I don’t know how many of them are reading this, or will read this, but my thanks to the legion of Studebaker fans who clicked on yesterday’s post enough for Disaffected Musings to reach a new daily high in unique visitors and just miss the “record” for views. Thanks to 56packardman for posting a link to “Wednesday Wanderings” in a Studebaker Drivers Club forum. 56packardman and I have never met nor ever spoken voice-to-voice. However, he has done more to promote this blog than anyone else, by far. I am grateful.
Could I have chosen any other make today?
From momentcar.com a picture (obviously at an RM auction) of a 1932 Studebaker President. NBCSN airs Mecum auctions, but also airs Mecum specials. One of those specials showed the top ten pre-war cars in terms of hammer price. A 1932 Studebaker President was one of those ten although I don’t remember the number or the specific variation of the car. One of the hosts of the show (John Kraman?) commented that this automobile was the pinnacle of collectible cars for Studebaker enthusiasts. To the Studebaker fans reading this, do you agree?
From More Than They Promised by Thomas Bonsall: “The wonderful President chassis received its greatest accolade in this period [circa 1932] when it was selected, in more-or-less stock form, as the basis for a series of Studebaker race cars especially built for the grueling Indianapolis 500. In 1932, five Studebaker Specials had been built. The top finisher, driven by Cliff Bergere, came in third and averaged 102.66 miles per hour overall—the first time a ‘stock’ racer had cracked the century mark.”
The 1932 President was powered by a 337 cubic-inch inline eight-cylinder engine that produced 122 HP. Although only about 2,400 were built that year they were available in an overwhelming variety of body styles, 16 in all if my counting is to be trusted. That means, of course, that some of the variations were and are exceedingly rare. However, not all of them are exceedingly expensive. At the recent Mecum auction in Chicago (Schaumburg, Illinois to be exact) a 1932 Studebaker President State Sedan hammered for $28,000 meaning the buyer paid $30,800 all in.
As many of you know and as I have written before, the next year—1933—was a disastrous one for Studebaker. The company declared bankruptcy and its President, Albert Erskine, committed suicide. Studebaker seemingly recovered, though, and reached its all-time high in yearly production in 1950 at almost 321,000 vehicles, which ranked eighth among US car companies and was the only independent in the top ten. By 1963, however, fortunes had declined so dramatically that Studebaker ceased production at its main factory in South Bend, Indiana and limped along making cars at its Canadian plant in Hamilton, Ontario until March of 1966.
I won’t write it again, but most regular readers know what I am thinking…
Hey, Canadian readers! I would love to read some comments from you.
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