Studebaker was an innovative company. In the pre-war years, it built some of the finest and most elegant art deco cars of the period. Unlike many other independent brands, Studebaker emerged from the Second World War competing head to head with the big three in design and engineering. By the late 1950s Studebaker forged a unique and profitable partnership with Mercedes-Benz, making it exclusive North American distributors for all Mercedes-Benz cars. By 1961, however, times had changed, sales were down, and Studebaker was in dire need of financial assistance.
Recovery hung on many different ideas, but one of them was the brand new Avanti, scheduled for release in 1963. The design was nearly finalized and tooling was in refinement when management came upon a unique idea. What follows is the largely unknown account of Citroën and Studebaker and their brief but interesting partnership.