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  • studegary
    replied
    I thought that Studebaker distributed 1958 through 1965 model Mercedes-Benz cars.

    It was long after WWII that Mercedes and Studebaker joined forces for sales. It was in 1957 for 1958 models.

    I don't know what is meant by; "after the breakup of Studebaker-Packard." It was Studebaker-Packard from October 1954 until the Packard name was dropped - in 1962, IIRC.

    Of course, we know that Avanti survived long after "the 1980s."

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  • tstclr
    replied
    Is anyone here familiar with "Palmyra Motors" in Palmyra Pa? That is where my 63 Lark came from. A p.o peeled the dealer decal off the trunk lid and put it on a piece of paper and left it in the glove box. I am going to try to scan it and print it on adhesive paper to put back on the car when it is restored. Would love to get ahold of a key chain or any other dealer items!
    Todd


    63 Lark 2dr Sedan

    Leave a comment:


  • DEEPNHOCK
    replied
    Not exactly...
    There was a Curtiss/Wright connection...

    A better explanation of the Studebaker/Mercedes relationship is here at:http://patriot.net/~jonroq/stumerc.htm


    (copy)

    By Ray Windecker

    LIVONIA -- The merger with Chrysler Corp. is not Daimler-Benz AG's first dalliance with a major American automaker.
    In the early-to-mid 1950s, a weak distribution system left Mercedes cars virtually invisible in the United States. Yearly sales ranged from a few units to a few hundred.
    Curtis-Wright Corp., an old-line aircraft firm and early conglomerate, had business connections with both Daimler-Benz and Studebaker-Packard. In 1957, through these connections, the American distribution rights for Mercedes was acquired by Studebaker-Packard.
    The automaker formed a subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz Sales Inc., headed by Lon Fleener, a veteran Packard executive. After the breakup of Studebaker-Packard, Studebaker Corp. retained Mercedes-Benz.
    Although there was a core Mercedes staff, they were headquartered in Studebaker's South Bend, Ind., home office and largely borrowed from existing Studebaker and ex-Packard staff.
    Dealer recruitment, sales training, and parts and service, particularly in the early years, were handled at field level primarily by existing Studebaker people, often as a sideline. I wore the multi-purpose Studebaker-Mercedes hat, signing new-dealer contracts and wholesaling vehicles for either or both organizations.
    In 1959, it was often easier to dual a Big Three dealer with the Studebaker Lark/Hawk/Truck trio than it was Mercedes, even with the Mercedes franchise available at a promise to buy $10,000 in parts, tools and signs plus enough open credit to floor-plan two to four cars.
    By 1964, there were more than 320 Mercedes dealers in the United States. More than 150 were Studebaker duals. Most others were dualed with other imports and domestics. Less than 20 were Mercedes exclusives.
    But Studebaker was in serious trouble in 1965, having first abandoned its California plant and then its South Bend home base. It retreated to assemble cars in a small Canadian plant that could not accommodate trucks or the sporty Avanti.
    The Mercedes brand was by the mid-1960s well established and selling at near 20,000 units a year, but Daimler-Benz was doing business with dealers and the public through a weak Studebaker organization. So Daimler-Benz bought back the Mercedes-Benz Sales Inc. contract for near $9 million, roughly five times the earlier selling price.
    Daimler-Benz then formed Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc., ending the Studebaker-Mercedes association that spanned portions of nine years. During that time Mercedes flourished, becoming a highly visible and respected brand, while Studebaker withered, as had so many independent auto manufacturers, caught and overcome by the fierce price and share wars of the domestic Big Three.
    The final Studebaker car was produced in Canada in 1966, although the Avanti continued as a low-volume independent into the 1980s.
    Ray Windecker is a Livonia free-lance writer.


    quote:Originally posted by Tim Keith

    After World War II when Mercedes had gotten back into production
    they approached Studebaker with a proposal for the exclusive
    USA rights to market Mercedes vehicles. At the time Mercedes
    cars were sold by some Studebaker dealers, Mercedes was struggling
    to build it's own USA dealer network. Studebaker turned down
    Mercedes offer. At that time sales of US cars were strong,
    German cars were unpopular in the USA.

