A Studebaker Reference Guide

Chapter 1

A brief history of Studebaker

The Studebaker Brothers started building horse drawn equipment in 1852 and started building automobiles in 1902. They continued production of horse drawn equipment until 1919. Their first automobiles were electric, although they quickly moved into gasoline powered vehicles. Early cars were built through dealers with Studebaker building them to the specifications provided by the dealers.

   Production increased during 1913, and by 1915 there were more than 45,000 cars sold annually. The type and numbers of cars increased through the years, and in 1928, Studebaker aquired Pierce-Arrow. (Five years later, the Pierce-Arrow re-emerged as an independent.) By 1933, Studebaker had gone into temporary recievership, and bounced back in 1934. In 1939, they produced a new car that was a true economy model - the Champion.

   During the war, Studebaker produced trucks and radial engines for aircraft. After the war, they rushed back into automobile production, with Raymond Loewy's famous styling. The most famous Lowey 1953 coupes and hardtops were totally unique to the american scene. The year of 1954 Studebaker merged with Packard.

   The Lark was introduced in 1959 and provided a compact car that was also roomy. That last blast from Studebaker was the Avanti that was introduced in 1963. In 1964, Studebaker production moved to Canada. The last year that Studebaker was produced was 1966, although the Avanti continued to be built by an independent in South Bend, Indiana.

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