The automotive business is a lot like nature; only the strong survive. Accordingly this industry’s slow lane is littered with the bloody corpses of deceased marques. Once-proud companies like Pontiac, Hupmobile, Willys-Knight and Hudson are long gone but not all of them are forgotten.
Studebaker is one of those casualties, an orphaned brand that stalled out in the early 1960s, overtaken by its larger Detroit-based competitors. Fortunately the legacy of this historically significant company has been safeguarded for future generations.
SEE ALSO: Visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum
If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood of South Bend, Indiana forget about the city’s Catholic universities and make a bee-line to the Studebaker National Museum. If you’re into classic American iron the eight-dollar entry fee is money well spent.
This facility opened at its current location in October of 2005. Currently it houses more than 120 vehicles with 70 or so on display at any given time. Some of these are on loan from other museums or are owned by private individuals.
The collection includes wagons, buggies and cars, though informative dioramas help illustrate the history of Studebaker. One of the most interesting relics on display is the carriage President Abraham Lincoln rode in on his way to Ford’s Theatre, where of course he was assassinated. Check out the MEGA gallery below for a virtual tour of this fascinating museum.