1914 Studebaker Light Four

A generous gift to the Collection by Stanley and Joyce Young, Shuttleworth’s Studebaker was once a film star! Not registered in the UK until 1980, it was brought over from the USA in 1976 to play a part in the film Ragtime (released 1981) which was part-produced at London’s Shepperton Studios and was the last ever movie to feature James Cagney. Purchased by Stanley Young, the car had been laid up in his garage ever since until he decided to part with it and offered it to the Collection.

On arrival at Old Warden early in 2017, the Studebaker was a non-runner with a flat tyre, seized water pump and a leaking radiator, but some sterling effort by the workshop team of volunteers had it working in time to take part in the vehicle parade at the Heritage Weekend in September of that year.

This example has a rear-mounted, three-speed, manual gearbox and continued in production until 1919 as the ‘Light Four’. Many similar Studebakers came to Europe to see service on the Home front during the First World War and the exhibit is presented as a British military vehicle of the period.

The 3153cc, four-cylinder, Studebaker, was introduced in 1913 as the Model SA25 and was one of three models (one other four and a six) that were the first to be manufactured as complete cars by the South Bend, Indiana, company.

Brothers Henry and Clem Studebaker were blacksmiths in South Bend in the middle of the 19th century who turned to making wagons and profited during the California Gold Rush and the American Civil War to make them, by 1872, the largest wagon maker in the world. From wagons it was a short step to making horse drawn buggies, and then bodies for pioneering automobiles, the very first Studebaker cars being battery-powered. Electric car production ended in 1911.

 

Manufacturer: Studebaker Corporation, South Bend, Indiana, USA

Model: Four, open tourer

Engine: 3153cc, four-cylinder

Top Speed: 50mph

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