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Quick 1964 Studebaker memory....

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  • Quick 1964 Studebaker memory....

    The new January 2012 Hemmings Classic Car arrived today. Therein is a report of a gorgeous, 11,000-original-mile 1960 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 sedan; the most common 1960 Oldsmobile, but a real treat to see one so well preserved and read the story about it.

    There is a full rear-of-the-car picture that reminded me of a short conversation in the fall of 1963 with the older black porter/janitor whose duties included dusting the cars on the showroom floor at Indianapolis' Snider Auto Service; the primary Studebaker dealership where I hung out as a teen-ager, alternately pestering or amusing the employees....all of them.

    New Studebakers were displayed along both sides of a wide center aisle/driveway up through the middle of the showroom, so to speak. Customers coming in for service would more-or-less drive between two rows of new Studebakers on their way back to the service write-up area. This forced them to look at the new cars, but did cause the new cars to require more frequent dusting than in a more "sealed" showroom environment. There are pros and cons for either arrangement.

    Anyway, I would talk to this gentleman from time to time as he always had something interesting to say. I was 17 at the time and I'm sure he was at least 60.

    Sometime in September 1963, he was dusting the deck lid of a 1963 Lark on the showroom floor. We got to talking about the up-coming 1964 Studebaker line. Since he was at the rear of the '63 and indicated he had seen photos of the new '64s, I asked how he liked the new rear-end treatment on the '64 Studebakers.

    He said, "Yeah, they look just like Oldsmobiles!"

    I had to do some high-speed mental backing-up a few years on Oldsmobiles so I didn't say anything stupid and quickly figured out he was talking about 1960 Oldsmobiles; their sideways-mounted taillights with a horizontal division bar down the center [Super 88s and 98s] that came to a point defining the outer edge of the rear fenders. He was right, of course; there is a similarity.

    'Couldn't help but think of the old gent and his comparing 1960 Oldsmobiles and 1964 Studebakers today, 48 years later, as I read the new Hemmings Classic Car.

    (Geeze, why do such seemingly-small things "stick" with you but you can't remember what you did on Tuesday of last week?) <GGG> BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 11-20-2011, 06:52 AM. Reason: spelling
    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.

  • #2
    BP ,
    I think the old gentleman was sort of correct in the 'similarity' of the tailight treatment .
    I also see other styling bits and pieces ( Rambler-esque ) , but still think that Brooks Stevens
    achieved miracles with the '64 Studebaker design , taking into account what he had to work
    with and the miniscule Budget that he was given to achieve a fresh new look , not only on
    the 'Lark' but also the Hawk .
    Then , as now , there seems to be cross pollination of contemporary design themes
    between various Companies . What is 'special' about Studebaker in the 63/64 era is the
    overall 'package' , where you could order a grocery getter for m'lady or a full blown
    muscle car and everything in between . When it came to features like Disc Brakes , a
    dual master cylinder , sports bucket seat interior , full instrumentation , seat belts , AM/FM etc
    Studebaker was definately punching above its weight . They did save some of the best
    until last . And what Mr Stevens had planned for 1965/66/67 was exciting and ahead of others.

    CRUISER

    Comment


    • #3
      I see the similarity between the taillights of a '60 Olds and '64 Stude, too.

      Similarly, my former-Stude-dealer friend Ed was telling me about a Bordeaux Red '64 Daytona convertible 4-speed they had in their small inventory. I had seen at the SNM archives that they sold said car and asked Ed about it. He said, "I remember the car. We had it in the showroom. It had a black stripe down the side".

      At first I thought, "He's remembering wrong, or added the stripe." Then it occurred to me, he meant the Daytona side molding with black paint down the middle of it. Only the Daytona had that.
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Bob I sure do remember the 60 olds, my Dad would drive a friends every now and then we would store it in our garage, I can remember the green temp. light that would glow when the engine was cold and the unique speedo that would change colors, but ask me what exit to get off to go to the Stude meet and I forget.
        Joseph Kastellec

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by cruiser View Post
          BP ,
          I think the old gentleman was sort of correct in the 'similarity' of the tailight treatment .
          I also see other styling bits and pieces ( Rambler-esque ) , but still think that Brooks Stevens
          achieved miracles with the '64 Studebaker design , taking into account what he had to work
          with and the miniscule Budget that he was given to achieve a fresh new look , not only on
          the 'Lark' but also the Hawk .
          Then , as now , there seems to be cross pollination of contemporary design themes
          between various Companies . What is 'special' about Studebaker in the 63/64 era is the
          overall 'package' , where you could order a grocery getter for m'lady or a full blown
          muscle car and everything in between . When it came to features like Disc Brakes , a
          dual master cylinder , sports bucket seat interior , full instrumentation , seat belts , AM/FM etc
          Studebaker was definately punching above its weight . They did save some of the best
          until last . And what Mr Stevens had planned for 1965/66/67 was exciting and ahead of others. CRUISER
          "Punching above its weight." A good phrase, Bruce; 'had not heard that one and certainly appropriate. I'll remember that.

