up, there are so few of them. [V] Then look across until you find one with 2-2-B noted for colors and BINGO; there you have it! 'Took all of a couple minutes. It was easy because Bob Langer supplied specific color information.

    (Well, there goes the value of July 1986 Turning Wheels copies at swap meets; they'll start going for $20 apiece when you can find one! [:0][8D].) BP

    Leave a comment:


  • BobPalma
    replied
    quote:Originally posted by Dwain G.

    I had to check and see how you did that Bob. Wow! That was the ONLY '64 conv. produced exactly that way!

    Dwain G.
    Yeah; easier than you'd think, eh, Dwain?

    'Just run your finger down the list of engines and check out all the JTS-prefix numbers as they come up, there are so few of them. [V] Then look across until you find one with 2-2-B noted for colors and BINGO; there you have it! 'Took all of a couple minutes. It was easy because Bob Langer supplied specific color information.

    (Well, there goes the value of July 1986 Turning Wheels copies at swap meets; they'll start going for $20 apiece when you can find one! [:0][8D].) BP

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    About the Virginia convertible getting to your PA dealership...

    I sometimes forget that dealers back then traded cars, too, like today.

    My hometown dealer in Greenville, PA, north of Pittsburgh, sold '64 convertible 64V-5962, Bordeaux Red, black vinyl interior, white top, 4-speed, 289, bucket seats, but the production order says it was shipped to Buffalo, NY (dealer name Advance Studebaker, I'm pretty sure). I had to laugh, I spoke to the selling dealer the other day (born in 1929) and while he doesn't remember the purchaser of the car, he remembers it was in their two-car showroom. He said, "I remember it being sharp and had a black stripe down the side". At first I thought, "Well, he's not remembering that right", then it hit me, he meant the Daytona side moldings that had the black paint down the center, unlike all other '64 Studebakers! Ironically, the purchaser of that convertible also bought a new '64 V8 Commander 2-door sedan from the same dealer, according to sales records in the SNM archives.

    Bob, do you remember Zellsman Studebaker in Butler? Dave Bonn who posts on this forum remembers it well, and I know that Westmoreland Studebaker (restoration shop) in Blairsville, PA has Zellsman's big lighted Studebaker signs on one of their buildings now.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    About the Virginia convertible getting to your PA dealership...

    I sometimes forget that dealers back then traded cars, too, like today.

    My hometown dealer in Greenville, PA, north of Pittsburgh, sold '64 convertible 64V-5962, Bordeaux Red, black vinyl interior, white top, 4-speed, 289, bucket seats, but the production order says it was shipped to Buffalo, NY (dealer name Advance Studebaker, I'm pretty sure). I had to laugh, I spoke to the selling dealer the other day (born in 1929) and while he doesn't remember the purchaser of the car, he remembers it was in their two-car showroom. He said, "I remember it being sharp and had a black stripe down the side". At first I thought, "Well, he's not remembering that right", then it hit me, he meant the Daytona side moldings that had the black paint down the center, unlike all other '64 Studebakers! Ironically, the purchaser of that convertible also bought a new '64 V8 Commander 2-door sedan from the same dealer, according to sales records in the SNM archives.

    Bob, do you remember Zellsman Studebaker in Butler? Dave Bonn who posts on this forum remembers it well, and I know that Westmoreland Studebaker (restoration shop) in Blairsville, PA has Zellsman's big lighted Studebaker signs on one of their buildings now.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

    Leave a comment:

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