Richard G

Dad's First New Car

My Special car is a relatively plain car, a 1950 Studebaker Champion 4 door. It was the first new car my Dad ever bought, and I was with him when he did. The town we lived in did not have a Studebaker Dealership and that is what he wanted. He had a 1940 Champion that had served him well and knew that a new one would also. So he went to Bevan Motors in Hutchinson, KS to order and buy a car in December, 1949, I was a 26 month old and he took me. The salesman gave me a model of a 1950 Starlight coupe during the visit. Unfortunately the model is long gone, but the car is still here. It was the only car until 1955, when we got a new Pontiac Station Wagon. The Studebaker soldiered on as our second car. Other new car followed including 2 other new Studebakers, a 1962 wagon and a 1964 Daytona. The '50 was still the second car, I learned to drive in it, my younger brother also learned to drive in it. It was my school car until I bought my own first car, then it was my brother's school car. It was final retired from daily duty in the late '60s. My Dad kept it hoping to restore it someday, driving it occasionally for several years, then he parked it.

Forward to about 2005 and my brother asked him for the car and promised to restore it. It took my brother about two years to get the work done. My brother was not a "car guy", but he was a "1950 Studebaker guy", he learned how to do much of the work, he farmed out what he needed to, he joined the Studebaker Driver's Club, he did what needed to be done. In the spring of 2008, he invited my Mom and Dad, my wife and myself to his home for "something special". My Dad was then over 90 and slowing down significantly, so my brother felt the need to show the ar to my Dad, even though the car was not quite finished. The picture with two men is my Dad and my brother that day. My Dad was quite overwhelmed and mostly speechless. We went for a ride and had a great day. It ended up that that day was the only time my Dad saw the car again, we lost him in early 2010.

I help my brother finish the car and enjoyed it with my brother. In late 2012, I lost my brother and inherited the car from him. So while my ownership is short, my involvement and my memories are long. This is a keeper car. 64 years and counting, 1 family of owners. Very special for me.

4 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Richard Glasscock United States February 15, 2014 at 15:17
    Thanks for the kind words. We always enjoyed our Studebakers, our last new one, 1964 Daytona, was bought after the announcement on the shutdown. My Dad didn't want to stop driving them, so he bought the last Daytona at the Dealer.
  • 2
    Peggy Maryland February 15, 2014 at 09:37
    Love your story and that the car stayed in your family with so many fond memories. My Dad worked for Studebaker, owned 3 of them. He lives with us now and we always look for Studebakers when I take him to local car shows.
  • 3
    Michael Michigan February 15, 2014 at 12:21
    Nice story, the Studebaker Drivers Club is a amazing resource.
  • 4
    Michael C Michigan January 6, 2016 at 17:03
    My first car was a Studebaker also, a 1962 GT Hawk, Riviera Blue, purchased, from a dealer by the name Almyra Packard Inc., on Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY. It was a fine car, and I expect I would have been a life long Studebaker customer if they still made them.

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