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Studebaker Electric...Anyone have one?


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I'd really like to correspond with any one with an early Studebaker Electric...we have no data on this car and we are trying to bring it back to life.  Just found the data plate and will verify the year but it might be a 1904.  Need a hubcap and would like to see where the data plate was originally located among other things.  Oh, and if you have a correct set of sidelamps! :)  Questions on battery hook up to follow!!

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This is a shot in the dark but you may want to research a magazine call Automotive Industry-  it is the oldest auto magazine in existence. Started in the late 1800 as a mag for the freight hauling industry and switched over from wagons to automobiles when cars first started coming out. They did stories on different manufacturers in each issue. I’ve only seen one issue from 1909 but there might be some in the library of Congress. I’ve done the circulation work for them for about 25 years and asked the current owners if they had access to old issues and they do not. Just thought I would mention the magazine as a possible source. 
dave s 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

I'd really like to correspond with any one with an early Studebaker Electric...

 

Restorer Rick Hoover had a restored example in his shop

in Middletown, Pa.  Its year was 1904, or very close to it:

They discerned the year by the serial number.

 

I don't know whether it was still around

when he passed on last year.  It was owned by someone

in another state.  I can give you, Steve, the phone number

of Rick's son Nick if you P. M. me.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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    The two US Senate underground Studebaker electric shuttle cars still exist and and are really something. A very long career. They may be a few years later, maybe 1910, not  sure.    Jim43

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The two Capitol electric cars, however, were built by the company in 1909 and sold to the the U.S. Congress (at almost $3,000 apiece) for a very specific purposes: emission-free travel in an underground tunnel that connected the Capitol to the new Russell Senate Office Building.

 

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Have you called one of your members, Mrs. Swigart? Her museum has one of those Capitol Studebaker electrics.

 

The one at the AACA annual meting two years ago.😉 Hmm, maybe last year..... hard to tell anymore.😲

Edited by Frank DuVal (see edit history)
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Thanks everyone, especially George as he put me in touch with a leading expert on Studebaker Electrics.  There are vast differences in these cars as I have found out but the hunt for info has been fun already.  John, the car Nick had is in our building now and the one we are trying to put back together.  The Swigart vehicle is newer than the one we have and nothing like ours.  Imagine the excitement when I found the ORIGINAL data plate for the car buried under a cardboard flap.  Model Number and serial number on it.  Saturday Chris Ritter, our Library Director,  and I installed the fenders, step plate, pedals and a few odds and ends. 

stude 2.jpg

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On 3/13/2021 at 7:35 PM, SC38DLS said:

This is a shot in the dark but you may want to research a magazine call Automotive Industry-  it is the oldest auto magazine in existence. Started in the late 1800 as a mag for the freight hauling industry and switched over from wagons to automobiles when cars first started coming out. They did stories on different manufacturers in each issue. I’ve only seen one issue from 1909 but there might be some in the library of Congress. I’ve done the circulation work for them for about 25 years and asked the current owners if they had access to old issues and they do not. Just thought I would mention the magazine as a possible source. 
dave s 

Dave is absolutely correct Automotive Industry is a great magazine. Austin Clark had a fairly large collection of them in his library ( can't recall if bound or unbound) and his library went to the Henry Ford Museum. We used to look quite a bit of data up in them when I worked for him as his librarian 50 years ago. Austin really liked that magazine for facts as well as Cycle and Auto Trade Journal. Working for Austin was not only fun, but a real education as to what periodicals, factory magazines, etc existed, it helped me build my own library because I then knew what to look for and had a friend who was a motor book dealer in England seek out things I wanted , especially those published in Europe and rarely found on this side of the pond in any collection. I am still using the material I got 45-50 years ago for reference, all reporting on what happened when it took place - not a interpretation 20-30 years later that is then written and now considered fact.  Many periodicals of the WWI era and earlier had end of year indexes of what article about what subject was in what issue.

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We do have Automotive Industry in our library!  Embarrassed to say I have not been through them before but I guess if I can find some time that is the next order of business.  Our library does have extensive Studebaker holdings but not Studebaker Electrics. We are talking to the archivist at the Studebaker Museum as well.  Jeff Huber was a gold mine of information as he is obviously one of the leading if not the leading expert on these cars.  I chuckled when he said no two seem to be alike as I have said that about my experience with CDO's which were more plentiful.  

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A little competition for the AACA library. I believe the HCCA has a relatively complete run of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal magazine from the late 1800s and is an excellent reference for early vehicles and their pieces. 

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We also have the Cycle and Automotive Trade Journals as well as other periodicals.  Got staff researching for me but it now appears the car titled as a 1902, thought to be a 1904 is actually a 1909 and the only example of this body style known to exist.  One of the best parts of the hobby is the research and we will continue down that path seeking every bit of confirmation we can.

