By John Gunnell
There are two types of cars in the old-car hobby, the ones that ride from show to show inside a trailer and the ones that are driven and enjoyed as running and functioning road machines. The Studebaker Drivers Club (www.studebakerdriversclub.com) is a successful hobby organization that has built its membership on the idea that driving a car is more exciting than pulling it.
That’s not to say that you won’t see a trailer at an SDC sponsored event and these days, if you take a pre-war Stude or a Rockne to a meet far from home, a trailer is probably a good idea. But any Studebaker from the middle 1930s up left the factory as a very roadworthy machine that’s totally up to braving modern traffic conditions. We should also point out that most of the SDC meets tend to be very full of 1960s models such as Larks, Hawks, GTs and Avantis.
The Studebaker meets we’ve attended so far have also been loaded with cars that have all sorts to upgrades to make them perform better or run more reliably down the road. In some cases it is almost like a genius scientist rebuilt the car using every trick in the book to make it drive better. The upgrades we’ve seen ran from newer wheels and tires to superchargers to the almost-unmentionalble-in-other-clubs cross-brand engine swap.
Studebaker lovers seem to be wiling to do anything to keep their favorite car running down the road in style. And the club’s monthly Turning Wheels magazine has some of the best technical article we’ve ever seen to help members do that. They have a team of experts who seem to know everything there is to know about every part on every Studebaker.
So, the next time you hear the Studebaker Drivers Club mentioned, rest assured at the word “Driver” is in there for a reason. I truly believe some of these cars are going to be on the road forever or at least until we’re all flying around in George Jetson style rocket ships.