Monday, June 29, 2009

Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk in Fatal Crash

"A car connected the two, a grandson's way of saying thanks to his grandmother.

Now, the grandson, David Kahn, 40, of Moline, is fighting for his life at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, and his grandmother, Julie Hogan, 86, with whom he lived, is dead.

On Saturday, the two left Moline for a car show in Pontiac, driving his prized 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. The two were also to celebrate David's 40th birthday, which was Monday.

They were on Interstate 39 in La Salle County shortly after 3 p.m when the fatal crash occurred. Relatives said they've been told by authorities the driver of another vehicle, Julia Hoffman, 49, of Rockford, crossed the median going the other way and went airborne toward Kahn's Studebaker.

Kahn allegedly swerved to avoid the airborne car and went airborne himself into a ditch area before landing nose down. Hoffman was released from the hospital on Monday.

The car they were driving in (Friday), Davey's grandfather bought the frame, and he and his grandfather built it from the frame up," McMahill said. "It's a very near and dear vehicle."

Read the full article is here.

An example of a '62 Gran Turismo Hawk

Saturday, June 27, 2009

6 Degrees of Separation: Studebaker, Mercedes, Audi

Interesting tie between Studebaker and Mercedes by the Automotive Traveler. Here's an excerpt and link to the full article.

"But at the time, less than 20 years after the end of the Second World War, Mercedes-Benz was a fairly small player in the US market. Its distribution rights for the United States were in the hands of the most famous marque in South Bend, Studebaker in an agreement that dated all the way back in 1958, when the South Bend firm went by the name corporate name of Studebaker-Packard. As this 1962 ad for this the then new 220SE coupe clearly shows, Mercedes-Benz cars were distributed in the US by Mercedes-Benz Sales, Inc., South Bend, Indiana (A Subsidiary of Studebaker-Packard Corporation.)

(As Packard was discontinued, Mercedes-Benz partially filled the premium car void in the showroom of some Studebaker dealers. Unfortunately as Mercedes-Benz was growing in sales in the US, Studebaker was declining. In fact less than five years after this Auto Union-DKW ad ran in the pages of Road & Track, Studebaker was gone from the automotive scene.)"

Read the full article on The Automotive Traveler.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Automobile Magazine Feature on Bullet Nose Studebakers

Really nice write-up in Automobile Magazine about the '50 -'51 bullet nose Studebaker Champions, Commanders, and Landcruisers.

"Bob Bourke did the heavy lifting for Loewy on the redesign. With fighter-plane styling in the front and streamlined-railway-car "Vista Dome" treatment in the back, there've been few cars as stunning before or since. The design leadership was matched with comparatively up-to-the-minute engineering to make it more than worthy of contemporary consideration. Was there anything more modern on the road back then? Not really."

"Why buy? It's the most futuristic car of the past - a dream car that you can drive on a regular basis. Styling sets it apart, and straightforward mechanicals make it relatively easy to live with. Spare and reproduction parts abound, and the Studebaker community is very supportive. Nothing says "postwar" more emphatically; the Muppets drove one to box-office glory. You get to admit that it is, in fact, both going and coming and was, yes, ahead of its time, which seems to still have not arrived."

Read the full Automobile Magazine feature here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

1965 Studebaker Commander

Here are the last of the shots from the Studebaker exhibit at the California Automobile Museum. The exhibit runs through June 30. This 1965 Studebaker Commander had some interesting design lines that were tough to capture in these images.

1927 Studebaker Big Six Custom Brougham

Produced from 1918 - 1927, the Studebaker Big Six Custom Brougham of 1927 had a total of 75 horsepower coming from an inline 6 cylinder engine.

Here's an unrestored Studebaker Big Six Custom Brougham now on display at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento, CA. More information about the Big Six can be read here.

1948 Studebaker Champion - Sheriff Special

I've seen this "sheriff special" at both the California Auto Museum and the Sacramento Southwest Zone Meet. The model year and the kitsch factor of this car make me smile. Here are a few pictures from the California Auto Museum.

Thanks to Lee Boyer for sharing his cool car.

1963 Studebaker Avanti #9

"In October 1963, Granatelli took several Studebakers to the Bonneville Salt Flats, including an R-3 Avanti (#9) in which he reached a record speed of 170.78 mph (274.84 km/h)." Source: Wikipedia

Here is the car noted above; shown at the California Automobile Museum.

1950 Studebaker Commander for Sale

I'm not sure that I should be sharing this news... I covet this car.

The 1950 Studebaker Commander - a registered "historic vehicle" - is now for sale by the California Automobile Museum.

For more information, contact

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Studebaker Dealers

Below are links and images of a few Studebaker dealers that I found while rummaging through links and leads online. Click on the dealer name to read the full article and see the author / owner website.

- Harvils
- Carl E. Filer
- Smiley's Garage
- Hoffman
- Van Dyke

Studebaker Legacy Lives On

"The Studebaker car company died nearly 46 years ago. But just saying the name brings back memories of malt shops and good times for some residents of South Bend.

For more than a hundred years, Studebaker made all kinds of vehicles there at the company’s sprawling production campus. Everything from horse drawn carriages to the stylish automobiles like the Lark and Avanti.

Today the town is a very different place."

Hear the story on Chicago Public Radio.