The Studebaker Dictator was produced from 1927 through 1936 with 1928 being the first full year of the Dictator production. The Dictator was designed as a replacement for the Standard Six. This new model amplified the reputation of the Studebaker Company by breaking 28 distance and time records during the end of the 1920s.
The name Dictator was used because Standard boasted that it 'dictated the standard' and was conceived as a model line that other marques would imitate. In reality, the name Dictator was probably not a good choice. It made exportation to certain European monarchies difficult and Studebaker switched the name to the Standard Six when exporting. On the home front, many people viewed the name in the political terms and felt it was rather negative and offensive. With Hitler and Mussolini gathering power in Europe, 'Dictator' became politically incorrect and so the name was dropped in 1937.
Special features for 1932 were: Startex automatic starting system, full automatic spark control, free wheeling in all forward speeds combined with synchronized shifting, full cushioned power seats and safety glass in all windows.
By 1933 Studebaker was feeling the effects of the Great Depression and it entered into receivership. It was able to manage through the hardships and emerged in 1934 with their stylish and attractive models, some with styling influenced by Raymond Loewy.
The Dictator came in a wide array of body styles and configurations. The early Dictators had a V-shaped bumper which was later changed to a bow shaped unit. The Dictator series 2A was outfitted with hydraulic brakes and a Planar independent front suspension. A 'Hill Holder' firmly held the vehicle in place while parked on a steep grade.
There were 600 examples of the Dictator Roadster produced, most being accompanied by a $1,155 price tag and an 85 horsepower engine.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006