Born on March 12, 1831 in Pinetown Pennsylvania, U.S, Clement Studebaker opened a blacksmith shop in downtown South Bend, Indiana in 1852, having his brother Henry as an associate in H&C Studebaker shop. Later on, in1858 their brother – John Mohler Studebaker returned from California where he made and sold different equipment for gold miners. He invested every last penny he saved in the family business.
Sketch of Studebaker President 8 - Seven Seater
The H&C Studebaker blacksmith shop soon became the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company (1868) and was found dealing with the U.S. Army itself, during the Civil War. During this time frame the brothers were mainly filling out wagon orders, but by 1887 sales reached a figure of two million dollars, as for production for the same years – 75,000 wagons.
This was indeed Studebaker’s first step into the automobile market. The brothers started to create different sorts of cars. In 1902 Studebaker created an electric car, and two years after a series of gasoline powered cars. The family had a business contract with the Garford Company in Ohio (where the cars were made) and therefore marketed the name as Studebaker-Garford. Later on Studebaker made an alliance with the Everitt-Metzker-Flanders Company of Detroit and thus creating the Studebaker Corporation. The EMF logo was used until 1913.
During the early ‘20s the Studebaker epicenter was moved to its homeland – South Bend, IN, and started creating automobiles in the medium price field.It was during that time, 1929 to be more precise when Studebaker introduced what probably is the biggest classical symbol of their reign – The President 8. A series of bodies were mounted on the Studebakers chassis – a sedan , a seven-seater, a roadster and so on.
Engine & Mechanics
The Studebaker 8 Cylinder Engine
The car was equipped with a 5,5 L eight-cylinder power-plant that was ready to take the President’s occupants into a luxurious drive. This engine consecrated the unique performance and the worthy endurance of the Studebaker Corporation. In an early phase three Studebaker Presidents circled around the Atlantic City board track for 25,000 miles, averaging 68mph. Later, in 1931, the engine was upgraded to nine main bearing construction, and a modified President won the Pike’s Peak hill-climb.Studebakers were also quite successful at the Indy 500, always finishing in the top 10.
The car had 122 HP and was able to be driven as a comfy luxurious vehicle or sporty racer, due to the ingenious synchromesh three speed gearbox and four-wheel mechanical drum breaks.
Several upgrades were made to the car in the next years. For instance, in 1936 a Startix suspension system was introduced, and later on in 1937 there was what mechanics called it in those days – the Miracle Shift transmission kit.
The End of a Reign
Studebaker President 8 Roadster - Musem
The magnificent President 8 was created until 1942 and then later between 1955 and 1958. During this time, the Studebaker President 8 gained 114 records from witch 35 would still remain untouched for the next 35 years. Specialists argue that Studebaker would had never
reached its peak if it wasn’t for the President 8 Model. Today Studebaker is known as Studebaker Motor Company Inc.