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|Studebaker Land Cruiser|
1953 Studebaker Land Cruiser at CARnivale, Parramatta Park, NSW Australia Day 2016
The Studebaker Land Cruiser was an automobile produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana (United States) from 1934-1954. The Land Cruiser debuted at the World's Fair alongside the Silver Arrow, a product of Studebaker's former premium make Pierce-Arrow. It was also manufactured in Vernon, California.
The Land Cruiser was introduced at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair as an extensively streamlined sedan. Many of the same aerodynamic features of the car were shared with Pierce-Arrow's Silver Arrow show car that also debuted at the fair when Studebaker assumed operations of Pierce-Arrow in 1928. Work on both automobiles was authorized prior to the company being placed in receivership in March 1933, and Pierce being sold to investors.
Production Land Cruisers began to appear in dealer showrooms in the fall of 1933 as 1934 models. The Land Cruiser was designated as a body style, and classified in the President model range (C Series) for the year. It retailed for $1,510.
The body style was shared with the President and Commander series for 1936. From 1937-1940, the car was classified as the Commander Cruiser and President Cruiser. The Land Cruiser name officially returned in 1941 and 1942. In addition to offering its Land Cruisers in the Commander and President lines, for 1941 Studebaker introduced the ultra-luxurious Skyway Land Cruiser which featured a slightly curved single-pane windshield, rear fender skirts and premium details and fabrics.
The 1947 Studebaker models were so revolutionary that it had other car builders scurrying back to their drawing boards. While other manufacturers settled for re-chroming their pre-war models, the 1947 Studebaker, touted as "First by Far with a Postwar Car", had a completely new body. The new Land Cruiser exclusively rode the company's longest wheelbase (124 in (3,100 mm)), which provided additional legroom for rear seat passengers. It featured center-opening, rear-hinged rear doors (called "suicide doors" by some) and was powered by the larger of Studebaker's two straight-6 engines. The Land Cruiser suggested price of $2043 included a one-piece curved windshield, an electric clock and carpeting front and rear. Only minor trim changes for 1948 brought a Land Cruiser price of $2265, and in 1949 it was increased to $2328.
Since it was a seller’s market after WWII, Studebaker felt no need to change the basic design of the car, even though they knew that other makers would have “new” cars in 1949. Studebaker coasted along with the old bodies until 1952.
But 1950 saw the “Next Look in Cars" — Studebaker’s answer to the other manufacturer's 1949 models. Considered very radical for the era, it had three-point front styling, popularly known as the “bullet-nose”. Over 10,000 more Land Cruisers were sold in 1950 than in 1949. Studebaker Automatic Drive was introduced mid-year and was arguably the most advanced automatic transmission of the day. It featured reverse gear lock-out, hill-holder, anti-creep and a locking torque converter which allowed direct drive with virtually no converter power loss in high gear. The price of the 1950 Land Cruiser went down to $2187.
Sales in 1951 skyrocketed, an increase of almost 12,000 over 1950. This can probably be attributed to the introduction of the lively new Studebaker V8 engine that year. The front styling stayed virtually the same, with a minor redesign of the three points. Once again, the Land Cruiser had its own wheelbase, at 119"; the Commander now shared the 115" wheelbase of the Champion models. The price was raised to $2289.
The 1952 Land Cruiser was the last to use real glass for the tail and parking light lenses. Its grille, designated by some as the "clam digger", was actually a preview of the next generation.
The 1953 Land Cruisers were complete departure from the ’47-’52 models. The 1953 model sold retail for $2316. They were built on the same frame as the new Starliner and Starlight coupe models but, as with many new models, there were some initial problems, primarily with the fit of the front fenders. With the engine out of the car, they fit. With the engine in the car, they didn’t. This was found to be primarily the fault of using a thinner gauge steel for the frame. The theory was that if the frame could flex a little, the car would ride better. The problem was, it flexed too much. If you jacked up one corner of the car, to change a tire, for example, the frame flexed so much that you could either not open the door or could not close it. There were also fewer frame re-enforcements than in subsequent years. As you might imagine, this problem caused many a late night conference and hasty fixes and tended to give the new model a bad name almost immediately.
Then a problem with the new (and revolutionary, for its day) mechanical power steering raised its head. It only required 2 psi (0.14 bar ) of pressure to turn the steering wheel but it was noisy. Only 100 of these units were sold before Studebaker began using GM Saginaw type units.
