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Studebakers in a small town

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  • Studebakers in a small town

    I read a comment in another post, and it got me to thinking about the concentration of Studebakers in our town. I wonder if there is another town that has as many per capita as we do?

    Our town, Hazlehurst Ga. Boast a population of only 3886 people, and I counted up 47 Studebakers that live here.
    OK, most of them are MINE, and most of them don't run, but they are still here.
    I have 5 that are licenced and insured. About 15 parts cars, and around 10 that are somewhere in between=30.
    My son has 2, a 51, and a52 champion. My baby girl has a 59 scotsman truck. Son-in law Mitchell has a 53 Studillac, Son-in-law Jack has A56 Sedan and 64 Wagonaire. All drivable except the girl's truck. It's missing the radiator.

    All 3 of my grandsons have Studebakers. Josh's 60 Lark and Zack's 54 coupe are drivable but not road worthy yet. But the boys are only 11 and 12.

    Miss Brenda G. Has a 51 business Coupe that her Dad bought new. Her late husband had it 90% restored before his untimely passing. We helped her finish it up. Her grandson recently used it in his wedding.

    A local body shop owner and his son have a 51 truck, 52 convt. and 53 coupe.
    A rancher here owns a 49 truck and a 50 4dr Champion.
    An atourney in town has a 50 pic-up.
    And a local businessman has a "classic car inventory" which includes a PINK 62 Lark. He once had a 60 convt.and a Champ truck but recently sold them .

    If I did the math right, the number of Studebakers is 1.2% of the population. I think that's pretty good for a little so.Ga. town.

    In The next town over, there is a junk collector that has about 8, and a retired contractor that has a Beautiful 56 Golden Hawk. Down the road a bit I hav a friend that has 10. South Georgia seems to be rich in Studebakers.
    Neil Thornton

  • #2
    Hi Neil,
    speaking of small Georgia towns, I just received the production order for my black 1962 GT Hawk and it's destination was Haralson Georgia (south of Atlanta). I just checked, and the city's website says it has a population of 144. Know anything of a Studebaker dealership in that town?

    Just checked Bob Johnstone's dealership listing, and I did not find a listing for Haralson GA. I also did not find a dealership listed for De Smet South Dakota, which has a current population of 1089. The reason I mention this is that I also received the production order for my 1963 Daytona Wagonaire which was sold there.

    With just these two examples, it goes to show that there are many many more Studebaker dealerships yet to be listed. Let's get busy and find Mr. Johnstone some more dealerships!
    Last edited by Milaca; 06-06-2011, 08:31 PM.
    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


    • #3
      I've never heard of Haralson Ga. But then I try to stay south of Macon. My son has the original bill of sale for his 51. It was sold in Winder Ga. Near Athens.
      Neil Thornton


      • #4
        I have been over the years looking into Studebaker dealerships within the Sandhills of North Carolina. I started looking at my homtown of Fayetteville, NC. I have found a Studebaker dealership as early as 1917. The town, and later city, had a dealership all the way until 1966. We here not a large town until World War II and the leap in size of nearby Ft. Bragg. Still there are not now, nor can I find evidence that there were ever, an overwhelming number of Studebakers. I have found Studebaker dealership in many small towns. I found a picture of a Studebaker Garage in Pine Bluff, North Carolina whose population in 2000 was only 1109, but this picture is from around 1917 or so. That building by the way still exists and its present owner is in the process of restoring it to the way it looked in that old picture. I was at a car show in Carolina Beach in April and had a discussionwith a fellow who told me he was trying to buy a GT Hawk. He wanted the car pretty badly and admitted it was because his father had sold the car new. I asked were it was and was told the dealership was in Candor, NC. All of this leads me to believe that a lot of small towns had Studebaker dearships but did not have dealerships of some of the "main stream" manufactureres.

        Oh, and Neill I would be willing to bet that Hazelhurst and the surrounding area does have if not the highest, and least one of the highest per capital Studebaker numbers in the county. Good for you guys!
        Last edited by JRoberts; 06-07-2011, 04:38 AM.
        Joe Roberts
        '61 R1 Champ
        '65 Cruiser
        Eastern North Carolina Chapter


        • #5
          Either there was a plethora of Studebaker super salespeople in GA or there was a paucity of Ford and Chevy dealers.



