It's difficult to visit The Bend without encountering a cornerstone of its history: Studebaker Corporation.
Studebaker National Museum, which takes a deep dive into the company's history as one of the most famous automobile manufacturers in the country, is one of The Bend's top attractions. Even more, Studebaker enthusiasts from around the world descend on South Bend every five years to celebrate the company's enduring legacy at the Studebaker Drivers Club International Meet.
This year's meet is May 3-7 and there are a variety of ways for the public to participate.
International Meet Public Events
Studebaker Fountain Meetup | May 4
The Studebaker Drivers Club band will play around the Studebaker Fountain in Leeper Park. This event starts at 5:30 p.m. and is free.
Studebaker Night at the Ballpark | May 5
Head to Four Winds Field for a South Bend Cubs game with a Studebaker twist. A Studebaker will deliver the person who will throw out the first pitch. The game begins at 7:05 p.m.
First Friday Cruise-In | May 6
First Friday in downtown South Bend is going with a "Studebaker Homecoming" theme to coincide with the meet. Members of the Drivers Club will parade their cars through downtown starting at 5:30 p.m. then park them along Michigan Street for visitors to check out.
Open Car Show | May 7
Head to the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7 to see all the Studebakers on display. There will be food vendors, a band performance and awards ceremony. Admission is $10 for adults. Kids 15 and under are free.
If you're looking for more ways to celebrate car culture in The Bend, here are some ideas:
Visit Studebaker National Museum
If you're a car enthusiast, it's also a great time to tour Studebaker National Museum. Not only does it detail Studebaker history, the museum is home the world's largest collection of presidential carriages. It includes the one Abraham Lincoln rode the night of his assassination. "Charged: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of Electric Vehicles" recently opened as well. It takes a closer look at electric vehicles from the early 1900s until now.
Get in on the Great Race
The Great Race is the world's premiere old car rally and this year Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum are a lunch checkpoint. More than 150 vintage automobiles and their teams will make their way through the checkpoint starting at noon Wednesday, June 22.
Plan Ahead for the Concours
While you're at it, pencil in a return trip to the museum campus for the Concours d'Elegance at Copshaholm. Scheduled for July 9, this care show features stunningly beautiful automobiles every year.