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beautiful '35 President roadster first time shown at Orphan show in Branson

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
    I agree with Jake and Craig, regarding the market for this car. From 1928 on Studebaker/Pierce Arrow's luxury marque was the PA and Studebaker wanted to maintain that air of exclusivity. Bankruptcy protection with PA's sale in 1933 and the demise of the big President that year, completely changed the company and it's offerings. Never again would the company offer a car that would compete with, or be considered in, the upper reaches of the cars that we would later call "Classic."

    It' always seemed remarkable to me that the Big Three were willing to sustain the losses as a result of the depressed sales of their most expensive luxury models (Cadillac,Lincoln and Imperial). I have little doubt that they lost money on every one they produced, as they tried valiantly to hold onto their reputation.

    IMO the market that 1935 Studebaker President convertible coupe had to compete with had recently been turned upside down by the success of two cars, the first Cadillac's companion car, the LaSalle, but maybe more importantly Packard's 120. The 120 had the same lines as the senior series cars, and it too had a straight eight engine. What set the Packard apart from all of it's competition was it's price. At $1095 it was $230 less then the $1325 for Studebaker we are discussing. Packard's production of just over 6K in 1934, rebounded in 1935 to just over 52K in 1935. Virtually all if the increase was due to the sales of the new 120. The upshot was that it basically destroyed the competition! 20% less for a Packard, that most of the world believe was a superior car. I'd call that a no brainier, I know what I would have bought. So "compete" may be too strong a word for what the President was up against. Thank God for the Dictator!
    It's funny you mention that. The 120 sedan is the other dream Packard of mine besides the "bathtub" series. I'd be more than happy with either if I may be honest! Thanks for your insights.
    Jake Robinson Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - "Daisy-Mae" - she came dressed to kill in etherial green with a charming turquoise inside. I'm hopelessly in love!

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    • #17
      As Hallabutt points out, the Packard 120 was a remarkable value and immediate hit. Its a good thing it was, too. It's success was key to the survival of the company. Relative to the President, as fine a car as they were and are, they were peripheral to Studebaker's continued existence. Only the Dictators, Commanders and Champions ensured Studebaker survived the Depression.

      Steve

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