About This Website

    The first version of this website appeared in early 2001 and vanished four years later. It was not my intent to remove it but an unfortunate series of events led to it's removal from the internet. I recently discovered the old files and have taken this opportunity to restore it with a new design and additional graphics. And, where the old site just covered the first 100 years of Studebaker, I have now added a section that completes the history of the company.

Buckley Brothers Motors, 660 So. Broadway, Denver, CO.  ca. 1953
Some joker has had the audacity to park a Ford in front (they probably slithered accross the street).

My memories of Studebaker

    Working on this page brought back many memories for me. In the 50s my Dad was a Studebaker mechanic and service manager for the Buckley Brothers Studebaker dealership in Denver, Colorado. He would frequently drive customer and company cars home from work and there were always Studebakers and Packard's sitting in our driveway. He had a running love affair with Clippers and Hawks and used any excuse he could to take them home.

    As a kid, Dad would take me to work where I ran free throughout the dealership. Above the door leading from the show room to the service area was a huge 'Authorized Service' sign that is indelibly burned in my memory. My Uncle Ed also worked at Buckley Brothers. While my Dad was at the front of the service area performing Studebaker triage, Uncle Ed worked in the back area on Mercedes Benz. Though my Dad had explicitly told me never to bother the mechanics, I would often bug Uncle Ed.

    On one occasion, a businessman who had been driving a Mercedes cross country managed to break down in Denver late in the day. When my Dad told him the engine needed a major overhaul he was beside himself. He needed to be on the road no later than the next morning and pleaded for what would amount to a miracle. My Dad and Uncle Ed worked all through the night and had his Benz purring like a kitten by dawn. The businessman was so grateful he gave each of them a $100 tip; a sizable sum in the 50s.

    In 1959 Dad opened his own garage which he christened DeWitt Auto Clinic. Ironically it was just a block from Buckley Brothers and many of his former customers brought their Studies there to be fixed. The summer after I turned 12 he took me to work with him everyday and paid me $3 a week. That summer would turn out to be one of the great adventures of my life. The garage was in an aging, turn of the century red brick building. In the front was a Skelly gas station, a separate business. Looking back now, some 50 years later, I realize Dad actually practiced "give more than you promise". On many occasions, I saw him tell the customer "no charge" when their problems were solved by tweaking. Sometimes they would leave their car with him for the day and he still wouldn't charge them.

    By the mid 60's that garage was scheduled to be demolished so he took a service manager position at Mooney Motors, another Studebaker dealer. One day he brought an Avanti home which, to a kid in high school, was the coolest thing ever. He had replaced the Paxton supercharger and was not going to let "that crazy sumbitch" drive it until he had broken it in properly. Imagine my excitement when he said "go get in the Avanti and don't touch anything" and we took off for a 100 mile drive. It was enough just being there but I loved it when he finally decided to open her up.

    I vividly remember the summer of '65 when I worked on the lot at Mooney's detailing newly arrived Studebakers. The following winter Studebaker announced it's departure from automobile manufacture. The news went through our house like an announcement of apocalypse. When Mooney Motors closed in '66, Dad leased a gas station with 3 bays and went back to being a mechanic. To the day he died, Studebaker owners would bring their cars in to be repaired and restored. My brother recently told me that in the late 70s Dad got a phone call from someone in England seeking advice on restoring a Studebaker. It's nice to know that his reputation extended across the pond.

One of my Dad's business cards from around 1955.

    My Dad kept his personal copy of 100 Years on the Road in his dresser. This wonderful booklet was published by Studebaker on the occasion of their 100th Anniversary. I can recall spending many enjoyable hours reading it and it has served as the inspiration for this website.

My brother, sister and myself in front of one of my Dad's
Studes, taken sometime in the Jurassic Era. I'm in the middle.

A family outing to the mountains in the Starlight Coupe, not a particularly practical family vehicle.
It's been fifty years but I think this was near Boulder Canyon (before all the hippies moved in).

This postcard, graciously forwarded to me by my cousin, had been given to her by my Dad.

The Buckley Brothers showroom in the 50s. My dad took this photo with his Roloflex.

Links to Studebaker Websites

The Studebaker National Museum The Studebaker National Museum, located in South Bend, Indiana, is dedicated to the preservation of the Studebaker legacy. A great source for researchers.

From Horses to Horsepower:
Studebaker Helped Move a Nation
The Smithsonian Institution's online exhibit of Studebaker artifacts and documents. An entertaining and captivating site.

