Studebaker Drivers Club, Tallmadge, Ohio 8/27/16

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.

Group Shot - Yellow Street Rod

The yellow street-rodded ’55 sedan really looked good in the bright sunshine.

The Case for Studebaker

The case for Studebaker put forth in adjacent parking spaces: on the left, a 1953 “Loewy coupe”; on the right, an Avanti.

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.

Group Shot - Black Bullet Nose

I don’t think the body-color bumper and grille were options available from the factory in 1950, but they sure look sharp on the black Starlight coupe closest to the camera.

The coolest “Bullet Nose” there was this meticulously-restored 1951 Champion taxicab,…

Taxi - FrontTaxi - Rear

…complete with two-way radio, fare meter,…

…and uniformed chauffer.

Taxi Driver

“You talkin’ to me?”

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.

Group Shot - Avantis

The Lark in the middle of all those Avantis is not so out of place as you might think–both cars were built on the same 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.

Avanti - White with 5-speed


This delicious dark red one was being offered for sale.

Avanti Red

If any of you happen to talk to my wife in the next couple of months, I’d appreciate it if you could remind her that 1963-64 Avantis make really great Christmas gifts.

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.

Avanti Turquoise

Dress code strictly enforced: you must wear a Botany 500 suit and narrow tie, or Chanel jacket and skirt, to operate this vehicle.

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.

Avanty Gray

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.

Loewy Street Rod - front

I had mixed feelings about this lowrider convertible conversion. Great concept, not so sure about the execution.

Loewy ConvertibleThe 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.

1954 Sedan

1954 two-door.

The Lark delegation included this delightful 1960 convertible with aftermarket rear wheel skirts,…

Lark - 1960 with skirts

…and several wagons,…

Group Shot - Lark Wagons

Wagons, ho!

…including this Little Red Wagonaire.

Little Red Wagonaire

“It’s the swingingest wagon that’ll ever be!” –Studebaker advertising jingle, 1963

Other Studes to take note of: the Hawks, of course,…

Hawk - Two Tones in Stereo

…a sharp 1964 Daytona convertible,…

Daytona Convertible…a charmingly unrestored 1941 sedan,…

1941 Stude…several “C-Cab” trucks,…

…and an extremely rare 1928 Erskine.

Erskine frontCreated 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.

1957-58 "Packardbakers"

1957-58 “Packardbakers”

This 1956 Packard Four Hundred was making a very persuasive argument in favor of teal green and white two-tone paint schemes.

Two Tone Packard #1

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.

Two Tone - truck front

I don’t know if the two-toned box interior is how it came from the factory, but it sure looks pretty.

Two Tone Truck - rear

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.

The Things you see at car meets

“It just goes to show you, it’s always some Thing.” –Roseann Rosannadanna, SNL

There was a large selection of King Midgets on hand.

"Visit Baggins Motors at 2734 Great East Road in downtown Hobbiton and test drive one today!"

“Visit Baggins Motors at 2734 Great East Road in downtown Hobbiton and test drive one today!”

We were also treated to the sight of what is probably the world’s only Chrysler PT Cruiser rat rod.

PT Cruiser rat rod

Let’s *hope* it’s the only one.

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.

Facel Vega

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.

Revenge of the 1970s

“The end is nigh–thou shalt boogie-oogie-oogie ’til thou canst boogie no more.”

Most terrifying of all were these two,  a Tiffany Classic and a Zimmer Golden Spirit in adjacent parking spaces.

Neoclassic horror!

“For lo! there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the wearing of leisure suits and platform shoes….”

After the shock of that encounter, the presence of mid-70s AMCs felt almost comforting.

Matador - Red

Which leads us to the ItRolls Questionable Car Award winner: an absolutely Seventies Oleg Cassini Designer Edition AMC Matador.

Matador - Cassini

–Mike (Cookie the Dog’s Owner)

2 thoughts on “Studebaker Drivers Club, Tallmadge, Ohio 8/27/16

  1. Pingback: Ford Prefect 100E | It Rolls.

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