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  • Here's a point to ponder.

    I was watching some car program on TV the other day and the subject of this particular episode was the birth and introduction of the Mustang.
    While watching that show, I asked myself, "What if?". What if Studebaker had concieved and built THAT car on the Lark chassis and intro'd IT instead of the Avanti???
    Let's not mire the discussion with specific technical details. Let's assume, for the purpose of fancy, that Studebaker could have sold it for the same price that Ford did.
    What say you? Would Studebaker's teetering on the brink of extinction have doused the fervor for the car that Ford experienced? Would it have sold well and prolonged Studebaker's role as automaker? [?]

    Miscreant adrift in
    the BerStuda Triangle


    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe

    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

  • #2
    The Mustang mention brings up a point that bothers me. Many people now refer to early Mustangs as 1964s or 1964 1/2s. There is no such thing. When the Mustang came out in April of 1964 it was sold as a 1965 model. I know people now use the 1964 1/2 to distinguish the early production (generator, 260 V8), but it is still a 1965 model. Ford did have half year models (1970 1/2 Mustang, IIRC), but the first Mustang was not one of them.

    In regards to Bob's original question, I think that a Studebaker "Mustang" would have sold better than the Avanti, but not as well as the same car manufactured by Ford or GM. Unless it was also fiberglass, Studebaker couldn't afford to tool up for it or have enough units to spread the cost over. Studebaker was not capturing many new to the marque buyers by 1964-1965. Studebaker's making of the same car would not even be an irritation to Ford or GM by 1964-1965. I do not believe that it would have prolonged the production of Studebaker cars.

    Remember that Bob Bourke wanted Studebaker to make a sporty car like a Corvette or Thunderbird in the 1950s. The original Avanti renderings also included a single seat convertible "roadster" model. I have Tom Kellogg's (signed by Raymond Loewy) original drawing of this model from the design house wall. Both of these ideas were quickly killed by Studebaker management.

    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

    Comment


    • #3
      The Mustang mention brings up a point that bothers me. Many people now refer to early Mustangs as 1964s or 1964 1/2s. There is no such thing. When the Mustang came out in April of 1964 it was sold as a 1965 model. I know people now use the 1964 1/2 to distinguish the early production (generator, 260 V8), but it is still a 1965 model. Ford did have half year models (1970 1/2 Mustang, IIRC), but the first Mustang was not one of them.

      In regards to Bob's original question, I think that a Studebaker "Mustang" would have sold better than the Avanti, but not as well as the same car manufactured by Ford or GM. Unless it was also fiberglass, Studebaker couldn't afford to tool up for it or have enough units to spread the cost over. Studebaker was not capturing many new to the marque buyers by 1964-1965. Studebaker's making of the same car would not even be an irritation to Ford or GM by 1964-1965. I do not believe that it would have prolonged the production of Studebaker cars.

      Remember that Bob Bourke wanted Studebaker to make a sporty car like a Corvette or Thunderbird in the 1950s. The original Avanti renderings also included a single seat convertible "roadster" model. I have Tom Kellogg's (signed by Raymond Loewy) original drawing of this model from the design house wall. Both of these ideas were quickly killed by Studebaker management.

      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

      Comment


      • #4
        SEEMS TO ME that Ford was in financial trouble at the time, and the Mustang pulled them out. I have always wondered What if Lee Iococa had been working for Studebaker instead of ford? NT


        Neil Thornton
        Hazlehurst, GA
        '57 Silver Hawk
        '56 Sky Hawk
        '51 2R16 dump truck
        Many others.

        Neil Thornton

        Comment


        • #5
          SEEMS TO ME that Ford was in financial trouble at the time, and the Mustang pulled them out. I have always wondered What if Lee Iococa had been working for Studebaker instead of ford? NT


          Neil Thornton
          Hazlehurst, GA
          '57 Silver Hawk
          '56 Sky Hawk
          '51 2R16 dump truck
          Many others.

