Wednesday, July 1, 2009

1907 Studebaker Advertisement

Doesn't it make you want to trade in your horse? Hilarious.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Studebaker. Who are these guys?

Interesting family story! The Studebaker family immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1736. John Studebaker married his wife -- don't remember her name -- and had 13 children; only ten lived to adulthood. John, a blacksmith, was too kind and quick to accept credit. For this reason, the family was always in debt and John moved the family west multiple times in order to start fresh.

In 1852, Clem and Henry Studebaker opened their own blacksmith shop and began producing wagons. They were later joined by their three brothers, John, Peter, and Jacob. By the Civil War, they were selling wagons to the U.S. Army and eventually they became the largest wagon manufacturer in the world! Their company motto was their father's motto: "Always give more than you promise."

In 1902, the Studebaker Brothers produced their first electric cars.

In fact, J.H. Studebaker was quoted:
"(Gasoline-powered vehicles) are clumsy, dangerous, noisy brutes which stink to high heaven, break down at the worst possible moment and are a public nuissance."

Only a couple years later, the company went on to produce those clumsy gasoline-powered vehicles. In 1954, Studebaker merged with Packard Motor Car Company -- beautiful cars! The Studebaker Company was around until 1966. You may have heard of the Avanti?

Although the Studebaker Collection is not as expansive as the ACD Museum, they have done a great job with signage and displays. The collection ranges from the early horse and buggy days (they even have the buggy Lincoln rode to the Ford Theater on that fateful night).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

South Bend, Indiana

After a fun dinner with the Dutch, I decided to stay in South Bend instead of continuing with the group to Omaha. I said goodbye Thursday morning at the Super 8 and met up with family in the area. I wish the group a wonderful journey to San Franciso. What fun!

For more information about the Alice Ramsey Centennial, visit Emily's blog:

If you are interested in my travels, stay here...Bass Lake/ Pentwater, MI and Chicago are next. Anyone have suggestions for Chicago?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What a duesy!

Hey. That's the ACD Museum slogan. Get this: in 1930, the chassis (undercarriage) of a Duesenberg cost $8500. Keep in mind, the average annual American income was under $1000 at this time. With the body, you were looking at $13,500. Talk about big bucks.

Where have all the Maxwell's gone?

There were two Maxwell break downs today. If you are researching road trip cars, you might cross Maxwell off the list.

First the radiator went out in Howard Joiner's replacement Maxwell -- you remember his 1910 had engine trouble yesterday and had to return, so be brought out another. This problem occurred less than 20 miles outside Napoleon. Poo.

Next, Emily heard more knocking in the 1909 Maxwell and pulled over immediately. Seems like a trend, doesn't it? The crew pushed the car in Tim and Barb's trailer and were able to make the Lincoln Highway Celebration in South Bend. Sally, Emily, and Christie gave talks about Alice Ramsey's and their own experiences thus far and the Maxwell was on display. Unfortunately, the Dutchmen and I missed the event as were still swimming around in the rain.

The photo above was taken at the ACD Museum. You see the problem part of the Maxwell engine. Actually, the problem is with the front rod, but you get the idea, right?

Tim, Barb, and Rich have reloaded the Maxwell and are on their way to a shop 30 miles from here. I'm unsure of the status of Howard's Maxwell. I'll keep you posted.

My turn to drive the Spyker

This photo was taken outside the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in, you guessed it -- AUBURN! The engine is on, I am in the driver's seat, but I can assure you -- the car didn't move. Today was absolutely fantastic -- borrowing a word from Stijnus -- for the Spyker and its riders (this becomes important later). We left around 8:30am, stopped for coffee with Tim and Barb at a gas station, where we decided to take a small detour to the ACD Museum. We were happy we did. The displays are awesome. The car collection is magnificent, the lighting is sharp, the original building is lovely, and the signage is well-written, concise, and fun! Did you know a Michigan automobile manufacturer called Checker Motors produced the original Checker Cabs? And they were fancy! We met Sally's son, Sam, and his family at the museum and were bummed that Sally hadn't made it -- not because she didn't want to. We also slipped next door to visit the American Truck Museum. Interesting, but not as impressive as ACD. I did see a short film on a semi truck (without trailer) that drove over 225mph before blowing a tire. That was impressive.

After leaving the museums, we headed west and stopped at a diner for a quick lunch. Shortly after we left, the rain came. Stijnus pulled into a tractor yard/ graveyard and we had self guided tour of rows and rows of late models. No one came out of the shop to greet us, so we drove in. Good timing too. The rain poured down. We took our photos posing on large tractors and dried out a bit. Will and Jan put the hood up on the Spyker, but there is no windshield or side windows!
The next couple hours were very wet. We made it into South Bend, but couldn't find out accommodations, the Super 8 (more 8 than super say the Dutch). After asking 4 locals for directions, driving to Michigan, and two phone calls to the hotel, we finally made it. Warm showers for all, a swim in the mini pool, and off to dinner. First restaurant was a bust -- no beer -- so our taxi driver drove us to Gippel's (?).
I forgot to tell you yesterday, Jan told me he sells "pot plants." Language can be very fun! Potted plants is what he meant :-)
Ah, another funny story. People frequently ask where these men are from (their accent gives them away). A frequent answer is Iceland, but yesterday Stijnus mixed it up and said Georgia. "No way," replied the girl, "they have a different accent."
"You've never been there then, have you?" Stijnus replied. End of story.

Monday, June 15, 2009