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  • Avanti paragraph from history

    I've amassed a fair collection of Stude-related magazine articles, and periodically go back and re-read them. I found this paragraph from an Avanti article from Car Life, June 1963 issue and thought it was interesting with the benefit of hindsight. Remember, this was just 7 or 8 months before The December closing of the SB factory:

    For the first Avanti to roll off a South Bend assembly line was a distinct accomplishment, a tribute to the changing outlook of that city's workers (now numbering some 5700). With the production moving into full swing, and no less purposeful hands sanding, bonding and finishing the fiberglass bodies, it becomes significant testimony to the workers' determination to bring their cars back to the peak of public esteem.

    Boy, were they way off.....[B)]

    So what was this- hopeful spin, complete underestimation, or total denial?

    Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
    Parish, central NY 13131

    GOD BLESS AMERICA
    Ephesians 6:10-17






  • #2
    Bob, it depends on who said it. If it was a local reporter, they were waxing poetic. If it was the Indiana Governer, it was an election year, and (speaking as one myself), if it was the Marketing Director of Studebaker, Inc. it was just hyperbole and puffery (trying to make lemonade out of lemons).

    [img=left]http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j259/stude53/studesmall2.jpg[/img=left]Bob Feaganes (stude53)
    53 Starliner Hardtop
    Newton Grove, NC

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    • #3
      Now that we know the history, it seems a odd comment, but I lived in South Bend, and was making Studebaker bumpers at the time. I found out Studebaker was closing the day I heard it on the radio. Not only was the public clueless, the workers were too. There were rumors, but it was still a shock.

      JDP Maryland
      JDP Maryland

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:Originally posted by bams50

        I've amassed a fair collection of Stude-related magazine articles, and periodically go back and re-read them. I found this paragraph from an Avanti article from Car Life, June 1963 issue and thought it was interesting with the benefit of hindsight. Remember, this was just 7 or 8 months before The December closing of the SB factory:

        For the first Avanti to roll off a South Bend assembly line was a distinct accomplishment, a tribute to the changing outlook of that city's workers (now numbering some 5700). With the production moving into full swing, and no less purposeful hands sanding, bonding and finishing the fiberglass bodies, it becomes significant testimony to the workers' determination to bring their cars back to the peak of public esteem.

        Boy, were they way off.....[B)]

        So what was this- hopeful spin, complete underestimation, or total denial?

        Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
        Parish, central NY 13131

        GOD BLESS AMERICA
        Ephesians 6:10-17
        Had I read that while I was living in South Bend at the time, the article would seem accurate. We did not have a clue that there was a problem until the week the plant closed.

        JDP Maryland
        JDP Maryland

        Comment


        • #5
          JDP, it's interesting to hear first-hand from someone that actually was working there at the time. Did you get layed off just before Christmas or did you continue to make bumpers for Canadian built cars into the following year? More details of your time there would be appreciated, thanks.


          Love birds...Red Hawks in mating season.
          In the middle of Minnestudea
          sigpic
          In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

          Comment


          • #6
            Bob, in all fairnss remember that the Avanti basically started production in June 1962. The Car Life quote is from 1963, by that time a year later. Remember too, that Car Life was very supportive of Studbaker products, later they had the article on one of their editors "producing" an R-3 Daytona, although by the time it hit the newsstands, South Bend was closed. It is sad that Studebaker couldnt hold on any longer for the "baby boomers" were just then reaching driving age and becoming able to buy a car. Speaking for myself, when the 66's came out I tought of buying one, but had just graduated high school & started working, so taking on a big debt was a couple years away.

            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


            • #7
              Dang John, that must have been an incredible shock. I remember reading about a reporter asking a Stude employee about plant closing rumors and he cockily sneered to the effect of "this plant will be here long after you and I are dead". I think that was just days before the plant closed[:I]

              The whole story ended when I was still a toddler, but it still shocks me.

              Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
              Parish, central NY 13131

              GOD BLESS AMERICA
              Ephesians 6:10-17





              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by Milaca

                JDP, it's interesting to hear first-hand from someone that actually was working there at the time. Did you get layed off just before Christmas or did you continue to make bumpers for Canadian built cars into the following year? More details of your time there would be appreciated, thanks.