          • #6
            Neil, your post hints at the opportunity Studebaker squandered at the turn of the century (1899-1900, that is).

            With so many dealers in place selling wagons, certainly more than any other wheeled vehicles at the time, they were positioned to be the best-selling automobile in the country from the get-go of the new mode of transportation. The dealers were already in place and established customers were already coming to those dealers for transportation products.

            However, he who hesitates is lost and all that....

            (Hindsight is always 20-20, of course.) 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.


            • #7
              I like to tell people that I own half the Studebakers in Dixon. You can see both of them in my signature photo.
              Jon Stalnaker
              Karel Staple Chapter SDC


              • #8
                As far as I know I own all the Studes in my town (Pop. 80000). If not I'd like to know.
                The Blog:


                • #9
                  I can think of about 8-10 within 5 miles of Tom and Maureen's house here in Fayetteville. No telling how many others are in the rest of Fayette county.


                  • #10
                    I have a copy of a newspaper ad that has the name of DeSmet Body Shop and they had a year end demonstrator sale along with other Studebakers in the ads. If you want a copy, let me know and I will send it to you. I have a collection of Stude ads from a newspaper archive site.
                    Brian Millette


                    • #11
                      I started trying to count up the Studes I know of in Ferndale (population just over 11k)
                      but I ran out of fingers and toes before I even left the backyard!!!

                      I'd bet the number is very near 150.
                      StudeDave '57
                      US Navy (retired)

                      3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
                      SDC Member since 1985

                      past President
                      Whatcom County Chapter SDC
                      San Diego Chapter SDC

                      past Vice President
                      San Diego Chapter SDC
                      North Florida Chapter SDC


                      • #12
                        I'd like to have some more of those Hazlehurst Studebakers (at least a couple of them)!!!
                        Jamie McLeod
                        Hope Mills, NC

                        1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
                        1958 Commander "Christine"
                        1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
                        1955 Commander Sedan
                        1964 Champ
                        1960 Lark


                        • #13
                          Mexico NY, pop. about 6000, known Studebakers about 180! Mine, about a dozen, the rest, a friend of mine. He's been a Stude lover for as long as I can remember, yet rarely does anything with any of them. He owns a garage/body shop and has a home shop as well where he restores Indy cars for customers, mostly Watson cars from the 60s. Always going to get to them "someday". Last I knew he has a bulletnose shell in primer, and none driving. Has I believe 3 complete GHs, a couple complete R2 engines, Avantis, etc. For years he drove a Stude ramp truck, which he built and still has. Also has a Toter. Has several buildings filled with Studes; built a new building behind the body shop just for Stude storage. Strangely, he doesn't do any of the Meets, will talk all day about the Indy cars but does not like to talk Studes. I am one of the few he took to see "Studebaker Hell", a completely hidden junkyard where most of his Studes are. No way you could find it if he didn't take you, and I had to promise not to divulge the location if he showed me. He's got a 40s convertible he said was one of only a couple built in one of the garages. I forgot the details but I couldn't see much since it's buried under extra sheet metal in one of the buildings. He custom-built a rollback on a motorhome chassis specifically to travel after more Studes. Strange and eccentric, yet infinitely interesting guy.

                          He's in his 60s and in good shape, but someday he will pass, and neither of his grown stepsons have the slightest interest in any of them. Probably most will get scrapped when he passes. I'll do what I can, but chances are he'll outlive me Maybe this Summer I'll see if I can get another tour, this time with my camera. Gotta catch him in just the right mood.
                          Proud NON-CASO

                          I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                          If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                          GOD BLESS AMERICA

                          Ephesians 6:10-17
                          Romans 15:13
                          Deuteronomy 31:6
                          Proverbs 28:1

                          Illegitimi non carborundum


                          • #14
                            Two ways to look at Hoarders! One....they have saved lots of things that would have been lost by now.
                            And Two.....They are depriving people that would truly do something with these things from the opportunity to DO IT!
                            Not sure where I stand on this issue.
                            Goosd Roads
                            Brian Woods
                            1946 M Series (Shop Truck)


                            • #15
                              I'm only aware of five licensed roadable in Pine Grove Mills, PA., pop 1141.
                              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                              sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"