Abandoned Auto Shop Is Loaded With Rare Studebakers, Unobtainable Kaiser
I would probably be a billionaire if I had a quarter for each GM, Ford, or Mopar driver on the road. Because practically everyone adores these vehicle manufacturers, who helped to shape America’s automotive industry. Although I could claim to be a Mopar enthusiast, I also have a lot of admiration for long-gone automakers. Among them is Studebaker.
Why? Well, it’s a question that would take too long to answer here, but let’s say that I love the company’s design language from the 1950s and I’d trade a Plymouth ‘Cuda for a 1955 Speedster or a Golden Hawk any day of the week. I also think the Avanti is an awesome sports car and I consider the Lark to be one of the greatest American compacts ever built.
Sadly, Studebaker struggled to remain profitable after WW2 and the unsuccessful 1954 merger with Packard sent the Indiana-based company into bankruptcy. Its automobiles weren’t exactly high sellers either, at least not when compared with GM, Ford, and Chrysler, so Studebakers are rather scarce nowadays, regardless of the nameplate.
But while unrestored survivors are rare, derelict models are more common in junkyards and barns. They’re usually scattered among vehicles from the bigger brands, so it may take a while to locate them in large scrapyards. This old repair shop in south-central Nebraska, on the other hand, is loaded with Studebakers.
There’s not a lot of background info on this place, but YouTube’s “Mr. Goodpliers” claims the shop was established some 100 years ago. However, it’s also been abandoned for quite some time. Judging by the way these classics look, the shop was shut down at least three decades ago.
Still, seeing at least eight Studebakers from the 1950s in the same yard is quite spectacular. And they’re not in terrible shape either. Sure, some of them are missing quite a few parts and some no longer have engines under their hoods, but they’re surprisingly solid for a bunch of old cars that haven’t been moved for decades.
The stash is dominated by “bullet nose” models. The outlandish design, which I love to bits, debuted in 1950 and found its way on the Champion, Commander, and Land Cruiser. Next to them, there’s a pair of mid-1950s models, both of the four-door variety. Yeah, no Hawks or extremely rare Speedsters to check out on this lawn, but any 1950s Studebaker is hard to find nowadays.
Speaking of which, this mini collection of forgotten automobiles also includes a pair of Kaisers. One of them is Manhattan and it’s arguably the rarest classic parked here. And it still has most of its woven cloth upholstery, which was unique in the day and it’s basically unobtainable nowadays. If you have a mid-1950s Kaiser in the shop, this derelict Manhattan will come in handy.
Naturally, I’d love to see it restored and back on the road, but while rare, Kaisers aren’t very valuable today. So it’s probably doomed to become nothing more than a parts car. It’s still a cool collection though, so make sure you check it out in the video below. The fun starts at the 6:10-minute mark.