Studebaker History: The Studebaker Brothers were making wagon wheels in 1852 and founded the Studebaker Corporation in 1911 to build cars. However by 1917 all five brothers had died and a son in-law, Fred Fish, took over. Fish started by building the Studebaker Electric between 1902 and 1911 and added gasoline engines in 1904. The Studebaker Corporation was formed in 1911 and in 1926 they built the first automobile proving ground in North America. Studebaker barely made it through the Great Depression and military truck sales during World War II helped to make the company solvent again. However by the 1950s the "big three" of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were too competitive for the company. They tried to recover by merging with Packard, becoming Studebaker-Packard Corporation, but by 1956 they were in serious financial trouble. They tried to recover by ending Packard production in 1958 and dropped the name in 1962. However that did not help and by 1964 Studebaker was out of business. As Studebaker liquidated they sold there Avanti brand name to a Studebaker dealer and that vehicle line continued until about 2006.