Category Archives: Studebaker truck

The day Studey stopped

 Musings, ramblings and rants from FeralCars founder Bob Merlis

Remembering the day they closed the home of the Golden Hawks

Remembering the day they closed the home of the Golden Hawks

 

 This has been a year of 50th anniversaries: the founding of the Rolling Stones, the Kennedy assassination, the March on Washington.  A whole lot happened in 1963 but there’s one event from back then that has gone, mostly, unnoticed.  It was December 9th, just two week’s after JFK’s funeral, that the announcement came that, after 111 years, Studebaker would cease vehicle production in South Bend, Indiana.  Some of us took it quite personally and still do.

Loewy legacy lives

Loewy legacy lives

It was devastating for the workers and residents of that quintessential Indiana factory town but the repercussions were felt around the world and have resonated for the last half century.  While management assured its dealer network that Studebaker branded cars would still be built — in Hamilton, Ontario — it was a dark, dark day for Studeaficionados who found out that production of Studebaker trucks, GT Hawks and Avantis would soon cease with only Lark-type vehicle production continuing in Canada.  Avanti was the 4 place, Raymond Loewy-designed sports car that brought glow to Studebaker in its darkest hour.

“Too little, too late” is the conventional wisdom about why a high performance, supercharged, fiberglass grand touring car couldn’t pull Studebaker out of its death spiral but what a way to go!

From front page news to the end of line in just a few short months

From front page news to the end of line in just 18 months

Studebaker loyalists were in disbelief.  The only auto manufacturer able to trace its origin to wagon manufacturing would soon be no more.  Yes, there were ’64, ’65 and even ’66 model year Studebakers but 12/9/63 was really the end of the line; what followed over the next few years at Studebaker was, in essence, automotive rigor mortis

As a Studebaker loyalist, both then and now, I can tell you it still hurts to think about that dreadful day.  You can’t do anything about the past so let’s celebrate Studebaker’s glorious history with some examples that are still coming through in a very real way, fifty years after the beginning of the end, for Studey loyalists who’ve never stopped believing.

'60 Champ truck still delivers

’60 Champ truck still delivers

Havana-based '50 "bullet nose" with aftermarket roof treatment

Havana-based ’50 “bullet nose” with aftermarket roof treatment

This machine kills Nazis

You’re welcome, Marshal Stalin

'53 Starliner a/k/a "the most beautiful mass produced American car."

’53 Starliner, a.k.a. “the most beautiful mass produced American car.”

Bad news for Stude

Bad news for Stude crew

The introduction of Avanti had many believing that Studebaker would make it.  Thanks to our friends at King Rose Archives, you can check out the film that heralded Avanti’s introduction in the spring of 1962.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com  OR through our Facebook page. Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it the attention it deserves.

 

 

 

Studey keeps on truckin’

Going, going, gone

Going, going, gone

The sight of an early 1950s Studebaker 2R pick-up truck barreling down the freeway is downright inspiring.  This one more than held its own with the stream of traffic on the 101 south of San Jose and what a thrill it was to see a 60 year old vehicle still fulfilling the purpose for which it was constructed.  At the risk of sounding a curmudgeonly note, let us assert that it’s a safe bet that today’s cushy pick-ups, packed with luxuries and electronics geegaws that have nothing to do with getting the basic job of hauling “stuff” done won’t be up to the task come 2073.

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We were sent a shot of another Studebaker truck of the same vintage recently, this one at rest. Its zaftig lines are most pleasing, don’t you think?  Still a looker even at an advanced age.

We found a completely “done” one of these in Charlotte, NC for about $20,000.  Seems like a lot of coin but if it lasts another 60 years, you can amortized the cost and feel good about the investment. Check it out.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com  OR through our Facebook page.