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Founded before the Civil War as a maker of horse-drawn carriages, American manufacturer Studebaker began selling horseless carriages shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. The company manufactured a variety of cars, wagons and military vehicles. Today, Studebaker is fondly remembered for the curvy, sweeping designs of the Starlight, Champion and Commander models of the late 1940s and 1950s. Studebaker merged with luxury automaker Packard in the late 1950s; Packard soon folded thereafter. Studebaker introduced the Lark in 1959 and the controversial Avanti in 1962, but ongoing financial difficulties forced the company out of business in 1967.