My Great Uncle Bill owned an insurance agency beginning in the 1930's. One of his clients was the nearby Studebaker dealer. The oldest Studebaker in the family of which I can find a picture is a 1938 State Commander sedan. You can recognize this model by the "cathedral" headlights. In the early 1950's he bought a Loewy coupe. By 1955 his mother-in-law had come to live with him and my Aunt Emily. A coupe would not do. They bought a 1955 President State 4-door sedan. The State model has the longer wheelbase used for the earlier Land Cruisers and the 1956 President Classic, which means plenty of rear seat legroom. He sold the coupe to my Grandfather. My Grandfather and his wife had a serious accident a couple of years later. The coupe was totaled, but we later learned it was eventually repaired by a local shop and put back on the road. Because of the low coupe roof, he broke his nose on the rear view mirror. Uncle Bill wanted Grandpa to get back on the road as well, so he sold him the sedan and bought himself a new 1962 Cadillac. Grandpa drove the 1955 daily, and to Florida in the winters, until 1966. That year he decided to fly to Florida. My parents only car at that point was a 1964 Chevy Bel Air sedan. They decided we needed a second car and put a deposit on a used early GM compact. I'm not sure exactly which model because they looked at a Tempest, a Special and an F85. That night Grandpa called and asked if they would take care of his Studebaker for the winter.
The following year, 1967, he decided to buy a 1968 Buick Skylark and trade in the Studebaker. The dealer didn't offer much for trade so he gave the car to my mother. It had approximately 32,000 miles on it. She drove my friend and I to Junior High School in that car when the weather was bad. We discovered the Studebaker Drivers Club in 1971 and with it the people who could help us maintain our family heirloom. Chevy's came and went, but that Studebaker remained in service and at some times was their only car. When neither of them could drive any longer, the car retired to the garage. I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast in 1997. Circa 2000, my parents' mechanic offered to buy the car. I had to remind my mother of its heirloom status. She said I could have it if I paid the shipping. A flatbed winched it out of the garage because it would neither start nor roll. I had it delivered directly to a friend's house so that he could work on it. It turned out the only problem was a missing plug in the transmission that let all the fluid leak out. With that problem solved, The Great Scott was ready for touring once again. You see, my mother's family name and my middle name is Scott. She coined the name many years ago. That car is now in my garage with 169,000 miles on the odometer. It needs a few minor tweaks to be dependable transportation once again. For now I have to be content driving my 1956 Studebaker President 2-door sedan to work, but that is a story for another day.
The Great Scott - 4 owners
3 generations (so far)
1 classic ride