1921 Studebaker Touring, Model EG – Big Six, 7-passenger
Owner: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $2,350.00 ($29,862.00 in 2018 dollars)
Number made: 6,277
Engine, etc.: L-head, inline 6 cyl.; 3-speed; 353.8 cu. in.; 60 hp; 126 in. wheelbase; 3,665 lbs.
Studebaker, South Bend, Ind., 1902 – 1942, et seq.
The Studebaker brothers began as wagon builders and built a very successful business supplying wagons to the North in the Civil War and to the British during the Boer War.
It built its first car, an electric designed by Thomas Alva Edison, in 1902.
Under pressure from a son-in-law, they began building gasoline cars in 1904 despite John M. Studebaker’s opinion that “they stink to high heaven”.
The company enjoyed increased success and was a supplier to Europe and the U. S. government in World War I.
The cars were robust, difficult to break, and made Studebaker famous.
The Model EG or Studebaker Big Six was introduced in 1918 and lasted until 1928. It was renamed in 1927 and became the Studebaker President, the largest and most luxurious Studebaker model.
From 1918 to 1920 the Big Six was offered only as a four-door touring vehicle. This was the most popular body style for vehicles at the time. Beginning in 1921 the price of enclosed vehicles came down and buyers realized the advantages of both closed and semi-closed passenger compartments.
The company advertised the car “for quick getaway, pep, style, gasoline,mileage, tire mileage, cost of upkeep and economical motoring satisfaction – everything one wants in a car”. The 7-passenger car was a hit and had many outstanding features for cars of its time. While Henry Ford was selling Model T’s for $600, the Big-Six Touring cost $2,350 and there was no shortage of requests for the car.
In the 1920’s twelve of fourteen Arizona counties issued Studebakers to their sheriffs because of the car’s reputation for power, reliability, and the ability to withstand hard use and bad roads. In 1925 Studebaker published a pamphlet about the Arizona sheriffs’ Studebakers and named their Big Six Sport Phaeton model the “Sheriff”.
In 1954 Studebaker was acquired by Packard Motors Company of Detroit, Mich. and was a division of Studebaker Packard Corporation from 1954 – 1962. In 1962 it reverted to its previous name of Studebaker Corporation. It survived as an independent firm until 1967 though the company left the automobile industry in 1966.
Sources: Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805 -1942. Beverly Rae Kimes, et al. 3rd ed. Krause Publications, 1996.
http://www.studebakermuseum.org/ (In South Bend, IN; archives, photos, etc.)