View Full Version : 1958 Hardtops - Good Idea

Stude Shoo-wop!
01-02-2018, 05:28 PM
Alright, here is something even you older hands may have some difficulty with. 1958 was the last year of the time honored Champion-Commander-President heirarchy but it was also the first and only year of the 2 door hardtop body style. What is your general opinions on it and should Studebaker continued making sedans (even if only in this form)?


01-02-2018, 05:37 PM
It's kind of odd that Studebaker had a couple of one year only hardtops, the '52 and '58. But didn't a lot of hardtop stuff from '58 get reused or at least set-up for the hardtop Larks?

Stude Shoo-wop!
01-02-2018, 05:44 PM
I would think the BASIS of the 58 hardtops would carry over to the Larks but little else. Doubtless, there would be other people on here that would able to give a more precise answer than I can. As for the 52s, the President wasn't around at the time so I wasn’t counting them.

01-02-2018, 05:52 PM
I love 58 President H/T's & have a eye out for a good one,with only 1200 produced my chances are slim !

Stude Shoo-wop!
01-02-2018, 06:01 PM
I love 58 President H/T's & have a eye out for a good one,with only 1200 produced my chances are slim !

You may have better luck with a Commander 2-door hardtop then. Total produced of that type was 2,555.

Mike Sal
01-02-2018, 06:04 PM
Was the budget for the '58 part of directions from the merged management (Packard)? Just like the mid-year switch to wrap around windshield in '55.
Mike Sal

01-02-2018, 06:09 PM
If only the 58 HT had carried through.

Colgate Studebaker
01-02-2018, 07:45 PM
I learned to "legally" drive on a 58 president 4 door, and I've got a soft spot for them, both 2 and 4 door. If I live long enough a 2 door President hardtop is on my list. Unfortunately it is a few down the list for me to accomplish. Bill

01-02-2018, 08:04 PM
The 58 hardtops are my all-time favorites, especially the Packard.
And nice photo shopping, David!

01-02-2018, 09:34 PM
We owned and drove a 1958 Packard Hardtop for nine years. We both liked the car.

01-03-2018, 06:19 AM
I like the 58 hardtop styling. Studebaker should have kept the President line alive in 1959. They could have facelifted the old body for pennies and had a full size offering for those who wanted it.

Dwight FitzSimons
01-03-2018, 11:21 AM
I have always wondered why the President line wasn't continued after 1958. The long wheelbase 4-door body used in 1959-60 for the police and taxi markets would have made a good basis for a '59 President 4-dr. Perhaps there could also have been a '59 President HT. That LWB sedan body was eventually produced for retail sales as the Cruiser in 1961. But, with an even higher level interior and more standard equipment it would have made a credible President. Premium cars carry a higher profit per car, and, if available only fully loaded, it probably wouldn't have cannibalized the lower lever Lark sales. Plus, it would have added prestige to the Studebaker lineup in 1959 and later.

01-03-2018, 11:59 AM
With limited funds available, the depressed economy, competition and the car market at the time, Studebaker decided to put all of their eggs in one basket (Lark). They didn't even plan on continuing the Hawk at first.

Dwight FitzSimons
01-03-2018, 12:33 PM
As I recall Studebaker kept the Hawk in production in 1959 only upon dealer pressure to keep it as a showroom traffic builder. A '59 President could also have helped in that regard. Additional tooling costs to produce a '59 President (or Cruiser) would have been minimal. The exterior trim would have been the same as the Regal 4-dr, except longer exterior (& interior) stainless steel trim for the rear doors, higher quality interior fabrics, and standard PS, PB, AT, tinted glass, radio, etc.

Agreed, with the "Eisenhower recession" of 1958 the mentality was on economy. The Hawk was reduced to a 259 engine, lighter brakes and diff., etc. But, low priced cars have little profit as seen in the US car industry to this day.

01-03-2018, 12:43 PM
Weren't a couple of pictures of clays for aborted '59 big Studebakers once posted here in a long ago thread?

01-03-2018, 01:39 PM
Weren't a couple of pictures of clays for aborted '59 big Studebakers once posted here in a long ago thread?