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.
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