International Drive Your Studebaker Day
The origins of the name “Studebaker” began with Henry and Clement Studebaker who opened a blacksmith shop in Indiana in the United States, manufacturing horse-drawn wagons during the American Civil War.
Studebaker horse carriages had four wheels and a carriage front suspension for a smooth ride. They looked similar to the wagon in this photograph from the John Oxley Library which belonged to travelling photographers Reckitt & Mills. They were known as the Queensland Photo Company as they travelled around in this buggy carrying their tent, supplies and photographic equipment. They visited places as widespread as Brisbane, Laidley, Roma, St George, Charleville, Tambo, Blackall, Aramac and Clermont.
In 1902 Studebaker entered the automotive business with electric vehicles and in 1904 transferred to gasoline vehicles.
In Queensland Studebakers were sold through the Canada Cycle and Motor Agency. In 1926 factory representatives from Studebaker in the United States travelled out to Queensland, meeting sales representatives and assessing Queensland's driving conditions. This was reported in Mackay's Daily Mercury on 1 May 1926, Studebaker Cars.
Studebaker gained a reputation for quality, durability and reliability. However the corporation was on the brink of catastrophe several times and barely continued trading after its first decade. In March 1933 the company entered receivership due to the great depression, but recovered by December 1933 with 224 new dealers.
From 1950 Studebaker declined rapidly and by 1954 the company was again losing money. Studebaker turned to arranging a strategic takeover by Packard but the deal never went ahead due to the lack of demand for their vehicles. The company closed in 1963 with the Studebaker South Bend plant in Indiana rolling the last car off the assembly line on December 20th, 1963.
- History.com – This day in History March 18th 1933 Studebaker
- Wikipedia - Studebaker
- Wikipedia - Studebaker Electric
- Classic Auto Mall - 1902 Studebaker Electric
- The World Science [October 23, 2014] written Adam Wernick - The battle between gas and electric cars isn’t new
- Trove - STUDEBAKER CARS. (1926, May 1). Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved September 3, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168885863
- Studebaker Club - Studebaker in Australia