NOTE: The following article appears in the April 2012 issue of Turning Wheels. Republished with permission.
Foundation Places the First Studebaker
by Richard Dormois
Since its inception in October 2004, under the guidance of founder Chester Bradfield, the Studebaker National Foundation has been dedicated to preserving our Studebaker heritage through academic scholarships for deserving students and placement of Studebaker vehicles on public display. In the eight-year history of the Foundation nearly a score of young people have been awarded college scholarships at institutions of higher learning in North America offering automotive restoration or related curriculum.
This year Foundation board member Sid Rosen of Phoenix, Arizona donated a beautiful 1931 Studebaker Commander four door sedan to the Studebaker National Foundation. This pristine piece of Studebaker history, which had been on loan to the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, was transported to Arizona where it was formally dedicated to the Martin Auto Museum in Phoenix on January 20, 2012.
The Mel Martin family has long been involved in the classic car hobby and recently opened the museum quartering a high quality eclectic collection of classic vehicles, customs, race cars and special interest vehicles in addition to an operating carousel and a host of memorabilia.
You are encouraged to visit this museum at 17541 North Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix, where the 1931 Commander is on permanent loan. The Foundation is, indeed, thankful to Sid for this generous gift and to Mel Martin for giving it a great home.
Although the Studebaker National Foundation has been in existence for eight years, understandably, some may not be clear that the Foundation and the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, are two different and distinct entities. Preserving our Studebaker heritage is a common goal of both organizations and there is a strong degree of mutual support. However, governing bodies are different and fund raising programs are separate. Both have non-profit status and donations of cash, vehicles and memorabilia may be worthy of a tax deduction. I have heard Chester say, even lately, “Consider us the new kid on the block and support us any way you can!”
We encourage you to learn more about what we do and how you can support us.
Our Board meets annually on Tuesday at the Studebaker Drivers Club International Meet and in January in Phoenix, Arizona at the Martin Auto Museum and you are encouraged to come join us.
If you have any immediate questions, please contact us HERE.
Ed Wenger, Foundation President (left), and Sid Rosen, donor of car.
Mel Martin, Museum owner.
(Left to Right: Foundation Board members Chris Collins, Brian Millette, owner Mel Martin, Richard Dormois, Sid Rosen, Gary Olson.