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Is Studebaker exotic?

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  • Is Studebaker exotic?

    I told Stu Chapman once that my first Studebaker encounter I can remember was when I stumbled across an abandoned '64 sedan in the woods on the other side of the hill I lived on when I was about 13. At that time the car was only about 11 years old and was in solid shape. Anyway, what intrigued me was the fact it was not a product of the big 3. It had a name I had heard of vaguely - Studebaker. I really liked the styling. Because it was a rare car, even then, it had an aura of the exotic to me. I distinctly remember thinking about it not like just any old car, but something unique and special. It was a little like touching a piece of an alternate universe.

    I wonder if anyone else has had this kind of experience. I'm sure some must have had. It's one thing to have a show-worthy example grab your attention, but an abandoned car (and a four door at that (I'm teasing))?
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

  • #2
    I, too was 13 when I had my first known Stude encounter. It was a shabby but exotic looking black car parked alone on a street on my paper route in Sterling Twp. MI. Every house had a driveway but this tired looking but intriguing car sat isolated for ever.
    There was something about it that made me stop and look every time I rode my bike past. Everybody had a Ford or Chevy but this car invented cool!

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    • #3
      When I was 1,5 - 3,5 years "old" my parents had a -55 Commander coupe & that's my first memory of Studebaker & ever since then I've had a "magic" feeling when ever I come close to one, to me Studebaker ARE magic cars, the feeling never faded so far.
      & I also remember every single one I ever saw until later years when this club & meeting thing started, still the same feeling but I mostly remember the old experiences.

      Now reading others I just "have to" ad that as a kid it was the 57-58 Silver Hawks I loved most, & when I was 9 years old we spent x-mas & new year in Israel & there I saw a Starlight bullet nose for the first time & I just couldn't grip the strangeness of it looks, even thou there was loads of 50's US cars in traffic there then, mostly as taxis.
      The thing that I still value the most is the fender vent doors, the pretty rear side window on coupe's, the shape of the 53 & up rear bumper (especially the early with the frame over the license plate, I wanna put one on my -55!), the panorama rear window & also the ribbed Hawk trunks.
      Pretty details that keeps Studebakers WAY above other cars!
      Last edited by Noxnabaker; 05-16-2017, 12:55 PM.

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      • #4
        I'd say the Avanti has an exotic look.
        The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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        • #5
          I had the same feeling the first time I saw my Studebaker. It made my pulse quicken and I knew I was looking at something special. I just had to have it! Studebaker was out of business years before I was born. I guess that added to the feeling of exotic!
          sigpic
          1961 Flamingo Studebaker Hawk

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          • #6
            I'm glad it isn't just me.
            "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Scott View Post
              I told Stu Chapman once that my first Studebaker encounter I can remember was when I stumbled across an abandoned '64 sedan in the woods on the other side of the hill I lived on when I was about 13. At that time the car was only about 11 years old and was in solid shape. Anyway, what intrigued me was the fact it was not a product of the big 3. It had a name I had heard of vaguely - Studebaker. I really liked the styling. Because it was a rare car, even then, it had an aura of the exotic to me. I distinctly remember thinking about it not like just any old car, but something unique and special. It was a little like touching a piece of an alternate universe.

              I wonder if anyone else has had this kind of experience. I'm sure some must have had. It's one thing to have a show-worthy example grab your attention, but an abandoned car (and a four door at that (I'm teasing))?
              Those of you who read my book may recollect I became hooked on Studebaker shortly after the end of World War II when our neighborhood doctor acquired a 1947 Land Cruiser. When you remember what every other car looked like then, this Land Cruiser was truly exotic. Remember, first by far with a postwar car.

              Stu Chapman

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              • #8
                I learned to read in the backseat of a Starlight Coupe going down the road, "see Jane run, see jack fall down," a simple primmer. I use to slip out at night and set in the backseat and gaze at the stars through that beautiful rear window--- felt like I was in a spaceship, have loved them ever since!
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stu Chapman View Post
                  Those of you who read my book may recollect I became hooked on Studebaker shortly after the end of World War II when our neighborhood doctor acquired a 1947 Land Cruiser. When you remember what every other car looked like then, this Land Cruiser was truly exotic. Remember, first by far with a postwar car.

                  Stu Chapman
                  I didn't realize that there was yet another similarity between us. I think that it must have been late 1946 and I was walking down the street with some friends. There was a new 1947 five passenger coupe (later Starlight) parked at the curb. I had to stop, walk around it and examine it. The other guys just wanted to keep going. I met and later corresponded with the guy that came up with "First by Far With a Postwar Car" for the advertising agency. This was probably about 1973 and he couldn't believe that anyone remembered his slogan.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                  • #10
                    Fell in love with the first Studebaker I ever saw. It was a 49 2r15 that my parents saw advertised in a local paper, when I was 12. Parents took me to see it because I did not know what a Studebaker was. We drove it home that night with no brakes, my dad driving and me operating the emergency brake when we had to stop. Still have that beautiful truck. Never will let it go. It looked exotic to me, like nothing I had ever seen before.

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                    • #11
                      A number of Studes come close to exotic in their body designs. There are some really good looking studes from the thirties including my 39. Then there is the evergorgeous 53/54 CKs and some of the hawks and the Avanti.
                      Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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                      • #12
                        I came home in a 47 Studebaker as a newborn baby in 1952. I have a vivid memory a few years later when I was 3 years old of ripping up the cloth material on the front seat of that car. Beneath the material I saw a clean smooth foam material that looked great. I thought I was helping the family by "fixing" the seat. Needless to say, I got into big trouble. My mom was actually happy because we had to get a new car because of that and the Stude was getting tired anyway. My dad was not so happy because he had to cough up for a new car. The new car was a 55 Plymouth. My dad never bought another Studebaker. My sister and I used to play in the Studebaker a lot. When the Plymouth appeared in the garage, playing in the car didn't seem as fun. Not sure if it was because it wasn't as unique and special as the Stude or because the sting of getting into trouble still lingered.

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                        • #13
                          Just registered my '63 Avanti R2 for the Snohomish Car Show in the "Exotic/Unique" class. Can't compete against muscle cars and what I like about the Snohomish car show is that the entrants vote. Got beat out last year by a Jeep but I got to keep trying for the nephews, 6 & 8.

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                          • #14
                            the first time I saw a GT hawk, 7yrs ago I bought one, I don't recall seeing any GT hawks growing up in St.Paul, MN plenty of studes but no GT hawks, but there was an Avanti in my neighborhood
                            Mark Riesch
                            New Bern, NC

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                            • #15
                              My maternal grandfather always drove Studebakers; and when he passed away I received his '62 Lark VI Regal four door. It had only been six years since production ceased but, there was an aura surrounding it that I was drawn to. It was perfectly functional, logical, maintainable. Little did I know at the time it would also exhibit mystical qualities that would transcend design, character, quality, history, engineering; and a gateway to the development of a network of friends of all persuasions. Bless you all.
                              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                              '33 Rockne 10,
                              '51 Commander Starlight,
                              '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                              '56 Sky Hawk

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