In the early 1960s, the Studebaker Corporation began a diversification program to expand the company beyond automobile production. Studebaker’s board also sought to use its tax-loss credits amassed from previous unprofitable years. These credits could be applied to the Studebaker Corporation’s profits as well as those of subsidiary companies.
Studebaker’s diversification program created a broad-based corporation with many different divisions, including Paxton Products (superchargers) Clarke Floor Machine (building and grounds maintenance equipment), Cincinnati Testing Laboratories (CTL), Chemical Compounds (STP), Gravely (garden tractors) and Onan (gasoline-powered generators). The Chemical Compounds Division produced STP Oil Treatment and sponsored an Indianapolis 500 racing team led by Andy Granatelli during the mid-1960s. Studebaker utilized Paxton Products’ superchargers on its
1963-64 automobiles. CTL produced the heat shields for NASA’s Mercury spacecrafts. This diversification allowed the Studebaker Corporation to continue after automobile production ended.
In 1967, Studebaker merged with Wagner Electric and the Worthington Corporation to form the Studebaker-Worthington Corporation and described itself as “a major manufacturer of automotive and electrical products.” In 1977, “Studebaker” disappeared from the corporate name following S-W’s acquisition by McGraw-Edison. Few traces of Studebaker’s direct corporate lineage are visible today, although a number of its former subsidiaries remain strong.
About this Series
Studebaker’s Cousins was on display at the Museum in 2014. This series of articles comes for the displays from that exhibition.