Studebaker History This superb website endeavors to "preserve the history of Studebaker, its people and its products." Well designed and written, keep an eye on this site as it grows.

The Studebaker Drivers Club The SDC boasts a membership of over 12,500 with chapters in the US, Canada and numerous other countries. Joining SDC is a great way meet with others who share a passion for Studebaker.

The Antique Studebaker Club Another great club, this one is dedicated to vintage Studebakers. If you love the old Studebakers, give this site a look.

Studebaker Classics An excellent source for Pre-war Studebaker information, parts, and restoration photos. Beautiful website.

The E-M-F Homepage The ultimate page for EMF enthusiasts. A comprehensive history of the company can be found at the 'History' link.

The Studebaker Family
National Association
An association dedicated to the gathering and preservation of genealogical data relating to the Studebaker Family and it's branches. The 1737 letter is a must read.

Old Car and Truck Pictures One of the most extensive collections of old Studebaker pictures (and other makes) on the web.

The Avanti A beautifully designed website with lots of Avanti info. Be sure to check out the Gattaca movie.

Cars of Dreams Pure eye candy. Bullet nose fans will love this.

John's Old Car and Truck Ads This site contains a vast collection of old car and truck advertisements including many Studebaker ads.

Studebaker Auto Parts Sales Co. Housed in one of the Studebaker buildings in South Bend, SASCO is the world's largest supplier of Studebaker parts.

The Studebaker Vendors
Parts Directory
For those searching for increasingly difficult to find Studebaker parts, this site is a blessing.

Studebaker International, Inc Another great source for Studebaker parts.

StudebakerParts.com Even more parts. If ya need 'em, ya need 'em. Also has a very useful link to help identify your Stude.

Studebaker Worthington The sole vestige of Studebaker Corporation, the automobile manufacturer, is Studebaker Worthington Leasing in Jericho, NY, a division of Main Street Bank, Kingwood, TX.

The Illinois Historical Art Projct The Illinois Historical Art Projct is dedicated to original source material and biogrphical information on artists of Illinois.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk Gottschalk was the first American pianist / composer to receive European recognition, back in the 1840s. Check out this site with a biography and many recordings of his music.

Rustic Resort Covers the history of the Rustic Resort near Fort Collins, Colorado.


This page was developed from the following sources:

    100 Years on the Road  © 1952 Studebaker Corporation
    A Century On Wheels  © 1952 By Stephen Longstreet
    The Studebaker Century, A National Heritage  © 1983 By Asa E. Hall & Richard Langworth
    John Studebaker, An American Dream  © 1948 By Edwin Corle
    Studebaker, The Complete Story  © 1981 By William A. Cannon and Fred K. Fox
    Studebaker, The Life and Death of an American Corporation  © 1996 By Donald T. Critchlow
    History of the Studebaker Corporation  © 1924 By Albert Russel Erskine and Studebaker Corporation

    Specal thanks to Larry Tholen of the Studebaker Drivers Club and the Antique Studebaker Club. The information he provided on the history of the Rockne line has greatly improved the accuracy of this site.

    Additional sources include the 1918 Studebaker stockholders report, the Studebaker family website, vintage magazine ads and Studebaker repair manuals. The illustrations contained in this page (except those annotated otherwise) are used by permission of the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana.  All other computer graphics were done by me.

Vintage Photos Sought

    In tracking down vintage photos for this site, I came to realize some of the best old Studebaker photos are personal keepsakes. If you have vintage Studebaker photos or old ads you would like to share, e-mail them to me for inclusion in this site. Attach as JPG files scanned at maximum resolution (600 dpi) if possible. Your credits will be displayed in the format "Courtesy of John Doe, Middle Town, OH". Indicate if you claim copyright and this will be displayed with the credit. Please send only vintage photos and all types are sought including family Studes, dealerships, showrooms, factory scenes, etc.

E-Mail Link

    I can be reached by e-mail at the link below. Feel free to e-mail me with any comments you might have. Please do not alter the subject line.

        Bill DeWitt
   webmaster, Studebaker 100
   Grand Junction, Colorado

Dedicated to Dad who owned and loved a few Studebakers
and who, in his life, mended a few thousand more.
To Mom, who had the misfortune of trying to learn to drive from Dad
and was finally taught by the neighbor ladies in an old '51 Champion.
And finally to my significant other, Ol' Red (Sheree).
Her assistance in making me appear intelligent is greatly appreciated.

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