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:
July 6th, 2015
Updated International Meet Info - Updated coming events - Added two new "For Sale" cars.

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 wonderful example of a 1948 Studebaker Champion Convertible  is owned by Rod and Roxanne Leezer.

The car is powered by Studebaker’s 169 cu. in flat-head six cylinder engine making 80 HP, riding on a 112 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”, 9,996 Champion Regal DeLuxe Convertibles were made, at a base cost of $1,780 dollars.  The 1948 Champion had very few changes from the 1947 Champion.  For the exterior, the “Strat-o-lined” hood ornament was made standard and had a gun sight ring added.  The emblem on the front of the hood was made to look like the Commander. The “Studebaker” name was moved from the top center of the grille to the right front of the hood and the word “Champion was added to the left front of the hood. The number of horizontal bars in the grille were reduced to four and the second bar made to span all the way across the grille.  The front and rear bumper guards were made much plainer and did not extend above the bumper. Changes to the interior of the Champion were mainly confined to the dash. The former ring around the instruments and radio was made nearly rectangular and was painted instead of chrome.  The “Champion” name was moved above the glove box.  With cars vanishing off the car lots as fast as they were being manufactured, Studebaker deemed little if anything needed to be done for 1948.

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 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 wonderful example of the 1965 Oldsmobile Starfire is owned by Ray Meyers.  Ray purchased the car from club member Ernie Endsley last year.  Ray told me that Ernie had equipped the car with nearly every accessory that could be had for a Starfire that year.  The following is some of the history surounding Oldsmobile Starfires. 
By model year 1965, the end of the line for the Starfire series was evident, although still a bit off. This would be the final year for the convertible, the model that started it all off in 1961. Traditional outside rivals continued to outsell the Olds personal-luxury model by large margins.  A redesigned 4-4-2 package, this year benefiting from a larger displacement engine, doubtless took customers from the Starfire line as well.
Although they continued on a 123-in. wheelbase, the all-new full-size Oldsmobiles received curvier sheetmetal for 1965. A new Turbo Hydra-Matic was standard equipment and for the first time in the history of the big cars a four-speed manual transmission could be ordered at extra cost.  The big news came under the hood, however, with the introduction of a larger 425-cubic-in. Super Rocket V-8. In addition to increased displacement, the new engine also featured better cooling, a higher capacity fuel pump, redesigned combustion chambers, and enlarged intake and exhaust valves.
The Starfire version of the Super Rocket continued to be the most powerful Olds motor offered. Its output was boosted substantially over the 1964 level to 370 HP; it also maintained a 20-HP edge over its smaller displacement cousin, the 1965 4-4-2 engine.
Unfortunately, the hefty price tag continued as a Starfire sales barrier. The coupe listed for $4,148; the convertible bowed out as the most expensive Olds at $4,778. A total of 15,260 Starfires were built for 1965, including only 2,226 convertibles.  In 1961, the Starfire had debuted with a flourish complete with auto show center staging. Considerably less fanfare awaited the 1966 Starfire, however, which was destined to be the last in a half dozen year run at the personal-luxury market.

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
June 1st, 2015
July 6th, 2015
August 3rd, 2015
September 7th, 2015
October 5th, 2015
November 2nd, 2015
December 7th, 2015

Location:  Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles Street, Rockford IL

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



Click 2015 Zone Meet Information to go to the North Star Chapter Zone Meet Page of their website



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 © 2015, Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club, and may not be reproduced without permission.