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Studebaker established a manufacturing facility in South Bend, Indiana (USA) to manufacture wagons. Incorporated in 1868 as the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company by the 5 Studebaker brothers, it would enter the automotive business in 1897, then to manufacture electric vehicles. The first gasoline Studebakers would not be manufactured until 1913, although it was the 1929-1932 Studebaker President, along with the 1939 Studebaker Champion that really established the marque and its enviable reputation.

During World War 2 the company manufactured countless Studebaker US6 trucks, along with the very unique M29 Weasel cargo and personnel carrier. After the war the company again turned its attention to the manufacture of automobiles. The price-cutting war between Ford and General Motors took a heavy toll on the smaller US car manufacturers during the 1950’s, many knowing that survival depended on their finding other suitable auto manufacturers with which to merge. In 1954 the company was acquired by Packard Motors of Detroit, Michigan, becoming a division of the Studebaker Packard Corporation from 1954 until 1962, it then reverting back to its previous name.

Studebaker would struggle on until 1966. Today models such as the Commander Starliner, Avanti, Hawk, Wagonaire and Lark based Cruisers, along with Commander and Daytona convertibles are all highly prized by collectors. It was the Lark that helped stave off the receivers for a time, however the inevitability of the dominance of the “Big Three” would eventually take its course.

Studebaker Lark  

Studebaker Lark (generation 1)

1959 - 1961
When the Lark was first developed the Studebaker-Packard Corporation had been losing money for some time. Company president Harold Churchill came up with the idea of abandoning full-size car production in favor of building a new compact car that he hoped would save the company. More >>
Studebaker Lark  

Studebaker Lark (generation 2)

1962 - 1963
In an effort to reverse the downward sales trends new Studebaker-Packard president Sherwood Egbert called upon noted industrial designer Brooks Stevens, to effect a striking yet cost-effective 1962 update. More >>
Studebaker Lark Generation 3  

Studebaker Lark (generation 3)

1964 - 1966
Studebaker's senior managdment allowed Brooks Stevens to continue the process of modernizing main line vehicles that resulted in a more extensive (but still inexpensive) restyling for 1964. What resulted was the most mainstream looking Studebaker's since 1946. More >>
Studebaker Gran Avanti  

Studebaker Avanti

1962 - 1963
Built at the direction of Studebakers then president Sherwood Egbert, the Avanti Coupe was manufactured between June 1962 and December 1963. After the demise of Studebaker, the Avanti would go on to gain iconic status with enthusiasts, and underwnet ongoing custom production by a succession of entrepreneurs. More >>
Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

1962 - 1964
Rebounding from a failed merger, Studebaker introduced the compact Lark and with that success, the beautiful new Gran Turismo Hawk in 1962, styled by Brooks Stevens. More >>
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