Studebaker

Studebaker's "Lazy S" logo designed by Raymond Loewy was used from the 1950s until 1966

Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company was a United States wagon and automobile manufacturer that was incorporated in 1868[1]. The company left the automobile business in 1966.

Early history

Henry Studebaker was a farmer, blacksmith, and wagon-maker who lived near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the early 19th century. By 1840 he had moved to Ohio and taught his five sons to make wagons. They all went into that business as they grew westward with the country.

Logo used by Studebaker for its cars produced before the mid 1930s

Clement and Henry, Jr. became blacksmiths and foundrymen in South Bend, Indiana. They first made metal parts for freight wagons and later expanded into the manufacture of wagons. John made wheelbarrows in California and Peter made wagons in Saint Joseph, Missouri. The first major expansion in their business came from their being in place to meet the needs of the California Gold Rush in 1849.

When the gold rush settled down, John returned to Indiana and bought out Henry's share of the business. They brought in their youngest brother Jacob and incorporated in 1852. Expansion continued to support westward migration, but the next major increase came from supplying wagons for the Union Army in the American Civil War. After the war they reviewed what they had accomplished and set a direction for the company.

They reorganized into the Studebaker Brother's Manufacturing Company in 1868, built around the motto of "Always give more than you promise". By this time the railroad and steamship companies had become the big freight movers in the east. So they set their sights on supplying individuals and farmers the ability to move themselves and their goods. Peter's business became a branch operation.

During the height of westward migration and wagon train pioneering, half of the wagons were Studebakers. They made about a quarter of them, and manufactured the metal fittings to sell to other builders in Missouri for another quarter.

Studebaker Automobiles 1897-1966

Studebaker's Big Six Touring Car, from a 1920 magazine ad.

Studebaker experimented with motor vehicles as early as 1897, choosing electric over gasoline powered engines. The company entered into a distribution agreement with Everett-Metzger-Flanders (E-M-F) Company of Detroit; E-M-F would manufacture vehicles and the Studebakers would distribute them through their wagon dealers. Problems with E-M-F made the cars unreliable leading the public to say that E-M-F stood for "Every Morning Fix-it". J.M. Studebaker, unhappy with E-M-F's poor quality, gained control of the assets and plant facilities in 1910. To remedy the damage done by E-M-F, Studebaker paid mechanics to visit each unsatisfied owner and replace the defective parts in their vehicles at a cost of US$1 million to the company.

Worlds largest living sign was planted at the Studebaker Proving Grounds, west of South Bend, Indiana.

Studebaker also began putting its name on new automobiles produced at the former E-M-F facilities, both as an assurance that the vehicles were well-built, and as its commitment to making automobile production and sales a success. In 1911 the company reorganized as the Studebaker Corporation.

In addition to cars, Studebaker also added a truck line, which in time, replaced the horse drawn wagon business started in 1851. In 1926, Studebaker became the first automobile manufacturer in the United States to open a controlled outdoor proving ground; in 1937 the company planted 5,000 pine trees in a pattern that when viewed from the air spelled "STUDEBAKER."

From the 1920s to the 1960s, the South Bend company originated many style and engineering milestones, including the classic 1929-1932 Studebaker President and the 1939 Studebaker Champion. Studebaker continued to build models that appealed to the average American and their need for transportation and mobility.

Cover of Turning Wheels magazine showing stock-appearing Studebaker Starliner at Bonneville. The streamlined shapes of Studebakers made them very popular for top speed record seekers.

However, ballooning labor costs (the company had never had an official United Auto Workers (UAW) strike and Studebaker workers and retirees were among the highest paid in the industry), quality control issues and the new car sales war between Ford and General Motors in the early 1950s wreaked havoc on Studebaker's balance sheet. Professional financial managers stressed short term earnings rather than long term vision. There was enough momentum to keep going for another ten years, but stiff competition and price cutting by the Big Three doomed the enterprise.

Hoping to stem the tide of losses and bolster its market position, Studebaker allowed itself to be acquired by Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit; the merged entity was called the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. Studebaker's cash position was far worse than it led Packard to believe and in 1956 the nearly bankrupt automaker brought in a management team from aircraft maker Curtiss-Wright to help get it back on its feet. At the behest of C-W's president Roy T. Hurley, the company became the American importer for Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union and DKW automobiles and many Studebaker dealers sold those brands as well. In 1958, the Packard name was discontinued, although the company continued to bear the Studebaker-Packard name through 1962.

