Monday, November 24, 2008

Now There Are Four - Time Magazine - Studebaker

An interesting article about the demise of US Studebaker manufacturing from 1963.

"Studebaker Corp. announced that it was dropping auto production in the U.S.—111 years after its founding as a carriage maker and 61 since it turned out its first auto."

"What happened to Studebaker? South Bend was too remote from Detroit to enable the company to move quickly with all the industry's new trends, and Studebaker's ancient plant there was hopelessly inefficient. The company's dealer organization was too small, haphazard and ineffectual. Efforts to revitalize the company were snarled by lack of cash and a series of incredible production snafus."

"Studebaker may be largely out of autos, but it is by no means out of business. Under Egbert's direction, Studebaker picked up so many new companies (appliances, chemicals, superchargers) that half of its $400 million sales this year came from nonautomotive divisions. These divisions earned $12 million—though the company will end the year heavily in the red because of auto losses and the cost of closing the South Bend plant. Freed from its auto losses and armed with a healthy tax write-off, Studebaker says that it expects to make an overall profit next year."

Read the complete Time Magazine article from 1963 here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Official Petition - Studebaker - Pixar's "Cars 2" Movie - Update

Updated 11/24/08 - We now have more than 150 signees on the petition!

Sign the Official Petition to lobby for a Studebaker in Pixar's "Cars 2" Movie.

A sequel was announced for a Summer 2011 release of Pixar's "Cars 2." Pixar's John Lasseter commented "the Cars are going international" in the sequel, but there's no reason that a Studebaker - an American icon and one of the first electric cars (1902) - shouldn't be included in the new film.

Sign the petition.

Read the forum thread on the SDC website.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

LIFE Magazine - Studebaker Photographs

LIFE Magazine released 10 million photographs on Google Image Search today. There are 171 Studebaker images - many of them amazing historic shots that have never been seen before.

See the 170-plus Studebaker images on Google.

Google's statement:

"LIFE Photo Archive available on Google Image Search

The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you'll see in Google Image Search today.

We're excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.

Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We're digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos."

Friday, November 14, 2008

1950 Studebaker Champion - Washington Times

Another great article about a '50 Champion and its owner - this time in the Washington Times.

"Murray Welsh can offer no reason why a 1950 Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe four-door sedan is parked in his garage other than its peculiar appeal.

The bullet-nose Studebaker was built in the South Bend, Ind., factory Aug. 17, 1950 and was then shipped to Philadelphia. Its whereabouts are unknown from then until Mr. Welsh and his wife, Linda, went Studebaker shopping about a decade ago."

Read the Washington Time's article about this Studebaker Regal DeLuxe.

Studebaker Regional Office and Parts Dealer, San Francisco

Now Antonio's Antiques, this unassuming building was once a Studebaker Regional Office and Parts Dealer. The address is listed in the 1950 Studebaker Champion Owner's Manual.

710 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Friday, November 7, 2008

1952 Studebaker Commander

There was a wonderful "Studebaker Story" in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday. Here's an excerpt and an image:

"My ride is a 1952 Studebaker Commander, four-door sedan, "Tahoe" green, with suicide rear doors. In the 1950s, when we kids could identify any car at a distance by year, make and model, I was fascinated by Studebakers. We didn't see many of them, but a neighbor of ours in Los Angeles had a 1948 yellow Commander sedan. What a beautiful, modern car that was!"

Read more of this Studebaker story on SF Gate.

Photo copyright the San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Studebaker Champion Interior

I love it when a plan comes together.

We're finished with the door panels, headliner, sun visors, carpet and seat covers. We've encountered a minor snafu with the window U-channels and guides - rusted and just plain poor. So, we'll tackle the windows before applying the window frames, door handles and window cranks.

Studebaker Cupcakes - Desserts

I thought to share these unbelievable Studebaker cupcakes with you. They feature a perfect "lazy S." If only my steering wheel button shone so bright.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Studebaker Brochures

"Mr. Hayes, a retired travel agent, says his collection of automobile pamphlets now numbers 13,000. They fill six cabinets in his apartment, and a few boxes under his bed. He says his collection is worth thousands of dollars, but that is not why he is a collector."

See Steve Hayes' Studebaker car brochure collection.

Read the NY Times article about Steve Hayes and his amazing car brochure and advertisement collection. (log-in required; free)

Studebaker-Packard Dealer, Los Gatos, CA

The Studebaker-Packard regalia is gone, but it's known that this hardware store in my hometown of Los Gatos, California, was once a Studebaker-Packard dealer. More can be seen at the "Los Gatos Car Dealerships: Selling the California Dream" exhibit. See the link below for more information.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Studebaker Fuel Efficiency

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Look beyond the nostalgia factor in this film produced for Studebaker dealers. Listen to the comments. The Studebaker Lark was, according to this film, intended to give consumers what they wanted: a low-priced, fuel economy car. We know today, of course, that Studebaker failed for many reasons. But these executives were positive they had read the market correctly."

See the full article about Studebakers and fuel efficiency.