Saturday, 18 August 2012

USA Trip 2012

Hello readers, (all four of you ;-)

A few days ago I returned from my pilgrimage to South Bend, Indiana - hallowed ground for Studebaker lovers - The home of the Studebaker Corporation, and this year the 'International Studebaker Drivers Club Meet'. As it was my first visit to South Bend I was taking it all in, there are some beautiful buildings in the downtown precinct, the most impressive was the old Studebaker Mansion, (called 'Tippecanoe' after an area in Indiana).

In the 'burbs the housing was not as impressive, giving the impression of a town that had been very prosperous in the past, but had been on hard times since. No doubt due in some part to Studebaker's closure in 1966.

One of the few Studebaker buildings remaining is the Administration, seen below.

The Meet didn't disappoint, nearly 600 cars on the day of the Concours, the Vendors and stall holders also managed to relieve me of a considerable sum of money. Mainly trinkets and 'Tee' shirts for the kinder back home. There were some great Studes on display too many to to put up, but of course I had to put this pic up of a '58 Packard Hwk, one of my dream cars, only 558 made.
Then there's this '53 Starliner in the Studebaker National Musem.

Or, if that isn't your style, how about the Packard Preditor, prototype car.

By far the high light of the week in South Bend was the run aound the original Studebaker test track, (now onwed by Bosch), with > 300 other Studes. I was lucky to jag a seat in Claude's '62 GT Hawk.

The week up we headed back to Los Angeles, via Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
My travelling companions and a lovely local girl.

We spent the last few days in LA, visiting various parts suppliers and car shows, 'Cruisin' Grand at Escondido, visiting the USS Midway aircraft Carrier in San Diego, and the Pomona Swap Meet on our last day. Where I spotted the beast below, a '73 Pontiac Grand Prix, a bargin at only US$3,900. 

Here's the No. 3 Engine Room Controls on the Midway.
The Pontiac Gradn Prix, isn't it beautiful ;-)

Well it was a busy 14 days away, and I really enjoyed getting home, although the last flight from Melbourne to Brisbane was very hard to take after the 14 hr flight from LA. The plan is for a trip next year to the 2013 Studebaker International Meet in Colorado Springs with my son - we'll see  ;-)

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