Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Article Excerpt: Studebaker’s New V-8: Triumph and Tragedy

Just a few excerpts from an ambitious tome by Murray D. Stahl. Have a look at the full article (link below).

"From Studebaker’s New V-8: Triumph and Tragedy - An Independent Automobile Company’s Quest to Survive a Change in Its Reality." By Murray D. Stahl

"As the new V8 was introduced, Studebaker management were congratulating themselves on 1950 sales of 334,554 vehicles. It was a high water mark. Soon the company would be hanging on by their proverbial fingernails selling 82,000 cars, 113,920 vehicles in '54; a 66% drop in three years despite a “state of the art” engine and redesigned automobiles."

"The new engine offered more power and the additional benefit of greater economy as well. In the Mobilgas Economy Run of 1951 a V-8-powered Commander with overdrive managed a 28-mpg average from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon via Death Valley. That beat the 1950 L-head Six Commander's mileage by more than four miles per gallon. As you look at the EPA figures for our modern full size cars take note of how few can match this fuel economy 50 plus years later."

View the full article on

Monday, October 26, 2009

Studebaker Champion Taillight Bulbs

Sometimes the simple things are incredibly comforting. After years of "the big stuff," repairs on our 1950 Studebaker Champion seem to be settling into a "maintenance mode." Now, maintenance on a 59 year-old car includes a head gasket and what could be seen as major part reconditioning.

But then there are days like this, when a simple bulb replacement is ... as simple as replacing a bulb. A & E Auto Parts in Sacramento, CA, is THE place for 1940 and better basic car parts. A & E had the 1158 and 1129 bulbs that Kragen and AutoZone did not - complete with a fancy, old-school cardboard bulb holder.

Note: these bulbs are for 6 volt systems. Our 1950 Champion has a 6V, positive ground system.

See a 1158 miniature bulb.

See a 1129 miniature bulb.

FYI, if you want to identify your stop light switch, I received this advice from StudeRich on the SDC forum:

"If your car has TWO female PUSH-ON terminals on the wires to connect to two (bullet type) male pins on the switch, it takes the 666858 switch. Or, you could ask for a 1962 Ford Truck hydraulic type stop light switch at your local Auto Parts Store. They fit most ANY pre-'65 or so U.S. car!"

Until next drive.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Your Dream Garage - Studebaker Gran Turismo

"For DeCrane, 62, who grew up fixing cars in his father's six-car garage in Fairview Park, the idea of creating a dream garage where he could tinker with his collectible Studebaker cars, cook turkeys at the holidays and host a yearly clambake came true in 2004 when he and his wife, Sheila, moved into their newly built home."

It's dreamy to think about what one wants from their garage. As the owner of a 1.5 car garage built in 1936, there's not much room for anything more than our 1950 Studebaker Champion, tools, the kids' bikes, wagon, etc.

Read the full article on the website. BTW, check out the Gran Turismo in the photograph - nice!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1951 Packard 200 - Photographs and History

The fierce debate about Packard's demise is worth a good look; see the in-line discussion below the main article. The pictures of the 1951 Packard 200 are also very good. Many thanks to The Truth About Cars for the article.

View the 1951 Packard 200 here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Official: Studebaker International Bought SASCO's Inventory

"The inventory eventually will be moved to the Studebaker Business Center, 711 Chippewa Ave., South Bend. When that building reopens in the spring of 2010, Reynolds said it will be part of a retail complex that caters to Studebaker enthusiasts visiting the city to tour the Studebaker National Museum or other events."

Read the story on the South Bend Tribune website.

Read the official announcement here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hershey Fall Meet - Studebaker Truck

"The thing about Hershey is that you can come here for 35 years and see something you’ve never seen before," said John Ravikio, who started coming to the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division National Fall Meet here since 1975."

"Mr. Ravikio and his friend, Tom Wilburn, watched the departing cars from their folding chairs. I think that was a Studebaker,” Mr. Wilburn said. Neither he nor Mr. Ravikio knew for sure, so Mr. Wilburn got up and ambled up to the parade for a closer look."

Read the full article on the NY Times website.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bengies Drive-In Theater

A great little story about keeping the drive-in theater tradition alive.

"Vogel has spent most of his life trying to maintain the feel and charm of the Baltimore, Maryland, drive-in movie theater that his family opened in 1956. Vogel wants moviegoers to have the same experience as he did when he went to his family's outdoor theater as a child, although he knows that people today have many more entertainment options."

"At Bengies, each night is a double feature, so guests can see at least two movies for $8 a person. Vogel estimates that Bengies makes 60 percent of its revenue from ticket sales, and the rest comes from concession purchases. There's a strict "no outside food" policy, and he's open about the fact that the food sales help keep the business open."

Read the full story of Bengie's Drive-In Theater on

See the website for the WestWind drive-in theater in Sacramento, CA.

Friday, October 2, 2009 DOTS: Two Studebakers. We Can Do Better.

This is a rallying cry. publishes a feature named "Down on the Street" (aka DOTS). The DOTS articles highlight unique, classic, venerated, adored ... any vehicles worthy of discussion. And of the 200 DOTS to date, only a Lark VIII and an Avanti have been featured from the Studebaker bloodline.

While I love both the Avanti and the Lark, Studebaker owners need to show the breadth, depth, and engineering excellence of the Studebaker name with a few more Studes. Let's get a Speedster DOTS. I'm considering a trek from Sacramento to the Alameda with our trusty '50 bulletnose Champion.

Anyone else "in"? And hopefully, geographically closer?

See all 200 cars recorded in Jalopnik's feature, Down on the Street.