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Kliment Bros. Studebaker Dealership

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  • Kliment Bros. Studebaker Dealership

    Many of you may remember Kliment Brothers Studebaker in Forest Hills (Pittsburgh) PA. Pete Kliment kept the parts and service end of the business going until a few years ago, and there are "urban legends" about the "brand new" Studebaker that still graced the showroom floor. Pete and his wife, Rose, are still regulars at Reedsville and York.

    The dealership has now become a restaurant, and a review was published in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
    Based on the review, it sounds like the building was better off as a Studebaker dealership!

    Jim Bradley
    Lewistown PA
    '64 Daytona HT "Rerun"
    Jim Bradley
    Lake Monticello, VA
    '78 Avanti II

  • #2
    Yes Jim, I definitely agree that Pete should have kept the dealership open! What a great place it was. Like stepping back in time.

    Kliment's was the last surviving Studebaker dealership in Pittsburgh, PA. And it survived at least into the late 1990s. The showroom held a '51 (?) business coupe (it had a '52 front clip). And all the fixtures, signs, etc. were just as they had been when Studebaker was still building cars.

    Pete Kliment came through for me with parts many times. It was always fun to find an excuse to go there, even though it was a bit of a trip from my house.

    Dave Bonn
    Valencia, PA
    '54 Champion starliner


    • #3
      Kliment Brothers, what a great place. And Pete Kliment, what a great guy.

      As a college kid in the Pittsburgh area in the mid-80's, driving a '63 Cruiser as my daily driver, I was surprised one day to find a building with a large Studebaker sign painted on the wall. I was even more surprised to find an operating Studebaker dealership (not selling, but repairing) inside. What a wonderful place to get my car worked on by someone who knew what they were doing and didn't charge an arm-and-a-leg for it.

      I drove past there last year on a visit to the area, and found that it was gone. (The Cruiser is still running well and still lives in my garage.)


      • #4
        I met Pete in 1975. He always had whatever I wanted for my 1960 Lark. I was amazed with him and his place. He would come to my home town once a week {Weirton West Virginia} on Wednesday evenings to buy a box of DiCarlos pizza. Usually in his 60 Lark with his buddy Dennis. Sometimes they would come in Dennis's 54 Merc. 80 mile round trip.
        Pete is a living legend. The original good guy. jimmijim
        sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member


        • #5
          Pete was great. I loved stopping in when I needed something. Having been in the restaurant business for a "moment". I think the guy is going to wish he left it as a Studebaker garage.

          "I know nothing"

          Sargent Schultz


          • #6
            My second car was a 1951 Studebaker four door purchased for $25 in 1969 from Skip Stewart's junk yard near State College, PA when I was an engineering student there. I was still driving my first car, a $50 1948 Plymouth, so I graduated college owning two old cars which was kind of foreshadowing for the rest of my life. The Studebaker had been junked, but if a junked car had a chance of ever being on the road again Skip Stewart would sell it.

            The Studebaker had a very tired engine, the brake pedal rested on the floor, and no exhaust system but when I tuned the ignition key and pressed clutch pedal down the engine cranked and started accompanied by large clouds of oil smoke coming from under the hood. But the bullet nose styling was so cool, I had to have it. I towed the Studebaker to my parents' home in Pittsburgh with the Plymouth and "surprised" them with it. Not a particularly welcome surprise! That engine went through oil like it had a hole in the oil pan.

            I packed all I owned in the Studebaker and moved to Erie, PA for my first engineering job.

            One day I was driving on I-79 from Erie to Pittsburgh when the engine just quit. I hitchhiked to Pittsburgh and came back the next day to check out the Stude. I found it had no spark, and on further investigation revealed the distributor was not rotating. I towed it to my parents' home again.

            The Studebaker engine had a steel gear on the crankshaft that dove a fiber gear on the camshaft and several teeth on the fiber gear were found to be missing. Using a gear puller, the fiber gear broke. Kilment Brothers Studebaker was still in business in the early 1970s selling parts and repairing cars. The steel hub on the camshaft was thin at the keyway and it looked to an untrained mechanic like a few "taps" with a cold chisel would split the hub. Wrong! It broke the end off the camshaft.

            Back to Kliment's to return the gear. However they had a 1958 Lark VI with a good engine that they sold be for $10. Some parts like the crankshaft and water pump pulleys and the generator had to be swapped off the 1951 engine to work with the 6 volt electrical system and the flywheel had to be swapped as Studebaker had changed the number of teeth on the ring gear when they went to the 12 volt system.

            We were told to get it ready to pull and when that was done Kilment's brought out the Studebaker wrecker and lifted the engine out of the Lark and into my friend's truck. That was a good engine.

            Those were the good old days.

            Rich Hall


            • #7
              Anyone have a photo of this dealership? Thanks.
              Richard Quinn
              Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review


              • #8
                Originally posted by Studebaker Wheel View Post
                Anyone have a photo of this dealership? Thanks.
                Here are two of five from Bob Johnstone's website.

                Bob Langer