Friday, January 30, 2009

Studebaker Hangs On

An always depressing, but informative view of Studebaker's last days.

"No one expects any major Studebaker comeback (the company now has only one-half of 1% of the U.S. auto market), and Detroit would not be surprised if Studebaker eventually completed its exit from the auto business. But Studebaker is stubbornly hopeful. "We're living hand to mouth," says one executive, "but every day our hand gets to our mouth a little faster."

Read the full article at

Monday, January 26, 2009

Milestone - 150 Posts - Studebaker Guide - Blog

Today we achieved a milestone on Studebaker Guide; this is our 150th post in less than 12 months online. I've met some amazing people through the Studebaker Guide, the Studebaker Drivers Club and its related forum.

Next month, I'm headed to the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in Long Beach, CA, where I will assist with photography at the event. Below is a clip from my directory entry... note "Studebaker Cars" as one of my main interests. I can safely assume that I am the only technology sales and marketing person in the directory with "Studebaker" next to his profile.

Thanks for reading Studebaker Guide! Until next drive.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Studebaker - Avanti - Sketches

There's a good overview of the Avanti on Raymond Loewy's sketches for the Avanti design are worth a cruise - and interesting in retrospect.

"Loewy's cars were always a bit more interesting to look at than what the competition was building. With the Avanti, Loewy saved the best for last, and despite its low volume and the subsequent demise of Studebaker, it was a car that came to influence almost every modern automobile from 1961 to today.

It had no grille (the air intake was hidden underneath the front bumper), exceedingly short overhangs for its day, was bodied in fiberglass, and heralded the wedge-shape aerodynamic design that more or less has been with us ever since."

See the full article on

Friday, January 16, 2009

1950 Studebaker Champion Windows

The u-channels that we ordered from Studebaker International are not OM/NOS (we knew his going into it); they are reproductions that are a bit more rigid than we'd prefer. In fact, when bending one of the rear window channels we separated the chrome from the channel, and it's nearly impossible to re-crimp the chrome stripping onto the cloth channel. The solution may be to re-order NOS back window channels from Studebakers West in Redwood City, California.

In addition, the window project hit another snafu when we found that two of the windows had minor cracks. We ordered new glass from Classic Flat Glass in Placerville, CA. You can see that one need begets the next, and as usual, we're at double the original job estimate.

However, the most disappointing result of the parts delay is that we're out of driving commission until next week - missing a beautiful weekend of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny... in January!

Here's something to keep our chins up:

Until next drive.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lost Studebaker Dealership - Schenectady, New York

Another Hemmings "find." See this lost Studebaker dealership in Schenectady, New York.

See the full article and pictures here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Studebaker Pictures - Video - 44th Annual Meet

Here's a nicely done video by Kurt Glenn showing Studebaker and Packard automobiles at the 44th Annual Studebaker Drivers Club meet in Lancaster, PA in 2008.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Studebakers Make Bow - The Evening Independent

From The Evening Independent, November 16, 1950:

"One piece windshields, now standard on all Champions and Commanders, will make an important contribution to safer motoring."

"The new Commander is powered by a rugged, compact V-8 engine for which $15,000,000 were spent in engineering alone."

Click the image of the 1951 Studebaker Champion below to read the full article.

Studebaker Champion - Fender Welt

We plan to replace the fender welt on the Champion when the weather warms up a bit. There's a good thread on the SDC forum about this topic.

For those unfamiliar with fender welt, it's the paintable rubber found between the rear fenders and the car body on a Studebaker Champion.

When dealing with a paint job like ours (where the existing welt was painted over), it's critical that we score the seam between the fender and car body before unbolting the two; we don't want to crack the paint.

Read the article about fender welt replacement here.

1951 Studebaker Commander - Land Cruiser

From the November 15, 1950 St. Petersburg Times:

"Front-end styling alterations center around the new grille, "spinner", and bumper support splash shield. New trunk deck handles and re-designed tail lamps are the new rear features."

1950 MPG Test Run - TIME Magazine

Again proving that Studebaker was way ahead of its time...

Monday, Feb. 27, 1950

"On a basis of gasoline mileage alone, the Studebaker Champion placed first with 26.551 miles to the gallon, the sweepstakes-winning Mercury second with 26.524 mi., and a Nash Ambassador third with 26.424 mi. Next, in order of ranking: Nash Statesman, 25.522 m.p.g.; Studebaker Land Cruiser, 24.887; Kaiser Special, 23.946; Frazer Manhattan, 23.907; Studebaker Commander, 23-794; Ford 6, 23.326; Cadillac 61, 22.972; Cadillac 62, 22.525; Cadillac 60, 22.080; Hudson Commodore, 21.386; Plymouth, 21.254; Chevrolet, 21.071."

See the full article on TIME.

Studebaker Champion - Trunk Restoration - Mat

After scraping, sanding, vacuuming and a few coats of Rustoleum, our Studebaker trunk is good as new. I even picked up a trunk mat from

Two notes:

1. The black box in the trunk is a large 12-volt motorcycle battery that we use to power the radio/MP3 amp and speaker (hidden behind the original radio faceplate).

2. The plastic-coated cables that are attached to the trunk hinges are the connectors for the LATCH/three-point harnesses used on modern-day car seats. Studebaker drives are far more fun with the kids safely in tow.