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What if Studebaker, AMC and Checker had merged?

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  • What if Studebaker, AMC and Checker had merged?

    All three are defunct, but if an alliance could've been formed, each could've complemented the other. American Motors had the Rambler, Jeep, Wagoneer and by 1968 had produced one of the best performance cars ever made; the AMX. Checker had a guaranteed customer base for commercial vehicles. Studebaker has a viable truck line and the handsome Hawk series up to 1964. And, of course, Studebaker had the "Lark" type cars that were still selling at a tiny profit when thr board of directors decided to punt auto manufacturing in 1966. And we all know the Avanti survived, albeit on a small scale, for 40 years. Imagine a dealership in 1968 that sported Ramblers and Daytonas for economy, Stude Cruiser Sedans for family cars, Jeep, Wagoneer and Stude pickups for work/recreation vehicles, a taxi line, and for performance cars; the Avanti, AMX and Hawk. The best engine designs could've been selected and used across the board. Maybe the reliable Stude OHV 6 cyl in Jeeps, Trucks, Taxis, Ramblers, etc. Or how about an Avanti or Hawk with the American Motors 343 or 390 V-8 hi-performance motor? The distribution and visibility would've been much better too since both Studebaker and AMC had dealer networks. Ah, what might have been....
    edp/NC
    \'63 Avanti
    \'66 Commander

  • #2
    Then you'll be driving a 'Studamblecker Champassadorathon'

    Craig

    Comment


    • #3
      They would all be sharing in a 30 Billion dollar bailout today.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        AMC didn't need Studebaker. They had a full line including Jeep trucks. They didn't need the Avanti or Checker and outlasted them all. Unless they wanted heavy duty trucks, but it wasn't that big a seller for Studebaker so why bother?

        Ambassador > Cruiser
        AMX > Avanti
        Jeep Gladiator > Champ
        Rambler American = Lark
        Rogue = Daytona
        Marlin = Hawk
        Wagoneer > Wagonaire
        Checker > Studebaker Taxi
        Studebaker Commercial Trucks > ???

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Tom - Mulberry, FL

        1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

        1964 Studebaker Commander 170-1V, 3-speed w/OD (Cost to Date: $623.67)

        Tom - Bradenton, FL

        1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
        1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

        Comment


        • #5
          AMC didnt aquire Kaiser Jeep until 1970!
          So they could have used a truck line.!!!!!


          And Stude V8 engines had already been transplanted into
          Jeep trucks and wagons. I have a adapter somewhere for a Stude car V8 bellhousing to a Jeep truck tranny.


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

          59 Lark
          etc

          Comment


          • #6
            If I'm not mistaken, after the 1959 Lark came out and sold very well, Studebaker was the #4 automaker and larger than AMC, at least for a while. I know they were #4 when it was the Studebaker-Packard Co in the 50s. I also don't think AMC got into the performance business till after 1965 and certainly the 1st AMX was the '68 model. The Wagoneer and Gladiator came on the scene in '65...? So Studebaker was ahead of AMC with trucks and performance cars and innovations like disc brakes. At any rate, while AMC hung around another 10-15 years based on sales of Jeeps, Javelins and Gremlins plus disasters like Pacers and Matadors, they had to eventually be gobbled up by the now-bankrupt Chrysler Corp. In the long run, the Avanti outlasted AMC. [8D]

            quote:Originally posted by Swifster

            AMC didn't need Studebaker. They had a full line including Jeep trucks. They didn't need the Avanti or Checker and outlasted them all. Unless they wanted heavy duty trucks, but it wasn't that big a seller for Studebaker so why bother?

            Ambassador > Cruiser
            AMX > Avanti
            Jeep Gladiator > Champ
            Rambler American = Lark
            Rogue = Daytona
            Marlin = Hawk
            Wagoneer > Wagonaire
            Checker > Studebaker Taxi
            Studebaker Commercial Trucks > ???

