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Ignition Park Sparks High Tech Test Lab at the Studebaker Factory Complex

Our coverage of the Packard Plant Project has also shed light on the recent developments at the Studebaker Factory complex, the buildings that remain there, and those that have been torn down. Starting back in 2008 the City of South Bend and Notre Dame University have moved forward with plans to implement a State-Certified Technology Park for high-potential technologies and ventures. It is located at two different spots in the City; Innovation Park is at Notre Dame where new ideas and startups form and the 118-acre Ignition Park at the former Studebaker site in South Bend, Indiana is for those that that succeed and need more room to expand.

The large Studebaker Engineering Department building was torn down in 2013 to make way for Ignition Park. The two-story building on the far right of today’s photo courtesy of the Studebaker National Museum Archives is the Automakers oldest Engineering Building that was first used in the late-1800s when the Company was building carriages and wagons. It has survived and today is the new home of the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory that had outgrown its home at the University.

The Laboratory is now located in the old Studebaker building and tests turbo machininey that is driven by water, air, or gasses and develop useful power. Many of these turbos are used by the aerospace, aircraft and transportation industries. Learn more, and view a photo of one of the machines at Forbes Online.

  • The older Engineering Building is on the far-right below with the Powerplant Building in the background, on the left is Building 78 and new Studebaker M-Series trucks in the foreground.

pre war studebaker factory with cars and trucks

5 responses to “Ignition Park Sparks High Tech Test Lab at the Studebaker Factory Complex

  1. I had the pleasure of touring the museum one time, while hauling from DE to WIS. Would have liked to have been there when it was alive and jumping.

  2. Almost 200,000 US6 trucks were built in SOuth Bend, the majority going to the Soviet Union through Mermansk or the Persian Corridor. The ‘Studers’ were even blessed by a thank you note from Papa Joe Stalin for their ruggedness and reliability!

  3. I would say the photo is from 1941. The M series truck was new that year, and there are at least a couple of ’41 Commander sedans to the right. The other cars are older. Far back in the center could be a ’42 Stude car.

    Car fans who haven’t seen the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend and had dinner at Tippicanoe , former mansion of one of the Studebaker brothers are missing some good stuff.

  4. The US6 used the M-Series cabs seen here. These are early units as seen by the top-mounted hinges on the windshields allowing it to swing open at the bottom. This also necessitated roof mounted wipers. Later models of the M-Series had stationary windshields and cowl mounted wipers. The M-Series ran from 1941-1948. The Studebaker US6 is easily distinguishable from the GMC US-6 by the steeply slanted windshield.

  5. I have the highest respect for the Studebaker , (Plus: Dodge, Ford and International Trucks), as seen in this photograph. If you TRACE where ALL of these trucks went to — in the World — you can easily see HOW they impacted the History of far flung places from the USA: One example would be the Model AA 1-1/2 Ton Stake Bed Ford Truck (Like ours!) which found its way to Russia after the AA ceased production, (Followed by Model BB) Google: GAZ AA and you will discover that with not too many changes, — it remained in production until 1952!!! Also: Google: GAZ AAA and you will see these trucks dealing with almost impossible challenges.

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