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  • Studebaker firsts

    When I take my 60 Hawk to car shows it never fails for someone to start a conversation by saying Studebaker was ahead of it's time!
    I always agree of course, but I got to thinking recently what about Studebaker firsts? Just what were the firsts introduced to the automobile industry before any other US manufactures came up with the ideas? Can anyone think of them or suggest a publication that lists them?[?]

  • #2
    You have to look no further than the "Almanac" in your January 1996 Turning Wheels, pages 42-44.

    Richard Quinn
    editor: Antique Studebaker Review
    Richard Quinn
    Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

    Comment


    • #3
      Studebaker DID pioneer alot of firsts as far as engineering AND Styling goes, but what usually grinds me is the follow-on contention that it was their being "ahead of their time" that was a major factor of their demise.[B)] That's just stupid. Fact is, when such claimants are pressed to explain how so, they'll offer up stuff they know nothing about. It's just a classic urban legend theme that's really well entrenched in gearhead mythology.[)]

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1963 Cruiser
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      1957 President two door

      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Richard,

        I will search for the TW Jan 1996 issue. My membership and TW didn't start until 8/05. If anyone has the Jan 1996 TW issue and would like to sell it please let me know.

        Thanks / Jim Nichols
        64 Sky High Drive
        Blue Ridge GA
        30513

        Comment


        • #5
          I'll look thru the several boxes of TWs I have, Jim. '96 is new enough that I might have one.

          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
          1963 Cruiser
          1960 Larkvertible V8
          1958 Provincial wagon
          1953 Commander coupe
          1957 President two door

          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Jim; here is the list. I am sure there are a few more.



            Richard Quinn
            editor: Antique Studebaker Review
            Richard Quinn
            Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

            Comment


            • #7
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

              Comment


              • #8
                I read the list. Wasn't Studebaker the first one to have the H-pattern floor shift? Or was that Hupmobile?

                Comment


                • #9
                  John,
                  I like your stealth comments. I may steal them.


                  Gary Sanders
                  Nixa, MO
                  President Toy Studebaker Collectors Club. Have an interest in Toy Studebakers? Contact me for details.
                  Gary Sanders
                  Nixa, MO

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, I've always wondered and never asked: Just what IS 'mechanical' power steering? No hydraulics? A bunch of levers and gears? What IS it?



                    quote:Originally posted by Studebaker Wheel

                    Jim; here is the list. I am sure there are a few more.



                    Richard Quinn
                    editor: Antique Studebaker Review
                    Ron Dame
                    '63 Champ
                    Ron Dame
                    '63 Champ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Two more come to mind for trucks.
                      1960 first pickup truck with factory installed sliding rear window.
                      1961 first 1/2 and 3/4 ton pickup trucks available w/ 5spd OD.


                      3E38
                      4E2
                      4E28
                      5E13
                      7E7
                      8E7
                      8E12
                      8E28

                      59 Lark
                      etc

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And what is the "internal hot spot"[:I][:I][:I] in 1920.[?]

                        Also, I thought they were the first with laminated safety glass windshield...[?]

                        Richard Q.[?]

                        KURTRUK
                        (read it backwards)


                        KURTRUK
                        (read it backwards)




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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Interesting collection of "firsts", some of them are a little odd, not sure how much of a claim to fame the "safety eye speedometer" is or the Climatizer under the front seat but steel backed replaceable bearings, seat belts, self energizing brakes, disk brakes, vacuum advance, and Twin Traction ARE big deals!

                          That list looks like it came from the Studebaker PR department.

                          Jeff DeWitt
                          http://carolinastudes.net
                          Jeff DeWitt
                          http://carolinastudes.net

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by Transtar60
                            1960 first pickup truck with factory installed sliding rear window.
                            Actually, a sliding back window was an option on the Coupe Express, but the first postwar application was on the 1947 Ford and Mercury trucks.

                            Craig

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by JeffDeWitt

                              Interesting collection of "firsts", some of them are a little odd, not sure how much of a claim to fame the "safety eye speedometer" is or the Climatizer under the front seat but steel backed replaceable bearings, seat belts, self energizing brakes, disk brakes, vacuum advance, and Twin Traction ARE big deals!

                              That list looks like it came from the Studebaker PR department.

                              I agree. Not to belittle Studebaker's accomplishments, but was free wheeling really the greatest step forward in automotive engineering since the self starter?

                              I don't think I would have put mechanical power steering on the list. IIRC they installed it on a handful of cars, then scrapped the cars when they found out it didn't work.

                              Was the Lark really the first totally new dimension in motoring? Seems to me Rambler and others had similar sized cars prior to 1959.

                              Also, they may have been the first on some of these items, but they didn't quite "stick"...anti creep and no rollback on auto trans (was there REALLY a no rollback for autos?), sliding roof wagon (didn't work for GM 40 years later either), planar suspension, hydrostatic gas gauge, ball bearing spring shackles, under seat heater, under hood accessible instrument panel, etc.

                              There are some truly important firsts on the list, but I'm not sure in total they would qualify Studebaker to differentiate themselves from other auto makers as being "ahead of their time".

                              Dick Steinkamp
                              Bellingham, WA

                              Dick Steinkamp
                              Bellingham, WA

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