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:
March 30th, 2016
Updated coming events & added Summer Picnic Information to the main page

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 1954 Studebaker four door sedan is a work in progress owned and restored by Tom and Nancy Holder.

The 1953 Studebaker's were the first entirely new body style since 1947.   The 1954 was a simple update of that design.   The 1954 grill bar has grown a series of vertical bars.   The hood ornament is an all new design and was used only that year.  The rear & front deck ornamentation is updated.   The dash was sightly updated with the four separate gauges now encased in a Gage Cluster.   New hubcaps are used.  The 1954 running gear stays nearly the same.   The 1953/1954 Raymond Loewy sedan body design, albeit heavily modified, would live on in the Hawk and Lark series until the end of production in 1966.


The following information was found on the Classic Database Website.  As I have never seen a breakdown of Studebaker production by model, the production numbers would seem suspect.


Base Cost: $1,980.00

Production: 4,615

Weight: 3,105 pounds

Wheel Base: 116.6 inches

Engine: V8 232.6 cu. in. 127 Horsepower

Transmission: Three Speed Manual


Spring Tour - 2014
The Sloan Museum
Buick Gallery

During the RRVCSDC spring tour, 2014 we visited the Sloan Museum in Flint Michigan, (I don't think we drank any water), here are a few of the cars which were featured in the Buick Gallery.

In 1903, the Buick Motor Company is created.   A prototype Buick was shown in the summer of 1904 with the first sale of a Buick following in August.   Within a few short months, the company had orders for sixteen Buicks.  By the close of the year, a total of 37 examples were produced.  The Model B, rode on a wheelbase of 83 inches, was powered by an inline two-cylinder engine with valve in head, cast-iron block, a float feed carburetor, and a displacement size of 159 cubic-inches.  They had a two-speed planetary transmission with mechanical brakes on two wheels.

Reproduced for the Sloan Museum, the 1904 Buick pictured, was part of the Sloan Museum's 1904-1905 Project in 1976.  No original 1904 production Buick's are known to exist. Spearheaded by Associate Director Jim Johnson, staff and volunteers were able to collect detailed information on how the original '04 were produced and recreate the model previously lost to time.   While most of this vehicle is reproduction, it is powered by an original 1904 Buick engine.  Today the 1904 looks as it did on its famous test run, July 9, 1904.   On that date, Walter Marr and Thomas Buick (son of founder, David Dunbar Buick) left Flint for Detroit to test their new automobile.   In Detroit, they purchased a license for the car and returned to Flint three days later.   On the return trip, they managed to average 30 miles per hour over the muddy roads.


Year: 1904
Make: Buick
Model: B
Wheelbase: 83"
Engine: two-cylinder
Horsepower: 15-21
Units Produced: 37
Price: $950

The 60 Special, or "Bug," was built by the Buick racing team.   It featured a radical-for-the-time nose cone.  The true purpose of the nose cone was more for looks than for aerodynamics.  The car featured one serious design flaw: it was too narrow to handle in the corners and tended to tip, requiring the driver to slow down.   The four-cylinder 622 cubic-inch engine prove formidable on straight tracks reaching speeds of 110 m.p.h.   Buick built only two Bugs, one for Louis Chevrolet and the other for Bob Burman.   It is believed that the surviving Bug was driven by Burman.  The fate of Chevrolet's Bug is not known.

Quick Facts

Year: 1910
Make: Buick
Model: 60 Special, or the Bug
Weight: 2600 lbs.
Wheelbase: 102.5
Engine: four-cylinder, 622 cubic inch
Horsepower: 57.6
Units Produced: 2

1938 Buick Y-Job,  the car that gave birth to the concept of the concept car, the Y-Job is one of the most famous cars of its era.  Take a good look, remind yourself that it is a 1938 creation and it's hard to believe that at the time other cars had open fenders.

The 1951 Buick AP 300 Concept car, making appearances in the 1951 and 1953 Motorama, the Buick dream car was powered by a supercharged 215 cubic inch V8 rated at 335 horsepower. Charles Chayne, the GM head of engineering and the creative mastermind behind the XP300 once drove it to 140 mph, a significant rating for a road car at the time.  Fuel was a combination of gasoline and methanol, and was intended as both a styling and engineering experiment.

1951 Buick LeSabre, developed at the same time as the Buick XP 300, the '51 LeSabre showed extensive aircraft influence in both its styling and engineering.  Innovative features included fiberglass, aluminum and cast magnesium construction, a 12 volt electrical system, an automatic transmission with a torque converter and an oil cooler, fuel injection, built-in hydraulic jacks and a rain activated folding top.  The brainchild of the legendary Harley Earl, the LeSabre was heavily inspired by aircraft technology and was the first to feature a wrap around windshield which would become a popular automotive styling element in the 1950's and 60's. The brake light, which not coincidentally resembled the exhaust of a jet engine, could not be missed.  Nobody ever accused it of being subtle!

The 1956 Buick Centurion Concept car was first shown to the public at the 1956 Motorama Show.  The body was constructed from fiberglass and the interior was inspired from the cockpit of an airplane.  The bubble top roof was a bold and dynamic design move.  The aerodynamic features of the car began in the front and gently flowed through the rest of the vehicle and to the rear.  The two-tone paint scheme was accented by its white-wall tires and red interior.

Power was from a 325 horsepower V8 engine that was hidden under the long hood that sloped toward the front and the grille.  The headlights were recessed far behind the bumper, and were part of the body shell.  The inside passengers received fresh air front the twin air scoops positioned near the sides.

The rear of the car was just as revolutionary, featuring 'wing-type' fenders that would later be seen on the 1959 Chevrolets and Buick models.  There was a television camera in the rear that would report traffic to the driver via a television screen mounted in the dashboard.

The inside was trimmed in red leather and brushed bright metal.  When the doors were opened, the front seats automatically slide back, offering additional room for easy entry and exit.  
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2010

The 1963 Buick Riviera Silver Arrow I Buick concept car was a production Riviera coupe specially customized by GM styling head William L. Mitchell.  The roof was lowered and the front fenders lengthened several inches housing the concealed headlights.   The car served as a personal vehicle for Mitchell when not being shown, much the way early Buick concept cars had for his predecessor Harley Earl.

There were actually two more versions of the Silver Arrow I. The Silver Arrow II and Silver Arrow III incorporated unspecified, but relatively minor, changes to the production Riviera.

These cars are just a sample of the Buick cars which can be seen at the Museum.




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 2016
January 4th, 2016
February 1st, 2016
March 7th, 2016
April 4th, 2016
May 2nd, 2016
June 6th, 2016
July 11th, 2016
August 1st, 2016
September 12th, 2016
October 3rd, 2016
November 7th, 2016
December 5th, 2016

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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