A Brief History of Studebaker


The Studebaker Corporation was an American automobile manufacturer that operated from 1852 to 1967. Here’s a brief history of the company:

The Studebaker brothers, Henry and Clement, founded the company in South Bend, Indiana in 1852 as a wagon and carriage manufacturer. The company grew rapidly in the late 19th century, and by the turn of the 20th century, it was the largest wagon manufacturer in the world.

In the early 1900s, Studebaker began producing automobiles, starting with electric cars and later adding gasoline-powered models. The company quickly gained a reputation for innovation and quality, and in 1912, it merged with several other automobile manufacturers to form the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers, which established industry standards for design and quality.

Studebaker Electric Omni Bus

During World War II, Studebaker produced military vehicles and played a significant role in the war effort.

By Pibwl – Own Work

After the war, the company returned to producing civilian cars and introduced several popular models, including the Starlight Coupe and the Hawk.

By Rhonda from Denver, Colorado
1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk – Source http://www.conceptcarz.com

However, by the 1960s, Studebaker was facing increased competition from larger automakers and struggling financially. In 1963, the company merged with the Packard Motor Car Company in an attempt to stay afloat, but the merger was unsuccessful, and Studebaker ceased production of automobiles in 1966.

1966 Studebaker Daytona – Source Hemmings

Today, Studebaker is remembered as an innovative and influential automobile manufacturer, known for its stylish designs and engineering advancements. The company’s legacy continues through Studebaker clubs and enthusiasts, who keep the memory of these iconic cars alive.

The Studebaker National Museum

The Studebaker National Museum is a museum in South Bend, Indiana, United States that displays a variety of automobiles, wagons, carriages, and military vehicles related to the Studebaker Corporation and other aspects of American history.

One thought on “A Brief History of Studebaker

  1. Bill McCoskey – I was born with a greasy wrench in my mouth instead of that silver spoon. My parents and their friends all said I could tell them make, model and even year of most cars by the time I was 5. I bought my first car [1948 Packard] at age 14, and by the time I had a driver's license, I had 2 more Packards. My education was electrical and electronics engineering, but also having ADHD, I realized it just wasn't going to be a good idea to sit behind a desk 5 days a week. After school, The US Army decided to draft me, sending me to mechanics school. On arrival in Central Germany, I discovered the attraction to rare and unusual European cars. Once back in the USA, I started my own antique car business, and I've owned, bought and sold over 1,500 vehicles to date. My interests tends to run towards the rare and unusual, 1930s thru 1970s. Auto Union SP1000 to Tatra V8, Studebaker Golden Hawk to Rolls-Royce Cloud I, 1938 Ford convertible sedan to 1959 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, my tastes are pretty eclectic and wide ranging. My profile photo is me behind the wheel of the 1956 Packard Predictor, at the National Studebaker Museum.
    Bill McCoskey says:

    Over the years it’s been written many times that either Studebaker bought Packard, or it was an equal merger. These are both incorrect. It was Packard’s cash money that bailed out Studebaker when the 2 companies combined. In efect Packard bought Studebaker. Studebaker “cooked the books” and showed Packard management “official” financial records that hid Studebaker’s heavy financial losses. Packard failed to have a 3rd party financial organization examine the Studebaker books. Had they done so, the outcome would have been far different.

    All of this can be discovered in a new book by Stuart Blond; “Spellbinder”, a 2 volume book detailing the life of James Nance, who became President of Packard and then Studebaker-Packard.

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