About Us

The Sunshine Chapter began at the home of Dick & Dora Finn in  1975. Dick located all of the names of Studebaker Drivers Club members, who lived in South Florida, from the national club roster. He called each one and invited them to his home for an organizational meeting. Approximately 20 national members agreed to join The Finn’s in creating the Sunshine Chapter.

Charter Members: Original Members:
Gary & Darlene Johnson Rick & Joyce Rader
Ed & Rose DeSilva Phil & Connie Griswold
Linda (McKeown) Sinclair Jerry & Jean Nowicki
Bob & Charlotte Lytle
Doug & Lura Currie
Sam & Helen Fletcher
John & Clarice Loerop
Bob & Marilyn Dwyer

In early 1977, our club showed their Studebakers at a series of shopping malls. For about 12 weeks, the Sunshine Chapter consistently placed twenty of its members’ Studes in 12 different malls for indoor display purposes. Our club was able to gain funds each week to build up our treasury enjoy some positive public exposure. In fact, several new members joined the club as a result of these mall meets.

In 1984, our chapter hosted the Studebaker Drivers Club National meet in Orlando, near Walt Disney World.

In the late 1980’s many members moved away: some lost interest; and some sold their Studes. Consequently, the club died out for a few years. At our last meeting (three members), we voted to send the remains of our club treasury ($700) to the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend.

In the early 1990’s, Mickey Prankas organized a revived Sunshine Chapter. He brought in new members and encouraged original club members to come out and have fun with their cars again. Although Mickey moved out of the area in 2003, our club remains active, and participates in a variety of South Florida events.

In this second generation, our chapter has hosted three Florida State Studebaker Meets in 1989, 2003, and 2007. We are looking forward to having more Studebaker lovers join forces with us in South Florida to keep our shared love of Studebakers alive and well.

Submitted by:
John F. Loerop
Sunshine Chapter Treasurer
1975-current
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