THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1965 Studebaker Daytona owned by Bob Andreocci
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
For more than 100 years – from 1852 to 1966 – venerable Studebaker kept Americans on the move with a succession of popular vehicles, from horse-drawn wagons to pioneering electrics to gasoline-powered sedans and sporty cars. Hurt financially by the Great Depression, Studebaker soldiered on with some fine and unusual models, such as the Champion, Starlight, Starliner and Avanti.
But by the 1960s, the firm was on its last legs. In 1963, Studebaker moved its plant from South Bend, Indiana to Ontario, Canada. All car production ceased after the 1966 model year. Andreocci’s coupe is a Canadian-built version. “It was their-next-to-last year of producing cars,” he says. “Since Studebaker did not have an engine plant in Canada, they made a deal with General Motors to buy Chevy engines from them. My car is equipped with a 283-cubic-inch V-8.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
It was advertised at an online auction site.
“The car was from California, so there were no rust issues,” Andreocci says. “The engine had 80,000 miles in it. The transmission looked to be updated to a (General Motors) ‘Turbo 350.’ The car came with the window sticker and some service records. Since this car was a ‘driver,’ I put in an electronic ignition and installed dual exhausts. The phrase ‘twenty-footer" (looks good from 20 feet away) might come to mind.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“When I first settled on a brand,” he says, “I then joined the Long Island chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club. This is a national organization that was actually created right here on Long Island by a man who worked at Grumman. The guys are a fun group and very devoted to the brand. When you join a car club, you can get advice, help and, if you're lucky, some laughs, too.”
Andreocci estimates the value between $5,000 and $8,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“When I thought about getting a classic car,” he says, “I thought about an uncle who had a ‘56 ‘Studee’ for close to 20 years. Plus, my tastes in cars do run toward the unique. This brand is just that. I find it fun to educate people about the history of a company that once was the biggest corporation in America. They had so many ‘ups and downs’ that Jack and Jill would have passed out. They started with wagons and carriages (President Lincoln went to Ford’s Theater in a Studebaker carriage), invented the chuck wagon and even dabbled with electric vehicles. ‘Unique’ could be an understatement.”