Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club

Our Charter, Keeping the Studebaker Marque Alive
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Last Updated:
November 3rd, 2013
Revised the featured cars of the month.
Click the Globe for the Sub-Site "Articles"                   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nov. Dec. Studebaker Featured Car
 
 

This first year (1962) GT Studebaker Hawk is owned by Don and Betty Smith. 

9,335 GT Hawks were manufactured in the 1962 Model year, up from the sparse level of just 3,929 1961 Hawks, and the best sales year the GT Hawks would enjoy.

The standard engine offered in this model year was the 259 cu. in V-8 @ 180 HP. Smith’s car is equipped with the optional 289 @ 210 HP, 120.5 inch WB, and weighed 3,280 lbs. Base Price was $3,095. Performance was 0 - 60 in about 11 seconds.  Don has modified his GT with modern disk brakes up front.

Redesigning the Hawk

The GT Hawk's styling was a fairly radical facelift by designer Brooks Stevens of the older Hawk shape.  Stevens went after a European-inspired, clean look for the car. The hood from the older Hawk was retained, but was given a more pronounced (imitation) radiator frame to more closely resemble the cars of Mercedes-Benz.  The grille inside the radiator frame was patterned after the Mercedes as well. Despite the European influence, the Gran Turismo Hawk drew on American influences, too.  The roofline was heavily inspired by the Ford Thunderbird, with thick C-pillars.  A chrome edge running from front to rear highlighted the top of the bodywork in very similar fashion to that on the contemporary Lincoln Continental.  The taillights were particularly fashioned after the Lincoln's, and the trunk lid was given a faux bright work "grille" overlay that resembled the Lincoln as well.  Stevens extensive yet inexpensive modifications to the body finally rid the car of the 1950s-style tailfins and body side trim of previous models.  The rear window was nearly flat and recessed.  Overall, the exterior look kept the smooth, aerodynamic style of previous Studebakers but moved up to date.

Passenger Compartment Updates

Stevens also cleaned up the interior with a modern padded instrument panel that could be ordered with a full complement of large, easy-to-read instruments within close range of the driver's line of sight.  The GT featured bucket seats and a console in the front, befitting a grand-touring car, and all seats were upholstered in either cloth and vinyl or all-pleated vinyl.

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This 1912 Flanders Model 20 Runabout belongs to James Deill of Rockford, IL. The photos were taken at the 1913 Classics & Chrome car show. All of the Flanders cars were sold through Studebaker dealerships.

The Flanders Automobile Company operated in Detroit, Michigan, from 1910 to 1912.

It was the brainchild of Walter E. Flanders (1871–1923), who formerly held a position as General Factory Manager at the Ford Motor Company. There he co-invented the ingenious manufacturing methods which made the Model T Ford so famous.

In 1908, Flanders co-founded, together with Everitt and Metzger, the E-M-F Automobile Company in Detroit.  The E-M-F car, based on Flanders’ experience with the Model T Ford, was the first mass-produced Flanders car.  At the beginning, there were two offerings, model "30" and model "20".  These cars became a huge success but failed to outsell the Model T Ford.  Although second in US production in its best year, they were beaten by the Ford Model T by a wide margin.

In this situation, Flanders convinced the Studebaker brothers, who held substantial stock in E-M-F and were E-M-F’s sole distributor in the USA, to buy the defunct factory of the DeLux Motor Company in Detroit, and to build there a new challenger to Ford.  So, E-M-F dropped the "20", concentrating on their model "30" and the new Flanders, appropriately named model "20", was born, patterned after the smaller E-M-F.

This little car had a 4-cylinder engine with 20 hp, a 100-inch wheelbase and was priced at $750 in 1909, then lower than Ford's "T".  But, by the time the Flanders “20” began the 1910 production year, Ford had cut its price, and the Flanders remained more expensive than the Model T.   The Flanders “20” was manufactured from 1910 to 1912. Flanders cars were also built in Canada by the E-M-F Company of Canada LTD in Walkerville, Ontario.

In late 1912, however, Studebaker made the next logical step and purchased E-M-F and Flanders completely, the two cars were extensively redesigned and badged and sold as Studebakers beginning in 1913.

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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 2013
January 7th, 2013
February 4th, 2013
March 4th, 2013
April 1st, 2013
May 6th,  2013
June 3rd, 2013
July 1st, 2013
August 5th, 2013
September 9th, 2013
October 7th, 2013
November 4th, 2013
December 2nd, 2013
 
Location:  Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles Street, Rockford IL
 
Time:  Dinner at  5:30 P.M. Meeting starts at 7:00 P.M
 
 
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