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Studebaker President - 1931

In the late 1920s the president of Studebaker, Albert Erskine, dreamed of adding a new 8-cylinder flagship model to the range that would not only elevate the marque’s standing in the market, but be nothing short of the finest automobile available on American roads. While the six-cylinder President model had been available since 1926, Erskine believed a prestigious 8-cylinder car would drive showroom traffic and give Studebaker a tool to use in the lucrative, image-friendly world of motorsports. He charged his engineering team with developing a new straight eight capable of standing with the best in the industry. Curiously, his chief engineer refused, insisting the current inline-six was more than sufficient for a top-of-the-line model. Understandably annoyed at the insubordination, Erskine promptly sacked his engineer and promoted Barney Roos, who relished the opportunity to shine. Roos designed a gem of an engine; a 313 cubic inch, 5-main bearing, L-head straight eight with gear driven cam and an impressive 100 horsepower output. The engine debuted in 1928 for the newly revamped President line.

Wikipedia page

Lark 1964

Studebaker Daytona (Lark) - 1964

The 1964 Studebaker Daytona conceded little to any fast-moving midsize car on the street, and their low production numbers make them scarce collector vehicles today.

Designer Brooks Stevens effected more than a facelift when he created the new Studebaker Daytona hardtop in 1964. The crisp, squared-off roof that Stevens grafted onto the now 4-year-old Lark body looked every bit as up-to-date as Chevy’s equally angular Impala. Of course, the Daytona was narrower than a full-size Chevy (Studebaker’s basic body stampings dated back to 1953 and most American cars had grown substantially wider over the intervening decade), but its size fit nicely with the new intermediates.

What really made the Daytona stand out were the performance options available. Lacking money for frequent styling changes, Studebaker had attempted to garner attention through performance with its Hawk coupes and the stunning Avanti. Studebaker’s overhead-valve V-8, first introduced in 1951, had been a farsighted enough design that more than a dozen years later it was being boosted to outputs exceeding 1 hp per cubic inch.

Old Cars Weekly page

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