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The Studebaker Corporation
South Bend, Indian

The Erskine was an American Automobile built by The Studebaker Corp. in South Bend, Indian from 1926 to 1930.

Ray Dietrich designed the Erskine and it was named after Albert R. Erskine, a one time Studebaker Corp. accountant that ran the famous company from 1915 to 1933.

The Studebaker Corp. was quite successful in the medium priced field, but Erskine wanted to expand Studebaker into the lower and high priced automobile market.

1926 Erskine Six Advertisement
The New 1926 Erskine Six

In 1927 Albert Erskine, president of the The Studebaker Corporation produced  a car with European style and with the standards of an American Automobile. He planned to also sell these automobiles in Europe and exhibited them at the Paris Salon and Olympia Show in London. Automotive experts in Europe proclaimed the Erskine Six "years ahead of its time". The 1927 Erskine Model 50 sold over 26,000 units abroad in the first year. However, the Erskine did not do very well in the U.S.

1927 Erskine 50 Custom Coupe
1927 Erskine
Model 50 Custom Coupe
1927 Erskine
1927 Erskine
Model 50 Custom Coupe
Click on image above to see full size!

The Erskine was nicknamed "The Little Aristocrat" and was quite stylish compared to other automobile of 1927. The Model 50 Erskine had a 107 inch wheelbase. The engine for the Erskine was bought by Studebaker from Continental. This Continental engine was a long stroke, small bore six cylinder rated at 40 horsepower. The Continental was cheaper to use than the more expensive, better built and more powerful Studebaker six cylinder.

1927 Erskine Custom Sedan
1927 Erskine
Model 50 Custom Sedan
1927 Erskine 50 Regal Sedan
1927 Erskine
Model 50 Regal Sedan
Click on image above to see full size!

The 1927 Erskine was a small automobile at least by American standards and that was what the Europeans wanted. The Erskine did sell well in the European markets at first. However, it quickly faded over there and but never really caught on in American. The key drawback was the price at $975.00. The Ford Model A for example was priced at about $500.00 and the full size Oldsmobile at only $1,195.00.

1927 Erskine Touring Car
1927 Erskine
Model 50 Touring Car
1927 Erskine 50 Sport Roadster
1927 Erskine
Model 50 Sport Roadster
Click on image above to see full size!

The 1928 Erskine was produced as a five passenger Touring Car, five passenger Club Sedan, two passenger Cabriolet, five passenger Sedan, four passenger Royal Cabriolet and five passenger Royal Sedan.

1928 Erskine
1928 Erskine Model 51 Specifications

The 1928 Studebaker Erskine specifications included optional colors, 109 inch wheelbase, wood wheels, wire wheels on the Royal, tires 29 inches x 4.75 and four wheel braking. A six cylinder engine developing 18.15 horsepower and a transmission of three speeds forward and reverse.

1929 Erskine Six Sedans and Cabriolet Roadsters
1929 Erskine Six Sedans and Cabriolet Roadsters

Typical standard equipment on the 1927-1930 Erskine including panel with speedometer, ammeter, hydrostatic gasoline gauge and oil pressure, automatic windshield cleaner, rear vision mirror, sun visor, cowl ventilator, electric horn, two beam headlights, oil filter, rear traffic signal, shock absorbers, adjustable from seats, coincidental lock to steering and ignition, ash receiver and dome light in sedans.

1929 Erskine Six Royal Sedan
1929 Erskine Six Model 52 Royal Sedan

Despite their good looks, sales of Studebaker and Erskine automobiles were down at the end of 1929. Combined Studebaker and Erskine production in 1929 amounted to only 82,839 units. The Great Depression struck in October 1929 and by the time 1930 ended it was clear that the bottom was rapidly falling out of the American Automobile market.

1930 Erskine
1930 Erskine By Studebaker Builder of Champions

The widest range of body types were offered on an Erskine in 1930 including Sedans, Club Sedan, Coupe, Roadsters, Business Coupes and Touring Cars. Both Studebaker and Erskine were equipped with Studebaker six cylinder engines rated at 70 horsepower Erskine entered 1930 as Studebaker's price leader, but was transformed at mid year into simply, the Studebaker Six.

1930 Erskine Six Royal Sedan
1930 Erskine Six Royal Sedan

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1929 Studebaker
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