Bob's Studebaker Resource Website

Under the West Virginia listing, I was astounded to discover a picture of the front of a Studebaker service policy folder issued by a little company called Ambrose Machine Shop. That image has personal significance for me, and I wish to thank the person who posted it.

Ambrose Machine Shop was the place where in 1954 my brother, Thomas Fairbairn, was hired as an apprentice machinist. He worked there for several years until he finished high school in 1956 and entered the service. I came to be quite familiar with the inside of the shop, being allowed as the younger brother of an employee to wander about and ask questions as long as I was not in the way or being a nuisance.

However, that is not the extent of my involvement with this image. You see, the lady who purchased this particular service policy was my aunt, Florence McMillan. She was my mother's eldest sister and the wife of David McMillan who worked as an electromechanical engineer for Victor Products in Ranson. Uncle David was a devoted owner of Studebaker products. He had, in order, a dark-blue 1951 coupe, 1952 Champion sedan, a white-on-red 1953 Commander coupe, a gold-on-white 1956 Silver Hawk coupe, and a gold 1957 Golden Hawk coupe with white fin insets. The latter he drove until 1963, when he purchased a white 1963 Avanti coupe. Shades of yesteryear!

The McMillans lived at that time at Happy Retreat, the fine old mansion home started by Charles Washington and completed by Justice Douglass. At the time, the place was owned by Raymond Funkhouser, and the McMillans, the Judds, and the Fairbairns lived there as caretakers. At the time that they bought the Avanti, the McMillans had moved to Norbern Glebe Farm. They still owned it when they bought and lived at the renovated former Baptist Church called Zoar. Uncle David still had the Avanti when he died.

If it is possible to post this information anywhere in relation to that image, please feel welcome to do so.

Regards -

John Fairbairn