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  • Anyone here met Sherwood Egbert, other leaders?

    I've been wondering how many here actually met any of the last leaders of Studebaker. I wonder how many of their children or wives have been involved with SDC.
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

  • #2
    Geeze, Scott; I was hoping a few people would have occasion to post to your thread.

    [}] OK, here goes the encounter by myself and cousin George Krem (original owner of The Plain Brown Wrapper R3 Challenger Race Car):

    Dateline [u]South Bend: June 1963</u>. I was 17 years old and George was either 20 or 21; probably 20. We were in South Bend for one of our multi-day explorations of All Things Studebaker. [^][}][^] Mid-morning, we decided to have a coke at The Toasty Shop.

    Some of you know The Toasty Shop to be a small diner a half-block east of the front door of The Studebaker Administration Building. As such, it was a watering hole (no alcoholic beverages) for Studebaker executives wanting to get out of "The Big House" for a breath of fresh air (well...at least until they entered the smoke-filled Toasty Shop!) and morning coffee.

    Having had our cokes, we went to the cash register to pay. We noticed Sherwood Egbert himself [:0][:0] (seriously) sitting at the counter [:0] with his trademark cigarette in one hand and cup of coffee in the other. He was maybe 20 feet from us! [:I] George and I stared at each other in disbelief: It was HIM! Almost GOD....almost.

    We looked at each other and dared each other to approach him, to tell him how much we liked what he was doing and maybe get an autograph on a napkin or something. Alas, we were simply too chicken to do so and left after a few minutes, convinced we had witnessed something akin to Christ's Second Coming.

    We've regretted our collective sheepishness hundreds of times since. Undoubtedly, as enthusiastic as we were about Egbert's progress creating a high-performance image for Studebaker, he surely would have been happy to accommodate us. We might have even "made his day," but in 1963, nobody was making anybody else's day because the phrase hadn't been coined yet. [V][V] 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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Geeze, Scott; I was hoping a few people would have occasion to post to your thread.

      [}] OK, here goes the encounter by myself and cousin George Krem (original owner of The Plain Brown Wrapper R3 Challenger Race Car):

      Dateline [u]South Bend: June 1963</u>. I was 17 years old and George was either 20 or 21; probably 20. We were in South Bend for one of our multi-day explorations of All Things Studebaker. [^][}][^] Mid-morning, we decided to have a coke at The Toasty Shop.

      Some of you know The Toasty Shop to be a small diner a half-block east of the front door of The Studebaker Administration Building. As such, it was a watering hole (no alcoholic beverages) for Studebaker executives wanting to get out of "The Big House" for a breath of fresh air (well...at least until they entered the smoke-filled Toasty Shop!) and morning coffee.

      Having had our cokes, we went to the cash register to pay. We noticed Sherwood Egbert himself [:0][:0] (seriously) sitting at the counter [:0] with his trademark cigarette in one hand and cup of coffee in the other. He was maybe 20 feet from us! [:I] George and I stared at each other in disbelief: It was HIM! Almost GOD....almost.

      We looked at each other and dared each other to approach him, to tell him how much we liked what he was doing and maybe get an autograph on a napkin or something. Alas, we were simply too chicken to do so and left after a few minutes, convinced we had witnessed something akin to Christ's Second Coming.

      We've regretted our collective sheepishness hundreds of times since. Undoubtedly, as enthusiastic as we were about Egbert's progress creating a high-performance image for Studebaker, he surely would have been happy to accommodate us. We might have even "made his day," but in 1963, nobody was making anybody else's day because the phrase hadn't been coined yet. [V][V] 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.

      Comment


      • #4
        That's a great story, Bob. I wish I had been there, too. I thought I'd hear a few more stories myself. I know there are people out there who at least met some of these now historical figures.
        "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

        Comment


        • #5
          That's a great story, Bob. I wish I had been there, too. I thought I'd hear a few more stories myself. I know there are people out there who at least met some of these now historical figures.
          "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

          Comment


          • #6



            We've regretted our collective sheepishness hundreds of times since.

            Bob, I think its time for you to once again republish your September, 1980 TW article. I still maintain in my 30 year collection of Turning Wheels, its the best first person account of what it was like to 'be there', although at times unauthorized; having to dodge plant security, etc.[}] The 'falling behind' on the plant tours, and 'out for a walk' on the Proving Ground and what you saw there is what made it most interesting!

