In 1902, the Studebaker brothers decided to enter the horseless-carriage business. Their first car was a stylish light Studebaker electric runabout.
The 1902 Studebaker electric was built like their buggy lines. It had leather fenders, bar-lever steering, chain drive, and a leather dashboard.
The 1902 advertisement for this car claimed, “No Expert Chauffeur Needed,” and “Reliable Brake Control.”
By 1906, they offered one of the first closed electric carriages in the United States. The electric coupe sold for $2,000 and would do about 35 miles on one charging of the batteries. Note the wooden wheels, chain drive, and running boards instead of steps.
Studebaker’s craftsmanship in carriage building stood them in good stead when this unusual vehicle was designed. It was considered, and rightfully so, one of the true quality automobiles of its time.
That’s how Studebaker entered the auto business in 1902.