1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner, showing the streamlined design of the 1950s Studebaker. In the 1980s, a multi-national panel of renowned automobile journalists, voted the 1953 Studebaker Starliner "one of the top ten most beautiful automobiles ever made".

With an abundance of tax credits in hand from the years of financial losses, at the insistence of the company's banks and some members of the board of directors, Studebaker-Packard began diversifying away from automobiles in the late 1950s. While this was good for the corporate bottom line, it virtually guaranteed there would be little spending on Studebaker's mainstay products, its automobiles.

The automobiles which came after the diversification process began, including the ingeniously-designed compact Lark (1959) and even the "Avanti" sports car (1963) were based on old chassis and engine designs. The Lark, in particular, was based on existing parts to the degree that it even utilized the central body section of the company's 1953 cars, but was a clever enough design to be quite popular in its first year, selling over 150,000 units and delivering an unexpected $28 million profit to the automaker.

Sadly, everything that was tried in the years following the Lark's debut proved to be not enough to stop the financial bleeding. The company closed its operations in South Bend in December 1963, selling its Avanti brand to Nate Altman who continued to produce the car in South Bend under the brand name Avanti II. Automotive production was consolidated at the company's last remaining production facility in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where Studebaker produced cars until April, 1966, when it left the automobile business to focus on its profitable wholly-owned subsidiaries. The last car manufactured was a turquoise-and-white Cruiser four-door sedan.

Many of Studebaker's dealers converted to Mercedes-Benz dealerships following the closure of the Canadian plant. Studebaker's proving grounds were acquired by its former supplier Bendix Corporation, which later donated the grounds for use as a park to the St. Joseph County, Indiana parks department. As a condition of the donation, the new park was named park Bendix Woods. Today, the former proving ground is owned by Robert Bosch GmbH, and it continues to be active some 80 years after it was first built. Its General Products Divsion, which handled defence contracts, was acquired by Kaiser Industries, and continues to this day as AM General.

Even as financial difficulties continued to mount in 1963, Studebaker offered a full range of models including the Avanti, Hawk, Wagonaire and Lark based Cruiser, Commander, and Daytona convertible.

After 1966, Studebaker continued to exist as a closed investment group, with income derived from its numerous diversified units including STP, Gravely Tractor, Onan Electric Generators, and Clarke Floor Machine. Studebaker was acquired by Wagner Electric in 1967. Subsequently, Studebaker was then merged with the Worthington Corporation to form Studebaker-Worthington. The Studebaker name disappeared from the American business scene in 1979 when McGraw-Edison acquired Studebaker-Worthington. McGraw-Edison, was itself purchased in 1985 by Cooper Industries, which sold off all its auto-parts divisions to Federal-Mogul some years later.

Nearly aborted revival

Cover of Turning Wheels magazine, featuring Bonneville racers. On the left is a modified Studebaker Starliner, on the right a modified Avanti.

In 2003 the owners of the Studebaker XUV trademark, Avanti Motor Corporation, now based in Villa Rica, Georgia, announced a Studebaker-branded SUV, the XUV, for production that fall, bringing a demonstration model to the Chicago Auto Show. General Motors sued, claiming infringement of the trade dress of their Hummer model. In 2004 both parties announced a settlement after a redesign of the XUV concept, but owner Michael Kelly decided to retire, announcing an auction of the Avanti company. Whether there were bidders or a sale had not been made public and there were no further public announcements made regarding any such sale. However, it appears that Avanti is currently producing vehicles again, as Avanti Motors recently announced that its 2006 model-year vehicles are now available.

The XUV has been joined for 2006 by the Studebaker XUT, a pickup version that is similar in concept to the Chevrolet Avalanche, although it is not known if the XUT has the same type of "mid-gate" that allows the expansion of the cargo area into the passenger cabin.

Survivor?

As reported by Forbes magazine in 2004 in an article on companies which survived the 1929 stock market crash, the remains of the automaker still exist as Studebaker-Worthington Leasing, a subsidiary of State Bank of Long Island (amex: STB).

Revival

Studebaker Motor Company Inc. is a separate company from that of Avanti Motor Corp and claims to be licensed with the NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "USDOT" Department of Transportation as a manufacturer of land vehicles including passenger cars, trucks, pickup trucks and motorcycles, although at this point it appears to consist of little more than an incomplete website. The company's public relations office has stated in email. That the current site will be changed in following months. Also stated that there will be a big press release during this year about their product line in whole.


