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Post-Production Studebaker Inventory..

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  • Post-Production Studebaker Inventory..

    I have wondered something for awhile, but never really saw it come up in discussion. After Studebaker quit building cars, there was a lot of parts inventory left over. Even with much of it being scrapped, or sold to other parties, several Families have made a living selling off the leftovers in South Bend, ever since. The Avanti was built for years after, on nos Lark chassis, right? The present owner of the Studebaker NOS, still has a sizable inventory of spare parts. But, my question is--why was the majority of it parts for postwar cars, particularly Larks? I realize that the really cool and collectible stuff(complete R2 engines, etc.) has been out of stock, as of long ago. But, I'm curious as to why there is relatively little pre-WWII stuff. Did it end up in the WWII scrap drives, or what? I would think that due to the cessation of civilian car production during the40's, that spare arts would have been in demand, which would justify NOT scrapping them. Anyway--comments?

  • #2
    I think the factory probably only kept a major stock to cover the last 10 years or so of production.


    • #3
      The reality is that most prewar parts had been gradually sold off long before 1966. And keep in mind: Many prewar parts were used during the war to keep those relatively-new vehicles in the nation's fleet operating for four years when no new cars were available to civilians.

      Finally, as Matthew rightly suggested, what few survived into the 60s would have been scrapped as obsolete, rather than kept on the books and on the shelves. (Indeed: If you'll research the formative history of The Studebaker Drivers Club, you'll see that the genesis of it was that founder Harry Barnes had trouble getting prewar parts for his prewar Studebaker, from Studebaker, in 1962!) 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.


      • #4
        I believe corporations were required to keep parts inventory for 7 years after a model year ended. That's what my dad used to harp on. He felt that 7 years was not a long enough period to service vehicles that were on the road for several years longer than 7. I also think that companies would scrap excess inventory after a certain period of time on the shelves. Bill


        • #5
          I bought many left over Studebaker inventories starting in the 70, and even than, most of the early stuff was considered obsolete and scrapped. The sad story, is more than once the dealers just scrapped the accessories and shiny bits and kept the hard parts because no one dreamed there would be a demand. One dealer proudly told me he'd scapped all his sheet metal and the rest as he showed off his water pumps and generators. I can't blame them, I left a NOS, trimmed M series truck cab because I felt it was not worth hauling home.
          JDP Maryland


          • #6
            I worked for a BMC dealer back when I was young. Once a year there was a parts inventory clean up. The obsolete, damaged, or warranty returns were written up and credited. Then marked "destroyed in the field" and thrown away.
            I managed to "bin dive" and collect a few items and saved them for a future collector. Saved a nice in the box pair of Lucas PL700 headlamps and a NOS fender "wing" for a MGA. Also we were a dealer for Edsel and again I managed to save some chrome pieces from the trash. Made a few fellows very happy years later when these items were sold.
            sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

            "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
            Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
            "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan


            • #7
              Sadly it was the same in the eighties when I worked for dealerships. They had to pay someone to go though the stuff and toss everything with a certain tag. This was done on a Saturday and I volunteered to do it just to get my pick of everything.
              If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

              65 2dr sedan
              64 2dr sedan (Pinkie)
              61 V8 Tcab
              63 Tcab 20R powered
              55 Commander Wagon
              54 Champion Wagon
              46 Gibson Model A
              50 JD MC
              45 Agricat
              67 Triumph T100
              66 Bultaco Matadore


              • #8
                Everyone, from the factory to the smallest dealerships, had limited space to store replacement parts. The companies would stock nearly everything for very recent models, but then gradually scrapped or sold off slow-moving stuff after a few years. As noted above, mechanical stuff was often retained for 25 years or more, as it usually fit many model years, and even worn-out used cars often get fixed enough to keep them running. But nobody puts brand-new upholstery in a rust bucket. We are lucky that this process stopped in 1966, and the inventory has remained frozen as of 1966.

                In 1966, I tried to buy new interior soft parts for a 62 Impala, but none of it was available from GM -- it had all already been scrapped.

                One other thought -- by 1945, the War effort had scooped up nearly every piece of unneeded steel, including a whole bunch of Duesenbergs, Cadillac V16s, and whole warehouses of spare parts from every make. It was considered unpatriotic to store an unused car in your barn. Housewives even got rewards (ration points) for bringing used aluminum foil and bacon grease back to the grocery store.
                Skip Lackie


                • #9
                  Tony Carella (A&M Garage, Bronx, NY) must have been the exception to the rule.



                  • #10
                    Companies kept service parts available for seven years, that was standard industry practice. Pre-war there was the old Dallas Winslow outfit that bought up the parts inventories of defunct automakers, sold those off over the years. The remnants of the Graham and Hupmobile stocks are still available from a small warehouse near the ACD Museum, more parts than there are cars to use them on.

                    Whatever the WWII scrap drives didn't consume, the demand for rapidly dropped as millions of those worn pre-war cars were eagerly traded for a shiny, new postwar car which they likely had to pay full-list plus to get. Carrying obsolete inventory on the books year-to-year was something no company wanted to do then or now. Typically, large stocks of obsolete parts, sorted for those with some marketability, were offered to aftermarket jobbers such as NAPA and National for bulk bid. Excluded were body panels and trim which no one in the era would ever consider might be in demand decades later: ask a parts jobber in 1950 to buy your leftover early 1930's body and trim inventory and he'd have laughed in your face.

                    The only thing that held over whatever parts are left after decades was/is benign neglect, the sometimes friend of the collector.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                      Tony Carella (A&M Garage, Bronx, NY) must have been the exception to the rule.

                      No argument with that. I believe that Tony also had at one time been responsible for running the factory warehouse for the New York metropolitan area, so he had access to a larger inventory than the usual dealer. He bought all of the surplus instead of returning it to South Bend for scrapping -- then followed it up by buying out the inventory of dealers dropping Studebaker. A true believer.
                      Skip Lackie


                      • #12
                        I have bought the inventories of 29 Studebaker dealers over the years to prevent them from being scrapped.
                        Several dealer parts inventories were given to me if I cleaned up their store rooms , ready to put their Toyota or other foreign car parts in.
                        The overhead on storing these in our 38.000 sq/ft building is over $10.000 per year.
                        I have been busy scrapping a lot of the cars and parts because of lack of interest.
                        I just hauled a number of them to the junk yard next-door , including several C/K bodied cars.
                        I have many request for the hard to find stuff but most of that is gone.
                        I have bought some prewar Studebaker inventories.
                        I am old and slow and have not been able to fill all orders but it keeps me busy.
                        Many of the members of the Midwest chapters come over in the weekends and pick the parts up because it is difficult for me to ship.
                        I am in California now to hug my grandkids but should be back next week.
                        Robert Kapteyn