The annual Ohio Region meet of the SDC is billed as the largest one-day gathering of Studebakers in the world. Here’s some of what I saw at the 2016 edition last Saturday.
At any Studebaker meet, you’ll of course see many examples of the iconic 1950-51 “Bullet Noses,” the best-selling Studebakers of all time.
The coolest “Bullet Nose” there was this meticulously-restored 1951 Champion taxicab,…
…complete with two-way radio, fare meter,…
…and uniformed chauffer.
The Avanti has always been one of my favorite cars, and there was a nice variety of them in attendance: 1963s and ’64s built as a combination halo car and Hail Mary pass during Studebaker’s final years, handcrafted Avanti II’s built to the original design by Avanti Motors between 1965 and 1983, and “Avanti Carlos” such as the red convertible in the photo below, built in the late 1980s on a Chevy platform.
I tend to be more interested in the ’63s and ’64s, and there were quite a few to see. This white ’63 with a supercharged V-8 and aftermarket 5-speed stick would certainly be fun to play with.
This delicious dark red one was being offered for sale.
This ’64 is the Avanti-est Avanti possible. The perfect jet-age mid-century car in that most perfectly mid-century of colors, stunning pastel Avanti Turquoise, with the turquoise interior. It doesn’t get any Avanti-er than that.
Because Avanti II’s were hand-built to each customer’s individual specification, they could be had in any color, with any upholstery, and accessorized in ways Studebaker never dreamed of. This silver-gray Avanti II boasts maroon leather upholstery and a sunroof.
As for this one, the green and black go together well, and I like the black accent stripe on the hood bulge, but that vinyl roof……..I mean, I know it was 1972 and all, but what were they thinking? Were they thinking, period?
My other favorite flavor of Stude is the 1953-54 “Loewy coupe,” a car so far ahead of the curve in terms of its design that the curve took decades to catch up with it. There were relatively few in attendance this year. While I’m not particularly in favor of street-rodding Loewys, this one was done with skill and good taste.
I had mixed feelings about this lowrider convertible conversion. Great concept, not so sure about the execution.
The Loewys’ front end styling also appeared on the 1953 and ’54 sedans. Not as dramatically sleek and low-slung as the coupes, but attractive cars nevertheless.
The Lark delegation included this delightful 1960 convertible with aftermarket rear wheel skirts,…
…and several wagons,…
…including this Little Red Wagonaire.
Other Studes to take note of: the Hawks, of course,…
…a sharp 1964 Daytona convertible,…
…a charmingly unrestored 1941 sedan,…
…several “C-Cab” trucks,…
…and an extremely rare 1928 Erskine.
Created in 1926, and named after Studebaker president Albert Russel Erskine (1871–1933), the Erskine was intended to be Studebaker’s European market flagship and its entry-level car in the U.S. The first Erskines were built on a 108-inch wheelbase and powered by a 6-cylinder Continental instead of a Studebaker prime mover. The compact Erskine quickly found itself at a price disadvantage compared to the Model A. It was redesigned to use a 114-inch frame, taken a notch or two upmarket, and eventually became nearly indistinguishable from Studebakers that were branded as Studebakers. The nameplate was discontinued in 1930.
The meet in Tallmadge is actually a Studebaker-Packard meet, and there were quite a few Packards on display in the high-rent part of the parking lot.
This 1956 Packard Four Hundred was making a very persuasive argument in favor of teal green and white two-tone paint schemes.
Supporting the “Senior” Packard in this effort were a “Junior” ’55 Clipper (which I was unable to get a good photo of) and two pickup trucks: a first-generation Ranchero…
and this truly breathtaking Studebaker Transtar.
I don’t know if the two-toned box interior is how it came from the factory, but it sure looks pretty.
Though the gathering in Tallmadge is an official SDC event, the meet is open to anything with wheels, and you’ll see a Thing or two besides the Studes and Packards.
There was a large selection of King Midgets on hand.
We were also treated to the sight of what is probably the world’s only Chrysler PT Cruiser rat rod.
The ’57 Chevrolet Bel Air on the left would be the belle of the ball at your typical Ohio car show or cruise-in, but it pales in comparison to the 1958 Facel Vega parked next to it. The Facel is a hand-built French luxury supercar powered by a Chrysler Hemi V-8.
The Facel Vega was complimented by a couple of other semi-exotic European sports coupes.
Not far from the Facel, I came upon disturbing signs of an impending Disco Apocalypse.
After the shock of that encounter, the presence of mid-70s AMCs felt almost comforting.
Which leads us to the ItRolls Questionable Car Award winner: an absolutely Seventies Oleg Cassini Designer Edition AMC Matador.
–Mike (Cookie the Dog’s Owner)