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Pizza, Jack Stands, and 1960 Hawks

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  • Pizza, Jack Stands, and 1960 Hawks

    Indy Chapter SDC Members, to include former SDC President Ed Reynolds, today met for pizza at Richard's Pizza in Franklin IN, IDYSD. Attending were about 30 members and maybe 15 Studebakers, including Charlie Griffith's pretty 1927 Dictator, driven about 25 miles each way to attend.

    Richard's Pizza happens to be located at 249 (or 229, depending on your source) S. Main Street there in Franklin. It's in a delightfully-repurposed older building with an automotive past that may be ascertained by studying this advertisement:

    How about that?

    Among the members attending was Nashville IN Barrister Jim Roberts. Jim is just old enough to have frequented this building with his father when buying Studebakers and having them serviced. (BTW, at age 19, I attended the auction when Keeling Motors went out of business in late 1965!)

    However, I always thought Keeling simply went out of business like so many other Studebaker dealers at that time, as new-car sales fell below -ahem- "sustainable" levels. Jim Roberts today set me straight on that. He reported that Pete Keeling's consientiousness as a dealer and mechanic ultimately cost him his life, going out of the way to service Studebakers he sold.

    Jim said Pete went out to someone's house one day in 1965 to adjust something underneath a recently-delivered Studebaker, possibly a parking brake that was hanging up, but he wasn't sure. Pete took along a jack and jack stands, but the car slipped off the stands while he was under it, fatally crushing him. OUCH. Gulp; I did not know that.

    On a much happier note was Jim's recollection of his father ordering and taking delivery of a new 1960 Hawk from Pete Keeling. Pete knew Jim's Dad was interested in a new Hawk...but if you remember, the possibility of Studebaker building 1960 Hawks was questionable at the beginning of the 1960 model year, in that they wanted production capacity for Larks. So they didn't build any Hawks right away.

    When Pete got word they were going to build 1960 Hawks, he called Jim's Dad. Jim remembers Pete coming out to their house to have dinner with them(!) and take the order for the new Hawk. Jim said his Dad was a bit of a CASO even then, insisting on dog-dish hub caps and the standard 2-bbl carb, but did specify overdrive. The car was white, as seemed to befit many 1960 Hawks.

    Jim was old enough to drive when the car arrived, so he accompanied his Dad to pick up the new Hawk. Much to his surprise, Jim said his Dad told Mr. Keeling to give Jim the keys(!), so Jim got to drive it home from the dealership!

    Today, Jim was able to point to the very place at the curb in front of Richard's Pizza where the new Hawk was parked when he got the keys and instructions to "drive straight home." Which he did.

    Cool beans. BP

    Last edited by BobPalma; 09-09-2012, 04:46 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
    Wow, what a story!

    Sometimes when I'm downtown I find myself looking at different buildinge, wondering exactly what was happening there in years gone by. One such building is the Omaha Children's Museum. There is a small section on the original front (now the rear) of the building that looked very much like an old car dealership. So I did some research and discovered that it was not only one of the older Ford dealerships in Omaha, but it was also the only dealership in Nebraska where you could buy a Shelby "off the lot". This link has some really interesting history. If you scroll down just a bit, you'll see an ad for their lot, where you could have your pick from a '67 Shelby for $3795, or a '61 Studebaker lark for $295, reliable and clean. I would gladly pay that price for either car today

    I'll say one thing, it certainly puts a new light on a building I regularly take my son to go visit!

    Great story Bob, thanks for sharing.
    '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

    "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"


    • #3
      By the way, if people still had the sort of customer service that Pete did, I'd have been separated by far more of my dollars than I have been. That is the only benefit to today's lack of concern over the customer experience.
      '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

      "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"


      • #4
        Yep, a good turn out, and the Pizza was not bad either! <G> On my way home I stopped in downtown Noblesville for the "weekly" cruise in on the square. Lots of cars, took a few times driving around the block to find a parking spot. There was a "New" Dodge Challenger parked along side an "old" Dodge Challenger. and BOTH of them looked great!

        All in all put on aboput 100 miles or so yesterday, and the Avanti purred like a kitten.

        "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

        We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!

        Indy Honor Flight

        As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
        their Memorials!


        • #5
          We bought a Avanti in October 1963 from Bendix Motors, 11 Anderson Ave, Fairview, New Jersey, it was a late addition to the Studebaker dealers in the area.
          It has been a pizza place for many years, now operating as Angelo's Pizza and Pasta. As a Studebaker dealer the building was not large enough to display a car, they had a lot across the street to display cars. This was not a rural area we were across the river from Manhattan via a 15 minute ride.

          Studebaker should have had one of their divisions develop pizza ovens !

          Bob Caser