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Tom - Mulberry, FL

            1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

            1964 Studebaker Commander 170-1V, 3-speed w/OD (Cost to Date: $623.67)

            edp/NC
            \'63 Avanti
            \'66 Commander

            Comment


            • #7
              The question asked is moot. George Mason, of Nash, wanted a merger of Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Packard, but died before it became a reality. He was instrumental in the Nash/Hudson merger that created American Motors in 54.
              The main stumbling block of the NHSP merger, as I have gleaned from all perspectives, is that executive egos, unrealistic expectations, and political posturing prevented it.
              In 1954, Nash was in the best shape, due to the company's solid financial condition. Hudson was hemmoraging, the Jet was a disaster.
              Packard and Studebaker were on the ropes, financially.
              American Motors had a huge reprieve by dropping the Nash and Hudson and focusing on the downsized Rambler, basically the first "mid-size", and reviving the old 1950 Nash Rambler as the compact American in 1958. There was a stirring backlash against the big standard American car, and imports were making huge inroads.
              American Motors was the first to successfully exploit this market and prospered in 1958, while the rest of the industry languished. The Stude Scotsman was fielded as an economy car as a stop-gap, and was Studes only small success.
              American Motors had strong sales, and in fact, passed Buick for no. 3 carmaker in 1961.
              The tide turned when the market became saturated with compact and mid-size cars. I believe that the introduction of the 64 Chevelle, and the rest of the mid-size pack, spelled the doom of American Motors and Studebaker. In April of 64, introduction of the Mustang further eroded the independents, as small economy cars went upscale in the booming mid-60's market.
              American Motors, at this point bleeding red ink, had absolutely no use for debt-ridden Studebaker, who hadn't come out with a really new car since 53. Checker wasn't even in the equation.
              AMC brought out the all-new 63 Rambler, hailed as car of the year, and a good seller that year, but the tides of competition swamped them in 64, and sales nosedived. They had a V8, and the seven-main-bearing 232" 6, introduced in the 64 Typhoon, was, arguably, the best six ever built. Production ceased just a few years ago as the motive power of Cherokees and Wranglers. The purchase of Jeep was a brilliant stroke for AMC, and it allowed them to continue to the merger with Chrysler, who reportedly bought AMC for the Jeep name.
              In hindsight, I believe there was, sadly, no way out for Stude after the post-war buyers market ended in 51-2. They gave it a good fight, but didn't have the resources. In 1966, the changing pollution and safety requirements looming ahead were insurmountable. They took the only path available, diversifying into other areas, and survived.
              AMC, on the other hand, did most things right, often from luck, as far as mergers and market timing went. Not that everything was a hit. The much-maligned Pacer sold very well when introduced, but faded fast.
              I own a 74 Matador coupe, and think it is a striking automotive sculpture, much like the Avanti is. It was introduced at a time when styling rapidly flipped towards square, boxy, Mercedes clones (Ford Granada is the best example) and the swoopy Matador was instantly passe. Adding padded roofs and "opera" windows ruined the Matador. (imagine an Avanti with this treatment.
              My two cents!

              Comment


              • #8
                Thats a excellent brief review, Autocrat. I also remember the owner of Checker putting down the Avanti saying how he thought is was so ugly (and the Checker wasnt??) Jeep had brought out the Wagoneer in 62 which also included a pickup truck. Their OHC engine was a big gamble & had its problems & was later dropped. Its too bad that Studebaker couldn't have held on just a bit longer, for they threw in the towel right before the beginning of the baby boomers were becoming drivers & owners. The death blow to Stude, in my opinion, was the assasination of President Kennedy. I remember vividly those days, when we were all huddled around the tv watching the events as they unfurrelled & how business in general came to a halt, including car orders. That was just after Stude had shut down the plant for 2 weeks I think for inventories to level out. Now IF they had brought out say the Daytona & Crusier out earlier in the 64 trim & instead of calling the low priced car the Standard, had called it the Challenger, perhaps things may have been different. The top line models could have had a tag like "Too Great To Wait!" Perhaps then Mr. Egbert would have been kept, the performance image inhanced as improvements came out. One thing for sure, they wouldnt have been able to survive much longer with a plant that operated so inefficiently as South Bend had become.

                60 Lark convertible
                61 Champ
                62 Daytona convertible
                63 G.T. R-2,4 speed
                63 Avanti (2)
                66 Daytona Sport Sedan
                59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                64 Zip Van
                66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                66 Cruiser V-8 auto

                Comment


                • #9
                  I seem to recall an article in a Hemmings magazine stating that Checker are still in business but not interested in returning to car production.

                  AMC was purchased by Renault I believe then the later Chrysler takeover occured.

                  John Clements
                  Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!
                  Lockleys South Australia
                  John Clements
                  Christchurch, New Zealand

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What if the unions took a large cut in the early fifties? What if....? What if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly? What if Superman aligned with the Axis powers?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      studebakers relation with M/B should have been a lot better how about a c class lark?but you got me thinging because i think that they went to gm for help but was turned down.what if they went to ford? how about a BOSS 302 lark? BOSS 429 hawk or avanti? but capitolism worked like nature only the strong survive.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote: I seem to recall an article in a Hemmings magazine stating that Checker are still in business but not interested in returning to car production.
                        True, Checker is not defunct. They have been getting by making parts and stampings all this time. My office is a few miles from what is left to Checker, I should go down and take some pictures. They finally filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in January of 2009.
                        The last day was slated to be June 30th. So we were actually looking at the demise of an American independant this month. It doesn't make much news in light of the big 3 troubles. However on June 9th the local news reported that "a federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Checker Motors. Canadian auto supplier Namco Group will pay $1.6 million for the company."

