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History of SASCO, SS, SI, etc?

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  • History of SASCO, SS, SI, etc?

    Having just left the Michiana Chapter swap meet (well done, BTW), and driving down Sample street, I was trying to reconstruct the lineage of the current Studebaker International. Did Studebaker continue to supply parts after closing down auto operations? Who was first to take over the Studebaker parts inventory? Was Newman-Altman involved at one time? I recall names like Studebaker Surplus, SASCO, etc. Just need someone out there to put it all together for me. Thanks.

  • #2
    The chronology has been talked about here before, but under various Titles making a search difficult.

    I will likely forget a few minor details and dates here and there from 55 Years of memories, but here goes.

    The Studebaker Automotive Sales Division of Studebaker Corp. (SASCO) remained selling Parts into around 1970.
    There were still some Dealers and other Corp. Warehouses like the Burlingame, Calif. (Northern, CA) existing. The long time, Authorized Studebaker Dealer in Los Angeles, Frost and French Inc. purchased that Warehouse to become the West Coast Studebaker Parts Distributor receiving quarterly stock replenishment's via Semi Loads from S.B.

    Geoff Newman and Nate Altman were the Large Local South Bend Studebaker Dealers who back in 1964, had purchased the Complete Avanti Plant, rights to everything Avanti and the Truck Mfg. Operation and Parts less the Postal Zip Van Contract that had been sold to Kaiser Jeep.

    Newman and Altman Inc. also owned Standard Surplus Corp. to sell surplus Studebaker Parts from the Corp. long before Studebaker ceased production in the U.S.

    In about 1971 or '72 the HUGE remaining Studebaker Parts Factory Warehouse in Plant Eight S.B. was purchased by Newman and Altman.

    The portions of each Co. that they owned individually or together are very complicated and beyond my knowledge and must have taken a real "New York Lawyer" to keep track of.

    After the SASCO purchase they started Studebaker Parts Corp. to continue supplying the remaining Dealers with Parts.
    This was later re-named to Avanti Parts Corp. and later yet: Newman and Altman.

    Geoff Newman sold his business -less the Production Order Files and ratchet feed Printer to the at the time, Manager of the Warehouse/Store Dennis and Denise Lambert who moved the Parts from the Old Studebaker originally Wagon Works Building, to the Engineering Building across the Street, they re-named their new business: "Studebaker Autoparts Sales Corp." another "SASCO", in keeping with Stude. History.

    Years later, after losing that Building after many struggles with a small Fire on the top floor and the following Fire Suppression System (sprinklers) requirements from the City.
    The City acquired the Parts and the Engineering Building and demolished it and sold the Parts to Studebaker International in Greenfield IN, Owner and son of a Studebaker Engineer; Ed Reynolds.

    The loss of the Building to be demolished, caused Ed to move it to the Chippewa Truck and Aircraft Div. Plant and Warehouse just outside of S.B.
    I recall Ed Reynolds saying that it was an odd feeling locking the Engineering Building Doors for the very LAST time, as it was his Father who was the Last Man out the Door when Studebaker closed it back in the mid 1960's.

    I am not good with the years (Dates) that all these things happened and most are not really important, but many years after that, in late 2018 I believe, a deal was made to sell large portions or all of the Studebaker International Inventory and Business to still another existing "Caretaker" of this HUGE Inventory, the S.I. Greenfield Store Manager; Jim Lime and employee, his Son Cory Lime.

    This involved moving the Parts from the Chippewa Truck and Aircraft Div. Plant and Warehouse location and the Greenfield Warehouse & Store to it's New Store and Warehouse current location in Hope, IN.

    I think I will let someone with more Memory of some of the events that followed SASCO's original Sale to the N&A Corp. refresh our/my memory of some of the small Details that I may have miss-sequenced or missed.

    However, I did have personal involvement with quite a bit of it.