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Steve, you said very very valid words that many of us can relate to " One of the best parts of the hobby is the research". It is like Christmas morning when you are a kid and opening or seeing the presents for the first time. In the research if you can locate some information it is like a clear sunny day appears out of an overcast and dim sky. Actually seeing the period information is the rainbow after the discovery. There is on going confirmation of proof of this with many of the forum threads here that we look at every day.

BUT it takes a lot of PATIENCE and time to get to the answer if there is one. I still have people get huffy and mad at me if I don't instantly answer their question or grant them use of a period image, photo or information in an article I have written. Most people are really nice/appreciative, but some deem themselves the one we all owe our efforts to because they are so accustomed to pressing a button and getting the thing they want instantly. 

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3 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

We also have the Cycle and Automotive Trade Journals as well as other periodicals.  Got staff researching for me but it now appears the car titled as a 1902, thought to be a 1904 is actually a 1909 and the only example of this body style known to exist.  One of the best parts of the hobby is the research and we will continue down that path seeking every bit of conformation we can.

I believe the one that formerly belonged to Carroll Studebaker is now in the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend:  https://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/forum/your-studebaker-forum/general-studebaker-specific-discussion/60788-1902-03-studebaker-electric-runabout

 

He owned more than one: https://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/forum/your-studebaker-forum/general-studebaker-specific-discussion/57733-three-photos-from-where-when-identified-gettysburg-1980

 

Craig

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Another periodical of that era which may be of interest was called Electric Vehicles.  It was published by a trade organization called the Electric Vehicle Association of America.  Some back issues are available online via google books and archive.org.  But the ones I've seen are from the 19-teens.  So a bit later than your 1904 and after Studebacker was firmly in the gas camp.

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Thanks everyone, we are well on our way to getting things sorted out.  Fairly obvious at this point that our car is a 1909 Suburban Stanhope Model 13a.  Friends from everywhere are helping source items to be made and repaired and we have the car looking like a car again. Hopefully the car will be shown soon in Florida in a electric car display. 

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Here is a picture of the 1902 Studebaker Electric that was at the 1980 SDC International Meet in Gettysburg, PA. It had not run in quite a long time. A friend, Dave Crone and I got it running for the owner, Ron Zimmerman. We drove it around his farm and then again at the meet the next day. What a blast we had. Dave and I did a story on the electrics. It is in the September 1981 SDC Turning Wheels. I will be glad to copy the article if anyone wants it. the car was sold for around $16,000 and went to England. I then lost track of it.

 

image.png.7e359fbb15d9317d9c78238961e31159.png

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20 hours ago, wws944 said:

Another periodical of that era which may be of interest was called Electric Vehicles.  It was published by a trade organization called the Electric Vehicle Association of America.  Some back issues are available online via google books and archive.org.  But the ones I've seen are from the 19-teens.  So a bit later than your 1904 and after Studebaker was firmly in the gas camp.

 

Steve - Perhaps of interest, I was just reviewing some of the back issues of "Electric Vehicles" magazine.  According to one article in late 1917, which catalogs all electrics manufactured between 1911 and 1917, Studebaker made electrics through 1912.

 

Between archive.org and google books, there are issues of "Electric Vehicles" from May-Dec 1913, and from July 1914 to Dec 1917.  Missing are 1911, 1912, and the first few months of 1913.  Does the AACA library have these?

 

There was an announcement in mid-1917 that after 1917, the EVAA would be merged into the "Electric Vehicles Section" of the National Electric Light Association.  I suspect the magazine was discontinued after the Dec 1917 issue.

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Jeff, no windows but I will be careful anyway!  Our car is below and yes the center light has got to go although it is cool.  Everyone is being great, my best friend is making me two new hubcaps, sent the pyramid rubber for the step plates, may have a set of lamps located and we are ready to install the chain.  Another friend took the hood to his shop to fix the large crack and paint for us. Coming along!

stude 2.jpg

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The Amelia Island Concours in May is doing a display of electric cars and will have quite the array of different cars going all the way back to the late 1800's.  Our car will be there but I hope I can beg, borrow, buy or steal an appropriate set of sidelamps for the weekend.  Other than that we will be ready to go!

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Nice to have great friends ( I know that it might be a surprise if I have any!)  One of the finest brass restorers in the world is making a correct set of lamps for our car.  It will be as close as we can determine as we only have one drawing to go by.  I will give him credit down the road but right now there maybe a few people wondering how in the world he will get this done in such a short time and I don't want anyone mad at him! :)   My buddy Tim Ohlendorf is having two new hubcaps made and sent me some pyramid rubber which is already installed.  Bit by bit it is getting there!  Oh and a special thank you for the donation from one of our forum members who made a very nice donation to help us with the project.

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