In late September, 2007, after the "Era of Exner Event", I visited the Studebaker Museum.
Studebaker Centennial Wagon
This wagon was specially built for an exhibition in
Philadelphia, celebrating the Centennial of the United States of America.
Since 2005, the Studebaker Museum is placed in a new
the style looks similar to the old Studebaker factory buildings.
Studebaker Model C
This is the oldest gasoline powered Studebaker.
The first floor of the Studebaker Museum shows the cars from around 1900 to the late 1930's.
From 1909 to 1912, Studebaker sold more than 30,000
Founded in 1852, the Studebaker Company built carriages,
but around 1900, they started the production of electric vehicles.
Later, they switched to gasoline powered cars.
Studebaker had a lot of dealers throughout the United States, but no know-how to build automobiles, so they started cooperations with several car-companies, like Garford, or E-M-F / Flanders.
Specially the E-M-F cars brought some trouble, because they weren't well engineered,
some people thought EMF stands for "Every Morning - Fix it!"
Studebaker Big Six Duplex Phaeton
The Duplex was the top-of-the-line, back in 1926. The car had a solid top, but curtains as side-windows, like an open tourer.
After all these problems, Studebaker started to produce
most likely also because the business with carriages was dying...
Studebaker President Four Season Roadster
In 1931, a lot of people still had the idea that an automobile was a "toy", with this car, named "Four Season Roadster", Studebaker wanted to make a clear statement, that the car was able to be driven in every season.
In 1920, Studebaker stopped building carriages, and
moved the automobile production to South Bend.
The 1920's saw Studebaker expanding more, and more, the mid-priced models were quite successful.
Studebaker President Convertible Coupe
The President series was restyled for 1932.
Erskine, and Rockne were car-makes owned by the Studebaker
Corporation, created to expand in cheaper markets,
on the other hand, Studebaker acquired Pierce-Arrow, to step in the luxury-car-market.
Well, the Great Depression brought some financial problems, but Studebaker survived...
Studebaker Commander Roadster
An impressive convertible, in yellow...
From 1936 to 1955, Raymond Loewy was responsible for
the Studebaker design,
but Virgil M. Exner was chief-stylist for the company from 1938 to 1949.
photo taken at the "Era of Exner Event"
The 1949 Champion came from his drawing-board.
While the "Big Three" started post-war production with redesigned pre-war cars,
Studebaker brought a complete new designed car-series.
Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe
The famous bullet-nose design.
The 1950's started with the famous bullet-nose models.
Studebaker Commander Starliner
In 1952, Studebaker celebrated its centennial!
Later, Studebaker started the even more famous coupe-series,
still under the leadership of Raymond Loewy, but designed by Bob Bourke.
Studebaker Champion Starliner Hardtop
The design came from the bureau of Raymond Loewy, and
is one of the most beautiful/famous Studebakers.
The mid-50's brought again some financial trouble.
Packard, and Studebaker tried to solve this problem together, the Studebaker-Packard company was born,
but it didn't help.
Studebaker President Classic
For 1956, Studebaker decided to go back to a more classic styling for the sedan-series.
1956 Packard Predictor
The end of the tail-fin-era.
The Hawk series was beautiful, and successful, but
not successful enough.
Loewy designed the Avanti, but it was to late to save Studebaker, the production ended in 1963 at South Bend,
and in 1966, the last Studebaker was built in Canada.
The rights for the Avanti were sold, and the car survived in small production numbers for a very long time,
even four door sedans, and convertibles were built...
The Avanti should start a new era of Studebaker automobiles,
but finally it was the last Studebaker.
The post-war cars are located on the second floor of
the museum, and shows a lot of nice, and interesting Studebakers.
There is also some space for non-Studebaker-cars, when I was there, it was a special exhibition of muscle-cars.
The Bendix Corporation, a supplier
for the car industry, started to build this prototype in 1932.
The National Studebaker Museum is a MUST for every
whenever you will have the chance to see this fine collection, take it!
On first floor, there is also a nice museum shop, where
you can spend some money for memorabilia,
like books, modelcars, postcards, or many other Studebaker related products.
(Next to all the books, and postcards, my favorites were the cinnamon candies!)
1969 Shelby GT500
Collectible Automobile, June 2012 (8 pages, 19 photos)
Here you will find the official homepage of the museum:
"Era of Exner Event, 2007"
other rare cars