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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's just a shame that Porsche wasn't able to reciprocate the favor. This story inspires about one million "What ifs".




 

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Re: The Studebaker That Helped Save Porsche... (vwlarry)

i never knew about any of this. thanks larry! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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FV-QR

Considering the Panamera made it's NA debut this weekend, this is a very timely article...even if it is from 2007. Nice.
 

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Re: (winstonsmith84)

Quote, originally posted by winstonsmith84 »
I wonder if this would have helped save Studebaker in the end?

From most accounts, Studebaker management made a grievous error, or, rather, a series of them regarding their association with Porsche. This car itself, likely in a heavily facelifted form, due to the South Bend insistence on it looking "more like a Studebaker" could have been a source of salvation for the company, with its innovative engineering and solid unibody design. Like stated in the article, though, the rapid downturn of Studebaker's business picture after 1952 made a large expenditure to procure this design impossible for the company, and this came exactly at the time when Studebaker needed a fresh new product in the worst way.
Another way that the brasshats in South Bend screwed up is chronicled in another article I've recently read. Porsche, through Dr. Ferry Porsche's personal visitations to South Bend in 1948, and again in 1952, attempted to engage Studebaker Corporation as the exclusive American importer for Porsche automobiles. Stude's management considered the opportunity carefully, but rejected it both times. Eventually, in the early 1950s, Max Hoffman, the famous entrepreneur who was the importing agent for everything from Austins to Volkswagens at one time or another, picked up Porsche when Stude turned it down.
 

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Re: (vwlarry)

Quote, originally posted by vwlarry »

Stude's management considered the opportunity carefully, but rejected it both times.

the brasshats in South Bend screwed up!
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Re: (vwlarry)

Quote, originally posted by vwlarry »

. Porsche, through Dr. Ferry Porsche's personal visitations to South Bend in 1948, and again in 1952, attempted to engage Studebaker Corporation as the exclusive American importer for Porsche automobiles.

I wonder why Ferry was so shot with Studebaker? I suppose it was the largest US car manufactured without a European presence/subsidiary, which I'm sure interested him.
 

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Re: (winstonsmith84)

Quote, originally posted by winstonsmith84 »

I wonder why Ferry was so shot with Studebaker? I suppose it was the largest US car manufactured without a European presence/subsidiary, which I'm sure interested him.

It was purely business. Porsche in the early years was a tiny, cash and resource-strapped company that worked out of sheds and barns, pretty much hand-to-mouth, just like many companies in war-devastated Germany. The place to go to find paying customers was America; simple as that. Studebaker, although a "big" manufacturer, was small potatoes as a US carmaker, with only about 1-2% of the market share in the late forties/early fifties. The company was forced to operate on a much lower budget, and with fewer in-house resources than the Big 3 makers, and for this reason Studebaker employed outside design firms like Raymond Loewy and Associates of New York for their product designing needs, and at times their engineering work was contracted to outside firms for the same reasons...economy. So you had an American company with a need for design and engineering talent, and a German company with a need for American cash. There was no sentimentality involved.
 

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Re: The Studebaker That Helped Save Porsche... (vwlarry)

Those type of articles are the exact reason that Hemmings S&EC is one of my two favorite magazines...
 

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Re: The Studebaker That Helped Save Porsche... (schwank)

Don't forget Hemmings Classic Car. They're like equally excellent publications that complement each other. They're among my favorites, too. The only sad part is that one of the world's finest old car magazines EVER published, Hemmings Special Interest Autos, had to die to make room for Classic Car. SIA was crammed with material that you couldn't find anywhere else, year after year. Its sin was that it was mostly in black/white, and today nobody will even look at anything unless it has lots of splashy color.
 

