Studebaker Eight

The Studebaker Eight can really only be appreciated if the entire history of the company is understood. Henry Studebaker was a farmer, blacksmith, and wagon-maker who lived near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the early 19th century. By 1840 he had moved to Ohio and was teaching his five sons to make wagons. As they grew older, they all went into the business. At first, they made metal parts for freight wagons and later expanded into the manufacture of wagons. John made wheelbarrows in Placerville, California, and Peter made wagons in Saint Joseph, Missouri. The first major growth in their business came from their being in place to meet the needs of the California Gold Rush in 1849. The Studebaker Corporation, or simply Studebaker, was a United States wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Originally the company was a producer of wagons as previously stated. They further incorporated in 1868 under the name of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. Studebaker entered the automotive business in 1902 with electric vehicles and in 1904 with gasoline vehicles. Until 1911, they partnered with other builders of gasoline-powered vehicles. In 1913, Studebaker launched the first gasoline-powered auto under its own “Studebaker” marquee. The company was acquired in 1954 by Packard Motors Company of Detroit, Michigan. It then became a division of the Studebaker Packard Corporation from 1954 to 1962. In 1962 it returned to its previous name, the Studebaker Corporation. They retreated from the automobile business in 1966, yet they continued on as an independent closed investment firm until 1967. At that point, it merged with Worthington to become Studebaker-Worthington Corporation. This was a company that was built from the ground up based on hard work and determination. This is a genuine story of the American Dream come true. Better yet, it is a great illustration that one cannot expect to know the path they will find themselves on in the end.