Although Hamilton is most commonly viewed as the steel town, around the turn of the 20th century, it once supported several small car manufacturers including Schacht Motor Car Company, Beaver Truck Corporation and the Willys-Overland Motor Company. The majority of these companies had limited success and were short-lived operations. Studebaker was the most successful of these operations.
When the Studebaker arrived in Hamilton in 1948 they were already a well-established company in the United States. At the height of the factory’s success, they employed over 800 Hamiltonians, rolling out models including the popular Champion and the Lark. Hamilton was such a profitable location, that the company shutdown their Indiana plant in 1963 and moved all production in North America here.
Unfortunately, soon after sales began to slump, the company had to close its doors in 1966. At that point in time, the plant was the 10th largest employer in the city. “You would come in the body build where everything started… all guys, no robots. All the guys in there with spot welding guns, and gloves and aprons and masks, welding this car together” – Gerry Crosby. For more information click here.
Source: Hamilton Industrial Trail