    In 1998 Daimler-Benz "merged" with another USA automaker with
    a German name : Chrysler. Perhaps it could have been
    Daimler-Studebaker. In those days Studebaker was a stronger
    company than Daimler Benz.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    After World War II when Mercedes had gotten back into production
    they approached Studebaker with a proposal for the exclusive
    USA rights to market Mercedes vehicles. At the time Mercedes
    cars were sold by some Studebaker dealers, Mercedes was struggling
    to build it's own USA dealer network. Studebaker turned down
    Mercedes offer. At that time sales of US cars were strong,
    German cars were unpopular in the USA.

    In 1998 Daimler-Benz "merged" with another USA automaker with
    a German name : Chrysler. Perhaps it could have been
    Daimler-Studebaker. In those days Studebaker was a stronger
    company than Daimler Benz.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I recall Nance Motors on Tryon Street in Charlotte, NC. That was the dealership dad purchased the fully loaded 55 President Ultra Vista from. When I say loaded, it had power front windows only, seats, steering,brakes, factory trunk mounted (NOVI) air conditioning system, wire wheels, fog lights, all the chrome, you name it, it had it. It was Mr. & Mrs. Nance's personal car and they replaced it with a black and white 56 President Classic equipped the same way.

    I also remember Owen Studebaker Company in Laurinburg, NC. A small dealership that did quite well selling to the mostly rural farming community. Friends of my parents, a Mr. & Mrs Cagle traded their 56 President Classic in on a silver 66 Cruiser that was in the last shipment of cars Mr. Owen received. Their President had power windows. I recall Mrs Cagle fussing at me cause I would run the windows in the back up and down whenever I rode in it. Miss. Bessie would scold me ("Billy, you better not tear my windows up boy") Something odd about Mr. Owen is that he would order cars and never sell them, instead keeping them for parts and would pull parts from them if he needed something for a car one of the mechanics was working on in the shop. Said it was cheaper than keeping a lot of parts inventory. I remember vividly the fenced in section behind the garage and it was lined with mostly 56/57/58 big Studebaker sedans and several Larks. After production stopped in 66, Mr. Owen did a profitable business servicing the numerous Studebakers in the area and selling late model used cars of all makes. He had a mechanic named Paul that had worked on Studebakers all his working years and was one of the best Studebaker mechanics to be found. Dad would continue to take the Studebakers we had to Paul for servicing and even the Chrysler we had later on. The dealership was torn down sometime in the early 80's and another dealership, Scotland Motors continues to operate on the same site.

    Bill Sapp
    Hamlet, NC

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  • Blue 15G
    replied
    I am the author of the May, 2005 article in Turning Wheels about the Meachum dealership in Lewisburg, PA. I want to add that I totally agree with Bill Pressler; I very much enjoy the dealer articles and stories. I hope you enjoyed reading my article. Can we please see some more of these in Turning Wheels? Only problem that I can see is that time is running out for a lot of the people who ran these dealerships "first-hand".

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  • Blue 15G
    replied
    In Butler, PA we had Zellsman Motor Company. It was a small dealership on South Bluff Street. The showroom held one car. But he did seem to have a lot of Studebakers on site, and he stayed with them until 1966 and beyond. In 1972 I was in high school and considering purchasing a '61 Lark V-8 that needed some work. Mr. Zellsman was selling Datsuns by then, but he let me accompany him into the attic of the building, in which he still had lots of Studebaker parts. (I didn't buy the car. It was in the back row of an AMC dealer, and I could have had it for $45. Remember, this was 1972). As I recall, I was ready to buy the car when the dealer discovered that they already had sent the title in to the state as junk. Guess they figured that no one would be interested in an old Lark anymore! I think the parts at Zellsman's were eventually bought out by Harold Hendricks.
    I also remember visiting this dealership with my Dad in 1964, and seeing my first Packard Hawk on the used car row. It was black, and had a flat tire from sitting there gathering dust. I remember wanting it, but I was 10 years old at the time, and when you tried to talk your Dad into looking at a car like that...well, you remember how that goes!

