I came across this ad and could not pass up sharing it. It opens with a promo from none other than Mr. Ed (the talking horse for those of you too young to remember) and is followed by a 90 second TV ad for the 1963 Wagonaire. It is interesting to me on several levels, one of which is to remind me of my advancing age. But mostly, what a fabulous depiction of modern, carefree, suburban midcentury America. Wouldn’t everyone want to be that kid?
What a great find! Thanks for posting this.
That commercial brings up some interesting points.
Studebaker was trying to establish the Cruiser as a separate model from the Lark, when it was just a Lark with a longer wheelbase and better interior trim.
Interesting that ALL Studebaker models were available with disc brakes. That was a pretty radical move in 1963 for an American car maker. In 1965, other manufacturers would offer them as standard equipment – Ford on the Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental, and GM on the Corvette. But, if I recall correctly, they were not even offered as an option on the cheapest models from those manufacturers (Falcon, Corvair, Chevy II). Ford did offer them on the 1965 Mustang.
One wonders if Ford saw a Wagonaire – or at least this commercial – when it developed the fold-down tailgate step for the current F-150.
Today, you could be pulled over and cited by the police for allowing children to ride in the cargo area of a modern SUV, let alone with the roof open (if the vehicle had this capability)!
Is there a luckier kid in the whole world? A day at the lake with a boat, a new slide, and getting to ride in the back of the new wagon with the roof open and your dog beside you. The only thing keeping this from 6 year old perfection is ice cream!
“Interesting that ALL Studebaker models were available with disc brakes. That was a pretty radical move in 1963 for an American car maker. In 1965, other manufacturers would offer them as standard equipment – Ford on the Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental, and GM on the Corvette.”
By this time, Studebaker was reduced to parts-bin engineering…they would shortly be buying engines from GM-Canada; their automatics were from Borg-Warner. I imagine their brake-parts manufacturing went with the plant in South Bend.
The advantage to them here was, it was scarcely more expensive to buy DISC brakes than it was to buy drums. Bendix had them in production; given the small numbers of Studebakers being built by this time, it was probably cheaper to order relatively large numbers and then make them standard.
I believe that Bendix was the supplier. Another point is that Bendix was also headquartered in South Bend at the time, so the execs from the two companies probably rubbed elbows frequently. It would have been very convenient for the two groups of engineers to work together.
Can someone tell me why you’d need to take an aluminum playground slide anywhere you’d take a boat?
Uh…to spoil a kid?
Or…maybe to sell a CAR.
Given a smaller, aluminum boat, you could just load the boat in the cargo area. 😉
He’s the kid who has everything – parents willing to take playground equipment on trips so he can use the slide whenever he wants, and the car that makes it all possible!
What self-respecting kid would want a Ford Country Squire or Chevrolet Impala wagon after seeing that ad?!
Heh-heh…what self-respecting kid would have a PARENT watching Mister Ed?
The appeal of that Studebaker, such as it was, was pretty highbrow…utility; safety with the disc brakes; an alternative to the cookie-cutter GM products.
I don’t think many people who saw things that way watched a talking-horse television program. Maybe that’s part of why the marketing push failed…
Dad may have watched it just to see Wilbur’s wife, who was pretty hot in the day.
People occasionally put them on swimming floats.
In those days a water slide was a DIY proposition.