Take a journey through the history of one of the world’s most important automobile manufacturers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
The cars are the stars at the Studebaker National Museum. See military vehicles, pioneer wagons, presidential carriages and a car used in a movie. Learn about car safety and maintenance via interactive exhibits.
Studebaker National Museum dates back to 1916, when the company had a display room at its administrative building, and moved to its current modern location in 2005.
The museum’s attractions are spread over three floors of a building designed to include elements of former Studebaker factories. Photographs and information panels tell the story of the Studebakers, a family of German immigrants that arrived in the U.S. in 1736. Discover the company’s early beginnings as a blacksmith and wagon maker, its role in producing iconic cars of the 1950s America and its closure in 1967.
The museum displays the world’s biggest collection of carriages used by the presidents of the United States. Among these is the vehicle in which Abraham Lincoln rode on the night of his assassination. Spot a bobsled, Chevrolets, hearses, the popular 1950s Studebaker Champion and a Cruiser sedan, which was the last car produced by the company. There’s a Conestoga wagon ridden by pioneers on the Great Wagon Road and Fozzie Bear’s car from The Muppet Movie.
Hands-on exhibits provide educational fun for all ages. Children will enjoy checking the brake fluid and replacing the wheel of a car in the Studebaker Super Service Center. Understand how the slightest of human touches effects different materials. Stand on examples of road surfaces to see how they have evolved and improved since the 1800s.
Located in the West Washington Historic Neighborhood, the museum is less than a 10-minute drive from South Bend’s Amtrak train station. There’s an on-site car park. You can also find free parking on most city streets but it is limited to an hour.
Studebaker National Museum is open daily and there’s an admission fee. It’s part of a museum complex that also includes The History Museum and Oliver Mansion. Discounted rates are available if you want to visit all three of the attractions.