Most people think of cars as nothing more than transportation devices to take them from point A to point B. But there are some people who appreciate cars for various reasons such as power, beauty, status, speed and/or as a means of individual expression. I am one of those people, and if you are reading this, you probably are too. However, my appreciation of cars goes far beyond that, especially when the car is a Studebaker. When I see a Studebaker going down the road, I see a fellow native of South Bend, Indiana, because that is where I was born and where my relatives collectively spent more than one hundred years building Studebakers. I wonder if my grandfather ordered the materials for this one, or scheduled the body to meet the frame at the end of the production line. Perhaps my Uncle Walter assembled part of the motor, or my Aunt Gertrude typed the purchase order when she worked in the administration building. And when I see a horse-drawn wagon, (including the Budweiser beer wagons) I wonder if my great grandfather or an uncle helped build it.
Although Studebaker stopped building cars in 1966, (two years before I had a driver's license), they were always a part of my life and I exclusively owned Studebakers until December, 1996, when I bought a green and white Chevy convertible to match my green and white 1955 Commander, which I still own and operate.
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For 114 years Studebaker built buggies, horse-drawn wagons, trucks and fine automobiles. I am proud that my relatives were part of that history. The photo below was taken from the Studebaker museum in South Bend, which was formerly the Freeman-Spicer building, the official dealership where Studebaker employees picked up their cars. The building outside is part of the Studebaker factory where members of my family collectively spent more than a century and where my grandfather met my grandmother in 1924. Next to that photo are the awards that my grandfather was given during the 40+ years he worked at Studebaker. My 20-year pin (red hexagon) and 30-year pin (blue hexagon) for continuous membership in the Studebaker Drivers Club are included among his awards. Although forty years is a long period of service Studebaker issued employee service pins for up to sixty years. See the excellent article from Richard Quinn about that subject here. http://thestudebakerwheel.com/employee_pins/employee_pins.htm
I joined the Club in June, 1968, when I was fifteen years old, and it is my intention to be the first member to receive a sixty-year pin
If you have a few moments, I'd like to welcome you to my on-line Studebaker museum and tell you some stories about a fine company who built some wonderful vehicles. Hopefully, you will have a fun and interesting ride.