                        Haven't heard anything since, and nothing is posted at www.checkermotors.com




                        www.studebakerhardtop.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:Originally posted by autocrat

                          The question asked is moot. George Mason, of Nash, wanted a merger of Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Packard, but died before it became a reality. He was instrumental in the Nash/Hudson merger that created American Motors in 54.
                          The main stumbling block of the NHSP merger, as I have gleaned from all perspectives, is that executive egos, unrealistic expectations, and political posturing prevented it.
                          In 1954, Nash was in the best shape, due to the company's solid financial condition. Hudson was hemmoraging, the Jet was a disaster.
                          Packard and Studebaker were on the ropes, financially.
                          American Motors had a huge reprieve by dropping the Nash and Hudson and focusing on the downsized Rambler, basically the first "mid-size", and reviving the old 1950 Nash Rambler as the compact American in 1958. There was a stirring backlash against the big standard American car, and imports were making huge inroads.
                          American Motors was the first to successfully exploit this market and prospered in 1958, while the rest of the industry languished. The Stude Scotsman was fielded as an economy car as a stop-gap, and was Studes only small success.
                          American Motors had strong sales, and in fact, passed Buick for no. 3 carmaker in 1961.
                          The tide turned when the market became saturated with compact and mid-size cars. I believe that the introduction of the 64 Chevelle, and the rest of the mid-size pack, spelled the doom of American Motors and Studebaker. In April of 64, introduction of the Mustang further eroded the independents, as small economy cars went upscale in the booming mid-60's market.
                          American Motors, at this point bleeding red ink, had absolutely no use for debt-ridden Studebaker, who hadn't come out with a really new car since 53. Checker wasn't even in the equation.
                          AMC brought out the all-new 63 Rambler, hailed as car of the year, and a good seller that year, but the tides of competition swamped them in 64, and sales nosedived. They had a V8, and the seven-main-bearing 232" 6, introduced in the 64 Typhoon, was, arguably, the best six ever built. Production ceased just a few years ago as the motive power of Cherokees and Wranglers. The purchase of Jeep was a brilliant stroke for AMC, and it allowed them to continue to the merger with Chrysler, who reportedly bought AMC for the Jeep name.
                          In hindsight, I believe there was, sadly, no way out for Stude after the post-war buyers market ended in 51-2. They gave it a good fight, but didn't have the resources. In 1966, the changing pollution and safety requirements looming ahead were insurmountable. They took the only path available, diversifying into other areas, and survived.
                          AMC, on the other hand, did most things right, often from luck, as far as mergers and market timing went. Not that everything was a hit. The much-maligned Pacer sold very well when introduced, but faded fast.
                          I own a 74 Matador coupe, and think it is a striking automotive sculpture, much like the Avanti is. It was introduced at a time when styling rapidly flipped towards square, boxy, Mercedes clones (Ford Granada is the best example) and the swoopy Matador was instantly passe. Adding padded roofs and "opera" windows ruined the Matador. (imagine an Avanti with this treatment.
                          My two cents!
                          A good summary, Autocrat. Two points, if you don't mind:

                          1. I take exception to the statement that Packard was "on the ropes" financially in 1954. Actually, they were not. True, they were facing serious problems that would prove insurmountable, but their financial position in 1954 was good.

                          Maybe too good, in that they wasted a lot of their money buying Studebaker![:0][}]

                          Even so, had they not bought Studebaker, their survival w
                          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                          Ayn Rand:
                          "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi

                            Interesting idea, here's my take on it:

                            AMC had no reason to merge with Studebaker, they already had parallel competing models or soon would. The Studebaker dealer organization as of the mid'60's was, by indication, the weakest in the business. Studebaker's manufacturing complex was old, out of date, offered no particular locational advantages. All AMC products were unibody, the Studebaker body/frame construction offered them no advantages after years of promoting the former.

                            Recall as well, AMC was struggling for it's financial survival in the '66-'68 period, had no need for additional problems with which to contend.

                            On the other hand, Checker, however tiny, might have taken a flier on the Hamilton operation, perhaps as a five year lease or operating agreement with the Corporation. The need for a compact taxi sedan came into focus in the '70's with the oil embargos.

                            Imagine Hamilton, under Checker control, building only the taxi chassis version of the sedan and wagon, still supplying the remaining Studebaker dealers with a "civilian" trimmed version much as they did with the Superba and Marathon as well as their fleet taxi sales. As far as the powertrains, they were already very similar to the full-size Checkers, a consideration for fleet sales.

                            For smaller taxi operators and companies, a Studebaker-Checker taxi could have been a good fit, creating an additional volume product, augmenting the full-size Checker line-up.

                            Whether the remaining Studebaker dealers would have been able to sell 10-15K units per year is uncertain, though they may have been able to generate enough sales to keep the Hamilton operation viable.

                            If this had taken place, Checker might have been able to offer cars after 1982, perhaps only the Studebaker-based models once fuel consumption cost for the large Checkers made them largely unsalable......and for the remaining loyalist such as us, a Studebaker to buy!

                            Now, if a new Studebaker were available in the late '80's, even into the '90's, would you have bought one?

                            Steve

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Possibly an interesting side note here.
                              Around 80 or 81 I was a boy scout along with the son of a local Checker engineer. They had a finished working prototype of a stretched Chevy Citation [:0]. He took it one weekend on a boy scout trip, so several of us piled in. I pulled up the carpet to check it out, they pretty much added about 2 feet of space behind the front seat. The rear passenger area was huge.
                              So near the end Checker was indeed looking to produce a viable smaller taxi, one based on a GM production vehicle. But I just can't see them interested in what Studebaker had to offer, at any point.


                              www.studebakerhardtop.com

                              Comment

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