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The possible asnwer to why no photos exist of the '53 Sunroof car or the '63 Turtle

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  • showbizkid
    replied
    James Nance did the same thing when he took over Packard - had the archives destroyed. Poor move, and short-sighted for any corporation. But I guess when you're shutting down a division, you never think that someday someone might want to see all that stuff -- at that point it's just a lot of paper.

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  • PlainBrownR2
    replied
    To the SNM's Archives.....again!! You may have to get on their case to find any literature buried in their dark corners over there. As to why they still kept things under wraps until the very end. Well, they were still a company making a product, even if the ship was sinking. It wouldn't have done them much good if they came out with a hot product(like the Avanti), but end up having to scrap it, or shelve it, because someone else beat them to the punch. It would get even worse if they had any trademarks or patents on the product before Studebaker got theirs out, because now Studebaker may not be able to produce it, for current or future customers . That would also mean alot of potential money lost from Studebaker pockets to another company if that happened, and the product became successful .

    I have a somewhat odd story to relate. Our late neighbor, had an Avanti he purchased after the plant had closed. I cannot recall the details, but one day he got a call from the boys at Chrysler Corporation, they wanted to buy his car for "study". I cannot remember if agreed to it or not, but a few years later, the Barricuda came out, and it appeared to have some of the Avanti design influences incorporated into the car, in particular that nice, large, backglass. Now, if the preproduction designs for the Avanti came out for the Avanti, before the Avanti actually came out, then that might have given Chrysler the upper hand in building their own Avanti, and denying Studebaker the opportunity we have today. This kind of corporate espionage was not only prevalent during Studebaker production, and continues until this day, it was even prevalent after the doors had closed, because it was a unique and hot design!

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  • Chris_Dresbach
    replied
    Originally posted by PlainBrownR2 View Post
    That might have been Studebaker's way of keeping projects under wraps. If they took photos of them, then they'd get leaked to the public while it was still in the design stages, and result in ending up in the paper, or even worse, it's competitor. Now we have someone else building the same thing that Studebaker is building, or we now have an active rumor mill on a product that may or may not make it to production. It's in the same league as when current car companies put all of that blocky armor plating on a concept car, and why they take it to their top secret test tracks for testing. I don't think they thought that people would be looking for documentation 50 years after auto production stopped. Still, that literature would have made things sooooo much easier .
    I agree. Back then Studebaker's were just another car manufacturer with competition. However it is unfortunate that they burned the records. What gets me is that they knew they were going out of business, done. At that point would it have really mattered if these photos got into the hands of somebody else? It's not like Studebaker was still going to build that car. And you're right, those records would have made things SO much easier. But this could bring up another statement. Maybe all the photos of unfinished prototypes like my two were burned with the rest of the archives? And also how much of Studebaker's engineering archives somehow managed to escape the flame and ended up in the Museum Archives, like photos of Turtle #3 that I have which technically, probably were intended to be burned with the rest of the photos.

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  • PlainBrownR2
    replied
    That might have been Studebaker's way of keeping projects under wraps. If they took photos of them, then they'd get leaked to the public while it was still in the design stages, and result in ending up in the paper, or even worse, it's competitor. Now we have someone else building the same thing that Studebaker is building, or we now have an active rumor mill on a product that may or may not make it to production. It's in the same league as when current car companies put all of that blocky armor plating on a concept car, and why they take it to their top secret test tracks for testing. I don't think they thought that people would be looking for documentation 50 years after auto production stopped. Still, that literature would have made things sooooo much easier .

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  • Chris_Dresbach
    replied
    Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
    Ed Reynolds Sr. stated in his autobiography, he personally incinerated thousands of photos of prototypes when automotive production ceased in late 1963, and it was the "most disagreeable task he ever performed".

    Craig
    Don't think I haven't often thought about what might have been burned in that pile of photos, Craig.

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  • 8E45E
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris_Dresbach View Post
    Any thoughts, comments, suggestions......
    Ed Reynolds Sr. stated in his autobiography, he personally incinerated thousands of photos of prototypes when automotive production ceased in late 1963, and it was the "most disagreeable task he ever performed".



    Craig
    Last edited by 8E45E; 07-05-2012, 09:16 PM.

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  • The possible asnwer to why no photos exist of the '53 Sunroof car or the '63 Turtle

    After many months of debate and discussions between myself, Ed Reynolds, and John Bridges, we think we may have come up with the answer to why no original photos seem to exist of either my '53 or the Turtle prototypes.
    It turns out that Studebaker didn't take photos of all their prototypes unless they were slated for production. Take the '47 Woody for example. Period photos exist of that car because it was within sight of production until at the last second. Since my '53 was never fully completed (hence no opening trunk) a photo of it was never taken, even though it was a functional car. The Turtle apperantly falls into the same boat. My Turtle had its basic shape formed, but since it never got a drive line, hull, or engine, it was never the "finished product ready for production", so no photo was taken of it. However, it is most likely a legitimate Turtle because it measures EXACTLY the same as the measurements I have for Turtle design #2 and #3. Photos exist of Turtle 2 and 3 because it was closer to production.

    We also think that the '53 project may have been a late proposal for a '52 model after the Model N studies were dropped, and then real work on what became the '53 model began. However the grilles for my car are exactly the same size and shape as a production '53, so that is still left to be figured out.

    Any thoughts, comments, suggestions, or have I been thinking on this entirely longer than I should be?
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