            Craig

            Comment


            • #7



              We've regretted our collective sheepishness hundreds of times since.

              Bob, I think its time for you to once again republish your September, 1980 TW article. I still maintain in my 30 year collection of Turning Wheels, its the best first person account of what it was like to 'be there', although at times unauthorized; having to dodge plant security, etc.[}] The 'falling behind' on the plant tours, and 'out for a walk' on the Proving Ground and what you saw there is what made it most interesting!

              Craig

              Comment


              • #8
                I think Mr. Egbert had two daughters. Several years ago now I was privileged to tour the second floor of the old Clubhouse building at the Proving Grounds. The house I believe has since been remodeled and is part of a county park. The second floor was home to the Egberts and was still in early 1960s condition when we visited. Large rooms, a neat (for the era) bathroom and master bedroom. I remember reading Egbert took some heat for commandeering the clubhouse for his personal residence. The kitchen was on the main floor and fantastic for anyone interested in 1950s modern. The kitchen was large and most probably used for catering at the clubhouse. I've never seen anything much written about Egbert after he left Studebaker. I have never read that his daughters or wife are active Studebaker alum, or if Mrs. Egbert is even still alive. Perhaps Studebaker is a painful memory for them since Egbert fell into ill health (stomach cancer) while at Studebaker. All I have ever read was he moved to California, did some consulting, and died in 1969 from cancer. Probably the best writeup available was published in Turning Wheels in the 1990s with the clever title "Indiana Egbert and the Temple of Doom." The last active President of Studebaker was Byers Burlingame, unfairly labeled "the undertaker" because he helped close out Packard (he was originally a Packard man) and did the same for Studebaker Automotive. I don't know if any of his children (if he had them) have any Studebaker connection today.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think Mr. Egbert had two daughters. Several years ago now I was privileged to tour the second floor of the old Clubhouse building at the Proving Grounds. The house I believe has since been remodeled and is part of a county park. The second floor was home to the Egberts and was still in early 1960s condition when we visited. Large rooms, a neat (for the era) bathroom and master bedroom. I remember reading Egbert took some heat for commandeering the clubhouse for his personal residence. The kitchen was on the main floor and fantastic for anyone interested in 1950s modern. The kitchen was large and most probably used for catering at the clubhouse. I've never seen anything much written about Egbert after he left Studebaker. I have never read that his daughters or wife are active Studebaker alum, or if Mrs. Egbert is even still alive. Perhaps Studebaker is a painful memory for them since Egbert fell into ill health (stomach cancer) while at Studebaker. All I have ever read was he moved to California, did some consulting, and died in 1969 from cancer. Probably the best writeup available was published in Turning Wheels in the 1990s with the clever title "Indiana Egbert and the Temple of Doom." The last active President of Studebaker was Byers Burlingame, unfairly labeled "the undertaker" because he helped close out Packard (he was originally a Packard man) and did the same for Studebaker Automotive. I don't know if any of his children (if he had them) have any Studebaker connection today.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I read recently that the board of directors wanted out of the auto business and anticipated Egbert doing just that, instead he got enthusiastic and tried to keep them in the auto business. They eased him out when he got ill and shortly afterwards shut down SB. It's true that Hamilton was making a profit when shut down but I don't think folks were still buying Studebakers - at least not the non Studebaker enthusiasts.
                    We can be proud that they closed the auto division and didn't go bust.

                    John Clements
                    Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!
                    Lockleys South Australia
                    John Clements
                    Christchurch, New Zealand

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I read recently that the board of directors wanted out of the auto business and anticipated Egbert doing just that, instead he got enthusiastic and tried to keep them in the auto business. They eased him out when he got ill and shortly afterwards shut down SB. It's true that Hamilton was making a profit when shut down but I don't think folks were still buying Studebakers - at least not the non Studebaker enthusiasts.
                      We can be proud that they closed the auto division and didn't go bust.

