STUDEBAKERS--and more Studebakers
The day our Studebaker story appeared on the blog we attended the 2012 Hemmings Motor News GREAT RACE which rolled through Mansfield on its clockwise circumnavigation of the Great Lakes from Traverse City, Michigan to the finish line in Dearborn.
The route went north across the Mackinaw Bridge then east through Sudbury, Barrie, and Ottawa, Ontario Canada before plunging south across the St. Lawrence River into New York. The course passed through Watertown and Buffalo, NY and proceeded through Warren, OH into Mansfield on its way to the finish line at the Henry Ford Museum in the Detroit suburb.
Mansfield's stop was reported to be the first-ever lunch stop planned in one of these races, allowing local folks a close-up peek at these marvelous, vintage machines.
One of those 100 cars originally entered was the 1916 Studebaker (above) where it's two man crew of driver and navigator were dismounting for their one-hour food stop. Entrants engage in a timed, controlled speed, endurance competition over scenic public highways.
Teams navigate through 4 to 7 timed checkpoints each day where their times are compared against a perfectly driven route. Each second off the perfect time--early or late--count against the teams with the division winners having the lowest score.
While enjoying the sight of #10 Studebaker it was easy to see where the aerodynamically pointed trunks of their passenger cars of the 1950s came from.
When the Studebaker car company was facing challenging times in the early 1960s their designers came up with the Avanti (below). Because of production problems and stiff competition from GM's Corvette production of the Avanti ended when Studebaker closed in December 1963.
Dealers then had 2,500 Avanti's in stock and only 1,600 had been sold since its introduction.
This particular car was not participating in the race; evidently belonging to one of several folks we saw sporting Studebaker club-type shirts and hats. It was parked on S. Main St., near Crowe's Shoes.