Short Tenure

September 15th, 2011

1932 Rockne Sport Coupe©

The Rockne was produced from 1931 to 1933 by the Studebaker Corporation in South Bend, Indiana having been named after the famous Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne. Prior to the Rockne introduction, Studebaker had produced the Erskine auto that due to price considerations as well as the crash of 1929 just couldn’t be taken seriously by the public and was dropped. The Rockne was developed to replace the slow selling Erskine. For the use of his name Studebaker made a deal with Knute to join the firm as Sales Promotion Manager effective March 19, 1931. Only 12 days later Knute perished in an airplane crash. The Rockne just couldn’t make it either in the U.S., so in 1933 all left over units were shipped to Norway where they were reassembled and sold. The picture included in this article was taken at a car show in Dallas, Texas in about 1978 by Jim O’Connor, the writer of this article.