Studebaker Drivers Club had a meeting at McClellan Park, CA 26-28 September 2019
McClellan Park is located northeast of Sacramento and is the site of the former McClellan Field Army Air Corp/U.S. Air Force base. The B-25 bombers used in the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan in April, 1942 were prepared at McClellan and then flown to the Naval Air Station at Alameda, CA on San Francisco Bay where they were loaded onto the flight deck of U.S.S. Hornet, CV-8 for the trek across the Pacific.
McClellan Park is now a mixed use site that includes housing and is home to many small and some not so small businesses and the air strip is still in use for private’s aircraft. There is a fine aviation museum and on Thursday, the Studebaker Drivers Club members posed their cars by the planes. (We weren’t able to get photos of that part of the event.)
We will begin with a ’58 Packard Hawk owned by a resident of Roseville, CA, who is also restoring a ’56 Studebaker Golden Hawk. This Packard Hawk is one of only 588 built.
The Packard Hawks shared the supercharged 289 cubic inch Studebaker V-8 with the Studebaker Golden Hawk:
Now, we will show cars we photographed in chronological order. The oldest that we photographed was a ’41 Commander, though there was at least one car from the ’20s and several from the ’30s.
Among Studebaker’s Defense work in World War II was the production of Weasels, this one being from 1943:
Moving now into the postwar years, we begin with this beautiful ’52 Commander V-8 Starlight:
Here is a fine ’53 Commander V-8 Starlight followed by a ’54 Commander V-8 Starlight:
We didn’t see any ’55 Studebakers but there was this original, unrestored ’56 Champion two door showing only 42,662 miles:
For 1957, there was this golden Golden Hawk:
Aside from the ’58 Packard Hawk, model year 1958 was represented by this Scotsman pickup. With the success of the low-priced Scotsman car in the ’57-’58 recession, Studebaker fielded this stripped down pickup in the Scotsman range. Note the plaid behind the name on the hood:
We don’t have any representatives from the ’59 or ’60 model years, but we show you this grille of a ’61 Hawk with a license plate frame from Arbuckle, CA. Arbuckle is a tiny farming community some 60 miles north of Sacramento. Auto designer Dutch Darrin (who did the Packard Darrins and work for Kaiser) was also a pilot and operated an aircraft farm field spraying operation out of Arbuckle for a time. The license plate frame on this Hawk boasts that this dealer in Arbuckle was Studebaker’s oldest dealer. If you know how remote and small Arbuckle is, this is an amazing boast!
Courtesy of Alden Jewell, we have several photos of Atran’s Studebaker in Arbuckle. Note that Atram also sold Oliver Tractors, which makes perfect sense given the agricultural roots of this community. Arbuckle was a long way from nowhere in the days before I-5 was built – and even with I-5, it seems a long way from anywhere!
Atran’s also sold Packards from 1954-1958:
Atran’s sold Studebakers from 1910 through 1964.
The 1962 model year was represented by two red Gran Turismo Hawks. The red and white one hails from Pleasant Hill in the San Francisco east Bay Area and was driven to the meet. Very few “trailer queens” here – this is the Studebaker Drivers Club!
1963 was represented by a gold R-2 Supercharged Avanti and a Rose Mist Gran Turismo Hawk. The Avanti has the paint and upholstery from the factory.
Also representing the ’63 model year was this red Avanti. Like the gold one above, it left South Bend as an R-2 Supercharged Avanti, but the owner has fitted many R-3 pieces to the engine:
The 1964 model year was well-represented by six Gran Turismo Hawks and a beautiful ’64 Cruiser. Note the Ben A. Begier license plate frames on the ’64 Cruiser. Ben Begier was a long-time Studebaker dealer in San Leandro. The family sold Buicks after Studebaker ceased auto production and still has a Studebaker tow truck. The Begier family has recently been selling some of its Studebaker collection on Hemmings.
This green ’64 Gran Turismo Hawk is an R-2 Supercharged model:
There were many more cars we didn’t photograph, some representing years we didn’t show above. Studebaker Drivers Club is noted for its camaraderie and friendliness and we certainly observed those traits in our visits to this meet at McClellan Park.