    But basically that's IT, a very long and complicated Ride for IMHO, the World's or at least the U.S. Largest, most complete and longest surviving after demise, Automobile Mfg's Original, NOS Parts Inventory.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 05-05-2019, 03:00 PM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Might be worthwhile noting Ed Reynolds chose not to purchase the upholstery stock when he bought the rest of the inventory. Will and Lori of Colorado stepped in and formed https://starlightstude.wordpress.com/ , hauled it to Colorado, and now sell it to the public.
      KURTRUK
      (read it backwards)




      Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

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      • #4
        There were other players as well over the years.
        There was a company called Special Interest Autos of Saint Louis that was a big parts supplier. It got purchased by Packard Farms, which I believe was owned by Bill McDowell? (Bill produced the complete exhaust system for my '33 Rockne), which in turn got purchased by Studebaker of California, which was Ed Reynolds' operation before he moved back to Indiana and changed the name to Studebaker International. Not sure of the exact chronology, or if Studebaker of California was previously enriched by Frost and French. Ed could certainly fill in those gaps.
        Last edited by rockne10; 05-07-2019, 10:31 AM.
        "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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        • #5
          Parts and Service Operations under the original SASCO continued until late 1971, and I was privileged to transport (in my '55), the late Carl Thompson, a Division Manager, to his speaking appearance at a panel during a South Bend International Meet in 2002 (I think). Carl was a Studebaker Employee hired just before receivership in 1933 , and developed the modern "exploded view", now used in most parts catalogs, while at Studebaker. Picking him up at St. Paul's Retirement Center, he was very insistent I got to see his pension pay stub, as he explained to me his pension remained intact, as did others for employees with similar terms of service. Quite an experience, I'm sorry this generation will never be able to have:

          https://studebakerarchives.photoshel...000bmADOe2R6p8

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          • #6
            This is jogging some serious grey matter. I had hundreds of questions for Carl while in my car. One was if Studebaker was ever the subject of a NHTSA Recall. His answer was "almost", and it had to do with a technical issue on the 64-66 models. Ignition related, as I recall. His team worked to correct the issue, and no formal recall was issued. But there was an inquiry. He remained as a Manager until sometime in 1972 (Six model years past 1966), when all Automotive related functions were terminated. 39 Years with Studebaker,

            I have my own opinions and experiences with South Bend and the parts inventory. I helped Dennis move across the street, and then watched South Bend do everything it could to run the inventory out of town. Sorry, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if the May Meet followed the parts to the Indy area in the future. Sorry, I'm not going any further than that, as I could write a book on the nutty things I've seen happen in South Bend the last 40 years. I'm not making any more comments than that.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
              /Cut/Not sure of the exact chronology, or if Studebaker of California was previously enriched by Frost and French. Ed could certainly fill in those gaps.
              I worked at both Frost and French and Studebaker of Calif. and I believe that F&F was sold to Studebakers West of Redwood City, Calif. well before Ed started Stude. of Calif. so no connection there.

              I was focused on the Original Factory inventory, so did not mention that the Special Interests Autos (S.I.A.) inventory did slightly enhance the Packard Farm Studebaker inventory which was a part of the Packard Farm and Parts purchase by S.I. , along with many other former Parts Enterprises that were purchased over the years.
              Last edited by StudeRich; 05-05-2019, 05:19 PM.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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              • #8
                Wow, thanks Rich! And big thanks to all those entrepreneurs mentioned who stepped up to save those parts with no guarantee of profit.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dadondemand View Post
                  Wow, thanks Rich! And big thanks to all those entrepreneurs mentioned who stepped up to save those parts with no guarantee of profit.
                  Yeah, just LOOK what you started, that took about 4 Hours to "remember" and of course "publish"!
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As a side, the owner of SIA of St Louis mentioned above was Bob Johnson whom then went to work for Bill And then Ed and I assume he is now working for the Corey’s. He is probably one of the most Studebaker parts literate guys still around.
                    Milt

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

                    Member of SDC since 1973

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                      I worked at both Frost and French and Studebaker of Calif. and I believe that F&F was sold to Studebakers West of Redwood City, Calif. well before Ed started Stude. of Calif. so no connection there.
                      Frost & French moved to Lancaster CA because Bob had sold his house in Sierra Madre, moved to Lake Hughes and was tired of driving into L/A every day.

                      I stopped by one day, Walter was there...told me that he didn't want to move, because he knew they would lose their "walk in" trade. When Bob went home one day, he found his wife dead on the floor, he fell apart and it wasn't long before Walter sold F&F to the Thoms Brothers.

