Studebaker’s Early Autos

Studebaker’s expanded its corporate family significantly in the early 1900’s in order to enter the automobile market.  One if its first additions was the assets of the failing General Automobile Company of Cleveland, Ohio.  The General plant produced Studebaker-branded two-cylinder automobiles in 1904-05.   As the market shifted to four-cylinder models, Studebaker teamed up Garford Company of Elyria, Ohio.  Studebaker supplied bodies for the Garford-produced chassis and the automobiles were sold through Studebaker’s dealer network.  Studebaker acquired Garford outright in 1908.

Studebaker entered into a similar arrangement with the Everett-Metzker-Flanders (EMF) company of Detroit in 1908.   EMF offered a broader line of cars than Garford along with much larger production facilities.   The EMF “30” and Flanders “20” models were a sales success, and Studebaker purchased EMF and its Detroit plants outright in 1910.

At the conclusion of the 1911 model year, the Garford, EMF and Flanders badges disappeared – all cars now carried the Studebaker name exclusively.  Studebaker sold its stake in Garford and sourced all of its automobile production at the former EMF plants in Detroit.  Although automobile production began in South Bend in 1920, Studebaker continued to produce cars in Detroit until the early 1930s.


Studebaker’s Cousins was on display at the Museum in 2014.  This series of articles comes for the displays from that exhibition.


More E-M-F Information

More Garford Information