During the 1850s, Studebaker constructed horse-drawn wagons in the USA and by the 1880s some of these wagons found their way to Australia. In 1902 Studebaker constructed electric cars followed two years later with automobiles run by petrol.
Studebaker’s were already in use in Australia by the 1920s. In the 1930s they were quite popular.
So what has the Studebaker got to do with the Hawkesbury?
In 1928 Norman Smith drove a “Stock Model Studebaker Commander Sports Roadster” up Bells Line of Road to Kurrajong Heights. Norman was accompanied by an official observer from the Royal Automobile Club of Australia (RACA). The RACA commenced in 1903 to assist drivers with early regulations and expertise.
The above photo of the Studebaker “climbing Kurrajong Heights in Top Gear” appeared in The Land 22 June 1928 newspaper. It boasted the “Studebaker is the only car to have accomplished this feat with a passenger.” What a feat!!
There were various models available but they didn't come cheap. Prices started at £420.
Advertisement from Gilgandra Weekly16 July 1925, p. 4.
Today the Studebaker remains popular with vintage car enthusiasts.