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Also stated that there will be a big press release during this year about their product line in whole. Perinola is also the name of a stick and ball game. That the current site will be changed in following months. A Perinola is a six-sided top, very similar to the dreidel, that is used for a similar game in most Latin American countries. The company's public relations office has stated in email. Dreidel is also the name for a game played with a dreidel (see Hanukkah games: Dreidel and gelt). is a separate company from that of Avanti Motor Corp and claims to be licensed with the NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "USDOT" Department of Transportation as a manufacturer of land vehicles including passenger cars, trucks, pickup trucks and motorcycles, although at this point it appears to consist of little more than an incomplete website. In Israel, instead of ש (Shin), the letter פ (Pe) is written to symbolize the location of the miracle — "פה" (Po – "here").

Studebaker Motor Company Inc. Each side of it is bearing a letter: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (He), ש (Shin), which stands as an acronym for "נס גדול היה שם" (Nes Gadol Haya Sham – "a great miracle happened there"). As reported by Forbes magazine in 2004 in an article on companies which survived the 1929 stock market crash, the remains of the automaker still exist as Studebaker-Worthington Leasing, a subsidiary of State Bank of Long Island (amex: STB). A dreidel (also spelled dreydel, dreydl, or dreidl) is a four-sided top, played within the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The XUV has been joined for 2006 by the Studebaker XUT, a pickup version that is similar in concept to the Chevrolet Avalanche, although it is not known if the XUT has the same type of "mid-gate" that allows the expansion of the cargo area into the passenger cabin. . However, it appears that Avanti is currently producing vehicles again, as Avanti Motors recently announced that its 2006 model-year vehicles are now available. After spinning upright for an extended period, the angular momentum, and therefore the gyroscopic effect, will gradually lessen, leading to ever increasing precession, finally causing the top to topple in a frequently violent last thrash.

Whether there were bidders or a sale had not been made public and there were no further public announcements made regarding any such sale. Typically the top will at first wobble until the shape of the tip and its interaction with the surface force it upright. In 2004 both parties announced a settlement after a redesign of the XUV concept, but owner Michael Kelly decided to retire, announcing an auction of the Avanti company. The action of a top relies on the gyroscopic effect for its operation. General Motors sued, claiming infringement of the trade dress of their Hummer model. A thumbtack may also be made to spin on the same principles. In 2003 the owners of the Studebaker XUV trademark, Avanti Motor Corporation, now based in Villa Rica, Georgia, announced a Studebaker-branded SUV, the XUV, for production that fall, bringing a demonstration model to the Chicago Auto Show. Some role-playing gamers still use tops to augment dice in generating randomized results.

McGraw-Edison, was itself purchased in 1985 by Cooper Industries, which sold off all its auto-parts divisions to Federal-Mogul some years later. Besides toys, tops have also historically been used for gambling and prophecy. The Studebaker name disappeared from the American business scene in 1979 when McGraw-Edison acquired Studebaker-Worthington. The top is one of the oldest recognizable toys found on archaeological sites. Subsequently, Studebaker was then merged with the Worthington Corporation to form Studebaker-Worthington. A top, or spinning top, is a children's toy that can be spun on an axis, balancing on a point. Studebaker was acquired by Wagner Electric in 1967. Whistling top.

After 1966, Studebaker continued to exist as a closed investment group, with income derived from its numerous diversified units including STP, Gravely Tractor, Onan Electric Generators, and Clarke Floor Machine. Whipping top. Its General Products Divsion, which handled defence contracts, was acquired by Kaiser Industries, and continues to this day as AM General. Trumpo. Today, the former proving ground is owned by Robert Bosch GmbH, and it continues to be active some 80 years after it was first built. Tippe top. As a condition of the donation, the new park was named park Bendix Woods. Perinola.

Joseph County, Indiana parks department. Gaming top. Studebaker's proving grounds were acquired by its former supplier Bendix Corporation, which later donated the grounds for use as a park to the St. Floating top. Many of Studebaker's dealers converted to Mercedes-Benz dealerships following the closure of the Canadian plant. Beyblade. The last car manufactured was a turquoise-and-white Cruiser four-door sedan. Bei-goma.

Automotive production was consolidated at the company's last remaining production facility in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where Studebaker produced cars until April, 1966, when it left the automobile business to focus on its profitable wholly-owned subsidiaries. Dueling top

    . The company closed its operations in South Bend in December 1963, selling its Avanti brand to Nate Altman who continued to produce the car in South Bend under the brand name Avanti II. Dreidel (also spelled dradel or dreidl). Sadly, everything that was tried in the years following the Lark's debut proved to be not enough to stop the financial bleeding. Concertina top. The Lark, in particular, was based on existing parts to the degree that it even utilized the central body section of the company's 1953 cars, but was a clever enough design to be quite popular in its first year, selling over 150,000 units and delivering an unexpected $28 million profit to the automaker.

