Welcome to the Central Virginia Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club Web Site.
President: Jim Jett
Vice President: Preston Young
Treasurer: George Marshall
Editor: Jim Jett
The Senate tunnel Studebakers
Studebaker built the two cars with a pair of driver’s seats apiece – one facing forward and one in reverse – both equipped with tiller steering. A single driver would operate the Studebakers over the 1/5-mile-long tunnel at a blistering 12 to 15 MPH top speed, unload his passengers, and then switch to the other seat to make the return trip. Seating both fore and aft of the driver’s seats accommodated up to 12 passengers at a time..
Each of the 72-volt Westinghouse-motored Studebakers cost $2,944, about double the price of an average Studebaker electric. Both went into service on the tunnel’s opening day in March 1909 with unique nicknames – Tommy and Peggy – and remained in service until 1916 when a faster and more spacious Navy Yard-built electric monorail replaced them.
Following their retirement, the Studebakers went into storage, emerging again in August 1939 when the pair sold at a government surplus auction for $35. According to Marge Cutright, executive director of the Swigart Museum in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Tommy went on display at the New York World’s Fair that year, then showed up again in 1950 when William Swigart bought the Studebaker. (Peggy eventually made its way to the Studebaker Museum and has since been restored with a yellow finish, as opposed to Tommy’s cherry wood finish.)
Commanding Leader Newsletters:
Central Virginia Chapter SDC is in the Atlantic Zone of The Studebaker Drivers Club and most of our members live in the central Virginia area within a 50 mile radius of Richmond, Virginia. Our website provides information about events related to the Studebaker club in our area as well as links to Studebaker related resources and classified ads. Please enjoy the site and feel free to leave comments by clicking "Contact Us"..
Central Virginia Chapter ~ Richmond, VA 23225 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org