When I was growing up, my parents often showed me pictures of them standing next to my father's first car, a 1948 Studebaker Commander Regal convertible. After serving in the army during World War II, my father found a job and bought the new, black Studebaker right after he started dating my mother. He paid just under $3,000, and always reminded me how difficult it was to find a new or used car after the war. Unfortunately, he had to sell the car to help pay for their wedding.
In 1989, while my parents were on an 18 month assignment in England, I started to wonder if I could locate a Studebaker like the one they owned. A few weeks later, the Studebaker Driver's Club posted a 1948 Commander ragtop for sale, and I went to Lexington, Kentucky to see it. It was green, but had no rust and no damage. I bought the car and was introduced to another club member in Kentucky who had restored many Studebakers. He agreed to begin transforming the car to the same colors as my fathers car. Work was completed in time for the car to be shipped to my home in Oregon right before my parents returned from England. They were almost speechless when I led them into my garage where I had parked the car with a huge red bow on top. Over and over, my father exclaimed, "Where did you find this?"
Many good times were spent in the "Studie" by my parents, three sisters and myself. My mother and father shared many stories of the good old days. Sadly, my father passed away in June of this year. He was 91 years old. Now, I care for the Studebaker and my mother. She lights up every time I take her for a ride, and I think of my father every time I get behind the wheel.