    The automobiles which came after the diversification process began, including the ingeniously-designed compact Lark (1959) and even the "Avanti" sports car (1963) were based on old chassis and engine designs. While this was good for the corporate bottom line, it virtually guaranteed there would be little spending on Studebaker's mainstay products, its automobiles. With an abundance of tax credits in hand from the years of financial losses, at the insistence of the company's banks and some members of the board of directors, Studebaker-Packard began diversifying away from automobiles in the late 1950s. In 1958, the Packard name was discontinued, although the company continued to bear the Studebaker-Packard name through 1962.

    Hurley, the company became the American importer for Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union and DKW automobiles and many Studebaker dealers sold those brands as well. At the behest of C-W's president Roy T. Studebaker's cash position was far worse than it led Packard to believe and in 1956 the nearly bankrupt automaker brought in a management team from aircraft maker Curtiss-Wright to help get it back on its feet. Hoping to stem the tide of losses and bolster its market position, Studebaker allowed itself to be acquired by Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit; the merged entity was called the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.

    There was enough momentum to keep going for another ten years, but stiff competition and price cutting by the Big Three doomed the enterprise. Professional financial managers stressed short term earnings rather than long term vision. However, ballooning labor costs (the company had never had an official United Auto Workers (UAW) strike and Studebaker workers and retirees were among the highest paid in the industry), quality control issues and the new car sales war between Ford and General Motors in the early 1950s wreaked havoc on Studebaker's balance sheet. Studebaker continued to build models that appealed to the average American and their need for transportation and mobility.

    From the 1920s to the 1960s, the South Bend company originated many style and engineering milestones, including the classic 1929-1932 Studebaker President and the 1939 Studebaker Champion. In 1926, Studebaker became the first automobile manufacturer in the United States to open a controlled outdoor proving ground; in 1937 the company planted 5,000 pine trees in a pattern that when viewed from the air spelled "STUDEBAKER.". In addition to cars, Studebaker also added a truck line, which in time, replaced the horse drawn wagon business started in 1851. In 1911 the company reorganized as the Studebaker Corporation.

    Studebaker also began putting its name on new automobiles produced at the former E-M-F facilities, both as an assurance that the vehicles were well-built, and as its commitment to making automobile production and sales a success. To remedy the damage done by E-M-F, Studebaker paid mechanics to visit each unsatisfied owner and replace the defective parts in their vehicles at a cost of US$1 million to the company. Studebaker, unhappy with E-M-F's poor quality, gained control of the assets and plant facilities in 1910. J.M.

    Problems with E-M-F made the cars unreliable leading the public to say that E-M-F stood for "Every Morning Fix-it". The company entered into a distribution agreement with Everett-Metzger-Flanders (E-M-F) Company of Detroit; E-M-F would manufacture vehicles and the Studebakers would distribute them through their wagon dealers. Studebaker experimented with motor vehicles as early as 1897, choosing electric over gasoline powered engines. They made about a quarter of them, and manufactured the metal fittings to sell to other builders in Missouri for another quarter.

    During the height of westward migration and wagon train pioneering, half of the wagons were Studebakers. Peter's business became a branch operation. So they set their sights on supplying individuals and farmers the ability to move themselves and their goods. By this time the railroad and steamship companies had become the big freight movers in the east.

    They reorganized into the Studebaker Brother's Manufacturing Company in 1868, built around the motto of "Always give more than you promise". After the war they reviewed what they had accomplished and set a direction for the company. Expansion continued to support westward migration, but the next major increase came from supplying wagons for the Union Army in the American Civil War. They brought in their youngest brother Jacob and incorporated in 1852.

    When the gold rush settled down, John returned to Indiana and bought out Henry's share of the business. The first major expansion in their business came from their being in place to meet the needs of the California Gold Rush in 1849. John made wheelbarrows in California and Peter made wagons in Saint Joseph, Missouri. They first made metal parts for freight wagons and later expanded into the manufacture of wagons.

    became blacksmiths and foundrymen in South Bend, Indiana. Clement and Henry, Jr. They all went into that business as they grew westward with the country. By 1840 he had moved to Ohio and taught his five sons to make wagons.

    Henry Studebaker was a farmer, blacksmith, and wagon-maker who lived near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the early 19th century. . The company left the automobile business in 1966. Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company was a United States wagon and automobile manufacturer that was incorporated in 1868[1].

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