Bob's Studebaker Resource Website



    The Lamberti Papers

    July 22, 2011;
    A few months ago I was contacted by Michael Lamberti who resides in Temple City, California. He is the CEO of a firm called Tools and Production, a very specialized engineering and production company founded by his late father N. A. Lamberti in 1975. The elder Lamberti was a close personal friend of Sherwood Egbert. The two had met when they worked together at McCullough Motors in the early 1950s (both were born in 1920). Lamberti was Chief Industrial Engineer and Vice President of Manufacturing at McCullough. After Egbert took the helm as Studebaker President on Feb. 1, 1961 he contacted Lamberti and ask him to come and work with him. In July of ’61 Lamberti was hired and given the title of administrative assistant. He was Egbert’s right hand man from that time on and remained in his position even after Egbert’s departure on December 3, 1963, not leaving Studebaker employ until March 1964. During Egbert’s medical leave Lamberti was the one who took over most of his administrative responsibilities.

    He was also point man on the Avanti project and was involved with all the issues relevant from its conception to production and beyond.

    Michael Lamberti’s communication to me was in reference to his father’s Studebaker files that he had kept securely stored for the last 45 years of his life (the elder Lamberti passed away in 2008). He was curious to know if perhaps I had any interest in these documents since they were taking up space and not being used. Of course I was more than happy to accept the generous offer. Over time I hope to make the information available to others.

    Within a few weeks of our conversations I received individual mailings consisting of two large banker’s boxes weighing over 80 lbs. In the past month I have had an opportunity to make only a cursory examination of the extensive records but they contain all manner of items including advertising material, photos, interoffice communications, production reports and lots more. It will take months to arrange and examine all the files.

    There was one item in particular that captured my attention and which I have found most fascinating. It is a large loose-leaf hard cover binder entitled simply “Staff Meetings Jan – June 1963.” This binder contains perhaps 300 pages of detailed minutes of staff meetings that were held in the administration building every Monday morning. The attendees included a dozen or so top Studebaker executives each of whom headed a particular department; Lamberti was chairman and led the discussions. These minutes provide an almost day-to-day record of everything going on at Studebaker during that critical six-month period. Included are reports on production problems, new models, the high performance cars, union issues, dealers, military contracts, customer complaints, legal matters etc. The single topic that consumes by far the most ink is the Avanti.

    I have contacted Andy Beckman archivist at the SNM to inquire if they had a copy of this or perhaps subsequent or maybe previous minutes from these meetings. He replied that he would check but did not recall seeing any documents of this nature. In my 35+ years of researching the archives I have not seen anything similar. I might add that these minutes were strictly confidential and specific matters included therein could have had very unfavorable consequences had they been released.

    In brain storming the best way to make this material available I had several thoughts. Of course one would be Turning Wheels, which would be the most logical and ideal since it would reach every member. I will likely pursue that option in the coming months. I also thought it might be of interest to include interesting excerpts on this forum.

    As such I have decided to run selected passages here under the subject line “The Lamberti papers.” If you have an interest in this era or any of the topics mentioned above look for them in the here in coming months. We are indebted to Dr. Lamberti and his family for preserving these priceless documents.

        Richard Quinn