About the Studebaker Drivers Club
The Studebaker Drivers Club was founded on August 6, 1962 by the late Harry Barnes along with Norah Barnes, Tony Caralla, Harold E. Kraft, Arthur J. McIntyre, Ronald L. Nelson & Robert E. Schaffrath.
The purpose of the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC) was, and continues to be, to honor the Studebaker automobile and all of the Studebaker-related products. The SDC sponsors an annual International Meet where Studebaker owners from across North America bring their Studebakers and families for a week of fun, showing their vehicles, sharing information and memories, and even participate in concours judging. The SDC International Meets are hosted by a local SDC chapter and held in various locations. Click here for more information on upcoming International Meets.
In addition, the SDC is organized into several zones, each zone having an annual Zone Meet that attracts Studebakers from across their area and beyond. Like the International Meet, all Zone Meets offer a number of activities, as well as a "display only" and concours judged car show. Click here to look at the schedule for upcoming SDC Zone Meets.
Across the US, Canada, and around the world, there are more than 100 chartered SDC local chapters. Each local chapter conducts a broad variety of events throughout the the year, ranging from cruises to car shows and picnics to poker runs. Membership in the Studebaker Drivers Club is a prerequisite for joining a local chapter. Most SDC members are also members of at least one local chapter. Click here to find a local chapter near you,
You don't have to own a Studebaker in order to join the Studebaker Drivers Club, you just have to have an interest in them. Of course, if you own a Studebaker vehicle, whether factory stock or modified, you'll really benefit from an SDC membership, not the least of which is a subscription to our award-winning monthly magazine, Turning Wheels. Click here for more on Turning Wheels magazine.
We invite you join our more than 12,500 members around the world. You can join the SDC either securely online 24/7 or by mail. Click here for more membership information.
In 1852, the
Studebaker brothers started building horse drawn buggies, carriages and
wagons. Their wagons were a primary mode of transportation as the nation
migrated westward. Studebaker carriages were used by US Presidents, including
the carriage that took President and Mrs. Lincoln to the Ford Theater
on that fateful night. In 1902, Studebaker started building electric automobiles,
but soon went to gasoline power.
By 1915, Studebaker was building more than 45,000 cars annually. Wagon production also continued until 1919. In 1928, Studebaker acquired Pierce-Arrow. Unfortunately, by 1933 Studebaker had gone into temporary receivership, but was on the road to recovery in 1934. In 1939, Studebaker introduced the Champion, a new economy model designed by the soon to be famous Raymond Loewy studio.
During WWII, Studebaker produced trucks and radial engines for aircraft, including the B-17. After the war, automobile and truck production resumed with a vengeance. In 1950 and 51, Studebaker offered their famed bullet-nose design. In 1953, the incredible new "Lowey coupe" was introduced. Bob Bourke, a member of the Raymond Loewy team, is credited with the innovative new design. During the last half of the fabulous fifties, Studebaker introduced their family of Hawks, merged with Packard and in 1959, responded to the growing demand for a more compact family car with the Lark.
Studebaker once again turned the automotive design world upside down in 1963 with the unveiling of the Avanti. While the Avanti was universally acclaimed, Studebaker's days as a US company were numbered. Production ceased at the long-time South Bend, Indiana plant in 1964, Studebaker production continued in Canada until 1966. The Avanti Motor Company continued to build the Avanti II in South Bend until 1987 where production moved to Youngstown, Ohio until 1991. Avanti motorcars were then produced in Villa Rica, Georgia from 2000 to 2005, then moved to Cancun, Mexico in 2006. Production of the Avanti ceased in March 2006.
The above is just a brief overview of Studebaker. For more detailed Studebaker history, please visit the history resources listed in the menu at the top of this page. Plus, there are a number of good books available at most Studebaker parts vendors.