No announcement yet.

Studebaker Mentioned in Norman, OK Article

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Studebaker Mentioned in Norman, OK Article

    (Like their banner, too!)

    Studebaker President adored by Nobility
    By Doug Hill
    "I'm still mad at the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor," Glen Masopust said from the driveway of his attractive mini ranch in Noble. The retired microwave communications technician appeared satisfied that the compact I had driven to see him wasn't from the Empire of the Sun.

    Masopust and wife Barbara own no less than a dozen automobiles in various states of readiness and restoration. All the cars are American and most are Chevrolet Corvairs.

    "We had a foreign car once," Masopust said. He showed me an advertising brochure for their 1957 Renault Dauphine. It was Barbara's car early in their marriage but she didn't like its lack of door locks.

    "My sister's kids had a bad habit of opening the doors when we were driving," she said. The tiny French coupe would seem an eccentric choice of cars in central Oklahoma at that time but not after you become acquainted with this delightful couple.

    "Glen designed our home and it caused quite a stir here in 1968 when we moved in," Barbara said. The structure is striking today for its bold modernity. The roof has an upturned five-point hyperbolic parabaloid design that recalls the Sydney Opera House, except it's a star pattern rather than chevron. "A neighbor told us it's going to need quite an engine to take off," Barbara said.

    Parked next to their unusual home under 24-7 video surveillance was the star of the Masopust stable, a two-tone royal blue and cream 1955 Studebaker President.

    "We bought our first Studebaker in 1956 from the Johnson Brothers dealership in Kingfisher," Masopust said. "We kept it until 1962 and just loved it."

    Studebaker is a name in American industrial history that dates to before the Civil War. A trio of German brothers who immigrated to South Bend, Ind., began making farm wagons, carriages and wheel barrows in 1852. The business grew and Studebaker's wagon works was well positioned to assemble horseless carriages when they became popular.

    Quality and reliability were the distinguishing characteristics of their motor cars for 64 years.

    "Our first Studebaker was part of the family," Barbara said. She recalled being taken to the hospital in it to deliver their first son. It was also their vehicle for many happy road trips.

    "We just really loved the body design and catfish face," Masopust said. He was referring to the car's chrome grill which has a pronounced underbite.

    As with many American cars of that time, the President has an abundance of shiny metal trim. The body lines are an elegant flow of sheet metal with a rounded hood and slight visor over the curved windshield. A wide chrome side molding runs the entire length of the car. The trunk lid is graced by an oversized gold wing-shaped V-8 symbol.

    A 1955 Studebaker advertising campaign boasted that their cars were "Newest of the New" with "America's Most Advanced Styling." It was a time generally acknowledged as significant in American automotive history. Interest in space travel and aviation were reflected in the design and ornamentation.

    "Back in the late Forties, Studebaker's hoods and trunk were so similar you couldn't tell if they were coming or going," Masopust said. That was actually a running joke about the models right after WWII. Along with the rest of the makers, Studebaker anticipated terrific demand for autos by returning G.I.s and even had the corporate slogan, "First by far with a post-war car."

    The rush to production led to a variety of stodgy design missteps across the industry. But by 1955 the stately President's look had been refined with an appearance distinctive from its rivals among the Big 3 automakers.

    "They were ahead of their time in styling," Masopust said.

    The couple traded their first Studebaker, owning a succession of cars that weren't nearly as satisfactory. After many years without one, the couple decided they wanted another of the stylish cars built in
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing this, I passed on the story link to the President of the OKC SDC chapter so we could put it in a future newsletter.
    How did you find this article being from the SE part of the US?

    <div align="left">John</div id="left">

    <div align="left">'63 Avanti, R1, Auto, AC, PW (unrestored)</div id="left">
    Resto-Mod by Michael Myer