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First Experience with a Studebaker

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  • First Experience with a Studebaker

    I am a long time antique, classic, and special interest car person who appreciates most makes of cars. My fascination with Studebakers began around the age on 9. Due to the fact that my mother is the youngest child in a large family, I have many older cousins. When I was around 9 we went to visit my aunt and uncle who lived in Rich Hill, MO at the time. My cousin, who was around 19, had a 1950 Studebaker Champion. Unfortunately my cousin, as has been true of many young people, had not take very good care of the car and it was not in running condition. I was immediately facinated by the unusual styling and the suicide doors. My cousin foolishly allowed me to play in his car, reasoning that I could do little harm to it since it was not running. My parents have never owned a manual transmission car and I was intrigued by that extra pedal, not to mention that the pedals were round and came out of the floor unlike my parents' 1960 Chevy. Predicably, I pushed in the clutch pedal, shifted out of gear, and the car began to roll. Fortunately the street where my aunt and uncle lived did not have a very steep hill. Even at age 9, I had enough sense to push the brake pedal. My cousin came out and rescued me. He reached in and shifted the car back into gear. Needless to say he learned his lesson about letting a 9 year old play in a car. I am sorry to say that my cousin's Studebaker is long gone and that my cousin is deceased. Whenever we mention my cousin or the aunt and uncle who were his parents, I always think of that incident. It is my hope to someday own a Studebaker, a 1950 or 1951 like my cousin's. If I achieve that goal, I hope my cousin knows, even though he is no longer in this world, that he played a significant role in my enthusiasm for cars and specificaly for Studebakers.

  • #2
    Get a Studebaker, you are not getting any younger. If it is not a show room car you will be like us , having fun learning , fixing, and washing greasy hands.

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    • #3
      Steve,
      I have to 2nd Curts comment! My own interest in Studebaker and the cars bearing the nameplate started young. I had an uncle who worked for Studebaker in South Bend right up to the end of US production.
      I kept saying "someday" I'll take the plunge. Well, one day last November something triggered it...at 46 I said to myself "if not now, when?" and set my mind to finding my '54.
      She's hardly perfect but I am rediscovering how cars used to be made. Simple, strong, dependable and straightforward....and having a blast doing it.
      You should take the leap of faith, find that bulletnose out there with your name on it and give it home. Take care of it and then pass the legacy onto the next soul fascinated by America's best independent make.

      Dave

      "Oh That? It's a STUDEBAKER!!"

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      • #4
        I'll say a "me too". I'm 47 and took the plunge earlier this year. My wife doesn't understand, but this car has more soul than any I've ever owned. And I LIKE busting my knuckles on it

        ________________________
        Mark Anderson
        http://home.alltel.net/anderm
        1965 Studebaker Cruiser

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        • #5
          Ten years ago at this time of year I was driving an old friend to Glyndbourne (an opera house in the country, a bit like Santa Fe) and talking as usual about one day getting a Studebaker like we'd had when I was a boy. He said "It's time you stopped talking and DID something about this! I challenge you to have it for Glyndbourne next year!"

          Well, Tippecanoe the Speedster had crossed the Atlantic and survived Her Majesties Customs Inspectors by the challenge date, although it was another year before he was roadworthy enough for the drive to Glyndbourne where he has outclassed many exotic cars in the car park for most of the years since then.

          In passing, one year to my surprise the late Queen Mother gently squeezed past me in the crowd on the terrace after the show as she left for her own transport back to London - an indication of the discreet (or non-existant?) security arrangements that were considered sufficient for such a figure here.

          Peter.

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          • #6
            My disease started early, Studebakers were never in our neighborhood. I was never exposed to them growing up. My father was a Ford executive for twenty three years so my life was a series of Falcons, Galaxies and a Mercury. My father would not even let me watch "Bonanza" or "Betwitch" because they were sponsered by Chevy. I did see every episode of "The FBI". Anyway, my father let me watch "Mr.Ed" He thought that a show sponsered by Studebaker would not spoil my little mind. How wrong he was! I still think the show is stupid, but I did love the Larks, Daytonas and the occasional Avanti. I thought that these cars were beautiful and looked so right.

            My first collectible car was a 1969 Olds Cutlass Convertible. I got it when I graduated from college in 1980. Women loved that car, right up until my date lost her purse through the floor. The second one was a 1966 Rambler Classic 770 convertible. Ronette and I were together from 1987 to 2002. Finances forced me to sell her, but she went to a very good home, she is currently getting a frame-off restoration.

            As I stated before, I volunteer at an auto museum. The guys started to bust it for me because I did not have an old car. I told them that my convertible itch was scratched and I wanted a 1960s compact. I bought Stuart from a 70 year old man who became too old for the hobby. I drove him for two miles and wrote a check. We are still getting used to each other. When I bought him, he only had 51,000 miles, he is now up to 56,000 after three years. Weather in Cleveland, my work and my masters degree program has not given me much time with him, but I feel that we will be together for a long time yet.

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            • #7
              Where are you located Steve? Is it the bullet nose styling that you're looking for?[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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              • #8
                In answer to the questions, etc. from other members, I live in St. Louis, and yes it is the bullet nose style of the 1950 and 1951 models I particualrly like. You are, of course, right. Life is too short not to make the effort to acquire things I would really like to have, such as a nice Studebaker. There are only two things currently standing in the way of my achieveing that goal. First is my current situation of being unemployed. Second is the financial problems that result from being unemployed. Until I overcome that obstacle I fear my three 1:24 scale models are as close to owning a real Studebaker as I will be able to get. If anyone knows of a company that is NOT located in India and is hiring mainframe COBOL programmers, any information or leads will be appreciated. Seriously.

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                • #9
                  My earliest connection with a stude was our baby sitter had a 50 bullitt nose and I still remember the suicide doors and sitting in the back.The next time was probably when I got infected with the stude virus and that was when one of my 3rd grade classmates was dropped off at school by her brother in a 53 coupe. I have always wanted one since. My next experience was my first car which was a 48 Willys station wagon with a 259 with overdrive. I sure surprised a few Mustangs with it from stoplight to stoplight.The next acquistion was a 55 commander that a friend and I bought for 35 dollars to drive from Indiana to New Mexico after working in a trailer factory for one summer before college.That car not only got us back but we sold it for a five dollar profit.While in college, I purchased a 63 R1 Avanti which I still have. I eventually got interested in circle track racing and raced a 62 Hawk and several Larks in the early to mid seventies with modest success.I guess that you never get rid of the stude virus because I keep cruising ebay looking at studies and daydreaming.

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                  • #10
                    Steve, I know how you feel. My last employer in data processing dismissed his entire staff of programmers and computer room staff as well.[V] We were all replaced by imported labour from China. Forgive my spelling but I believe it is The Institute of Technology in Szechwan(shek-wahn). Twenty application and systems programers and nine in the data processing centre. And Bill Gates is pressing to have all the limitations removed for imported labour. American business... aint it great?

                    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?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And according to some people, who will remain nameless, outsourcing is good for our economy. Yeah right. We may never see justice in this world, but greed is still a sin!
                      quote:Originally posted by studeclunker

                      Steve, I know how you feel. My last employer in data processing dismissed his entire staff of programmers and computer room staff as well.[V] We were all replaced by imported labour from China. Forgive my spelling but I believe it is The Institute of Technology in Szechwan(shek-wahn). Twenty application and systems programers and nine in the data processing centre. And Bill Gates is pressing to have all the limitations removed for imported labour. American business... aint it great?

                      Lotsa Larks!
                      Studeclunker
                      A.K.A: out2lunch

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, well, we live in the age of greed IMHO. / H

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