This is a 1959 Studebaker Lark.

The company was formed in 1862 and they produced Abraham Lincoln’s presidential carriage.

It is on display at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana, which also contains three other carriages used by various presidents.
The company was doing a brisk business until the Great Depression hit.

When they reached $6 million in debt the CEO committed suicide.
The company recovered and produced engines for the B-17 bomber and trucks in WW II.

Afterwards they were known as a style leader but were burdened with the industry’s highest labor costs.
The last Studebaker was produced in 1966 and the company went out of business without requesting a government bailout.
General Motors is once again the world’s top auto manufacturer and its bailout will also be a major campaign issue this fall in the battleground states of Michigan and Ohio.

John McCain and Romney both supported Bush’s TARP program, but they opposed the GM bailout.
McCain supported TARP when President Bush told him “a worldwide economic catastrophe was imminent.” That was not true of the GM bailout and President Obama is now claiming he saved one million jobs tied to GM and Chrysler.
McCain and all the current GOP presidential candidates have always criticized the White House for not significantly renegotiating the UAW’s very generous contracts to trim costs, and for reversing strict conditions imposed by Bush.
All the TARP money loaned by the Bush administration has been repaid, but taxpayers will lose about $23 billion on the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. According to the Heritage Foundation, “The administration violated basic principles of bankruptcy law and transferred money to the UAW at taxpayer expense.

The government could have executed the bailout with no net cost to taxpayers” if it had followed standard Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules.
Instead, the Obama administration granted of preferential creditor status to the UAW which cost an extra $26.5 billion. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says “the deal eschewed the typical wage corrections associated with reorganizational bankruptcy and there were no union pay cuts at GM. “

The GM bailout continues to be a major issue in Michigan. Mitt Romney’s December 2008 op-ed article in opposition to the bailout is being criticized. He advocated a structured bankruptcy with no special treatment for the UAW.
A formal bailout failed in the Senate in 2008 because conservatives did not believe the conditions were stringent. The Bush administration was able to end run the Senate and made a $13.4 billion loan to GM, and Chrysler received $4 billion as part of TARP.

The auto loan decision was made after TARP had been enacted. Ford declined help but favored saving its competitors.
Bush does deserve credit for setting tough targets for the two companies — a two-thirds cut in debt, a 50% reduction in payments to health care funds for UAW retirees, and proof of net positive value by March 31, 2009.
President-elect Obama called the Bush loans “necessary steps … to help avoid a collapse of our auto industry.”The money Bush lent was repaid in April 2010

. Obama increased the loans to $80 billion and the government still owns GM stock in connection with the company’s June 2009 out-of-court prepackaged bankruptcy.

It was orchestrated by the Obama administration to protect the UAW.

Bond holder rights were subordinated to UAW rights.
The bond holders were essentially wiped out.

The United Auto Workers, as an unsecured creditor, received a 17.5% ownership interest in General Motors and 55% of Chrysler, while once again, the companies’ bondholders got hosed.

The government caused part of GM’s problem. For three decades fuel-economy rules ensured that Detroit couldn’t specialize in its most profitable models—pickups, minivans, SUVs—and had to continue making smaller sedans at high-cost UAW-organized factories that it sold at a loss.

The 2007 energy bill significantly increased mileage standards, and they will increase further to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 because of Obama EPA regulations.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The key point is that Chapter 11 would have provided an orderly workout, giving the auto makers the legal protection to clean up balance sheets, modify contracts and restructure under due process.
“The steel industry reorganized itself through bankruptcy a little over a decade ago, rationalizing its capacity and labor agreements.

“American Airlines is the latest legacy carrier to enter bankruptcy, and the planes are still in the air. Detroit and the auto makers claim there was no liquidity (nobody was buying cars or lending) for normal bankruptcy to function.
“But lenders might have come forward if the government backstop wasn’t crowding out private financing—or perhaps the industry would be more attractive to private capital if every business decision wasn’t a political decision too. No one can know now. . .

“Even Steve Rattner, who led the auto task force and is its most ardent defender, conceded to the Detroit News in December that ‘We didn’t ask any active worker to cut his or her pay, we didn’t ask them to sacrifice any of their pension and we maybe could have asked them to do a little bit more.’

“Thus the bailout become a tool for less discipline, not more. . . The point is that the auto bailout isn’t an example of enlightened government revitalizing an industry after a market failure.

It is a bailout in the wake of failed government policies and bad management that may keep going and going as Washington does whatever it takes to make sure Detroit keeps doing its political bidding.”