1964 Studebaker Wagonaire
The 1964 Studebaker Wagonaire did not win over the
public, despite the best efforts of the company.
Studebaker assembled cars in Walkerville, Ontario, from 1911 to 1936. Production resumed in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1948 in a new building that had been previously used for making war material.
When the decision was made to concentrate all production north of the border, the company opted to concentrate on what it considered its bread-and-butter vehicles. This meant the termination of GT Hawk, Avanti, and truck production. In addition, high-performance engines were dropped from the options list.
On the Canadian Wagonaires, the Challenger was dropped. Only two models, the Commander and Daytona, were built, the latter available as a six or an eight. There were no outward differences between the Hamilton-built cars and their South Bend counterparts.
It was hoped that the move to a smaller, more modern manufacturing facility would bring back profitability. In fact, the break-even point for the Canadian plant, originally estimated at 25,000 units, was eventually massaged down to just 20,000. But the general loss of public confidence led to dismal sales for '64. Wagonaire production alone was less than half of what it had been in 1963.
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