1963-1966 Studebaker Wagonaire

1964 Studebaker Wagonaire

Despite the best efforts of many people throughout the Studebaker organization, the new 1964 Studebaker Wagonaire models did not impress the public and the plug was pulled on South Bend production on that cold December day in 1963. Only 5785 of the '64s had been assembled there, of which 761 were Wagonaires. What future Studebaker had as an automaker now lay in Canada.

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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