Leaving a legacy for future generations is certainly an achievement for anyone who could do it. It is an accomplishment that never dies even after many years that have passed. The times of the Studebaker Corporation has long been over in since 1966, but it doesn’t mean that it’s also already dead through the hearts of those who still exist in the automotive industry.
Thanks to the Studebaker Drivers Club for their efforts in building an online community where different owners of Studebaker cars are gathered to share their common knowledge and experience with these cars.
A Brief History
Studebaker was founded in 1852 and this company was a wagon and automobile manufacturer from United States that was based in South Bend, Indiana. In 1868, it was incorporated under the name of Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. Initially, the company manufactures wagons for the farmers, the miners, and the military.
The Studebaker only made its way to the automotive business in 1902. At first, the company was only manufacturing electric vehicles until it also produced gasoline vehicles in 1904. The vehicles they manufactured back in that period were all named under “Studebaker Automobile Company.” Later on, their automotive division worked in collaboration with the E-M-F Company (Everitt-Mertzger-Flanders) and the Garford Company in 1911. The company was able to fully build their first ever gasoline cars and all of these were marketed back in August 1912.
For the next 50 years, the company had made a mark in the automotive industry. The company became known for the quality and reliability in the cars that they build. But then, the company suffered from many years of financial problems. This resulted to their merge with the luxury carmaker Packard that’s why the Studebaker-Packard Corporation was formed. Later on, the Packard Corporation decided to get out of the merge because their corporation discovered the serious financial problem that the Studebakers were facing during that time.
The Studebaker Corporation finally stopped their production on December 20, 1963.
Reliving The Memories of the Studebaker Through Its Loyal Car Owners
Although the Studebaker Company had finished manufacturing, the cars that the company has produced over the years were still alive in the hands of its owners.
There’s even a Studebaker Drivers Club who annually holds an International meet which they held in different locations. When participants of the event were once asked why they adore Studebaker cars, they would recount their stories or share their opinions towards these cars and almost each of them own a heartwarming story that’s worth retelling.
The 1951 Commander was a favorite in one of these events. Let’s hear why these guys chose this Commander car as their favorite.
1951 Commander / 1952 Commander
Wayne Weatch was fascinated with the engineering of his 1951 Commander which was also his first Studebaker. He just loved almost everything about it, from its four-door suicide-door style, the hill-holder transmission, the overdrive, and all that it consist, and even the V-8 that powers up this car. He even chose the 1951 and 1952 models of this Studebaker as his favorites.
The guy who fabricated the Cadillac OHV V8 was the same guy who designed the Studebaker’s V8 and Studebaker did a great job in building it. As Wayne details it, “It runs fine on unleaded gas, the valve guides don’t care, there’s plenty of oil circulation. The 232-cu.in. V-8 in my 1952 has 7.0:1 compression ratio, so it can be driven on today’s crummy gas without worrying about detonation.”
There is one thing that Wayne doesn’t like in this car though, its air-conditioning is unusual for them that’s why they just choose to use windows instead.
Jim and Trevor’s cloned 1951 Commander
The 1951 Commander had another fan through the lives of brothers Jim and Trevor.
When they were asked about why the 1951 Commander was also their favorite, “We shared a 1952 Studebaker when we were kids–that’s how we got into these.” It was Jim’s car first, then Trevor’s. “That’s probably the reason we came back to Studebaker later in life. As we got older, we bought a 1947 model, and rebuilt it, every nut and bolt. We installed a dual exhaust to make it sound a little better.”
They just actually cloned a Studebaker since the one that they originally had was long gone for many years. What they really owned was a Champion in which they both agreed to turn into a Commander. They were satisfied with the outcome since their Commander always catches a lot of attention from its audience during the shows.
Did you ever own a Studebaker? Tell us your story in the comments or on Facebook.