Gables Service Station
30 June 2005
1914 STUDEBAKER 15-20HP MODEL SC LANDAU-ROADSTER
Registration No. KT 7265
Chassis No. 406865
Engine No. 4B4045
Mid-green with black coachlining and black interior
Engine: four cylinder monobloc, 3½ x 5 ins. bore and stroke, 3,155cc, water-cooled by pump, pumped lubrication, magneto ignition; Gearbox: three speed and reverse, cone clutch, shaft-drive to bevel back axle; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf springs, rear, three-quarter elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: internal expanding and external contracting rear-wheel brakes. Wooden artillery wheels with detachable rims. Right-hand drive.
The Studebaker brothers had been horse-drawn wagon builders for about half a century before they turned to making automobiles, initially electric-powered and then petrol cars from 1903. Initially the latter were called Studebaker-Garford in deference to the chassis builders, but from 1912 the Studebaker name only was used. From 1906 through to 1912 all the cars were four-cylinder models, with a monobloc six-cylinder being added for 1913, but with Studebaker model years being completely out of synchronisation with the calendar the precision of all quoted dates relating to production have to be treated with considerable circumspection.
There is however no argument that Studebakers were marketed in Britain from 1913. Their advertising rather over-mentioned the make's name, but otherwise was rather restrained: 'Embodied in every Studebaker 'Four' is the knowledge gained from the experience of over 120,000 Studebaker owners. That is why the Studebaker 'Four' is so good at so low a price. It is all that a car should be - will do all that a car should do." The number of cars quoted gives a good indication of the rate of American car production that had been achieved by this date when compared with that of European manufacturers, whilst a price of £275 significantly undercut that of equivalent sized native products.
This car carries a folding-head coupé body, although Studebaker called it otherwise. However named, its versatility offers distinct advantages although this may not to have been appreciated when the car was new since it was not registered until the 16th of January 1916. It was sold by E. McGrath & Co. of New Brompton, Kent, a village near Gillingham, its first owner being Harold Albert Barnes.
The car appears to be in sound overall condition but it requires re-painting - perhaps returning it to its original black finish - and will probably need a thorough mechanical overhaul. Once done, it should provide comfortable and practical transport.
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