Lot 256 - 1956 Studebaker Champion
|Estimate||£7,000 - £9,000|
Studebaker Corporation was a manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1852 and incorporated in 1868 under the name of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, the company was originally a producer of wagons for farmers, miners, and the military. Studebaker entered the automotive business in 1902 under the name 'Studebaker Automobile Company'. The first petrol vehicle to be fully manufactured by Studebaker was marketed in August 1912. Over the next 50 years, the company established an enviable reputation for quality, reliability and styling. The South Bend plant ceased production on 20th December 1963, and the last Studebaker automobile rolled off the Ontario, Canada, assembly line on 16th March 1966. The new-car sales war between Ford and General Motors in the early 1950's wreaked havoc on Studebaker's profitability; Finance Directors focused on short-term earnings rather than long-term vision. There was enough momentum to keep going for another eight years, but stiff competition and a price war instigated by the larger manufacturers doomed the enterprise. From 1950, Studebaker declined rapidly and, by 1954, was losing money; it negotiated a strategic takeover by Packard, a smaller but less financially troubled car manufacturer. However, the cash position was worse than it had led Packard to believe and by 1956, the company (renamed Studebaker-Packard Corporation) was virtually bankrupt, although it continued to make and market both Studebaker and Packard cars until 1958.
This very stylish Studebaker Champion was manufactured in 1956, then shipped and used in South Africa. Importation into the UK from South Africa took place in April 1989; however, this car is quite rare in that it is righthand drive with three-speed manual transmission. The six-cylinder, three litre engine ensures a very smooth delivery of power, offering a very pleasant, comfortable drive. Finished in two-tone green/white coachwork with a matching, original interior, a good history file is supplied with the vehicle, together with an original sales catalogue and the importation documents. A V5 registration document is supplied, together with a full year's MoT test certificate; this very well presented example has been competitively priced and represents extremely good value.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.