Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Studebaker quality compared to other brands

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Studebaker quality compared to other brands

    I had my 50 Commander radiator at the radiator shop for a checkout and repair of a loose brace. This radiator has never been out of the car.

    The radiator shop owner pointed out something interesting to me. He said, look at the Studebaker radiator with the "Dutch" seam on the top tank, look at the brass overflow tube and feel the weight. He then had me look at a 50 Chevy radiator he had in for repair. He said instead of the dutch seam they had a seam prone to leaking, the overflow tube was steel and rusted, and the weight was around half.

    I then went over to look again at his restored 50 Chev pickup that his grandpa and dad had used in the business and now is used for advertising.
    Milt

    1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
    1961 Hawk 4-speed
    1967 Avanti
    1961 Lark 2 door
    1988 Avanti Convertible

    Member of SDC since 1973

  • #2
    Woody Guthrie wrote a song about fishing, and pulling up "a Ford radiator and a Chevrolet coupe", as though they were about the same weight.
    Mike

    Comment


    • #3
      Kind of a misleading question...
      Yes, Studebaker was the #4 automaker when they stopped producing vehicles.
      But Studebaker, just like all the automakers, purchased components from vendors.
      Sometimes, the product specifics (like the seam you mention) could be totally different, but acceptable,
      as long as the product met the engineering and bid spec's.
      I find it a tad ludicrous to toss the whole company (any company) into one pot because of one vendor items lack of quality, or failure.
      Not a slam.... Just an opinion...
      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

      Jeff


      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

      Comment


      • #4
        As much as we love our Studebakers, we have to face the fact that they were not the best built cars, especially the later years, in the eyes of the general public. The examples I always hear:
        Flimsy bumpers (how many 66 chevy's do you see with bent up bumpers (from the jack) compared to a late Studebaker.

        Water leaks (how many other brands depended so heavily on seam sealer (I think it was called dum dum back in the day) to plug the gaps & holes).

        Oil consumption (when I was a kid, Studebaker had stopped making cars & every used one in my area smoked like crazy....it was the running joke that if you saw blue smoke down the road, it was a Studebaker (now my opinion is the root cause of the smoke was owner abuse....trying to drive a car designed for ecomomy beyond it's limits....).

        I'm not knocking our brand, I'm just expressing what I think were poor cultural decisions made by management (people trade every three years, don't they....why put more effort into the integrity of the car???).

        I may be all wet, but these are my thoughts. I have worked in the automotive industry most of my career. I can tell you there used to be a significant difference between the big three brands in the amount of research & development time & money put into new vehicles & engines. I can extrapolate these observations down stream to imagine how much (little) money Studebaker engineers had to execute their tasks.
        Mike Sal

        Comment


        • #5
          It was not the lack of quality, but the lack to progress in quality. If its not broke, don't fix it attitude.

          A car company that had brake and clutch pedals going through the floor in 63, and the gas pedal still through the floor until they closed, when every other did away with that in 56!

          A horrible door latch system with four catch points opposed to others 8 catches, and that door strike that last about two years.

          Fuses? What are those?

          And lastly, king pins.

          But I still enjoy them. The idea you take parts from a 55's Studebaker and put them on your 64 is quite a bragging right ( I guess..)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
            Kind of a misleading question...
            Yes, Studebaker was the #4 automaker when they stopped producing vehicles.
            But Studebaker, just like all the automakers, purchased components from vendors.
            Sometimes, the product specifics (like the seam you mention) could be totally different, but acceptable,
            as long as the product met the engineering and bid spec's.
            I find it a tad ludicrous to toss the whole company (any company) into one pot because of one vendor items lack of quality, or failure.
            Not a slam.... Just an opinion...
            Studebaker would have been the number 5 producer behind GM, Ford, Chrysler and American Motors.
            Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

            The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

            �Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.� E. Joseph Cossman

            For every mile of road, there are 2 miles of ditch. ���

            "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"

            Comment


            • #7
              Many years ago I was talking to a long-time Studebaker dealer about the cars. He had seen the writing on the wall and took on a Ford franchise in addition to his Studebaker franchise. He told me that his warranty and new car preparation costs were much higher for Fords than for Studebakers.
              Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
              '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Guido View Post
                Studebaker would have been the number 5 producer behind GM, Ford, Chrysler and American Motors.
                Agree. However, in 1955-56, S-P used to advertise that they were the fourth biggest American manufacturer of cars and trucks. At the time, AMC did not build trucks. A fine distinction.
                Skip Lackie

                Comment


                • #9
                  In the 60's I spent over a year parking cars in Hollywood at fancy restaurants that had valet parking. I had an opportunity to drive thousands of cars, albeit short drives. I drove Studebakers and Packards in those days. I was often appalled at the poor quality of other makes compared to what I drove. Headlight switches that came off in my hand on Lincolns, poor fit and finish on Cadillacs, Fords that would pop out of park and roll away, GM cars that rattled, etc. It always felt good to go home at the end of the day in my Studebaker. Just my experience.
                  Ed Sallia
                  Dundee, OR

                  Sol Lucet Omnibus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SScopelli View Post
                    It was not the lack of quality, but the lack to progress in quality. If its not broke, don't fix it attitude.

                    A car company that had brake and clutch pedals going through the floor in 63, and the gas pedal still through the floor until they closed, when every other did away with that in 56!

                    A horrible door latch system with four catch points opposed to others 8 catches, and that door strike that last about two years.

                    Fuses? What are those?

                    And lastly, king pins.

                    But I still enjoy them. The idea you take parts from a 55's Studebaker and put them on your 64 is quite a bragging right ( I guess..)
                    Stude actually went to a suspended gas pedal mid 65. Avantis have fuses. Corvette still used king pins until after the 62 model. I agree, that the door latch probably did them in!
                    Bez Auto Alchemy
                    573-318-8948
                    http://bezautoalchemy.com


                    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      fuses? my newer vehicles have fuses.

                      and didn't Studebaker "borrow" the Mercedes-Benz superior door latch design for Avantis?
                      Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                      '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                      '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How ca you tell if a Studebaker has been restored? It has good panel gaps...
                        Tom - Bradenton, FL

                        1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                        1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My dad always believed Studebaker's were poorly made cars because the front fenders would rust out (along the rear seam) in about two years (his words) up here in salt country.

                          When I showed him my newly purchased 1951 Commander his first comment was, "I don't know what you bought one of those for", implying they weren't very good cars. However after taking a few trips in the 51 he finally said to me "you know these are pretty good cars".

                          There's a well known quote from an airline executive (Tom Peters "In Search of Excellence") that "Coffee stains on the flip-down trays mean that we do our engine maintenance wrong". Likewise rusty fenders implied poorly built cars. Sadly Studebaker didn't take action to fix the problem and the damage was done.
                          Dan Peterson
                          Montpelier, VT
                          1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
                          1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sometimes i like to compare cars to the bikes we rode as kids... I would not call studebaker a schwinn , but i certainly would not call it a Huffy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Quality control back in the '50s and '60s was inconsistent on all makes of cars, owing to typical mass production methods and human behavior on the line. Studebakers were increasingly perceived as future orphans thus resale values plummeted; so Studes were often driven into the ground especially the cheaper models. Actually many makes of used cars became clunkers as they were available for little money and why spend money on oil changes when the car cost $50?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X