Studebaker: The Complete History

March 18, 2012 by  

Patrick Foster has put together a great reference book on the history of what was the oldest vehicle manufacturer in the United States. While a little weak on the early days, Studebaker’s most interesting period started with the end of WWII. While they emerged from WWII with lots of cash, management squandered a number of opportunities, engineering could have been better, and with the sales wars between Chevrolet and Ford in the early 50s, Studebaker was doomed in any case, as were most of the remaining independent manufacturers, such as Kaiser, Frazier, Willys, Nash, Hudson, and Packard. The book is well-illustrated with rare factory photos and magazine ad illustrations. Some might not be of the best quality, but it’s all about the content, isn’t it? While not necessarily the complete history, it’s one of the better ones out there. I guess my only quibble is that Foster clearly shows his favoritism for Studebaker that perhaps could have been toned down a bit in spots.