Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club

Our Charter, Keeping the Studebaker Marque Alive
Welcome to the Rock River Valley Studebaker Drivers Club Website
Last Updated:
August 28th, 2014
Updated the featured cars of the month for September - October

Click on the Globe left to go to the Sub-Site "Articles", if you are interested in automotive trivia and history, else don't bother.


This 1948 Studebaker 4-door Commander sedan  is owned by Fran and Kathy Tremain.  It has had a near complete restoration performed by Fran over the last few years.
The car is powered by Studebaker’s 226 cu. in flat-head six cylinder engine making 94 HP, riding on a 119 in. wheel base.  The transmission is a manual three speed with overdrive.
1948 total Studebaker production was a record breaking 186,526 cars.  According to the “Classic Car Database”, 24,583 4-dr Commander sedans (both trim levels) were made, selling from $1,642 to $1,757 dollars depending on trim.  The 1948 Commander had very few changes from the 1947 Commander.  For the exterior, only a bright metal trim strip was added across the top of the grille and a new front bumper guard arrangement was adopted.  The rear guards were modified to match the front  The interior on Commanders was left virtually in tack from the 47 models.  With cars vanishing off the car lots as fast as they were being manufactured, Studebaker deemed little if anything needed to be done for 48.
This 1948 car is representative of the first new styling to come from any of the existing major car manufactures that had entered into war support manufacturing in 1942.
Studebaker’s first post-war car was a remake of the 1942 style automobile and was produced solely as the Champion Skyway from December 1945 to March 1946, when it's production ended.   The all new design 1947 models were introduced in April of 1946.  Studebaker models for the 1947 model year included Champion, Commander, and Commander Land Cruiser, in DeLuxe and Regal DeLuxe trim.  They included 4dr sedans, 2dr sedans, coupes (both 5 and 3 passenger versions), and convertibles.  The same line-up was seen in 1948.
The design work for the new 1947 models was done by Loewy’s Studio in South Bend, under the direction of Virgil Exner, a designer who would make his greatest mark in the design of Chrysler’s “Forward Look” in the early 50’s. 

This slightly customized 1963 Mercury Monterey S55 belongs to Frank and Marsha Drabek.

The car was originally sold to R. McKinney of Darien, WI from the Jack Fagan Ford dealership in Delavan.  Mr. McKinney traded the car into the Waling-Cutting Oldsmobile dealership, of Delavan, in 1966.  That’s where Frank’s aunt and uncle purchased it.  After Frank's uncle died, Frank & Marsha bought the car from Frank's aunt in 1984 making them the 3rd owner of the car. Frank's aunt and uncle lived only a block and a half from Frank's parents place.  Frank can remember them driving by with the car and he always admired it.  He is glad that he was able to buy the car.

The car has recently had it’s 390 cu. in. 330 HP engine rebuilt.  There were two versions of the 390 offered in 1963, the 300 HP and the 330 HP.  Frank has identified this one as a 330, because of the original Carter 4-barrel carburetor feeding the fuel into the big Ford engine.

This Monterey model, one of only 3,863 made, is top of the three trim packages available for 1963, the S-55 package.  It can be clearly identified by the special red, white, and blue trimmed hubcaps which were only used on the “S” or “Special” Mercury lineup.  These special Mercury cars were offered in Comet (S-22); Meteor (S-33); and Monterey (S-55) trim.  Of coarse you could also identify the car, from the S-55 Badge on the rear fender, or from the bucket seats and full council interior, only offered in S-55 trim.  It also sports the Breezeway rear window design, and originally sold for $3, 650 dollars.

Below is a listing of the configurations available for S-55 Monterey Trim for 1963
Car Line &
Series Name
Body Style
Monterey S-55
2-door Hartop with
Breezeway Design
390-CID V-8 (V4) 
300 or 330 HP
Monterey S-55
2-door Marauder 
406-CID V-8
(V4 or 3-2V)
Monterey S-55
4-door Hardtop with 
Breezeway Design
427-CID V-8
(4V or 2-4V
Monterey S-55
2-door Convertible

The club meets the first Monday of every month, unless that date is a holiday, then the meeting is on the next Monday.
Date of Next Meeting:
Meeting Dates for 2014
January 6th, 2014
February 3rd, 2014
March 3rd, 2014
April 6st, 2014
May 5th,  2014
June 2nd, 2014
July 7th, 2014
August 4th, 2014
September 1st, 2014
October 6th, 2014
November 3th, 2014
December 1st, 2014

Location:  Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles Street, Rockford IL

Time:  Dinner at  5:30 P.M. Meeting starts at 7:00 P.M


When: 9/26/2014 (Friday) 9/27/2014 (Saturday)

Hosts: Badger Wheel Chapter

Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin


HQ: Econo Lodge Inn, $62 Studebaker rate, 715-235-9651, 1815 North Broadway, just off Exit 41 on I-94.

This will be combined with the annual Midwest Studebaker Only Swap Meet.  Contact Marv Roberts, 715-381-9523, for registration form
Contact: Harold Mueller 715-456-8450

Join us, August 16th, to August 22nd, 2014 in St. Louis, MO

This web site is owned by The Rock River Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club, All contents © 2013, Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club, and may not be reproduced without permission.