Monday, January 4, 2016

Studebaker National Museum

365 Days of Fun: Day 4

In our travels over our 21 years as parents, there have been many auto museums on the itineraries. My husband is a big car lover and a fan of antique cars, in particular. The boys have followed suit and all have an interest in cars. So, if we are visiting a city where there's a car museum, you can bet we will be stopping by. 

One of the best ones we have been to is the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana. Our first visit to the museum was many years ago in an older, smaller location. The new location opened in 2005 adjacent to the Center for History. 

The museum covers the car maker's 114-year history from its beginnings as a blacksmith shop in 1852 to the last Timberline Turquoise Cruiser to come off the line in 1966. You'll find exhibits that chronicle the makes and models that were introduced over the years (including horse-drawn vehicles and electric cars) to the company's leaders to the effects on the automobile industry during the second World War.

The museum focuses on products put out through Studebaker, but you'll sometimes see other makes among the collection in temporary exhibits.

Photo source:
On display through October 3 is Hoosier Made: World Driven. According to the description on the website, “Hoosier Made: World Driven” looks at the heyday of Indiana’s automobile industry when some of the world’s finest motorcars were built in the Hoosier state. The exhibit will be presented at Indiana’s theww leading transportation museums, each with its own special exhibit focus: The Studebaker National Museum in South Bend will feature the “Brass Era” (c. 1900-1915); the Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum in Kokomo will showcase the “Jazz Era” of the late ‘teens and early 1920s; and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn will spotlight “Classic” cars of the 1930s.

My favorite part of the museum is the Presidential Carriage Collection featuring luxurious carriages made for Lincoln, McKinley, Grant and Harrison.

For more information on the museum, visit

Oh, and P.S. while you are in South Bend, be sure to grab some candies at the South Bend Chocolate Factory and stop for lunch at the N'Awlins-inspired Chickory Cafe. The po' boys are awesome!

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