1923 Studebaker touring car has marks of an original
It was an old and proud company with roots as far back as 1852.
There were five Studebaker brothers. Two had lived in Placerville during the gold rush era, but they weren't chasing gold. They made wheelbarrows and sold them to the miners chasing gold.
After a few years, the two brothers returned to South Bend, Ind., with $8,000 they had earned and invested it with their brothers in what was to become the Studebaker Corp.
By 1900, the company claimed to be the world's largest wagon manufacturer. But with wagon sales dropping, Studebaker got into the horseless carriage business starting with an electric car in 1902 that could go 40 miles on a single charge.
In 1910, Studebaker bought Everitt-Metzger-Flanders, which was the second-largest automobile manufacturer in Detroit. From 1911 on, Studebaker's primary business was automobiles. Horse-drawn vehicle production ceased in 1920.
By the time this 1923 Studebaker Special Six Touring car was built, Studebaker had been a major player in the automobile business for more than a decade.
Pleasanton resident Gary Schellenberg bought this classic car, sight unseen, about 18 months ago. It was listed for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $12,000.
"The car was located in Oklahoma, and the pictures of the car looked great. The bids were increasing daily with a closing date in three days," he said. "I was afraid I wouldn't get it. I contacted the owner by phone, and he told me how well the car ran and that he drove it around all the time. I offered to buy it for $22,000, a little more than the current bid, and he accepted." It was trucked out to Pleasanton.
It may be hard to believe, but the seller may have stretched the truth a little in describing the condition of the car. When the old Studebaker arrived, it didn't run. He also forgot to mention that somewhere in its history, someone ran into a post or tree, and the front bumper and bumper support are ...