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  • Another Studebaker Anniversary

    This afternoon, 53 years ago, I had to make the dreaded announcement to the media that Studebaker would no longer build automobiles.

    This is always a sad day and one we will never forget.

    Stu Chapman

  • #2
    Stu:. Was it possible to order a new Stude after the announcement, or were all orders cut off?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RegalChampion View Post
      Stu:. Was it possible to order a new Stude after the announcement, or were all orders cut off?
      Yes it was but I don't believe it extended to dealer orders. I know of the vehicles framed after March 4th, all for company cars. These included Cruisers for Tom Pryde, General Sales Manager and Ed Hudson, Customs Manager, plus of course the last Studebaker.

      Stu Chapman

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Stu Chapman View Post
        Yes it was but I don't believe it extended to dealer orders. I know of the vehicles framed after March 4th, all for company cars. These included Cruisers for Tom Pryde, General Sales Manager and Ed Hudson, Customs Manager, plus of course the last Studebaker.

        Stu Chapman

        Stu,

        What model was the very last one built? Does anyone know what happened to the car, where it is?
        Bo

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        • #5
          Click image for larger version

Name:	24DB9582-836E-4EB6-8947-8ECF61DFB9FF.jpg
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Size:	11.4 KB
ID:	1725622This picture was taken on the afternoon shift March 16th , this was not an official picture but was taken by an employee with an instamatic camera . This is the final car down the line a Cruiser that is now in the museum in SB.
          sigpic

          Home of the Fried Green Tomato

          "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

          1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bo Markham View Post
            Stu,

            What model was the very last one built? Does anyone know what happened to the car, where it is?
            As Bob has pointed out in post 5 the last car reposes proudly on display in the Studebaker National Museum. Although the car was substantially completed when photographed on March 16,1966 the official completion date was March 17 and the rolled off the line shortly after 8 am on that date

            But there is much more to its story. A service car was needed by Corporate Controller Ed Dunbar in the months has following our closing and that last car saw some 18,000 miles put on it including some winter driving on Ontario's salted roads. The corporate intention was to donate the car to the City of South Bend along with the Studebaker historical collection. But South Bend really didn't know what to do with it so it went into less than desirable storage at Gates Chevrolet in South Bend for several years. Acting on a tip SDC member Denton Wright and I obtained access to it and confirmed it was the actual car, while at the same time were disgusted with its deterioration. We then contacted the late Phil Brown of the Michiana Chapter and we collectively organized a preservation fund drive.

            The end result can now be seen in the Museum alongside the last South Bend produced Studebaker.

            Stu Chapman

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Stu Chapman View Post
              This afternoon, 53 years ago, I had to make the dreaded announcement to the media that Studebaker would no longer build automobiles.

              This is always a sad day and one we will never forget.

              Stu Chapman
              Mr. Chapman,

              I know that you and all the other dedicated Studebaker Automotive division employees put your heart and soul in building and selling "our" cars. I know the dedication to the Studebaker Drivers Club you also have placed in loyalty to our club may have given you some satisfaction that 53 years later, Studebaker lives on.

              Thank you SIR!

              Bob Miles
              Pacific Southwest Zone Coordinator

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stu Chapman View Post
                This afternoon, 53 years ago, I had to make the dreaded announcement to the media that Studebaker would no longer build automobiles.

                This is always a sad day and one we will never forget.

                Stu Chapman
                Stu, I have dismantled numerous 65/66 cars. There are numerous small functional and detail improvements compared to 64's. It is a shame that production did not continue as the build quality of 66 models was excellent. I hope all the Hamilton employees are proud of what they built. They surely did not cause the closing.
                james r pepper

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                • #9
                  Thank you to Bob Miles and Jim Pepper for your kind remarks. As a side note my love for Studebaker began in 1947 when our neighbor Doctor purchase a new Land Cruiser.. That's 72 years ago.

                  Stu Chapman

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stu Chapman View Post
                    Thank you to Bob Miles and Jim Pepper for your kind remarks. As a side note my love for Studebaker began in 1947 when our neighbor Doctor purchase a new Land Cruiser.. That's 72 years ago.

                    Stu Chapman
                    That is another similarity with me. As I have mentioned here before, I was really taken when I first (probably late 1946) saw a 1947 five passenger coupe (later referred to as a Starlight). My interest in Studebakers was greatly increased with two new 1953s bought by friends (a Champion Starlight and a Commander Starliner that I later bought).
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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