: Studebaker, any memeories?



orconn
08-17-12, 03:32 PM
Many here are too young to remember when Studies were new, but may be some of us have memories of these cars good and bad!

My early childhood has many memories of Studebakers. I am not sure whether it was that they were really popular in the 1940's and early '50's or whether their were just a lot of them around in my neighborhood because a former head of Studebaker lived in an estate in our neighborhood. Paul G. Hoffman was a major player, both as an industrialist and as a king maker in American politics. It was the group headed by Hoffman that recruited Dwight Eisenhower to run on the Republican ticket in 1952.

When we moved into our house in Pasadena in 1947 our neighbor across the street had two studebakers, a Champion Starlight coupe for his wife and a Commander for himself. At that time the saying was "Studebaker, you can't tell whether it is coming or going!" There Hudsons up the street, a De Soto next door, someone even had a Fraser on our two block long street. My dad had a Packard. Let's face it you were a car maker in 1950 you didn't want your car owned by folks on our street, bad omen!

Anyway in 1951, after the '50 Packard was seriously damaged in a parking lot wreck (Ciro's Restaurant, Hollywood at lunchtime, hit and run!) my dad dumped and bought, I guess what pass in his mind for a sports car at the time, a 1951 Studebaker Champion Regal convertible. As was fashionable at the time, it was light yellow with a light tam canvas top and ivory pigskin leather and striped fabric seats. I think my dad really loved that car! But he wasn't to get to use it for long; he took a job back with RCA heading up the installation of color television transmitters and we moved to New Jersey. The Studie didn't go with us.

Here is a picture of a car exactly like Dad's sporty Studie!

9625196252

96254

Truth be told I was never very fond of the "bullet nosed" Studies, but when the new 1953 Studebaker Starlight Coupes came out I became a big Studebaker fan. The design of these cars was just as "revolutionary" as the post war Studies had been. They present a "European" style that really hadn't been seen on an American car before. While much admired, the fact that they were small and a bit cramped for the growing American families that would make the station wagon the car to have, probably limited their buyer appeal.

96257

Anyone have any memories of Studebakers?

MrHolland
08-17-12, 04:25 PM
I was born quite a few ears after the Studies but am familiar with them. I was raised around old cars and hot rods and kind of fell into them when I was old enough to begin driving. I'm not a big fan of the bullet, but I agree th Starlight isn't too bad once a hot rodder gets a hold of it.


---------So I must ask, Do you have some kind of super secret "starting a great thread idea book" laying around???

Submariner409
08-17-12, 06:40 PM
Jaguar. Had my butt wiped by a Stude Golden Hawk.

vincentm
08-17-12, 06:44 PM
I remember my dad telling me how ugly he thought they were, but loved their engines

greencadillacmatt
08-17-12, 07:41 PM
http://i404.photobucket.com/albums/pp126/greencadillacmatt/P6020657.jpg

There was one on Power Tour, and it towed a teardrop trailer the whole way. I LOVE the Bulletnoses. Cool cool design.

orconn
08-17-12, 07:52 PM
^^^ Dad would be proud!

dkozloski
08-17-12, 08:00 PM
Jaguar. Had my butt wiped by a Stude Golden Hawk.A local miscreant had a Studie Power Hawk. The Fairbanks Police Department had just got some new patrol cars that featured 235 cu.in sixes. They had no trouble running down the speeding Studie. The disgusted Studie owner handed the arresting cop the keys and told him he could have the POS.

dkozloski
08-17-12, 08:09 PM
I had a '53 Studebaker that I sold about a half a dozen times. I'd sell it and get a down payment and never get another payment. I'd repo it and sell it again. The last buyer, I finally played the dirtiest trick on him I could think of; I signed the title over to him and sent him on his way.

