The Studebaker National Museum announced the arrival of the #34 Studebaker Special Indianapolis 500 Race Car, the only surviving factory-built example in existence. Just five of the historic race cars were made, each featuring streamlined coachwork in 1933. Number 34 is now on display at the museum as of October 24, 2023.
Acquiring a Studebaker Indy Car has been a dream of the Studebaker National Museum for decades. “The Indianapolis 500 is the United States’ iconic automobile race,” said Andrew Beckman, the archivist at the Studebaker National Museum. Studebaker’s five-car entry into the 1932 Indianapolis 500 was one of the of the race’s largest factory-backed efforts. The team’s top driver finished in 3rd place, with Studebaker also claiming 6th, 13th, 15th, and 16th places.
1933 Studebaker Indianapolis 500 team
When Studebaker returned for the 1933 season with more power and wind tunnel-tested streamlined bodies, the #34 car finished a team-best 7th and took home $1,300 in prize money. The race car was passed on through several owners after its retirement, finally landing with industrial designer Brooks Stevens in 1957, who restored it and stored it in his private collection until his passing. It switched hands to August Grasis of Kansas City, Missouri in 1996 and was campaigned in numerous vintage racing events. It most recently competed in the 2021 Weathertech International Challenge at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
“Adding the #34 Car to the Collection allows the Museum to connect the history of Indiana’s signature automotive event, the Indianapolis 500, with its most prominent automotive manufacturer. When the opportunity to acquire this remarkable vehicle became available, the local community and Studebaker enthusiasts rallied to make this dream a reality. We are incredibly grateful for all of the generous supporters who made this possible,” Studebaker National Museum Executive Director, Patrick Slebonick, stated in the press release