          Neil Thornton

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry to hijack the thread for a minute,[:0] but just checking with Bob (Mr. Biggs) to see if you got my e-mail last week about an axle shaft and drum assembly. Thanks.[:I]

            <h5>Mark
            '57 Transtar
            3E-6/7-122
            </h5>

            Mark Hayden
            '66 Commander
            Zone Coordinator
            Pacific Can-Am Zone

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry to hijack the thread for a minute,[:0] but just checking with Bob (Mr. Biggs) to see if you got my e-mail last week about an axle shaft and drum assembly. Thanks.[:I]

              <h5>Mark
              '57 Transtar
              3E-6/7-122
              </h5>

              Mark Hayden
              '66 Commander
              Zone Coordinator
              Pacific Can-Am Zone

              Comment


              • #8
                I think there was something magical about the Mustang, although after trading my 62 GT Hawk for a 67 Mustang 2+2 in 1967, all the magic disappeared real fast.

                Its success even mystified GM. I read that when GM management was asked if they could come up with a car that could compete with the Mustang, they answered that they already had one...the Corvair Monza.

                The Mustang had everything right. It was affordable, it was unique in that it didn't look like any other Ford product (unlike the Barracuda which had a Valiant front end)

                It was sporty and appealed to young and old

                The timing was right...baby boomers were just getting jobs and earning money.

                It had a variety of engines, transmissions and accessories.

                It had classic good looks IMO.

                I think the 57-61 Studebaker Silver Hawk was very similar in concept to the Mustang. It was around the same price (although years earlier), it had room for 5 passengers, it had similar engine choices, but it sold about as many worldwide as one big Ford dealer could sell Mustangs.

                Henry J. Kaiser once said that he could sell a million Kaisers if they had Chevrolet written on it. Studebaker had the same image problem.

                It would have interesting if Studebaker could have pulled it off, though.



                Leonard Shepherd
                http://leonardshepherd.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think there was something magical about the Mustang, although after trading my 62 GT Hawk for a 67 Mustang 2+2 in 1967, all the magic disappeared real fast.

                  Its success even mystified GM. I read that when GM management was asked if they could come up with a car that could compete with the Mustang, they answered that they already had one...the Corvair Monza.

                  The Mustang had everything right. It was affordable, it was unique in that it didn't look like any other Ford product (unlike the Barracuda which had a Valiant front end)

                  It was sporty and appealed to young and old

                  The timing was right...baby boomers were just getting jobs and earning money.

                  It had a variety of engines, transmissions and accessories.

                  It had classic good looks IMO.

                  I think the 57-61 Studebaker Silver Hawk was very similar in concept to the Mustang. It was around the same price (although years earlier), it had room for 5 passengers, it had similar engine choices, but it sold about as many worldwide as one big Ford dealer could sell Mustangs.

                  Henry J. Kaiser once said that he could sell a million Kaisers if they had Chevrolet written on it. Studebaker had the same image problem.

                  It would have interesting if Studebaker could have pulled it off, though.



                  Leonard Shepherd
                  http://leonardshepherd.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                    I was watching some car program on TV the other day and the subject of this particular episode was the birth and introduction of the Mustang.
                    While watching that show, I asked myself, "What if?". What if Studebaker had concieved and built THAT car on the Lark chassis and intro'd IT instead of the Avanti???
                    Let's not mire the discussion with specific technical details. Let's assume, for the purpose of fancy, that Studebaker could have sold it for the same price that Ford did.
                    What say you? Would Studebaker's teetering on the brink of extinction have doused the fervor for the car that Ford experienced? Would it have sold well and prolonged Studebaker's role as automaker? [?]
                    As history has proven beyond any doubt, there WAS a way for Studebaker to not only survive, but also thrive!!![:0] It was not through some new "M" type vehicle as described above ...but it was through the "M"-ilitary vehicles Studebaker ALREADY had in production!!!