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Re: (vwlarry)

Quote, originally posted by vwlarry »

From most accounts, Studebaker management made a grievous error, or, rather, a series of them regarding their association with Porsche. This car itself, likely in a heavily facelifted form, due to the South Bend insistence on it looking "more like a Studebaker" could have been a source of salvation for the company, with its innovative engineering and solid unibody design. Like stated in the article, though, the rapid downturn of Studebaker's business picture after 1952 made a large expenditure to procure this design impossible for the company, and this came exactly at the time when Studebaker needed a fresh new product in the worst way.
Another way that the brasshats in South Bend screwed up is chronicled in another article I've recently read. Porsche, through Dr. Ferry Porsche's personal visitations to South Bend in 1948, and again in 1952, attempted to engage Studebaker Corporation as the exclusive American importer for Porsche automobiles. Stude's management considered the opportunity carefully, but rejected it both times. Eventually, in the early 1950s, Max Hoffman, the famous entrepreneur who was the importing agent for everything from Austins to Volkswagens at one time or another, picked up Porsche when Stude turned it down.

I also read that as a last ditch effort, Studebaker was courting Nissan and Toyota to import their cars and that fell through...
What happened with the M-B deal?
 

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Re: (patrikman)

Quote, originally posted by patrikman »
air cooled V6? very interesting.
thanks for the article Larry! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

Almost as interesting as Tatra's Aircooled V8.
 

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Re: (MRVW01)

Quote, originally posted by MRVW01 »

I also read that as a last ditch effort, Studebaker was courting Nissan and Toyota to import their cars and that fell through...
What happened with the M-B deal?

Studebaker-Packard was the American distributor of Mercedes Benz, Auto Union, and DKW automobiles from 1957 until 1965 IIRC. S-P dealerships that were qualified (well-equipped facilities) sold the automobiles. A significant upshot of this business relationship was that Studebaker automobiles received very Mercedes Benz-esque faux radiator grilles during the first Brooks Stevens facelift of 1962, in order to link the cars together marketing-wise. Studebaker's president, Sherwood Egbert, was a Mercedes Benz enthusiast, and always traveled in a chauffeur-driven black Mercedes Benz 300SE sedan.

The Lark line and the GT Hawk both got Mercedes Benz imitation grilles:

 

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Wow that explains how some dealers received their franchise in weird places...(Ashland KY for example has a M-B dealer to this day
)
What's the story with them attempting to win over Nissan and it failing?
 

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Re: (MRVW01)

Quote, originally posted by MRVW01 »

What's the story with them attempting to win over Nissan and it failing?

I don't know about the American/South Bend connection, but Wikipedia contains this information about Studebaker of Canada, which was an important part of the corporate body:

From Wikipedia:
"During this period, Studebaker of Canada also imported cars for Volkswagen of Canada, using its status as a Canadian manufacturer to take advantage of lower import duties than a Canadian importer. Studebaker was able to import Volkswagens from Germany and sell them to Volkswagen of Canada at a lower cost to Volkswagen and Studebaker was still able to make $150 on each car imported.
Studebaker of Canada also attempted to import Datsun cars to North America. It was felt a second vehicle for Studebaker dealers would help increase showroom traffic and sales, and that one of Datsun's larger models could serve as a Studebaker-badged replacement for its own aging design. Studebaker of Canada president, Gordon Grundy, flew to Japan to meet with the heads of Nissan, makers of the Datsun. All was going well when management in South Bend ordered Grundy to break off talks with Nissan and approach Toyota instead. Toyota refused to speak with Grundy as he had not approached them first, and Nissan would not reopen discussions. The decision to change talks in mid-stream was the result of a suggestion from a member of the head office's legal firm (reputedly Richard Nixon), who felt Toyota would be a better choice. In the end, Studebaker had no imported car for its dealers from either manufacturer."

The comments about Richard Nixon are especially fascinating. He was a prominent corporate attorney in New York City after losing the California gubernatorial race to Jerry Brown in 1962.
 

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FV-QR

Excuse the my ignorance, what's the difference between Stude of CA and Stude USA?
Aren't they the same?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: FV-QR (MRVW01)

The way I understand it, Studebaker of Canada, as with Ford, GM, and other "of Canada" firms, was a wholly-owned subsidiary business of Studebaker-Packard Corporation of the United States. I'm no businessman, but IIRC such arrangements are necessary per international law.
Or something like that.
 
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