Saturday, September 8th: From horses to hot rods, celebrate the car that saw it all. Today is INTERNATIONAL DRIVE YOUR STUDEBAKER DAY. It’s a day to show off any Studebaker vehicle you may own. Drive it proudly and give others an opportunity to see a Studebaker in action.

If you’re around South Bend, Indiana, home of the Studebaker, drop by the Studebaker National Museum. ( It’s half off today to celebrate the day. Two special exhibits are on display — Petite Performance: Microcars and Studebaker’s Last Dance: The Avanti.

If you don’t have a Studebaker, (I don’t either), how about entering the Museum’s fifth annual “Design a New Studebaker” Design Contest? Participants are invited to create their vision of what a 21st century Studebaker would look like.

Original design submissions can be created through any artistic medium available, including but not limited to pencil, ink, crayon, computer-aided drawing software, or a combination of several techniques. The contest is divided into four age groups – 11 and under, 12-16, 17-20 and 21 and up. There is no cost to enter. Original designs will be accepted at the museum until October 26, 2012. The winners will be announced on Friday, November 9, 2012.

The Studebaker story began February 16, 1852 when brothers Henry and Clement Studebaker opened the H & C Studebaker blacksmith shop in South Bend, Indiana. Later, three younger brothers joined them and the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, as it would later be known, became the world’s largest manufacturer of wagons and buggies.

In 1902, they entered the dawning age of the automobile, with the production of an electric car. Thomas Edison purchased the second electric car produced by Studebaker. (See photo, Edison on the left). In 1904 gasoline powered models joined the line-up and the company offered a full line of horse drawn and self-propelled vehicles until 1920.

Studebaker continued production, through the economic downturns of the depression and both World Wars, suffering set-backs, but surviving through them. Economic burdens caught up with them in the sixties and the last Studebaker was completed on March 17, 1966.

Today, celebrate a brand that transformed itself from horse and buggies into a new era of transportation, rebounding through economic declines that killed off uncountable businesses.


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September 2012
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