Antique automobiles and the evolution of Studebaker brand vehicles are on display at the Studebaker National Museum. South Bend, Indiana was home of the Studebaker plant, with another location in Ontario. The advancements and production of the automobile is an important part of Indiana history. This popular Indiana business survived the transition from horse and buggy to wagons and eventually gasoline engines.
More than 100 years of automobile history are on display at this Indiana attraction. The Studebaker National Museum makes for a great day trip from Indianapolis. The museum opened doors in 2005, and before then it had a temporary location close to downtown South Bend.
The Studebaker National Museum features military trucks and vehicles on the ground floor, the top floor exhibits more modern cars and the main level is a stroll through Studebaker history in Indiana. The second electric car ever produced by Studebaker was sold to Thomas Edison. Automobile history buffs and classic car lovers can enjoy many auto museums in the Hoosier State, including the Ragtops Museum in Michigan City, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, and the Model T Museum in Centerville.
One popular exhibit at the Studebaker National Museum is the carriage that transported President Abraham Lincoln to Ford’s Theatre just before his assassination. Also on display is the 1927 Commander, the famous speed car driven by David Abbott “Ab” Jenkins. He made the 3,302 miles cross-country drive in 77 hours and 40 minutes.
The best-known Studebaker design was the 1950 Champion Convertible. The car’s distinct bullet nose was modeled after a World War II fighter plane. The Champion is on display for all to see at the Studebaker National Museum. A quarter of this Indiana museum‘s collection is made up of horse-drawn vehicles.
A small fee is charged for admission to the Studebaker National Museum. South Bend, Indiana is only three and a half hours north of Indy. While you’re up north, be sure to plan a visit to the nearby College Football Hall of Fame. For more vacation ideas, visit the day trips from Indianapolis page.
Studebaker National Museum
201 Chapin Street
South Bend, Indiana 46601