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  • Last Studebaker Dealer

    I received a copy of the September 1970 Car and Driver magazine today containing (PP 44-47) an article entitled "Man Caught In A Time Warp" by Leon Mandel.

    It relates to a Bruce Clayton of Lakewood NJ who at that stage still had 2 new '66 cars.

    Was he truly the last dealer?

    The photo caption on page 47 reads - "No questions while I'm posing for pictures please, I can only do one thing at a time". Makes you wonder how he ran a business.
    John Clements
    Christchurch, New Zealand

  • #2
    I remember going by that place in the late 60's & seeing new Studes out front. He may have been the "last one" to sell a new car & have SASCO warranty it unlike the poor owners & dealers that have SAAB's on their lots now.
    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
    64 Zip Van
    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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    • #3
      You could be right, can't have been to many dealers in 1970.
      John Clements
      Christchurch, New Zealand

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      • #4
        John: Bruce Clayton may have been the last dealer to have any new, unsold, untitled (still of Certificates of Origin) cars to sell; I don't know the answer to that.

        However, the original SASCO was still shipping new, replacement Studebaker parts to SASCO-authorized Studebaker Servicing dealers as late as 1972, so the last one of them to close after SASCO closed, I think would qualify as "The Last Dealer."

        For all we know, that could also have been Mr. Clayton. 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


        • #5
          Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
          John: Bruce Clayton may have been the last dealer to have any new, unsold, untitled (still of Certificates of Origin) cars to sell; I don't know the answer to that.

          However, the original SASCO was still shipping new, replacement Studebaker parts to SASCO-authorized Studebaker Servicing dealers as late as 1972, so the last one of them to close after SASCO closed, I think would qualify as "The Last Dealer."

          For all we know, that could also have been Mr. Clayton. BP
          Would that be correct to say a dealer's status as an Authorized Studebaker Dealer terminated at the end of 1972 when what remained of SASCO disbanded? Of course we well know there were several dealers such as Tony Carella at A&M Garage, and a small dealer in Clive, Alberta who continued to sell parts and service Studebakers well into the 1980's from their original facilities.

          Craig

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          • #6
            I know a new, never used, still kept up to showroom standard 1966 that a former dealer still has...

            Sort of like that last Kaiser dealer in rural Pennsylvania, the one that was overlooked <ggg>

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            • #7
              I think they were Studebaker "automobile" dealers not parts depots. So, if there was no longer a new vehile there" for sale," they were no longer a dealer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Flashback View Post
                I think they were Studebaker "automobile" dealers not parts depots. So, if there was no longer a new vehile there" for sale," they were no longer a dealer.
                I seem to remember hearing/reading that Bruce Clayton meant an untimely end...maybe shot entering a burglary-in-process or something like that? Ring a bell, or am I way off?

                Also, I think I remember Richard Quinn saying he remembered/was aware of a dealer that still had an untitled '63 Wagonaire on-hand in '72?

                I do remember hearing that Mathis Motor Co. in Atlantic City, NJ had advertised a new '63 Daytona Convertible six for sale for $2,300-odd, in 1968.
                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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                • #9
                  avantilover--could you post photos from the article, or send me a photocopy of the article--send me a PM.
                  \"Life is short, write in pen\"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Parsons motors in WV still had a 1965 Commander untitled in 1995 when I met them.They titled it shortly after when they thought about giving up thier dealers license.As far as I know it's still sitting in the showroom.

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                    • #11
                      I was at the Clayton dealership. That was in the 1970s. I saw a large number of three seat Wagonaires there. I also remember an untimely death story.

                      I remember at least three brand new, still on MSO, 1963 Avantis that were sold in 1973 (at differrent dealerships). Ten years seemed to be the magic number on retaining them.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Boy, oh boy. All this reminds me of a dream I had about a month ago. In the dream, I was at a Studebaker dealership with my Lark and they were doing a brisk service business. Also, I realized, in the dream, that there weren't any new Studes around, only old restored Studes. Wierd dream. I'm amazed that I remember that dream, since I usually don't remember my dreams. I guess I'm typical of all Studebaker nuts (I mean that in the best way). We eat, sleep and dream Studebakers. It's a state of mind.
                        Rog
                        '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                        Smithtown,NY
                        Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wish I could remember the year that Frost and French Studebaker moved out of their 230 S. Western Ave. original Dealership in Los Angeles, that would probably be in the 1975-78 area somewhere (they celebrated 50 Years in 1975, they started as Packard Dealers in 1925) it could have been then.
                          That would be mentioned in an old copy of "Wheels and Deals" Orange Empire Chapter Newletter or even the L.A. Chapter Newsletter, we had a big celebration there with all the local SDC Chapters and L.A. Times Newspaper/TV Stations invited, truly the END of an era.

                          They were (Studebaker) SASCO's West Coast Studebaker Parts Distributor/Warehouse as long as SASCO, Avanti Parts Corp, Newman & Altman lasted, but when they moved to another L.A. Loc. (there were 2 more of them before moving to Lancaster, and then later selling out to the Thoms Bros. at Studebakers West) they became Service/Parts only Dealers and then Parts Only Dealers. That was when the reconditioned GT Hawks, used Cars and new Avanti II's were no longer sold, so they could not be called licensed New/Used Car Dealers any longer, so that had to be at LEAST 1975.
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                          • #14
                            ROG, I think you were in Los Angeles in 1972, isn't time jumping FUN?

                            Did you test drive a new Avanti II?
                            StudeRich
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                              Would that be correct to say a dealer's status as an Authorized Studebaker Dealer terminated at the end of 1972 when what remained of SASCO disbanded? Craig
                              I guess it would be a matter of opinion, Craig, but I agree with you.

                              After all, if there is no entity to "authorize" a dealership (in this case SASCO, which was dissolved as a division of the parent corporation), how can it be authorized?

                              That would be like me saying, today, that I am an authorized Packard dealer because I will be the executor of my father's estate and I have his actual, original franchise agreements in my possession from Packard Motor Car Company. ('Thought you guys would like to see them; Exhibits A and B, below.)

                              I don't think anybody's gonna buy that, either. <GGG> BP

                              Exhibit A (Front Cover):



                              Exhibit B (First Page after Front Cover):

                              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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