                Love birds...Red Hawks in mating season.
                In the middle of Minnestudea
                Studebaker bumpers were made by Rockwell Standards bumper division and we had other contracts that kept us going for a while. The company got a chance for a big GM contract if we could make a deadline. The union figured that would be a perfect time to strike since the company needed the new business. In the end, we lost the deal and the plant shut down shortly after.

                JDP Maryland
                JDP Maryland

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by bams50

                  Dang John, that must have been an incredible shock. I remember reading about a reporter asking a Stude employee about plant closing rumors and he cockily sneered to the effect of "this plant will be here long after you and I are dead". I think that was just days before the plant closed[:I]

                  The whole story ended when I was still a toddler, but it still shocks me.

                  Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
                  Parish, central NY 13131

                  GOD BLESS AMERICA
                  Ephesians 6:10-17






                  Yep, we found out about it the day it was announced. I was 21 and the time, and my friends and I wore black arm bands to work which confused the hell out of the other workers.

                  JDP Maryland
                  JDP Maryland

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is the Rockwell Standard plant that you worked in still standing? Were the bumpers shipped by rail or truck to the Stude plant?
                    sigpic
                    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was only 8 1/2 years old at the time Studebaker called it quits in the US. Pres Kennedy had only been dead a few weeks. I walked home from school every day right past the local Rambler/Studebaker dealer. They certainly never had an Avanti for any of us kids to see. A lot of little boys back then were wildly interested in cars via model kits, HO slot cars, and NASCAR (hero was Fireball Roberts). But the Studebaker Avanti was dead before I even knew they existed. I initially learned about the Avanti from an ad by AMT car models in a 1960s DC comic book. They called it "the great Avanti." Aurora Plastics also made an Avanti model kit. Sadly, none of these kits ever showed up at our local Roses Dept store in the small NC town where I lived. So I had to be content building models of Corvettes, Mustangs and Batmobiles for years. I DO have an Aurora '63 Avanti Model Car Kit with original box and instructions today.


                      quote:Originally posted by bams50

                      I've amassed a fair collection of Stude-related magazine articles, and periodically go back and re-read them. I found this paragraph from an Avanti article from Car Life, June 1963 issue and thought it was interesting with the benefit of hindsight. Remember, this was just 7 or 8 months before The December closing of the SB factory:

                      For the first Avanti to roll off a South Bend assembly line was a distinct accomplishment, a tribute to the changing outlook of that city's workers (now numbering some 5700). With the production moving into full swing, and no less purposeful hands sanding, bonding and finishing the fiberglass bodies, it becomes significant testimony to the workers' determination to bring their cars back to the peak of public esteem.

                      Boy, were they way off.....[B)]

                      So what was this- hopeful spin, complete underestimation, or total denial?

                      Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
                      Parish, central NY 13131

                      GOD BLESS AMERICA
                      Ephesians 6:10-17





                      edp/NC
                      '63 Avanti
                      '66 Commander
                      edp/NC
                      \'63 Avanti
                      \'66 Commander

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by Milaca

                        Is the Rockwell Standard plant that you worked in still standing? Were the bumpers shipped by rail or truck to the Stude plant?
                        I don't know, it was in nearby Elkhart In, and the bars were trucked the 20 miles or so.

                        JDP Maryland
                        JDP Maryland

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          http://www.talbertconsulting.com/clients.html

                          Down near the bottom they show now Rockwell International in Mishawaka, IN. Rockwell is still very very much alive, as they really diversified, and they are now into literally everything from axles, to transfer cases, to electronics, to home furnishings, to......

                          I recall the name Rockwell Standard because if you're building a REAL stout four wheeler, like a 6X6, or a Deuce and a half, and you need a 2.5 ton truck axle, you go get a Rockwell Standard axle.

                          [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/th_0413001627.jpg[/IMG=left]
                          [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/th_0321001800.jpg[/IMG=left]
                          [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201950%202r5%20Studebaker%20Pickup%20with%20turbocharger/th_P1000145.jpg[/IMG=right]
                          [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201950%202r5%20Studebaker%20Pickup%20with%20turbocharger/th_P1000136.jpg[/IMG=right]
                          [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/Ex%20Studebaker%20Plant%20Locomotive/P1000578-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
                          [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201964%20Studebaker%20Commander%20R2/P1010168.jpg[/IMG=left]
                          1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                          1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                          1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                          1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

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