Gone Autos Podcast #7: Studebaker '62 with Lew Minkel and Richard Quinn

It takes a Studebaker fan to talk about a Studebaker man’s Studebaker plans.

That’s what happens when you ask Studebaker uber-historian Richard Quinn to talk about a rare 1961 recording featuring Studebaker Marketing Vice-President Lew Minkel.

Lew Minkel
Lew Minkel

Minkel’s speech to Los Angeles-area Studebaker dealers was captured live on a metal-acetate record around August 1961 before the new 1962 model year.

I bought this recording through eBay several years ago, and I always wondered what it meant in the timeline of Studebaker’s history.

So I logged onto the Studebaker Drivers Club Forum and searched around for the ultimate Studebaker expert. (Although he disagrees with me, the forum members don’t lie. Many conversational threads point back to Richard and his deep knowledge of all things Studebaker.)

me posing with 41 copy
Richard Quinn
I had the audio artifact. I had the expert to tell me all about it. And now you have the result.

Find out from Richard Quinn what the men at South Bend were up to with this long-lost, forgotten speech delivered when Kennedy was still president and Studebaker still made cars.

Get the podcast here.

And then do me a favor: tell me what you think in the Comments section below. I’d love to hear your feedback about the work I’m doing here at Gone Autos. Thanks! ---Todd Ruel

Your Turn: When is an orphan car no longer an orphan?

With the recent news that the (revived) DeLorean Motor Company was releasing an electric version of the famed, time-traveling DMC-12, I had to stop and ask myself a major question. Can orphan cars stop being orphan cars?


The electric DeLorean isn’t the first example of a brand’s revival.

Like an automotive zombie, the Avanti II has risen from the dead many times. (As I write this, I think Avanti Motors has done another face plant.) A few years ago,
Midget Motors Supply attached the jumper cables to the King Midget and revived that brand.

These death/rebirth/death cycles drive me crazy, because I’m a bit of a purist about orphan cars. I believe that when car brands or manufacturers die, they become orphans. Saturn, Pontiac, and Mercury? Orphans. (Why wait seven years for the designation when they’re dead right now, today?)

I’m happy to see famous automotive brands rise from the dead. I’m unhappy when they die. I’m confused when they rise again. And then I’m just plain hacked off when they die again. (Examples: the Avanti II mentioned above and the aborted resurrection of Packard about eight years ago.)

I get all worked up, because I have to consider whether or not to delete their clubs from my
Links to Clubs page. After all, if the brand is back in business, it’s no longer an orphan. And if it’s no longer an orphan, it’s no longer part of Gone Autos.

So let me ask you this, orphan car fans: is DeLorean no longer an orphan? Should we view orphaned brands that rise from the dead with some suspicion? (Should we help to put ‘em down with a shotgun or a shovel?) Should there we a Wait-And-See Period? What are your thoughts? (Help me make up my mind, car fans!)