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Studebaker Nationals 2018

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When:

  • Sat 31 Mar, 10:00am – 2:00pm

Where:

Lakefront Village Green, Memorial Drive, Rotorua Show map

Restrictions:

All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

The Studebaker Drivers Club of New Zealand will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018 and also its 25th National Event which will be held be held in Rotorua over the Easter Weekend.

Expect to see up to 60 Studebakers and 180 Studebaker enthusiasts in the City over the weekend.

Studebaker has a proud heritage, commencing building horse drawn buggies carriages and wagons. Their wagons were a primary mode of transportation as the nation migrated westward. Studebaker carriages were used by several US Presidents.

In 1902, Studebaker started building electric automobiles, but soon went to gasoline power with wagon production finishing in 1919. Studebaker became a major US car manufacturer in the 1920’s.

After going into temporary receivership following the Great Depression in 1933 they were soon on the road to recovery. In 1939, Studebaker introduced the Champion, a new economy model designed by the soon to be famous Raymond Loewy studio.

During WWII, Studebaker produced trucks and radial engines for aircraft, including the B-17. After the war, automobile and truck production resumed with a vengeance. In 1950 and 51, Studebaker offered their famed bullet-nose design.

In 1953, the incredible new "Lowey coupe" was introduced which is recognised as the of the best styled US car of the 1950’s. During the last half of the fabulous fifties, Studebaker introduced their family of Hawks, merged with Packard and in 1959, responded to the growing demand for a more compact family car with the Lark.

Studebaker once again turned the automotive design world upside down in 1963 with the unveiling of the Avanti. While the Avanti was universally acclaimed, Studebaker's days as a US company were numbered. The Vehicle Division of the Studebaker Corporation was not profitable enough to continue. Production ceased at the long-time South Bend, Indiana plant in 1964, Studebaker production continued in Canada until 1966.

In the 1960’s a group of Christchurch Studebaker enthusiasts were socialising and networking to source parts and exchange technical information after Studebakers had finished production and the local franchise agent was phasing out parts.

In 1968 they decided to form the The Studebaker Drivers Club of New Zealand and soon after the Club became an incorporated Society. The aims of the Club were to promote Studebakers and support Studebaker owners while organising events and social activities with a family focus. In the 1980’s the Club became officially affiliated to The US Studebaker Drivers Club. Since its beginnings the Club has remained strong and true to its aims and a number of founding members are still active in the Club.

The Club has its headquarters in Christchurch with national coverage through six other Regions with total membership around 220. Each Region runs Club events and every second year we have our New Zealand National Studebaker Meet over an Easter weekend.

Studebakers are different by design with innovative technical features and a wide variety of body styles. Studebakers were imported to New Zealand in reasonable numbers, either fully built up or assembled here in some model years, from the 1910’s to the mid 1960’s.

Many have survived and with additional importing from Australia and the USA there is a good range of cars and trucks within the Club.

If you own, or have an interest in Studebakers (including Studebaker related vehicles such as EMF, Garfield, Pierce Arrow, Erskine, Rockne, Packard and Avanti), you are welcome to join our Club.

Members of the public are welcome to come and view the display of cars.
Organiser Doreen de Haan 078738631

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