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The Studebaker Automobile 1915-1919 & The Studebaker Corporation

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The Studebaker Corporation
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By 1915 Studebaker announced it was manufacturing most of the parts used in their vehicles. A claim that most American Automobile company's could not match. Studebaker also announced that Albert Russell Erskine had been elected to the presidency of The Studebaker Corporation. He was treasurer of the corporation in 1911 and by 1913 first vice-president and treasurer.

J. M. Studebaker, one of the surviving five Studebaker brothers who founded the business, still stays on as head of the corporation. He was named as honorary president, having resigned as chairman of the board of director's when Albert Russell Erskine became president. Despite his advanced age he remained very active up until his death in 1917. Over his life time he lived to see change from wagons and buggies to automobiles.

1916 Studebaker Roadster and Sedan
1916 Studebaker Roadster and Sedan

A new series of Studebaker automobiles were introduced in 1916 at the New York Automobile Show. They were known as Series 17 and included a four cylinder and six cylinder chassis. Each chassis was furnished with one of several new body designs. An example is the three passenger Studebaker Roadster shown above. The driver seats were moved forward 2 1/2 inches and the depth of the passenger seat increased 2 inches. The change was made possible by removing the gasoline tank from the cowl to the rear of the automobile.

In 1916 automobile sales reached 1.4 million units, of which The Studebaker Corporation sold almost 66,000 cars. However profits were down slightly at the end of 1916 due to fewer military orders at the outset of World War I in 1914.

1916 Studebaker
1916 Studebaker Series 17 Model ED
Six Cylinder Touring Car
1916 Studebaker Touring Car
1916 Studebaker Series 17 Model SF
Four Cylinder Touring Car
Click on image above to see full size!

The 1916 Studebaker Series 17 Model ED was built as a $1085.00 seven passenger Touring Car, $1060 three passenger Roadster, $1350.00 three passenger Landau Roaster, $1600.00 four passenger Coupe, $1675.00 seven passenger Sedan and $2500 seven passenger Limo. Features include 36 horsepower six cylinder engine, three speed transmission, 122 inch wheelbase, 34 x 4 inch wheels and tires and electric lights.

The 1916 Studebaker Series 17 Model SF was built as a $875.00 seven passenger Touring Car, $850.00 three passenger Roadster, $1150.00 three passenger Landau Roadster and a $1525 four passenger Sedan. Features included 24 horsepower four cylinder engine, three speed selective sliding transmission, 122 inch wheelbase, 34 x 4 inch wheels and tires and electric lights.

In 1917 there was a drastic drop off in Studebaker sales. Volume dropped $11,000,000.00 to about 50,000,000.00 and profits were reduced to 3,500,000.00. The reason was a slow sales of the Studebaker four cylinder model SF. The resulting high inventories had to be financed by bank loans.

1918 Studebaker Big Six
1918 Studebaker Big Six

Studebaker designed and engineered a complete new line of automobiles for 1918, called the Series 19. They were developed by Carl Breer, Fred Zeder and Owen Skelton. The Studebaker line for 1918 included a Light Four (1918-1919), Light Six (1918-1924) and a Big Six (1918-1926).

The $895.00 Light Four was built as a five passenger Touring Car and a two passenger roadster both on a 112 inch wheelbase. The Light Six was built on a 119 inch wheelbase and cost $1,295.00. Models included a five passenger Touring Car, four passenger Roadster and a two passenger Roadster. The new $1,695.00 Big Six Touring Car had a six cylinder engine rated at 36 horsepower. It's long wheelbase measured 126 inches.

1919 Studebaker Light Six
1919 Studebaker Light Six

Studebaker sales in 1919 reached $66,000,000.00 and made profits of $9,300,000.00. In 1919 Studebaker began a withdrawal from the horsedrawn vehicle market except for some wagons. The plant space in South Bend, IN was then used for more automobile production.

For additional information on the Studebaker Automobiles!

Studebaker Brothers | Studebaker Electric | General | Erskine

Studebaker Garford | Studebaker E-M-F | Studebaker Flanders

Studebaker 1902-1910 | Studebaker 1911-1914 | Studebaker 1915-1919

Studebaker 1920-1927 | Studebaker 1928-1929 |

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