          Is that frequently used in Australia?

          I like it! 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


          • #6
            The Studebaker certainly wore it better.
            I remember as a kid seeing Clint Eastwood in Bronco Billy thinking, "That is one ugly car."


            It wasn't the tail lights, but that rear fender that flayed outward at the bottom. From '58-'60 GM cars already looked like they were riding on a chassis too small for the bodies, except maybe the Pontiacs. That fender treatment only exacerbated the problem.
            Andy
            62 GT

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for posting the photo, Andy, for those who might not be familiar with the treatment being discussed. 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


              • #8
                Hi there BOB ,
                For the term " punching above its weight " , just do a 'Google'
                search on "punching above" and you will get some answers . I just used it
                because Studebaker only had 1% of the market at the time and seemed to
                be involved in a sort of David verses Goliath struggle . Too bad the outcome
                was not the same . Not a term common to Australia as you will see .

                CRUISER

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just this past week, I was in traffic and noted a fairly new car whose taillights are connected by a band of brightwork across the rear. Wha't old is new again!
                  No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    my grandma (dad's mom) bought a new dark red (maroon?) '60 olds 88 2-door right after we moved from ky to so-cal in march of that year.
                    10 years later, i drove it (with my learner's permit), i couldn't get over how it felt - the transmission seemed like it was in neutral when i let off the gas at speed... (?) very different than my dad's 64 impala ss with a powerglide.
                    Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                    '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                    '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bob, are any pictures extant of the outside, showroom, service area or parts dept of Snider Auto Service? I drive by several time a week, the old site at 38th and Illinois which is now a gas station/McDonalds.

                      Thanks, Don

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Radsman View Post
                        Bob, are any pictures extant of the outside, showroom, service area or parts dept of Snider Auto Service? I drive by several time a week, the old site at 38th and Illinois which is now a gas station/McDonalds.

                        Thanks, Don
                        Correct, Don: The ultimate insult is that the entire footprint of Snider Auto Service is now a McDonald's parking lot at 38th & Illinois in Indianapolis, as you know. Not even the restaurant itself; just the friggin' parking lot! Ugh!

                        Anyway, the one extant photo I have never before seen on this forum is this one:



                        The gentleman is John Knapp, the Sales Manager at Snider Auto Service / Studebaker. This was John in his office at Snider, taken some time in 1963. We stayed in touch until he passed away maybe 10 or 12 years ago. Great guy! He likely (honestly) would have surrendered his chair to me after the picture was taken and allowed me to sit there at age 17 and read the latest Studebaker News, or otherwise nose around his desk!

                        However, I did not take this picture. It was taken by SDCer Tom Lawlis if Plainfield IN, who also hung around Snider buying parts and seeing the Studebakers. Tom is 2 or 3 years older than me and, ironically, I saw him earlier this very evening(!) at his shop in Plainfield; I was there to pick up a photo I may be using in Hemmings Classic Car.

                        While at Tom's this evening, I was able to see his progress on the body-off, rotisserie restoration of his 1957 Golden Hawk 400 that has been in the family since 1960. I can't imagine a nicer 1957 Golden Hawk restoration being undertaken by anyone in the country, quite frankly; it is just gorgeous.

                        There is another old black and white photo of Snider Auto Service we ran in Turning Wheels about ten years ago as part of the annual Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race report, a sidebar entitled, "It's a Family Affair," IIRC. I took that photo in August 1964, of cousin George Krem accepting the keys to his new, Bermuda Brown 1964 Challenger V-8 2-door, from 29-year-old Snider Salesman Jerry Palma, our mutual uncle.

                        And you already know the rest of that story! BP

                        Last edited by BobPalma; 11-21-2011, 09:22 PM.
                        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
                          My family had a 60 Olds 88 4dr like the one in the article. It was a medium metallic brown though.
                          My three sisters and I loved that car, we cried when my parents got sold it.
                          When I got my 64 I noticed that the taillights looked like the 60 Olds too.
                          I picked up a built up Johan 60 Olds 2dr kit a few years back to remind me of our Oldsmobile.
                          John
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            These two 60 Olds were at the Momence IL. Gladiolus Festival car show in 2007.
                            The 4dr had low miles on it too. I'll have to compare it to the one in the article, I don't have it handy right now.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment

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