- Clement moves to South Bend.
- John Studebaker and sons, including Clement, build a covered
1852 - The company 'H. & C. Studebaker' begins 16th February, with
Henry and Clement
Studebaker buying a blacksmith shop in South Bend,
Indiana, USA. In their first year, they produced 2 full sized wagons.
- Studebaker produces first covered wagon.
1858 - Brother John Mohler Studebaker
west looking for fortunes in the gold fields, and ends up making a
small fortune building wheel barrows for the prospectors. JM
(Wheelbarrow Johnny) returns to Southbend with $8,000.00 and buys
Henry's share who wants to go back to farming.
Brothers Peter and Jacob join the company, with Peter in charge of
sales, setting up the sales network across the country.
- Studebaker supplies wagon for the Union Army.
1865 - Abraham Lincoln rides in a Studebaker carriage, owned by
the White House, to Ford's Theatre.
1868 - Henry and Clem Studebaker's blacksmith shop becomes the
Studebaker Manufacturing Company, and
becomes the largest wagon manufacturer in the world.
1870s - The company suffered 2 disastrous fires and recovered to
produce 75,000 wagons annually.
- JC Studebaker passes away aged 78.
1878 - Studebaker wins silver medal for excellence at Paris
Exhibition, for their wagons.
Wagons now being exported to Africa.
1885 - Another huge fire in South Bend.
- President Harrison orders Studebaker wagons for White House.
1898 - Spanish-American War has Studebaker building 500 wagons in
1901 - Clement Studebaker passes away. Born: March 12, 1831, Pinetown, Pennsylvania,
Died: November 27, 1901, South Bend, Indiana, aged 70.
1902 - First automobile (electric powered). Electric power was
chosen mainly due to JM not liking the smell, noise, or unreliability
of the gasoline powered designs.
- The second Electric vehicle produced was purchased by Thomas
1904 - First gasoline powered vehicle was joint venture with the 2
cylinder, 4 seat Studebaker-Garford tourer.
1911 - Studebaker join with Everitt-Metzker-Flanders Company of
Detroit to form the Studebaker Corporation.
1912 - Last Electric vehicle built.
1913 - First all Studebaker vehicle. Graduating from 2 cyl, to 4,
then to 6 with the 'Big Six' in 1917.
1914 - World War I, Studebaker supply wagons to England,
France, Russia, and USA.
1915 - Albert Russell Erskine made president of Studebaker.
1917 - John Mohler Studebaker passes away. Born: Oct 10,
1833, Adams County, Pennsylvania, Died: March 16 1917, South Bend, Indiana,
1920 - Horse Drawn vehicle manufacture ends.
1920s - Building more than 100,000 vehicles per year under Company
President Albert R. Erskine.
1925 - Four wheel hydraulic brakes introduced to Studebaker
1926 - First automobile manufacturer in the United States to open
a controlled outdoor proving ground.
1927 - Erskine automobile takes Studebaker into the 'downsized'
1928 - Studebaker takes over Pierce-Arrow.
1928 - Studebaker sets 160 speed or endurance records.
- Mickey Mouse created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt
1929 - Depression strikes hard, forces re-organisation and
rationalization in 1933 after struggling to survive.
- President Roadster used for Indianapolis 500 pace car with George
Pikes Peak Stock Class winner - Studebaker President 8 Roadster.
First car radio developed by Motorola, installed and demonstrated in
1931 - Rockne vehicles introduced.
1931 - Introduced free-wheeling drive train.
Blaupunkt of Germany, fitted its first car "wireless" audio system
into Studebakers in 1932.
- Studebaker enters a 5 car team in the famous Indianapolis 500, and
1933 - Studebaker goes into receivership, undergoes management
re-organisation and works it's way out of receivership in.
Albert Erskine suicides.
1936 - Raymond Lowey begins working
1938 - Pine tree sign spelling STUDEBAKER planted. It took 8,259
seedlings. The living sign spans a distance of one-half mile. Each
letter is 200 feet in width and 250 feet in length.
1939 - World War II, Studebaker supply trucks to France,
Belgium, Holland, Russia and USA. Studebaker built engines
powered the Boeing B-17 aircraft, and the Weasel personnel carrier.
- Champion used for Indianapolis 500 pace car with
driving, and Ab Jenkins passenger.
1942 - War effort causes car production to cease, replaced by aero
engines, bomber fuselages, Weasel troop carriers, and the tough 6x6
wheel drive trucks.
1946 - Studebaker is first US company to introduce new vehicle
1947 - Raymond Lowey's design team introduce radical looking
Champions, Commanders and the unique Starlight Coupe.
1948 - Automobile manufacture begins in Hamilton, Ontario.
1949 - Studebaker develops its own automatic transmission while working in conjunction with Borg-Warner of Muncie.
1950 - The Bullet Nose hits the scene.
V8 engine, self adjusting brakes, automatic overdrive and Hill-Holder
system. Studebaker is struggling financially to compete with the Big
Three auto makers.
- Commander Convertible used for Indianapolis 500 pace car with P.O.
Petersen (Exec VP of Studebaker) driving.
1953 - Lowey Studios designed Starliner hardtop and pillared
coupes. The Starliner is generally hailed as one of the most
beautiful cars ever made, and led to the finned Hawk line of cars in
1956. The supercharged Golden Hawk of 1956-57 was one of the most
powerful cars of the time with 275 horsepower V8.
1954 - Studebaker merges with
Packard in effort to bolster company
profits, but creates more problems than it solved.
1955 - Raymond Loewy departs Studebaker.
- The last true
Packard is built, 25th June. Click >here<
to see image
1956 - The Hawk joins the long line of Studebakers.
1958 - The last Packard is produced, but the name remains
1959 - The successful Lark was released as a down sized car, which
led to the rush of 'compact' cars form other makers. The Lark and
Hawk range were locally assembled in Australia, with locally
manufactured power brakes and interiors.
1961 - Studebaker Corporation purchase Paxton Products. (Andy Granatelli,
CEO of Paxton)
1961 - Studebaker Corporation acquires STP
(Scientifically Treated Petroleum).
1960s - The Big Three caught up with their vast range of compacts,
resulting in major loss of market share for Studebaker again. The
Lowey, fiberglass bodied Avanti was futuristic in design and
technically advanced, it broke many performance records.
1962 - The Avanti prototype R-3 (299 cid) driven by Andy Granatelli set land speed record of 168.15 mph (270.61 km/h) for the
1962 - Lark Convertible
used for Indianapolis 500 pace car
with Sam Hanks driving.
Was intended to be the Avanti, but production problems prevented
1963 - Automobile manufacture at South Bend ends.
1964 - The Lark was re-modelled and renamed as, 'Challenger',
'Daytona' and 'Cruiser' in a failed attempt to resurrect sales.
1966 - After 114 years, Studebaker ceases manufacture and closes
down. The last vehicle rolls off the assembly in Hamilton, Ontario,