1963-1966 Studebaker Wagonaire

1965 Studebaker Wagonaire

With precious little money for retooling, there were no significant exterior changes to the remaining 1965 Studebaker Wagonaire models, though quad headlights did become standard on all models and the wide grooved molding across the top of the Daytona Wagonaire tailgate was deleted. The real difference was under the hood, where two powerplants of comparable size and horsepower would replace the Stude­baker six and V-8.

1965 Studebaker Wagonaire
The 1965 Studebaker Wagonaire featured a V-8 engine.

After Studebaker closed its South Bend foun­dry in mid 1964, it was forced to outsource engines for its passenger cars for the first time since it purchased Conti­nental engines for the 1927-1929 Erskine. Early in 1964, Studebaker's small engineering staff began testing both Ford and General Motors engines in the Stude­baker chassis. After considerable experimentation, it opted for the latter due to the ease of conversion and availability.

The inline ohv six was a 194-cid unit that developed 120 bhp and the V-8 was a two-barrel-carb 283-cid powerplant that made 195 bhp, both of which were found in Chevrolet's Chevy II compact (CA, June 1993) and Chevelle intermediate (CA, August 1992).

Engines were pur­chased from GM's McKinnon Industries plant in St. Catherines, Ontario. Though loyal Studebaker owners would shun those new "Chevybakers," the engines were on a par with those they replaced and were slightly lighter in weight.

The only other mechanical changes for 1965 were the introductions of transistorized ignition, flanged rear axles, and a suspended accelerator pedal -- the last two being mid-model-year additions. On Wagon­aires, the fixed-roof option was not offered. All '65 Daytonas -- Wagon­aires included -- came only with the V-8.

Sales in the entire model line dropped significantly, a fact reflected in the mere 1824 Wagonaires that found new buyers. Though Canadian sales were relatively strong, U.S. buyers now saw the Stude­baker as an import and most opted to go car shopping elsewhere.

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