                      I attended the 2004 meet in Charlotte, spoke with the brothers, I wanted to buy F&F's former Champ pickup, but even after I made a ridiculous offer, they refused to sell it. They had repainted it, removing all the F&F lettering, which made me mad...why did they do that?

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                      • #12
                        Bill, about 8 or 9 years ago I was at SI and I asked Bob if he had a Delco
                        1107-899 starter. He said they didn't have one which is what I expected,
                        so I asked if he had just the nose cone. He said he would check and he went
                        out back, about a half hour later he walked back with the part. He was so
                        filthy I hardly recognized him. I don't think there is another person on earth
                        that would do tat much work for a $35 part.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm curious, is it typical when an auto manufacture stops making cars to have such a significant surplus of parts? And, if not, why was it the case that Studebaker did? Their numbers were smaller than the Big 4 at the time (I'm including AMC). They continued building cars in Canada a few years after the USA manufacturing stopped. These aspects would seem to deplete a significant amount of surplus. The only situation that seems to come close is Delorian.

                          I'm also curious that "dealers" remained after cars were no longer manufactured. Were they selling (new) old stock cars? Were they simply dealers who still had a significant service base and were riding a business to the very end?

                          Lastly the volume of available parts..., is it an asset for the obvious reasons, or is there a detriment (to car valuations) in that "rarity" isn't a word too often used except for the few unique cars?
                          '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wittsend View Post
                            I'm curious, is it typical when an auto manufacture stops making cars to have such a significant surplus of parts?

                            No, it isn't typical and hasn't been so for many years.

                            In the late 1960s I worked for Davidson Rubber Co, which made dash pads and padded armrests for Ford, GM and Chrysler. They were all aggressively moving to Just-in-time, or Kanban parts procurement. They held virtually no parts stock, demanding parts delivery on the day needed, at most a day or two before. And they were serious about it. I recall one instance when we were two or three days late on a delivery to Chrysler. They kept right on building and shipping cars.

                            We caught up with production needs in a few days, but ended up flying people all over the country to install dash pads in dealer's lots.

                            When a dash pad or armrest was superseded, we scrapped the tooling. The car makers inventoried virtually no parts. So there are no NOS soft trim parts anywhere.

                            Want to restore a seventies or later car? You may find generic hard parts which were used for many years and models, but year and model specific parts? There are probably none, except for a handful of highly desirable cars, for which new parts have been created, but even those parts will not be identical to new.

                            OEM parts? Fuggitaboutdit.
                            Last edited by jnormanh; 05-06-2019, 11:26 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I think the part of your statement you got Right was this: "Were they simply dealers who still had a significant service base and were riding a business to the very end?"

                              Yes, they were very dedicated Dealers as was Studebaker, that is one major reason why there was such an over supply of parts dating way back to the early 1940's.

                              At Frost and French, we had Service, Parts and Sales Dept's.
                              Reconditioned GT Hawks and New Avanti II's were put in the showroom along with a few remaining 1966's until gone, and the Hawks sold like hotcakes! I had fun helping recondition them!

                              Of course you cannot ignore the poor management of not being able to predict sales better, to not make too many parts for Production, that DID happen.

                              It reminds me of the Hundreds of excess 1955 ONLY, expensive, cast, chromed window cranks and inside Door Handles, so many that they had to be put on Low Level "Custom Model" 1956 and 1957 Champions and Commanders along with the square shank Window Regulators to get rid of them!
                              Way too many to put in Parts Stock, but not enough to use on the better more popular Models.

                              The only explanation is; Sales crashed with so many issues, strikes, the Economy, etc. and too many changes in '55 to make a profit.

                              The downside is, they were way too expensive to put on a cheap Car, but it happened!

                              I don't think having the NOS Parts to maintain and restore many '50's and '60's Studes. is a bad thing for Value.

                              The Pencil pushing Bean Counters at the big Three would have scrapped everything 5 years old and older, to save Storage, Maintenance, Tracking System etc. Money and write off a loss. Was it poorly financially managed? Certainly!

                              Was it GOOD for Us, definitely!
                              Last edited by StudeRich; 05-06-2019, 12:00 PM.
                              StudeRich
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                              Comment

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