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Back seat drivers

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  • Back seat drivers

    Kiddos testing out the style and roominess of my 1961 Cruiser. This shot was of the nieces and nephews but I let any potential future drivers try the steering wheel out for size.

    Cabrina Dieters
    Murfreesboro, TN

  • #2
    Nice pic, I always like seeing the children get excited over the old cars.
    They are the future of the hobby.


    • #3
      I'm a real softy for '61 Cruisers. Our first new car and first Studebaker was a '61 Cruiser. Your car is the exact combination that got us hooked on '61 Larks. We were driving across North Georgia on a Saturday in the fall of 1960 and in a small town there was a Buick-Studebaker dealer. They had a big banner hung up announcing the new '61 Larks and they had several cars sitting out front. We stopped and were admiring a black Cruiser. The salesman came out and just tossed me the keys and said "take it for a ride". That alone was pretty remarkable because I had an out of state tag and was obviously a stranger. However, the ride convinced us. The car was SO MUCH quieter and smoother than the '57 Plymouth I was driving. That began the search which resulted in the new Cruiser in January, '61.
      Roomy- big selling point. We had split reclining seats and there was enough foot room for the seat backs to lay flat. Several times we slept in the car with that setup (CASO even then). When I was being transferred from Rhode Island to Kansas and our first son was way overdue I ended up getting mom and son out of the Rhode Island hospital Friday afternoon with having to report in Kansas (1700 miles) Monday morning. I put down the passenger seat and made a bed for her and the baby. She could sit up in the back seat if she wanted or she could lie down. Made it Sunday afternoon.
      Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
      '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine


      • #4
        Cherish that moment and photo. It is amazing how short the time is that the kid behind the steering wheel will go from looking through it to looking over it!
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975


        • #5
          Thanks Paul for the great Studebaker story between you and Mr Biggs you guys could write a book...Bob
          Castro Valley,


          • #6
            Paul, thanks for great story and pictures! I may have to rustle through mom and dad's album to see if there are any photos of our old white Lark. After the car was rear ended dad parked it in the garden. Spent many happy hours playing behind the wheel and imagining travelling beyond the Iowa cornfields. As a kid I didn't realize dad was using it for parts to prop up another vehicle or that the rust worms would finally put an end to my toy. Poor baby.

            Now if I can just infect a niece or nephew with the Studebaker bug . . .


            • #7
              Cabrina; that is one really fine looking Cruiser, you must be very proud of it!

              How many new Hondas will look and run like that in 49 years?
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner