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  • Where Were You When You Heard The News?

    Where were you when you heard the news that Studebaker had packed up? I can tell you where I was because the memory is so vivid it might be yesterday. I was 15 years old and riding the school bus home from Dresden to Thamesville, Ontario on #21 highway. The bus radio was tuned to CKLW Detroit as usual, we were just coming through Wabash, and I can recall so clearly hearing the news announcer break in to report that Studebaker had ceased production. My heart dropped through the floorboards - I was never going to own a new Studebaker! I'd grown up with Studes; bulletnose, Champ & President sedans. Dad had switched to Fords when the local Studebaker dealership had packed it in but my loyalty was strictly Stude and many hours of classes during Grades 9 and 10 had been spent covering my notebooks with drawings of wheelstanding Hawks, Larks and Avantis sporting Cragar mags and oversize rear tires.[}]
    And what seemed really unjust about the whole affair was that our village had just gotten a dealership again. The local B/A gas station had two new 1966 Studes sitting out front. They are well imprinted on my memory as I walked home past them every day after school when I got off the bus. A sand beige 2 dr Commander and a medium blue 4 dr Cruiser. I waged a campaign of persuasion with Dad, hoping he might go for the Cruiser but to no avail. He had just recently purchased a '66 Ford LTD and wasn't interested in buying an orphan. They sat for a while and then disappeared. The following year I turned 16, got my license and switched my allegiance to AMC. (Yes, I always rooted for the underdog.) Got my first car in 1969[8D], a medium green Rambler 2dr, 6 cyl., 3 on the tree. My kids can't believe it when I tell them that the windshield washers on that car were operated by pumping a rubber bulb on the floor with your foot!
    Oh yeah - I did persuade Dad to go AMC as well and he did it in style in a '68 Ambassador SST 2dr hardtop, dark forest green 290V8 with 4spd tranny. Wish I still had that one.....and the red bulletnose.....and the black President.....too many cars, too little time...... But I digress...where were you when you heard the news????

  • #2
    I was at work making 64 Studebaker bumpers at the Rockwell Standard bumper plant in Elkart In. The word passed though the plant like lighting. The nest day, my buddies and I wore Black arm bands.

    64 R2 4 speed Challenger (Plain Wrapper)
    63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
    55 Speedster
    50 2R 10 truck
    JDP Maryland

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    • #3
      Running a hay rake on Mr. Wilson's ranch, Mt. Lassen CA. I used to listen to the radio while working. Stopped the tractor and shut it down to hear more clearly. Mr. Wilson had a 63 Cruiser and was really bummed out.[V] So was I. Studes always seemed just a bit classier than the average American car.[8D]

      Lotsa Larks!
      Studeclunker
      A.K.A: out2lunch
      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
      Ron Smith
      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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      • #4
        Well, if you mean March of 1966, I read it in the Detroit Free Press, ran down to Renger`s Sales & Service in Detroit, and bought a new Daytona Sport Sedan off the showroom floor for $2056! Swore I would keep it forever, and drive it sparingly. Forever is a long time and six months later wife wanted a new house, so with only 1,100 miles on the odometer, the car was sold.

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        • #5
          I remember it...sort of[?].
          I was in 4th grade.
          Had a gorgeous single attractive sultry teacher that year (that I lusted for, but didn't know quite why....yet)[]
          My dad had ordered a '61 Hawk from the factory in '61 to help Studebaker, and I remember him at supper saying how sad it was to see a once great company toss in the towel in the fight with the big three.
          Too bad I had to grow up...
          Jeff[8D]



          [quote]Originally posted by HUB

          Where were you when you heard the news that Studebaker had packed up?

          DEEPNHOCK@worldnet.att.net
          '61 Hawk
          '37 Coupe Express
          http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


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



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

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          • #6
            Funny that it never occured to me that some consider the end came in 1966. As a 21 year old Studebaker nut in South Bend, the end came in Dec 63. After they dropped the Hawk, the Avanti and the Studebaker engine, most of us lost interest in the line. The date they closed in Canada was nothing to me personally.

            64 R2 4 speed Challenger (Plain Wrapper)
            63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
            55 Speedster
            50 2R 10 truck
            JDP Maryland

            Comment


            • #7
              Studebaker ceased U.S. production on Dec 9th, 1963, and Canadian production on March 4th, 1966.

              So, I have no memories of the actual shutdown, under two weeks old when the Hamilton plant shut down.

              BUT, I got to hear about it for the next 30 years from my Grandfather

              He was from South Dakota, and apparently Studebaker was almost a religion with his family.

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              • #8
                Are you sure about those dates?[:0]

                quote:Originally posted by PaulDriver

                Studebaker ceased U.S. production on Dec 9th, 1963, and Canadian production on March 4th, 1966.