    Leave a comment:


  • nm dude
    replied
    Some of the dealerships I recall: Used to ride my bicycle over to G.A. Baer on Alma St. in Palo Alto, Ca to collect sales literature. Later moved to Michigan, and bought a new `66 Daytona Sport Sedan at Renger`s Sales & Service on Chalmers in Detroit. Currently own a `63 GT Hawk, that was the personal car of Steve Dean, the owner Of Dean`s Automotive Service, Portales, NM. By the time I moved to NM in 1970, the Dean`s were selling International trucks and AMC cars. Later they ran a repair garage. Up until 4 years ago when their building was sold to a bank, there was still a Studebaker-Packard sign painted on the side.

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  • jackb
    replied
    Detweiler's is correct for Uniontown, PA.....

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  • 52hawk
    replied

    Lambert Jones,laSalle,Illinois,sold Studebakers.Thats where my dad bought his one and only new car,a Lark wagon.I rode home in it the night he bought it.
    Rolando bros in Ladd,Illinois,closed their Stude dealership upon the death of the owner.About 20 years ago, there was an auction of the estate.The shop had sat for many years,untouched.Among the sale items were a new Lark,never sold,never titled[so the story goes].
    Readers of TW may remember the story of the pickup box for the 41 coupe being sold by Rolando bros. The building is still there,being used as a car repair shop,bearing no evidence of its Stude history


    not golden hawk,not silver hawk,just hawk.

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  • big jim
    replied
    crescent city motors in new orleans was a studebaker mercedes dealer to the end. is still in business...mercedes and datsun. studebaker and packard of monroe went to gmc and then to used cars i bought their inventory in 68,also bought natchitoches motors inventory in 68,dont know the name o f the dealer in morgan city..went out prior to 64 also bought their inventory in 68...sold parts all over the world.. you would be surprised how many rhdrive parts were ordered mistakenly by some of these guys.. if u look at the old parts catalogs you can understand why i still have original copies of factory invoices for many vehicles from these dealers from about 58-64interesting topic gang

    Leave a comment:


  • studeclunker
    replied
    Woodland was outside of my area of influence. The only reason I know about the Riverside dealership is the plate frame that fell apart. In retrospect I could have done the same with it as I have done with the Champ's. I do remember a dealership in Santa Ana CA on Main st. One in Clairmont CA, and another in Anaheim. The only reason I remember Clairmont and Anaheim is that we used to pass them on the way to Buena Vista studios in Burbank. Hated the place... The dealership in Santa Ana held on into the seventies. They became a used car shop and garage after the company (Studebaker) folded. The Studies slowly dissapeared, then so did they. Not that I was very interested, but they were the last place in Orange County (that I knew of) that advertised Studebaker service(at least in the phone book). I could be wrong, like I said I did'nt pay much attention to them. It was the Studes that drew my attention. They kind of stood out. [8D] Especially to a car crazy teenager. Oops![:I] Dating myself again![:0]

    By the way Mr Biggs... I thought I was bad (L.M.A.O.)!

    Lotsa Larks!
    Studeclunker
    A.K.A: out2lunch

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  • Roscomacaw
    replied
    Robert - 59 was the year they didn't call them Transtars.

    Miscreant at large.

    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe
    1957 President 2-dr
    1955 President State
    1951 Champion Biz cpe
    1963 Daytona project FS

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  • JDP
    replied
    I've bought out a few dozen dealers parts from the 70'
    s on, the last one, a small basement stash, last year. Not many truck load sized stashs left. Wish I could rethink some of my buys. i.e.left a NOS trimmed M series cab because I did not have room, never bothered with a lot of bulky hard parts like axles and springs.

    Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
    64 R2 4 speed Challenger (Plain Wrapper)
    63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
    55 Speedster
    50 2R 10 truck

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  • Transtar56
    replied
    The only Stude dealer I remember was MaCaan Garage,,just outside Amherst Nova Scotia.My freind Gary Payne bought out all their stock and even their tow truck when Stude went out of business.He sold off or gave away the signs back in the 70's when it was junk.Gary was/is a rather strange Stude dude,he collected over 50 Studebakers which all still sit in the feilds around his old farm,or at least the sad remains of them.I like walking around there and especially looking over the old MaCaan Garage tow truck,still in their colors.Its a 58 Deluxe cab Transtar,but isn't that the year they didn't actually call them that?
    Anyway,the stainless steel trim that goes on the cab thats on my truck came from this old tow truck.

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