Auctions and Brokerage
From the Robert W. Valpey Collection
During the 1920s, Studebaker President Albert Russel Erskine pursued his dream of transforming this South Bend, Indiana, manufacturer into a giant of the American automobile industry. He spared no expense in making his latest models the finest on the road and named them after potentates: Dictator, Commander, and President.
The President, Studebaker’s first foray into the luxury car market, was unveiled at the 1928 New York auto show and went on to set over 100 AAA-sanctioned speed records. For 1929, chief engineer Barney Roos increased engine displacement to 336 cid and devised a new “double-drop” frame. This improved President was offered in nine body styles, including an attractive Roadster, with a sporting fold-flat windscreen and rear-mounted spare. Advertisements made note of the car’s “smart, fleet body lines,” and buyers really took notice when a President Roadster was chosen to pace the field at the 1929 Indy 500. In 1983, Jim Carpenter of New Jersey bought this President Eight from a collector in Philadelphia, restored it, and treasured it for the next 35 years. In 2018, he sold it to Robert Valpey, a devoted Studebaker enthusiast who had spent decades searching for such a car. Appropriately finished in a two-tone color scheme, benefiting from a recent engine rebuild, and accompanied by an original owner’s manual and factory sales brochure, this Roadster is a fine example of the highly sought-after President Eight and a rare survivor from Studebaker’s golden age.