#TBT: Factory Studebakers at the Indy 500

Published On October 29, 2015 » 3252 Views» By John Schwarb » #TBT, Blogs, IMS, IMS History, Indy 500

For more trips down Memory Lane, visit the #TBT archives here.

Earlier this week, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles visited the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, for a “Town Hall”-style meeting with fans, discussing the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 and the busy offseason at IMS.

There was also, appropriately, some “500” history to discuss.

In 1932, the fleet of Studebakers hit the bricks at the same time for a photo op.

In 1932, the fleet of Studebakers hit the bricks at the same time for a photo op.

In the early 1930s, the nation was mired in the Depression but the race went on. Studebaker provided a boost in 1932-33 with a new fleet of cars with custom bodies powered by standard Studebaker President straight-eight passenger-car engines.

A Studebaker never made it to Victory Lane but the cars held their own in the race. In 1932, Cliff Bergere finished third while the manufacturer’s other entries took sixth, 13th, 15th and 16th. In 1933, all five completed 200 laps and claimed seventh, ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th place.

Studebaker engines continued to power “500” cars through the rest of the decade, a nice feather in the cap of the Northern Indiana automaker.


About The Author

John Schwarb

I joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway communications team in July 2014 and love sharing stories from the World Capital of Racing, particularly its rich history. Most of my professional career has been in racing or golf, so if I'm not in the IMS media center, the office at 16th and Georgetown or milling around Gasoline Alley, maybe I'll be standing over a birdie putt at Brickyard Crossing. Follow us at @IMS or drop me a line at @JohnSchwarb and come back to the blog often for more stories.