The Studebaker President was the premier automobile model manufactured by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana (US) from 1926-1942. The nameplate was reintroduced in 1955 and used until the end of the 1958 model when the name was retired.

 

First generation

Prior to mid-1926, Studebaker’s premium model was the Studebaker Big Six. The first automobile bearing the name President was unveiled on July 23, 1926, designated as the ES model in internal Studebaker memos.

It was powered by a 354 cu in (5,800 cc) six-cylinder engine until the appearance in January 1928 of the smaller and smoother straight-eight engine of 312.5 cu in (5,121 cc).

Albert Russel Erskine, Studebaker’s president, spared no expense in his goal of making the President the finest automobile on the American road, with prices ranging from $1,985 to $2485, ($29,917 in 2020 dollars) to ($37,453 in 2020 dollars).

Presidents produced from 1928-1933 established land speed records, some of which went unbroken for 35 years.
 p260  The President benefited from engineering improvements once the company took control of Pierce-Arrow in 1928.

1932 President Convertible Coupe in the collection of the Studebaker National Museum.

The primary advances of the 1931 engine was the increase in displacement to 337 cu in (5,520 cc) and the crankshaft was drilled for oil passage to each of its nine large main bearings.

At this time, the straight-eight engines of many other firms had only five bearings; connecting the crank throws of every pair of cylinders between said bearings, their crankshafts had a heavy diagonal beam to take the stress, and the lubrication of the bearings was not as effective.

Other advances for performance were that the valves had spring dampers and the muffler was a straight-through type. With these improvements the engine achieved 122 hp (91 kW).

It also had modern filters for air, oil, and fuel, an improved thermostat, and a Lanchester vibration damper.

In 1931, Studebaker introduced "Ovaloid" headlights which were oblong in shape and made identification of the President and other "senior" Studebaker models easier.

Presidents manufactured in this era were considered to rival more expensive marques such as Cadillac, Packard, Lincoln, and Chrysler’s Imperial model range.

Studebaker went into receivership during 1933-34, Albert Erskine committed suicide, and the era of the big, impressive President came to an abrupt end.

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