1966 Studebaker Commander
Back in the fall of 1965 My dad drove a new 1966 Studebaker Commander 2 door into our Driveway. Little did he know at the time that Studebaker would soon cease production after 114 years. We had just traded in our 1964 Daytona and this car was brand spanking new. It had a 194 cu.in motor with automatic, gray in colour and was well put together.
It was customary on our family to head south during the Easter Holidays as all students would get 2 weeks off and we would take an additional week off for a trip down south to sunny, warm California. We found ourselves going all the way to Camp Pendleton where my cousin, Gary, was in the USMC under going training. I remember also of going through Death Valley and in April the temperature was 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Back then we didn't have any GPS, so my brother and I were the navigators.
Spring of 1966 in Anzo-Barrego park California
We got lost one time as we were looking for a park in Northern Nevada. We were off the main road and the pavement soon ended and we found the road entered a creek. It was only a foot deep and I don't think most people would of attempted to cross the creek but my Dad didn't hesitate (must of been his Army Training). We drove through and after afew miles we decided to camp off the side of the road out in the desert. Next morning we made our way back to the main road through the creek again and the locals in 4 wheel drive trucks were abit surprised to see us in our Studebaker using these rough roads. As I always remembered these cars were well put together.
The 66 Commander loaded to bear on our big trip
While high in the Rocky Mountains we got the news that Studebaker was to cease production. We thought it was a sad moment as their still was alot of brand loyalty back then. This was our fourth Studebaker in 6 six years and they had got us through thick and thin. My dad soon traded this car in on a new 1967 Ford F-100 which proved to be a good truck but it wasn't the same. Over 40 years later we have a 1964 Cruiser which is very similar to my Dad's 64 Daytona and 66 Commander. A very nice, reliable car that still gets thumbs up or applause when we go through small towns in Canada or United States.