The 1964 Cruiser was the "luxury" model for Studebaker in 1964. The car used a 113 inch wheel base as is used on the more recent
2000 Dodge Caravan and 2012 Dodge Journey. It had good performance from its V-8 engine and an R2 supercharger was optional which could
bring the engine up to 290 horsepower. Studebaker had dropped the R engines but Paxton Products had its supply still available. The interior
had excellent fabric designs along with a fully padded dashboard. The model was unique in that it still had rear window vents.
The public was aware that the Studebakers at this time had dropped in resale value; an important point if you are going to make
a purchase in hoping that you will get something back when you later trade in your car or sell it. It was estimated that a 5 year old
Lark, as the car was previously called, would sell for 30% less than a similar Chevy product. This factor definitely was not helping in Studebaker
So when it was time for the company to decide on its 1965 models, it gave some thought to bringing in another low cost import product. They
had been having considerable success with selling the Mercedes-Benz line of cars. Nevertheless, Mercedes wanted to control its own destiny. Mercedes and
Studebaker reached an agreement in December, 1964, that allowed a new company to be formed to distribute the Mercedes product line.
Studebaker looked at Japan and studied a relatively unknown brand called Toyota but nothing became of that idea. Entering 1965, Studebaker was not in the best of shape.