1915 Studebaker 4 Touring
Lot 382
c.1915 Studebaker Model SD Touring Car, Chassis no. 438364F
Sold for £12,075 (US$ 20,274) inc. premium
Lot Details
c.1915 Studebaker Model SD Touring Car

Registration no. KB 1287
Chassis no. 438364F


  • Wagon makers since the middle of the 19th Century, the Studebaker brothers of South Bend, Indiana had been active in commercial vehicle manufacture long before the arrival of the 'horseless carriage'. The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company built the first of its own automobiles - an 'electric' designed by Thomas Alva Edison - in 1902 and its first gasoline-powered motor car - an 8hp twin - late in 1903. In 1904 a twin-cylinder 16hp chain-driven model was added, followed by a 20hp 'four' with shaft drive in 1905, both of which used chassis supplied by A L Garford of Elyria, Ohio; indeed, up to 1911 cars were marketed under the 'Studebaker-Garford' name. In 1908 Studebaker commenced an association with the E-M-F company, whose cars it marketed, eventually taking over the Detroit-based manufacturer in 1910 to form the Studebaker Corporation on January 1st 1911, at which time the link with Garford was broken. For the next few years the range consisted of four-cylinder models only and then in 1913 Studebaker introduced its first six-cylinder automobile - the Model E - recognised by historians as the first mass-produced 'six' to have its cylinders cast en bloc.

    Built in 1915/16, this Model SD Studebaker has the 192.4ci (3,154cc) four-cylinder engine and was manufactured in right-hand drive configuration in Detroit, Michigan, the body being made in South Bend, Indiana and shipped to Detroit for final assembly. The car was first registered in the UK on 4th February 1921 in Hereford and comes with the old-style buff logbook. No record of it is known between 1916 and 1921.

    In 1979 the Studebaker was purchased by the vendor's father-in-law, who a few years later decided to embark on a full restoration. Commencing in the early 1980s, this 'body off' restoration was finished to the highest standards. The original seats (still fitted to the car) were retained but the door cards were beyond repair and have been re-trimmed in black vinyl. There is a photographic record of these works on file.

    Finished in 1986, the Studebaker participated in many Veteran Car Club events until the owner's poor health saw its use decline. The car was gifted to his daughter and son-in-law, who have only used it once in the last four years, hence their decision to sell. 'KB 1287' has a delightful patina and is best described as in 'oily rag' condition. Upon recent inspection the engine ran well; however, having not been used for some time would benefit from a service. A powerful American Edwardian touring car, fitted with an electric starter from new, with the additional benefit of being right-hand drive.

Saleroom notices

  • This vehicle is offered with a Swansea V5C Registration Document
  1. John Polson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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