The Studebaker company had a problem with the Mercedes-Benz company. A few years in the future, Studebaker would be the American distributor for that brand, but in 1953, the M-B tri-star emblem was turned upside down and put on the front and rear of Studebaker cars, minus the encircling ring. (Mercedes-Benz cars were still relatively unknown in America at that time, so most people[ who? ] probably would never have drawn any connection between the two brands.) In the upper part, the Commander had a gold “8” while the Champion a gold “S”. The upside-down tri-star was used elsewhere in the car. The wheel covers, back-up light lenses, radio delete plate, horn button and the rear ashtray on the Starliner/Starlight coupe—all had this emblem. M-B complained and Studebaker hastily re-designed the emblems. On the hood and trunk, they removed the M-B look-alike and on the Commander, replaced it with a large gold “8” in the middle of a chrome “V” (basically they removed one of the three arms of the "star", changing it into a "v".) On the Champion, a gold “S” replaced the “8”. When the other items ran their course, they were replaced by non-tri-star items. These are now collectors items.
The construction problems were corrected in the 1954 Land Cruiser models with heavier metal in the frames and an additional re-enforcing crossmember. The famous designer, Eleanor LeMaire was retained to brighten up the interiors of the new cars. She demanded 4 more colorful interiors than previously, getting away from the one drab gray pin stripe color of the previous year. These new colors included green, blue and tan as well as an opulent silver-gray. The front grille bars had 5 small vertical fins each to differentiate them from the earlier model. New, larger brakes were included in the package, shortening stopping distances by 37 ft (11 m) according to Motor Trend. Engine horsepower increased to 127 as the result of a 0.5 compression increase (to 7.5).
There was also a smoother looking instrument panel, doing away with the individually hooded gauges of the previous year. The 1954 Land Cruiser sold for $2438.
All in all, many people[ who? ] are of the opinion that the 1954 Land Cruiser was better designed than the 1955 Ultra-Vista wrap around windshield President models. While it was in keeping with most other brands of the era, the large amount of chrome (demanded by the sales department) caused many people[ who? ] to shy away from the ’55 Studebakers. In 1955, the name was changed.
Top-trimmed Studebakers from 1955-1958 went by the Studebaker President name (revived from the prewar President models). For 1956, an upscale President Classic sedan was offered. The President Classic used the longer 120.5" wheelbase of the Hawks, and like the 1947-1950 Land Cruisers used the additional length to create a roomier rear passenger area. The President Classic was continued for 1957-1958, though no longer carrying the "Classic" model name. After a four-year run, The President models, in turn, were dropped at the end of 1958 to make way for the new compact Lark model. A longer wheelbase version of the Lark sedan was offered for fleet sales. Dubbed the Economiler, it was marketed for use as a taxicab, again featuring a roomier back seat area than the regular Larks.
For the 1961, Studebaker added a Lark model, the Cruiser, which continued through the 1966 model year. This model was built on the longer wheelbase chassis and was a better equipped and more luxurious version of the 4-door Lark and was designed to harken back to the Studebaker Land Cruiser sedans of the late Forties and early Fifties.
The Oldsmobile 98 is the full-size flagship model of Oldsmobile that was produced from 1940 until 1996. The name — reflecting a "Series 90" fitted with an 8-cylinder engine — first appeared in 1941 and was used again after American consumer automobile production resumed post-World War II. It was, as it would remain, the division's top-of-the-line model, with lesser Oldsmobiles having lower numbers such as the A-body 66 and 68, and the B-body 76 and 78. The Series 60 was retired in 1949, the same year the Oldsmobile 78 was replaced by the 88. The Oldsmobile 76 was retired after 1950. This left the two remaining number-names to carry on into the 1990s as the bread and butter of the full-size Oldsmobile lineup until the Eighty Eight-based Regency replaced the 98 in 1997.
The Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, a sporty coupe sold between 1962 and 1964, was the final development of the Studebaker Hawk series that began with the Golden Hawk of 1956.
The Studebaker-Packard Hawk series were cars produced by the merged Studebaker-Packard corporation between 1956 and 1964. All but the 1958 Packard Hawk were badged Studebaker. Described by the company as "family sports cars", they were all two-door, four-seat coupes and hardtops. They were an evolution of the long wheelbase (120") 1953 C/K models designed by Robert Bourke, lead designer with the Raymond Loewy Agency. The 1962 redesign as the GT Hawk was by another famed stylist, Brooks Stevens.
The Plymouth Valiant is an automobile which was manufactured by the Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation in the United States from the model years of 1960 through 1976. It was created to give the company an entry in the compact car market emerging in the late 1950s. The Valiant was also built and marketed, without the Plymouth name, worldwide in countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as other countries in South America and Western Europe. It became well known for its excellent durability and reliability, and was one of Chrysler's best-selling automobiles during the 1960s and 1970s, essentially keeping the company afloat during its hard economic times.