                So, I have no memories of the actual shutdown, under two weeks old when the Hamilton plant shut down.

                BUT, I got to hear about it for the next 30 years from my Grandfather

                He was from South Dakota, and apparently Studebaker was almost a religion with his family.
                Sam Roberts

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                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by Sam Roberts

                  Are you sure about those dates?[:0]
                  http://www.studebakermuseum.org/studestory2.htm says December 1963 and March 1966

                  The dates I used come from my Grandad's 'Studebaker Binder', and it contains newspaper clippings about the closures.

                  Not that those dates are any more trust worthy then anything printed in a news paper today.

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                  • #10
                    It's kind of funny I had no Studebaker connection in my family, my dad owned Oldsmobiles all through the 60's and 70's and he had no love for Studebaker's which rusted out in about two years in this part of the country. To this day I remember watching TV, probably the CBS news (we only got two channels CBS & NBC at that time) the evening they announced that Studebaker had quit the automotive business. I was only 12 but was sadened that one more of the old American car companies had left the industry.

                    1960 Lark Convertible
                    1962 GT Hawk
                    Dan Peterson
                    Montpelier, VT
                    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
                    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

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                    • #11
                      December 20, 1963 in South Bend, and March 17, 1966 in Hamilton were the dates I have been led to believe were final assembly dates for passenger cars. I think what you quoted were announcement dates that production would cease respectively.

                      quote:Originally posted by PaulDriver

                      quote:Originally posted by Sam Roberts

                      Are you sure about those dates?[:0]
                      http://www.studebakermuseum.org/studestory2.htm says December 1963 and March 1966

                      The dates I used come from my Grandad's 'Studebaker Binder', and it contains newspaper clippings about the closures.

                      Not that those dates are any more trust worthy then anything printed in a news paper today.
                      Sam Roberts

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by Sam Roberts

                        December 20, 1963 in South Bend, and March 17, 1966 in Hamilton were the dates I have been led to believe were final assembly dates for passenger cars. I think what you quoted were announcement dates that production would cease respectively.

                        Sam Roberts
                        Quite probably.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Senior in High School. 'Came home from school and Mom met me at the door, afraid that I had heard the news elsewhere and might do myself in. I hadn't yet heard the news and so she was able to put me on watch for the next couple days <G>. BP

                          BP
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            The date December 9,1963 when the announcement was made didn't mean as much to me as to my dad and I felt bad for him as he had been driving Studes for about 15 years by that time. I was 21 at the time of the announcement and, although I drove a '54 C body Champion coupe at that time, the news was not as important to me as I was in- to Corvettes and in general Chevys. I liked the Studes, though the performence advantage was strongly in favor of the GM product at that time. I've since "grown up" some and now have an R2 Avanti as my main toy. As to how I heard the news, my dad brought it home from work as he'd heard it on the car radio. Of course the news wasn't a great shock as the automotive side of the business had been sliding rather severely for some years. I take my hat off to all the younger guys who have stuck with the Studes all these years--I wish I had done that as I only fairly recently purchased my '63. But it appears that quite a few young guys who weren't even around in '63 have become smitten with the cars and this is great.
                            Wagone in Iowa

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                            • #15
                              The shutdown in SB and in Hamilton meant nothing to me. I was a young guy in the Air Force and didn't even own my own first car until late '66 (a Dodge). While my dad had owned a 53 Nash for a time (and was all praise for it until the block cracked) and a good family friend had a 51 Kaiser that I rode in frequently, that's as close to orphan makes as I'd ever gotten. Studebakers were just another brand of car that I was aware of.
                              I remember being intrigued by a finned Hawk on one car-seeking foray into a used car lot with my dad along about 1959 or 60. Dad had turned to Ford products by then and I think he'd developed a bit of an allegiance to them - but it couldn't have been that strong because after a few of them he bought a Buick.[}]
                              The only other memory I have about Studes when they were in business is my dad noting their annoucement of the new Avanti while reading the Toledo Blade one evening. I remember taking a gander at the picture that accompanied the ad.
                              Studebakers were something I discoverd thru a friend and co-worker in 1973. I was working in a resto shop in Georgia and had no hope whatsoever of owning the sort of cars we worked on (Bugattis and Dusenbergs and the like) but couldn't abide the boringly common 57 Chevy or 56 Ford.[xx(] If I was gonna drive an oldie - it was gonna have to be different and attractive. Viola![:0] Studebaker! Dirt cheap, definitly different, lotsa cheap NOS parts and damned serviceable transportation as well. So it is to this day.
                              And frankly, I'm GLAD they went under. They'd be just another struggling car company (or worse, just another badge name of some foreign operation!) if they'd lived on.[^]

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

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