                    <h4>Last Man Standing in Studebaker Indiana</h4>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                      I was watching some car program on TV the other day and the subject of this particular episode was the birth and introduction of the Mustang.
                      While watching that show, I asked myself, "What if?". What if Studebaker had concieved and built THAT car on the Lark chassis and intro'd IT instead of the Avanti???
                      Let's not mire the discussion with specific technical details. Let's assume, for the purpose of fancy, that Studebaker could have sold it for the same price that Ford did.
                      What say you? Would Studebaker's teetering on the brink of extinction have doused the fervor for the car that Ford experienced? Would it have sold well and prolonged Studebaker's role as automaker? [?]
                      As history has proven beyond any doubt, there WAS a way for Studebaker to not only survive, but also thrive!!![:0] It was not through some new "M" type vehicle as described above ...but it was through the "M"-ilitary vehicles Studebaker ALREADY had in production!!!


                      <h4>Last Man Standing in Studebaker Indiana</h4>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, Bob; I think we do have to mire it in technical details, because that's the reality Studebaker was facing. [:0]

                        Ford was able to do the Mustang on the cheap because they already had the Falcon chassis. Studebaker had no such thing...indeed, building something that low to the ground on a Studebaker chassis would have resulted in...an Avanti!

                        Seriously, Studebaker didn't have the money to do anything as dramatic as what would have been required to build something as sporty while being as cheap as the Mustang. Remember, a good deal of the Mustang's original appeal was that anyone could afford it. Sure, they loaded it up with options, but that's the idea. Where would Studebaker have found the money to develop something as unique as the Mustang and then price it cheaper than the existing Larks...as was the original Mustang? To wit:

                        Base 1964 Daytona 259 hardtop: $2,572 with optional bucket seats.
                        Base 1965 Mustang 260 hardtop: $2,443 with standard bucket seats.

                        Base 1964 Daytona 259 convertible: $2,926 with optional bucket seats.
                        Base 1965 Mustang 260 convertible: $2,689 with standard bucket seats.

                        Oops; back to Square One.[xx(] And even if it was brought to market, the product would have joined its stable-mates trying to ascend a negative-perception slope that had been increasingly well-greased beginning right around the company's 100th anniversary....something they would have been hard-pressed to do, even with Twin-Traction! [V]

                        The company's last best chance was 1962, a year that would have seen 100,000 cars again produced [] [u]IF</u> the union hadn't gone on strike just as soon as Sherwood Egbert illuminated the light at the end of the tunnel. (In fact, Bob; haven't you and I privately discussed the reality of common greed doing us all in sooner or later?) [}] 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


                        • #13
                          Well, Bob; I think we do have to mire it in technical details, because that's the reality Studebaker was facing. [:0]

                          Ford was able to do the Mustang on the cheap because they already had the Falcon chassis. Studebaker had no such thing...indeed, building something that low to the ground on a Studebaker chassis would have resulted in...an Avanti!

                          Seriously, Studebaker didn't have the money to do anything as dramatic as what would have been required to build something as sporty while being as cheap as the Mustang. Remember, a good deal of the Mustang's original appeal was that anyone could afford it. Sure, they loaded it up with options, but that's the idea. Where would Studebaker have found the money to develop something as unique as the Mustang and then price it cheaper than the existing Larks...as was the original Mustang? To wit:

                          Base 1964 Daytona 259 hardtop: $2,572 with optional bucket seats.
                          Base 1965 Mustang 260 hardtop: $2,443 with standard bucket seats.

                          Base 1964 Daytona 259 convertible: $2,926 with optional bucket seats.
                          Base 1965 Mustang 260 convertible: $2,689 with standard bucket seats.

                          Oops; back to Square One.[xx(] And even if it was brought to market, the product would have joined its stable-mates trying to ascend a negative-perception slope that had been increasingly well-greased beginning right around the company's 100th anniversary....something they would have been hard-pressed to do, even with Twin-Traction! [V]

                          The company's last best chance was 1962, a year that would have seen 100,000 cars again produced [] [u]IF</u> the union hadn't gone on strike just as soon as Sherwood Egbert illuminated the light at the end of the tunnel. (In fact, Bob; haven't you and I privately discussed the reality of common greed doing us all in sooner or later?) [}] 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


                          • #14
                            And this is before most of us were born

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And this is before most of us were born

                              Comment

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