                      John Clements
                      Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!
                      Lockleys South Australia
                      John Clements
                      Christchurch, New Zealand

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by avantilover

                        I read recently that the board of directors wanted out of the auto business and anticipated Egbert doing just that, instead he got enthusiastic and tried to keep them in the auto business.
                        John Clements
                        Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!
                        Lockleys South Australia
                        'Not sure what you were reading, John, but I strongly disagree with the writer's opinion of Egbert's intentions. From the very git-go, he was hell-bent on saving the automotive division, and felt that he had been hired to do just that. True, there were serious disagreements among the Board of Directors when Egbert was hired: Many wanted to go out of the auto business, but just enough wanted to make a final go of it that Egbert was hired to do so. [][}]

                        I followed this closely at the time. I read every article concerning Studebaker in Automotive News, the trade journal of the industry that was always kind to Studebaker, and every scrap of information I could get my hands on. [:I]

                        (Understand, John: I'm not questioning your personal opinion, but the opinion of whoever wrote the piece to which you refer. I believe it is 180 degrees off the mark [xx(] regarding Egbert's perception of what he was originally hired to do.)

                        Sherwood Egbert was a good man. He really did kill himself trying to save Studebaker's Automotive Division. He worked against odds far beyond what he could have been reasonably expected to know, much less overcome. But he gave it his best, his health, and, ultimately, his life...to the extent that it was dramatically shortened by his work at Studebaker.[V] 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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:Originally posted by avantilover

                          I read recently that the board of directors wanted out of the auto business and anticipated Egbert doing just that, instead he got enthusiastic and tried to keep them in the auto business.
                          John Clements
                          Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!
                          Lockleys South Australia
                          'Not sure what you were reading, John, but I strongly disagree with the writer's opinion of Egbert's intentions. From the very git-go, he was hell-bent on saving the automotive division, and felt that he had been hired to do just that. True, there were serious disagreements among the Board of Directors when Egbert was hired: Many wanted to go out of the auto business, but just enough wanted to make a final go of it that Egbert was hired to do so. [][}]

                          I followed this closely at the time. I read every article concerning Studebaker in Automotive News, the trade journal of the industry that was always kind to Studebaker, and every scrap of information I could get my hands on. [:I]

                          (Understand, John: I'm not questioning your personal opinion, but the opinion of whoever wrote the piece to which you refer. I believe it is 180 degrees off the mark [xx(] regarding Egbert's perception of what he was originally hired to do.)

                          Sherwood Egbert was a good man. He really did kill himself trying to save Studebaker's Automotive Division. He worked against odds far beyond what he could have been reasonably expected to know, much less overcome. But he gave it his best, his health, and, ultimately, his life...to the extent that it was dramatically shortened by his work at Studebaker.[V] 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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by 8E45E



                            Bob, I think its time for you to once again republish your September, 1980 TW article. I still maintain in my 30 year collection of Turning Wheels, its the best first person account of what it was like to 'be there', although at times unauthorized; having to dodge plant security, etc.[}] The 'falling behind' on the plant tours, and 'out for a walk' on the Proving Ground and what you saw there is what made it most interesting!

                            Craig
                            Craig: Thanks for the endorsement. [^] We've had quite a turnover of, and increase in, SDC membership since 1980, so maybe Art will see fit to go with your suggestion. I know he wants to include more first-person accounts in articles such as you suggest.

                            Time flies. [:0] Consider: In 1980, that report was less than two decades removed from our actual experiences in 1963. Now, it has been almost three decades since that 1980 report itself was published! Sheesh. 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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by 8E45E



                              Bob, I think its time for you to once again republish your September, 1980 TW article. I still maintain in my 30 year collection of Turning Wheels, its the best first person account of what it was like to 'be there', although at times unauthorized; having to dodge plant security, etc.[}] The 'falling behind' on the plant tours, and 'out for a walk' on the Proving Ground and what you saw there is what made it most interesting!

                              Craig
                              Craig: Thanks for the endorsement. [^] We've had quite a turnover of, and increase in, SDC membership since 1980, so maybe Art will see fit to go with your suggestion. I know he wants to include more first-person accounts in articles such as you suggest.

                              Time flies. [:0] Consider: In 1980, that report was less than two decades removed from our actual experiences in 1963. Now, it has been almost three decades since that 1980 report itself was published! Sheesh. 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.

                              Comment

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