I also had a '49 Studebaker pickup that burned more oil than any other vehicle I ever had owned. I'd pull into the gas station and say, "Gas,oil, and water; a gallon of each. Just pour the oil on the fender because it's going on the ground anyhow".

brandondeleo
08-18-12, 04:12 AM
If you don't think Studebakers are beautiful, you need to have your eyes checked. There's a diner up in Cashmere, WA called Studebaker's. It's an all retro 50's theme (obviously) and they have the actual front end of a '51 Champion sticking out of a wall. Good food.

dkozloski
08-18-12, 08:27 PM
Studebakers looked okay but engineering and design wise that were about fifteen years behind the competiton. They steered and handled like pushing a cast iron cookstove down the sidewalk. The motors were super long stroke flatheads until they were forced to change. After the Packard merger they were doomed and disappeared without hardly a fight to be missed only by those with memories so flawed they couldn't remember what they were really like.

orconn
08-19-12, 03:16 PM
^^^ Come to think of it, aside from sitting in my Dad's lap and steering his yellow convertible, I don't think I have ever driven a Studebaker. May a sixties Lark, but I even doubt that!

I think the real hay day of Studebaker was right after the Second World War when people were looking for something new and different in the way of cars. Studebaker became a good seller in the low to mid price range. Then they just sort of ran out of steam as the "Big Three" proceeded to run every other American automaker out of the business.

Of course in the fifties and sixties GM and Chrysler gave us a broad choice of cars to choose from. That died in the eighties, never really to return.

CadillacLuke24
08-19-12, 04:42 PM
Dude! It's a Stude! I've seen a few before. That about it. That and my buddy's granddad has a Studie truck on his farm. My buddy learned from said granddad how to drive a manual (3 on the tree baby!) and then said buddy taught his attractive fiance how to drive.

greencadillacmatt
08-20-12, 12:46 AM
http://i404.photobucket.com/albums/pp126/greencadillacmatt/StudeTrees.jpg

Always thought this was cool. :)

greencadillacmatt
08-20-12, 12:47 AM
Unfortunately I don't think anybody is taking care of those trees, so one day that will either overgrow or completely die. Sad.

Olustee bus
08-20-12, 05:15 AM
Can't post a photo but here is a link to A modified my uncle had built by Hugh Babb, a well know racecar builder. It was a golden 53 coupe powered by a blown Pacard engine. The car was almost a mid engined car, with the blower mounted on front of the engine. It did not have a gear, just a go or no go box. It was an awesome race car that would shake the Birmingham FairGrounds Speedway when cranked. It ran Alabama tracks in 1954 and 1955. Hugh Babb is the man with a cigar. Fonty Flock, Bill Latham, Nero Stepto and many southern drivers drove it.

http://public.fotki.com/alabamaracingphotos/modified_specials/calvincobbhughbabbs.html

Olustee bus
08-20-12, 05:16 AM
Can't post a photo but here is a link to A modified my uncle had built by Hugh Babb, a well know racecar builder. It was a golden 53 coupe powered by a blown Pacard engine. The car was almost a mid engined car, with the blower mounted on front of the engine. It did not have a gear, just a go or no go box. It was an awesome race car that would shake the Birmingham FairGrounds Speedway when cranked. It ran Alabama tracks in 1954 and 1955. Hugh Babb is the man with a cigar. Fonty Flock, Bill Latham, Nero Stepto and many southern drivers drove it.

http://public.fotki.com/alabamaracingphotos/modified_specials/calvincobbhughbabbs.html

orconn
08-20-12, 01:59 PM
Neat picture! I hadn't realized that a Studebaker was ever active in stock car racing.

CadillacLuke24
08-20-12, 11:51 PM
Name the manufactuer, and it was racing in NASCAR in the early '50s. Cadillacs were quite popular due to their larger engines.

orconn
08-21-12, 12:08 AM
^^^ I remeber that the Hudson Hornets were the stock car racers to beat in the early fifities.

dkozloski
08-21-12, 07:38 PM
^^^ I remeber that the Hudson Hornets were the stock car racers to beat in the early fifities.Buick and Oldsmobile were also doing well.