Our Old Studebaker

1957 Studebaker in Police Livery
1957 Studebaker in Police Livery

Thinking of my parents’ 1957 Studebaker President (in the context of our mixer leaking oil) prompted me to do a search on the obvious keywords, which produced this link. Search for “police unit” and you’ll find a nice picture of a black-and-white President with a gumball machine on the top. Here’s that picture, just in case link rot sets in.

That’s my parents’ car, right there!

Turns out that Mom sold it to a Canadian firm (probably Fawcett Movie Cars and a deep link there) that supplies cars to moviemakers; she’d put an ad in the Hershey Antique Auto Show flyer and it worked. A guy showed up with a trailer, money changed hands, and he hauled the poor thing away.

They transplanted a functional engine from a donor hulk, restored the dual exhaust system that my grandfather had the garage strip out (“Two mufflers cost too much!”), and did a perfect restoration of the rusted eyebrows over the headlights where road mud and salt always collected. While they had the hood up, they installed power steering; that thing always turned like a truck, what with a big iron V8 over the front wheels.

On the way to Rebound
On the way to Rebound

The car appeared in Moonshine Highway in police livery and HBO’s Angel of Harlem (a.k.a. Rebound) in civilian dress. Here’s what it looked like on the way to the Rebound set.

A private collector in Ontario bought it from the movie folks and found a registration card in my father’s name stuffed behind the glove box. A bit of searching turned up me and now I know what happened to it.

So, if you just bought a nice black-and-white 1957 Studebaker President from a guy in Canada, there’s a bit of its history. I can tell you more, but nobody else really cares, I suspect…

4 thoughts on “Our Old Studebaker

  1. Hey Ed, Phil Jr. here. Got this link from Warren and love the piece. Trust you are well. Warren and I either took the President or my old DeSoto to play tennis most Sunday mornings during the Summers back in … ’73-’74. By the way, my old yellow/grey DeSoto Conv. resides in a museum near Rotterdam. Both cars will live on.

    1. Both cars will live on.

      We feared they used up the Studebaker in a spectacular crash scene, but apparently it had a stunt double and lived to star in that second movie.

      They don’t make ’em like they used to and, on the whole, that’s a very good thing.

      It’s still nice to know that some of those old clunkers remain alive, at least for looking and maybe driving for special occasions.

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