Studebakers are high performance cars
made by the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company from 1902
known for their superior quality.
Originally, the Studebaker brothers were blacksmiths and made their fortune making wheelbarrows for gold miners. In 1902, they produced their first electric car and their first gasoline car came on the market in 1904 under the name "Studebaker-Garford". Studebaker joined forcers with Everitt-Metzker-Flanders Company of Detroit to form the Studebaker Corporation in 1911 and for two years all of Studebaker's cars were sold under EMF's name. All cars after 1913 bear the Studebaker name and until 1920 the company produced both wagons and automobiles, until production was moved from Detroit to South Bend, Indiana and their wagon workshop was completely replaced.
During the 1920s, Studebaker produced medium-priced cars such as the Erskine. The Great Depression and new management brought the company into lower priced cars such as the Champion and World War II brought defense contracts for military trucks. This enabled them to resume civilian truck production almost immediately after the war and the M series that was introduced in 1941 was produced until 1948. It was followed by the 2R series (1949), Transtar (1956), and the Lark Champ (1960).
Due to poor finances by 1954, Studebaker merged with Packard. The merged companies did no better and Packard disappeared altogether after 1958. Studebaker rebounded in 1959 with the compact Lark, but was losing again by 1961. In December, 1963 they closed their South Bend plant and until March, 1966 their cars were manufactured in Ontario, Canada until a blue and white 1966 Cruiser marked the end of Studebaker production.