Studebaker Drivers Club celebrates 50 years June 28 to July 5
The Studebaker Drivers Club Inc. announces that its Golden 50th Annual International Meet will be held from Saturday, June 28 through Saturday, July 5, at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and inside the track of Dover International Speedway. For the first time in its 50-year history, the Studebaker Drivers Club is opening its annual meet to the public; there is no charge to come to the site and observe the cars, the memorabilia and displays, and the indoor and outdoor swap meet areas. This is also the first time the annual meet will be held in Delaware. The meet is being hosted by the local DelMarVa Peninsula Chapter of The Studebaker Drivers Club, also known as The DelMarVa Studebaker Club.
“The meet being held in Dover the week of July 4 is a firecracker of an event,” said Denny Foust, head of the International Meet Committee with the Studebaker Drivers Club Inc. “Our Meet Committee Chairman Mark Henning of Milton and his fellow committee members at The DelMarVa Studebaker Club have been working on this meet for over four years now to ensure a successful event for the club.”
During the weeklong event, stock and modified models are expected to number 600 to 800, including a large contingent of Studebaker military vehicles, rare Studebaker Weasels that were prepared for military service overseas by Dover-based TNJ Murray World Wide Services. In addition, affiliated clubs of SDC, the Avanti Owners Association International and the Antique Studebaker Club will be holding their annual meets in association with the Studebaker Drivers Club.
Members from Norway, Canada, Australia and South Africa have registered for the meet and will be in attendance, making this truly an international event.
“Our club is holding numerous seminars for club members throughout the week, and we expect to have 500-600 cars attending our meet, making it the largest one-week meeting of cars ever in the history of Delaware,” said Foust. “On Wednesday, cars will venture around Dover International Speedway for a driving tour of the facility, low-speed, of course!”
Miss Delaware and her court will be washing Studebakers Tuesday and Wednesday, July 1 and 2, with donations benefitting the annual Miss Delaware Pageant. On Thursday, Studebakers will gather outside Dover Downs Hotel for a concourse and judging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “This concourse is open to the public, and kids will also have the chance to finger-paint one of these cars that day, a 1951 bullet-nose Studebaker, sure to make an impression on young minds,” said Foust.
Dover, as a military town, has links to Studebaker. Dover was the demarcation point for a vehicle manufactured by Studebaker during World War II called the Weasel. It was outfitted for service in the European theater of the war, at the facility in Dover. That facility, TNJ Murray, still exists and will be the site of one of the club's tours during the meet. “We have gathered Studebaker Weasels together for our weeklong meet and a display of not only Weasels, but other Studebaker military vehicles at our concourse,” said Foust.
The event is expected to draw 2,000 to 3,000 attendees. Activities include Studebaker Band and Chorus performances, a memorabilia museum and store featuring the Studebaker Watch Co., an indoor/outdoor swap meet, informative seminars, and horse carriage rides on the concourse.
The Studebaker Drivers Club was founded Aug. 6, 1962. The purpose of the Studebaker Drivers Club continues to honor the Studebaker automobile and all of the Studebaker-related products. The SDC sponsors an annual International Meet where Studebaker owners from across North America bring their Studebakers and families for a week of fun, showing their vehicles, sharing information and memories, and even participating in concourse judging. The SDC International Meets are hosted by a local SDC chapter and held in various locations.