New Zealand Classic Car - - CONTENTS -

This automotive odd­ity — the mi­nus­cule mileage 1958 Stude­baker with its in­ter­est­ing, al­most fairy tale back­story has been an in­ter­est­ing read in the April is­sue [ No. 328] of New Zea­land Clas­sic Car — my favourite NZ motoring mag­a­zine. In your story you men­tion that there is a gap in the own­er­ship of the Stude­baker. I think that I may be able to go some way in shin­ing a light at this gap to re­veal some in­for­ma­tion from my per­sonal mem­ory of the car.

Let us go back in time a few years to around 1983/’84 or pos­si­bly early-to-mid 1985. For it was dur­ing this time that the top end of High Street, Lower Hutt was all abuzz with chatter about this mint old Stude lo­cated at a car yard a few doors down from Tay­lors Clean­ing de­pot at 455 High Street, Lower Hutt.

The en­su­ing years have wiped out the mem­ory of the car dealer’s busi­ness name, but the mem­ory of the car is as bright and clear as if it were yes­ter­day when I first saw it.

You see, out front of the yard was a raised podium with a solid roof, but with glass walls on three sides, and was left over from the days when the yard was where new cars were sold be­fore a sec­ond­hand car sales busi­ness moved in. This big dis­play case was ac­cessed from the rear lead­ing from the in­side show­room.

I have no knowl­edge as to whether the car was for sale or as some­thing the dealer used to cre­ate in­ter­est and sales yard traf­fic.

There was a news­pa­per story about the car and its his­tory up to that time. The Stude­baker be­came pretty well known and was no doubt the sub­ject of much dis­cus­sion and spec­u­la­tion in the smoko rooms of many of the car deal­er­ships and var­i­ous other auto-re­lated busi­nesses in the area.

I guess the story from that point has be­come pretty well known and re­ported in var­i­ous publi­ca­tions. It’s great to see that this very spe­cial ma­chine has cap­tured the hearts and imag­i­na­tion of the many in­ter­ested peo­ple. The car has even been re­ported in overseas publi­ca­tions. It’s not just world fa­mous in New Zea­land but the Stude­baker is world fa­mous in, well, the rest of the world too.

Bruce Gib­bins

Thanks for the info, Bruce. The car is now of­fered for sale by the cur­rent owner, so we hope that it goes to a good home and is able to be pre­served as it has been for the last six decades. AFW

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