The Many Faces of Studebaker

Published by: David Sneed, Wheels That Won The West® Archives, LLC
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Again and again, I’masked to describe the paint scheme of a particular wagon brand... Kentucky,Winona, Milburn, Nissen, Owensboro, Springfield, Moline, Weber, Luedinghaus,Weber-Damme, Champion, Olds, Stoughton, Schuttler, Mandt, Troy, Flint, Pekin,South Bend, Coquillard… the list could go on and on.  The truth is thatthere is rarely a simple answer to understanding the proper look of a vintagewagon.  Just as auto makers have always introduced new paint designs andstyles, early wagon builders did so as well.

Typically, the correctpaint and construction styles of a particular manufacturer depend not only on thetype of wagon and region of use, but also the timeframe in which it wasproduced.  Studebaker farm wagons, for example, had no less than a handfulof distinctive variations in the paint schemes between 1852 and 1921. Within those variations, not only did the base color design change over timebut, the striping, stenciling, logo styles and positions of these elements werealso evolving. 
In fact, during the1870’s and early 1880’s, Studebaker’s paint style was so unique, the vehiclecould actually be identified as a ‘Studebaker’ without seeing the name or anyother construction features.  It’s one more part of the history of theseearly vehicle builders that makes authoritative evaluations a bit morechallenging. 
Ultimately, the more weknow about these early vehicles and their makers, the easier it is tounderstand how complex the industry was and the vehicles continue to be. 
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