Unfortunately, the Studebaker Corporation was broke and nearly out of options by the spring of ’63, and it would be forced to suspend its operations in the U.S. before the end of the year. For us, it’s a shame the Sceptre never went into production in South Bend. We don’t know if the striking sedan could have been a success, but it sure would have made an impression.
The automotive designs of Brooks Stevens could range from the basic to the baroque, observers have noted. We think the Sceptre is one of the cleanest and most elegant examples of the lot, with simple visual elements that cleverly complement each other. The distinctive front end featured an electric-razor grille with a Sylvania Light Bar system to illuminate the roadway.
The cabin, below, is modern and Italianate in form, with black and gold vinyl trim and a large, airy greenhouse flooded with light. The thermometer-type speedometer and instruments are housed in plastic pods in the top of the dash, while the passenger side features a large vanity area with folding mirror.
Although the Studebaker Corporation ultimately failed to survive, the last-gasp Spectre prototype has managed to stick around, fortunately. The car resided in the Brooks Stevens Automotive Museum in Mequon, Wisconsin for many years, and these days can be seen at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana.