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Automotive News - After 55 Years with Studebaker, Dealer Starts Over at 84

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  • Automotive News - After 55 Years with Studebaker, Dealer Starts Over at 84

    Not going to re-type the article here, but the October 31, '66 had an article about William A. Kelver, who at 84 years of age, was taking on a Fiat franchise. This, after 55 years as a Studebaker dealer. He started in Wales Center NY in 1911 with Studebaker and moved to East Aurora, NY sometime thereafter.

    A few interesting passages;

    "We still have one new Studebaker left, and a couple of used cars" he noted. We still expect to get a few more new cars (Studebakers) and we will sell them as long as they are available".

    Kelver expects to continue the service and parts phase of his Studebaker trade for a long time to come. "We have been servicing some of our Studebaker customers for 30 to 40 years" hed said. "They continue to come to us and we wil take care of their cars as long as they are running".

    The article goes on how much he is going to miss Studebaker. Does not sound like hs is to excited about his new Fiat franchise! Anybody ever hear of Kelver Studebaker in East Aurora, NY?
    Eric DeRosa

    \'63 R2 Lark
    \'60 Lark Convertible

  • #2
    Indeed I have. I have photos of him accepting his service plaque.
    Richard Quinn
    Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review


    • #3
      It was bad enough that his Studebaker franchise was coming to an end, but to replace it with Fiat may have been the worst thing imaginable. At least the Fiats kept his repair shop busy.
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


      • #4

        On any trip to Buffalo we always passed through East Aurora, NY. During August 1966 at 14 years old, I saw one of those last new '66 Studebakers still in his showroom, as well as a variety of used Studebakers around the dealership. He had taken on the Fiat franchise by then, the sign was on the building. As noted, he offered service to longtime owners as long as they wanted it. Being in the Buffalo/southtowns 'snow-belt' area didn't help with body metal longevity. Winter salt usage was very heavy at the time and Buffalo area cars were eaten alive in just a few short years. On any trip there, I always begged my dad to stop at some of the used car lots along Transit Road (Route 78) when an interesting car was spotted. Almost without exception, all of them were loaded with bondo covered up with Earl Schieb-type paint jobs!

        His Studebaker service kept up and even signs stayed up on the building until the late '60's/early '70's, I'd check every trip through. His was the last Studebaker dealer I saw in active operation. Finally, sometime in the '70's or early '80's after Fiat, everything was gone, and now even the building. I believe there is a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer in a new building at that location currently.

        Last edited by 56H-Y6; 12-19-2012, 05:39 AM.