The Chrysler Imperial, introduced in 1926, was Chrysler's top-of-the-line vehicle for much of its history. Models were produced with the Chrysler name until 1954, and again from 1990 to 1993. The company positioned the cars as a prestige marque to rival Cadillac, Continental, Lincoln, Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow, Cord, and Packard. According to Antique Automobile, "The adjective ‘imperial’ according to Webster's Dictionary means sovereign, supreme, superior or of unusual size or excellence. The word imperial thus justly befits Chrysler's highest priced model."
The Buick Roadmaster is an automobile that was built by Buick from 1936 to 1958, and again from 1991 to 1996. Roadmasters produced between 1936 and 1958 were built on Buick's longest non-limousine wheelbase and shared their basic structure with entry-level Cadillac and, after 1940, senior Oldsmobiles. Between 1946 and 1957 the Roadmaster served as Buick's flagship.
The Studebaker Commander is the model name of several automobiles produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana and Studebaker of Canada Ltd of Walkerville and, later, Hamilton, Ontario (Canada). Studebaker began using the Commander name in 1927 and continued to use it until 1964, with the exception of 1936 and 1959-63. The name was applied to various products in the company's line-up from year to year.
The Studebaker Champion is an automobile which was produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, from the beginning of the 1939 model year until 1958. It was a full-size car in its first three generations and a mid-size car in its fourth and fifth generation models.
The Studebaker Wagonaire was a station wagon produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, from 1963–1966. It featured a retractable sliding rear roof section that allowed the vehicle to carry items that would otherwise be too tall for a conventional station wagon of the era.
The Studebaker Lark is a compact car that was produced by Studebaker from 1959 to 1966.
The Rockne was an American automobile brand produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, from 1932 to 1933. The brand was named for University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.
The Scotsman was an automobile series produced by the Studebaker Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, during model years 1957 and 1958, and a low-priced series of pickup trucks in 1958 and 1959. The name was based on the reputation of Scottish frugality, the cars being built for function with minimal luxury.
The Studebaker President was the premier automobile model manufactured by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana (US) from 1926-1942. The nameplate was reintroduced in 1955 and used until the end of the 1958 model when the name was retired.
The Starlight coupe was a unique 2-door body style offered by Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana from 1947 to 1955 in its Champion and Commander model series. It was designed by Virgil Exner, formerly of Raymond Loewy Associates.
The Cadillac Sixty Special is a name used by Cadillac to denote a special model since the 1938 Harley Earl–Bill Mitchell–designed extended wheelbase derivative of the Series 60, often referred to as the Fleetwood Sixty Special. The Sixty Special designation was reserved for some of Cadillac's most luxurious vehicles. It was offered as a four-door sedan and briefly as a four-door hardtop. This exclusivity was reflected in the introduction of the exclusive Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham d'Elegance in 1973 and the Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham Talisman in 1974, and it was offered as one trim package below the Series 70 limousine. The Sixty Special name was temporarily retired in 1976 but returned again in 1987 and continued through 1993.
The Cadillac Series 70 is a full-size V8-powered series of cars that were produced by Cadillac from the 1930s to the 1980s. It replaced the 1935 355E as the company's mainstream car just as the much less expensive Series 60 was introduced. The Series 72 and 67 were similar to the Series 75 but the 72 and 67 were produced on a slightly shorter and longer wheelbase respectively. The Series 72 was only produced in 1940 and the Series 67 was only produced in 1941 and 1942. For much of the postwar era, it was the top-of-the-line Cadillac, and was Cadillac's factory-built limousine offering.
The Studebaker Big Six was an automobile produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana between 1918 and 1926, being designated the Model EG (1918–21), the EK (1922–24) and the EP (1925–26). In 1927, it was renamed the President (ES) pending introduction of a smaller and smoother straight-eight engine for new top-of-the-range models after January 1928.
The Packard Patrician is an automobile which was built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, from model years 1951 through the 1956. During its six years in production, the Patrician was built in Packard's Detroit facilities on East Grand Boulevard. The word "patrician" is Latin for a ruling class in Ancient Rome.
The Buick Super is a full-sized automobile produced from the 1940 through the 1958 model years. It was built on Buick's larger body shared with the Roadmaster and was replaced by the Electra in 1959.
|Six||Light Six||Standard Six||Dictator||Champion||Champion||Lark|
|Big Six||Land Cruiser||Land Cruiser||Scotsman|