The Studebaker Wagon & the Birth of an Indiana Auto Icon
For over one hundred years, Indiana proudly held the Studebaker Company high as a cornerstone of Hoosier craftsmanship, quality and style, but increased competition and labor costs closed the South Bend plant just five days before Christmas in 1963, and its other assets followed soon after.
All that remains of Studebaker today are its legions of collectors and devotees, a popular South Bend museum (look no further for a fun place to go in Indiana) and the name STUDEBAKER spelled out with 8,000 trees spread over 21 acres just outsideSt. Joseph County.
Unlike most modern auto manufacturers, Studebaker got its start long before the age of the automobile, combining talent and the good fortune of being at the right place at the right time. The Studebaker brothers made their fortune off the tide of Western migration both before and after the Civil War, starting with wheelbarrows during the Gold Rush andthen the thousands of wagons used by the US Army for supplies, transport andambulances.