Indiana Automotive South Bend Tour

Join Indiana Automotive this summer for an inside look at automotive landmarks, museums, and private collections in South Bend.

JuNE 26 & 27, 2020

South Bend, Indiana

Join Indiana Automotive this summer in South Bend, a city rich in automotive history thanks to the legacy of the Studebaker family. The two-day tour on June 26 and 27 explores the Studebaker assembly plant (now under redevelopment as part of a mixed-use technology campus), Studebaker National Museum, and St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church, built in 1901 with funds donated by Clem and Ann Studebaker.  We’ll tour a private auto collection and restoration shop not ordinarily open to the public, and get an exclusive look at the restoration-in-progress at Indiana Landmarks’ 1888 Kizer House in South Bend’s West Washington Historic District. Your ticket includes a catered reception on Friday evening, lunch on Saturday, and admission to all tour sites, including The History Museum and Oliver Mansion.

TOur Schedule

Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. we’ll begin our tour in nearby Elkhart at The JBS Collection of Jack Boyd Smith, Jr., a private museum of over 45 meticulously and beautifully restored automobiles from the Brass (1890-1919), Vintage (1918-1929), and Pre-War Classic (1930-1946) eras, as well as select rare models from the Modern era.  Afterward, we’ll travel to neighboring Nappanee for a visit to the award-winning LaVine Restorations. In operation more than 40 years, hundreds of classic and antique automobiles have passed through the doors of this family-owned restoration shop.

Friday evening, we’ll enjoy heavy appetizers, cash bar, and a tour at Indiana Landmarks’ Kizer House, built in 1888 by industrialist William L. Kizer. The stone Queen Anne-style home sits along a cultural corridor that includes The History Museum, Oliver Mansion, Studebaker National Museum, Tippecanoe Place (former home of the Studebaker family), and other notable nineteenth-century residences. Indiana Landmarks took on restoration of the home in 2015 for use as our Northern Regional Office.

Saturday morning, we’ll tour Studebaker Assembly Buildings #113 and #84. Constructed between 1923 and 1946, Studebaker assembled vehicles here until South Bend operations ceased in 1963. Vacant more than 50 years, the former assembly buildings now make up the Renaissance District, an ambitious redevelopment transforming the Studebaker complex into a mixed-use technology campus. Attendees of our 2014 South Bend tour will remember the site before the multi-million-dollar project broke ground in 2016. We’ll also take a look inside the vacant 1909 Studebaker Administration Building. The four-story, 150,000-square building, included on Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered list in 2006, still awaits a new use.

Before lunch, we’ll head to the West Washington Historic District to tour St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church, Studebaker National Museum, and Oliver Mansion. Clem and Ann Studebaker, parishioners of St. Paul’s, spared no expense funding construction of the church in 1901, selecting artwork, furnishings, and custom art glass. Though Clem did not live to see construction completed, he no doubt monitored the church’s progress from the nearby Studebaker family home, Tippecanoe Place.

The Romanesque Queen Anne-style Oliver Mansion, also known as Copshaholm, was built in 1895-1896 by industrialist J.D. Oliver. Occupied by the family for 72 years, the home features original furnishings on all three floors. Following lunch at the Oliver Mansion’s Carriage House, join guided tours of the 38-room mansion and adjacent Studebaker National Museum. In 1966, the Studebaker Corporation gifted its 33-vehicle collection to the City of South Bend. Including the U.S. Presidential carriages of Lincoln, McKinley, and Harrison, and the Studebaker family’s Conestoga Wagon, this original collection formed the nucleus of the current museum, which now showcases 150 years of transportation history and Studebaker design.

A note on accessibility: While most tour sites are accessible to all, entry to Kizer House, upper floors of the Oliver Mansion, and unrenovated areas of the former Studebaker Plant require navigating stairs. Please contact us for detailed information: or 317-822-7902


We’ve arranged a group rate of $129 per night plus tax at Aloft Hotel, 111 N. Main Street, South Bend, IN  46601. Make your room reservation before May 26, 2020 by calling 574-288-8000 and mentioning Mini Hotel Code – ILJ or book online.


Tickets cost $90 for Indiana Automotive members, $100 for Indiana Landmarks members, and $110 for non-members. Purchase your ticket using the form below, by visiting, or by calling 317-639-4534.

Indiana Automotive, an affinity group of Indiana Landmarks, welcomes members interested in the early auto visionaries and the preservation of the cars they made, their factories, showrooms, and homes, and the landscaped parkways and roadside architecture birthed by the auto age.  Not a member? Learn more about Indiana Automotive at

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