Formerly part of the Richard C Paine Jr Collection 1926 Studebaker Model ER Standard Six Sedan Chassis no. 1327835 Engine no. 123096-5
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'. Having made a fortune out of horse-drawn transportation, 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. By this time the range consisted of a brace of fours the Models G-8 and G-10 of 40 and 30 horsepower respectively. Studebaker's big news for 1913 was the arrival of its first six-cylinder automobile - the Model E - recognised by historians as the first mass-produced 'six' to have its cylinders cast en bloc. For 1916 the four-cylinder Studebaker's engine was enlarged to 235.6ci (3,862cc) having been 192.4ci (3,154cc) for many years, while bodies were restyled with smoother lines. Studebaker continued to offer four-cylinder models up to 1920 when the range became sixes only.
The 1926 Studebaker ER sedan offered here previously formed part of the celebrated collection belonging to the late Richard C Paine Jr and was purchased from Bonhams' sale of the collection at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in September 2008 (Lot 857). An excellent example of the Studebaker automobile's quality and modernity of construction, it is powered by a six-cylinder, four-main-bearing, sidevalve engine displacing 242ci (4.0 litres) that produces 50bhp at 2,200rpm. It is equipped with a three-speed manual transmission, four-wheel brakes and whitewall tires. Although the Standard Six was the smallest of Studebaker's offerings in 1926, this example is nevertheless very well appointed, featuring accessories including a Paralite accessory driving lamp, opening windscreen with visor, bud vases, rollup shades on the rear quarter windows and rear window, luggage rack and a folding footrest, while the front axle is fitted with Gabriel 'snubbers' to smooth the ride.
Finished in olive green with black fenders and roof and grey cloth interior, the car has the appearance of an older cosmetic refurbishment of a very sound and original example. The body has been painted and the interior upholstery re-trimmed, while the brightwork is fair and the original glass clear. The engine, chassis and suspension look like they have never been touched.
Priced at $1,595 in 1926, Studebaker's ER Standard Six was a lot of car for the money and it remains an exceptional automobile today in specification, equipment and performance. Kept in museum storage since acquisition, this example will require re-commissioning before returning to the road but once back in action may be driven and enjoyed with pride, its fortunate new owner secure in the knowledge that this magnificent Studebaker will be among the most unusual and remarked upon automobiles at any tour, gathering or concours event.