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49 years ago today...

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  • 49 years ago today...

    DECEMBER 9TH, 1963 at approx. 3:30pm Studebaker executives made the announcment that Studebaker would close its South Bend plants. 49 years ago today, the anniversary will always be known as "Black Monday".
    As grim of a post as this may sound, if the weather is nice in your area try to get our the Studebaker's and go for a drive. I am going to take the '40 down to building #84 and take some photos.
    Chris Dresbach

  • #2
    I remember that day well, but believe it was actually the South Bend Tribune (newspaper) that broke the news on December 9th ...the Studebaker Corporation was planning to announce it on December 10th.

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    • #3
      Drove my Hawk to a local gun show today. It was sunny when I parked, pouring rain when I came back out....

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      • #4
        We the Sequoia Chapter had our Xmas party today at my daughter's house 40 people and 2 Avanti's, a 64 GT, a 53 custom coupe, a 62 Convert, and a 57 Golden hawk were driven to the party, nice day and nice people.
        Candbstudebakers
        Castro Valley,
        California


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        • #5
          Yep; 'twas a tough day in Studebaker-land.

          I remember coming home from high school (Senior Year) and Mom meeting me at the door with the news. She wasn't sure how I'd take it and kind of kept an eye on me. I just went out in the garage and quietly sat in my 1955 Champion Regal Coupe for awhile, reflecting.

          Ironically, I don't remember a first conversation with Cousin George D. Krem after the announcement. That's hard to imagine, as thoroughly immersed in Studebakering as we had together been for about five years at that point. 'Think I'll ask him if he remembers the first words we spoke to each other. They may have been written, though, as we lived 200+ miles apart and long-distance telephone calls were still costly at the time. 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.

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          • #6
            Yes a sad day indeed, will always wonder what the Studebakers may have looked liked in todays market. I also was going to get the 66 out for the trip to the Big Six River Bend Christmas party today just for that reason but its now raining with anticipation of snow beginning.
            Tom
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
              ...as we lived 200+ miles apart and long-distance telephone calls were still costly at the time...
              Ain't that the truth. Can you imagine how the announcement would unfold today with social media and all the portable digital devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BobWaitz View Post
                Ain't that the truth. Can you imagine how the announcement would unfold today with social media and all the portable digital devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets?
                What happened to GM in 2008/09 is a good example of how the news spread like wildfire with the communication we have now.

                Craig

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                • #9
                  I am sorry to say I don't remember that day. However my driver was a 53 coupe then, and my driver is a 53 coupe now. The one now has cost me twenty times what the one then did,

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                  • #10
                    Sad time indeed but that's what got lots of folks, me included, into Studebakers. I remember the talk that with cars no longer being made, Parts would be impossable to get,so people were selling their cars dirt cheap. "Get rid of'em while you can!" My Dad bought a 59 Lark wagon because it was cheap. Then he bought me a 48 Champion convertible for $35.00. That was the beginning of 4 generations of Studebaker owners.
                    Neil Thornton

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                    • #11
                      I was at work at a moulded and die cut rubber factory at that time. I was an engineering assistant to a Vice President. I don't remember when I first got the news. I probably read it in the newspaper that day or the next day.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                      • #12

                        Chris Dresbach

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                        • #13
                          While at the factory we found a couple old employees just standing around by the docks. Said they were waiting for the semi to come back from final assembly so they could send over another load of finished bodies...
                          Chris Dresbach

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                          • #14
                            My uncle worked the night shift and it was announced that when the shift was over to drop their badges into a box by the timeclock, their jobs had been eliminated. South Bend, Mishawaka, the whole Michiana area was struck hard. Jobs were few and far between. My uncle passed away within the year, still unemployed, he was in his mid 30's. My aunt thinks he died from a broken heart due to Studebaker closing in South Bend. I don't think that man could say a complete sentance without the word "Studebaker" in it, that's how much it meant to him.
                            sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
                            1950 Champion Convertible
                            1950 Champion 4Dr
                            1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
                            1957 Thunderbird

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chris_Dresbach View Post
                              While at the factory we found a couple old employees just standing around by the docks. Said they were waiting for the semi to come back from final assembly so they could send over another load of finished bodies...
                              Does that number "3" to the left side of this photo indicate 3 BLOCKS to the "South Bend Homeless Center" ...which of course it actually is located 3 blocks away.

                              PS: Great location, idea and pic.!!!

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