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Studebaker "Going Green" before it was Cool !!!

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  • Studebaker "Going Green" before it was Cool !!!

    I was playing with Google Earth tonight and had a little fun (free download):

    http://www.google.com/earth



    Last edited by okc63avanti; 01-30-2011, 11:10 AM.
    sigpic
    John
    63R-2386
    Resto-Mod by Michael Myer

  • #2
    If you know right where to zoom in, you can see the remains of the cars in the Prototype Graveyard, inside the track infield... Pretty cool stuff.

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    • #3
      What is the building built between the "K" and the "E"? Seems odd they would build inside the trees. In fact construction and traffic could eventually damage it.

      Matthew do you have the coordinates or a link.

      Here's the link to the building in the trees:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=41.67,...,0.001124&z=19
      sigpic

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      • #4
        I think one of the coolest Studebaker things for me, was being able to drive (once) and ride (once) in a Studebaker several times around the 3 1/2 mile loop at the Proving Ground (thanks JWW!). Riding out Rt. 2 was fun; it was like a Studebaker parade with people lined up in chairs along the route, and being waved to "pull right in" at the gates...it was wonderful.

        It's also neat to see the 'mansion' there, that I've seen in several Studebaker brochure photos too.

        I've not been lucky enough to see, in person, the trees from above.
        Bill Pressler
        Kent, OH
        (formerly Greenville, PA)
        Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
        Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
        1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
        1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
        All are in Australia now

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        • #5
          I was wondering...

          Did any other American company plant a "tree sign" like Stidebaker did?? I always thought this was so neat. It's tooo bad the sign outlasted the company...
          1962 Champ

          51 Commander 4 door

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          • #6
            Actually, I don't know of another single company that has gone to this much effort to build such an elaborate testing centre for their cars. At least, not as early as Studebaker did. Certainly, none so elaborate, even today.
            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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            • #7
              Assuming the photos are current...
              Is someone maintaining the trees?
              You'd think in almost 50 years, trees would grow where they weren't wanted (merging letters, filling up the holes in the "B", etc) eventually making the sign illegible.
              63 Avanti R1 2788
              1914 Stutz Bearcat
              (George Barris replica)

              Washington State

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JBOYLE View Post
                Assuming the photos are current...
                Is someone maintaining the trees?
                The Latest Google Earth Satellite image for Bendix Woods County Park (i.e., the Studebaker Proving grounds) is October 3, 2008.
                sigpic
                John
                63R-2386
                Resto-Mod by Michael Myer

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JBOYLE View Post
                  Assuming the photos are current...
                  Is someone maintaining the trees?
                  You'd think in almost 50 years, trees would grow where they weren't wanted (merging letters, filling up the holes in the "B", etc) eventually making the sign illegible.
                  IIRC, about 10 or so years ago, the County had the "STUDEBAKER" trees trimmed up. It was supposed to be done in time for the 1997 IM in South Bend, but they missed that goal by a few years.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mbstude View Post
                    If you know right where to zoom in, you can see the remains of the cars in the Prototype Graveyard, inside the track infield... Pretty cool stuff.
                    Found them, just beyond the 'path' mark across the track through the woods. How many hulks are there moldering away, you think?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by studeclunker View Post
                      Actually, I don't know of another single company that has gone to this much effort to build such an elaborate testing centre for their cars. At least, not as early as Studebaker did. Certainly, none so elaborate, even today.
                      I think that most all major car companies have testing facilities that are as elaborate as the Studebaker Proving Ground. I have ridden around all parts of the Studebaker Proving Ground, from the water pit to the bumps. I have also ridden around (the old) Chrysler's Proving Ground in Michigan. I believe that Toyota has one in California. Of course, many car companies also rent track time at various oval and road race courses.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                      • #12
                        If the car companies really wanted a 'proving ground' today, all they would have to do is run the cars on the BQE and any other NYC road. If they make it here they can make it any where (FS)!
                        1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

                        "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BubbaBear View Post
                          What is the building built between the "K" and the "E"? Seems odd they would build inside the trees. In fact construction and traffic could eventually damage it.
                          BubbaBear: Studebaker didn't have those buildings there. They (the building you cite, plus the one above the first "E") were built by the St. Joseph County Parks & Recreation people once that area became a county park and picnic grounds. The buildings are shelter areas, rest rooms, etc. It is now fashionable to meet someone 'by the "S" or by the "D"' or some such for a picnic.

                          That the tree sign survives in such good condition is remarkable. I'm not an arborist or anything, but I've read articles on the trees for years. The trees are now well beyond their normal life expectancy and, sadly, are fading fast.

                          I walked among the letters, the full length of the tree sign, about two years ago and was disappointed to note the level of deterioration; major limb damage, anything old-age-related, I'm sorry to say. They are so very large and tall; downright huge compared to what you might expect if you just looked at a picture from above! They are still identifiable from the air, as we see, but it would cost a fortune no municipality can afford to spend, to make them look much better or last much longer.

                          We should enjoy them while we can. 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
                            Originally posted by Jim B PEI View Post
                            Found them, just beyond the 'path' mark across the track through the woods. How many hulks are there moldering away, you think?
                            Last I heard, about 45.
                            Chris Dresbach

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                            • #15
                              Unlike our cars, I guess you can't really "restore" something like this. About 10yrs ago, a cemetery I am familiar with cut down all the (spruce, I think) trees that were planted around the border. They'd been planted probably shortly after the cemetery was established in about 1940 and after 60yrs many of them were getting a bit ragged and overgrown. Several of them had been "topped" by Christmas tree thieves over the years as well. Many had broken branches on the bottom from snow drifts. Definately looked shabby. All new trees were planted in their place.

                              Point being, I suppose the STUDEBAKER sign could be cut down and replanted with new trees. But, it would not be the "same" sign, would it, that Studebaker put there?

                              Jeff in ND

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