January 2014

The making of this film is taking us down many, often unexpected, roads of discovery.

robert-in-the-studebaker

Robert Crowder at the wheel of his father’s car.

Take this photograph of Robert Crowder at the wheel of his father’s car; with so little of the car in the frame, we thought it near impossible to identify, but Patrick Kay, who has worked with WAG Screen many times over the years, couldn’t resist the challenge. He sent the image to SVVS (Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society). Who, in turn, sent it out to their contacts worldwide; eventually someone in the States recognised it as possibly being a (surprisingly specific) 1915 Studebaker Tourer. The Crowder family were sceptical at first as they thought it would have been odd for the family to buy such an expensive, and American, car in the middle of a war. However, undaunted, Patrick pursued the possibility of finding the original registration documents and contacted The Lincolnshire Archives to see if they could help. They put him on to Tony Wall (a local historian who specialises in historic vehicles) who researched the matter and, astonishingly, found the original registration documents confirming that it was indeed a 1915 Studebaker Tourer.

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studebaker-purchase-record-detail

Studebaker purchase record detail

Patrick now turned his sights to finding a Studebaker owner willing to allow his car to be used in the film and began his search through Bonham’s in London who had just sold a Studebaker. Bonham’s put him in touch with the Studebaker Owners Club and through them Patrick found one very generous and accommodating owner of a beautiful (1913) Studebaker, Gordon MacFarlane, who was very willing not only to allow his car to be used, but to cover all his own costs in doing so (thank you Gordon, you are a star!).

Gordon MacFarlane Studebaker

Gordon MacFarlane Studebaker

Having secured the car for the film, Patrick now set about getting the plates of the original car replicated and spoke to Paul Sharman of Barkston Refinishing in Lincolnshire. They very kindly agreed to create the plates as a donation to the making of the film. Again, our very big thanks to Paul and all at Barkston’s, it is very special being able to use the Crowder plates again!

plates

As to why the Crowders chose that car at that point in time we can never be certain; but they certainly needed transport for their business and, with horses being requisitioned, perhaps it was not such an unusual descission after all.

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