PDA

View Full Version : Should I Buy a Studebaker?



Ash400
08-22-2018, 09:27 PM
Hello All,

I am reaching out for some advice about a possible vintage car purchase.

I will be 40 this year and sold my first car, a 1979 Trans Am, in 2011. It is the typical story.

Much of my family, cousins and uncles, have muscle cars that they have restored and I am thinking about getting involved again.

If I were to purchase a car I would be looking for something special and worth restoring, or possibly purchase restored. I do not want to spend money and have space taken in my garage for an everyday car.

The story of the Super Lark is quite fascinating and a car I would consider. I also like the lines of the Commanders.

Being that I have been out of the vintage car loop for a while, and have never owned a Studebaker, what benefits and pitfalls do you foresee vs. a more common muscle car? Is it significantly more difficult to work on, and find parts for, a Studebaker? What about the cost of parts?

As a bit of additional background, I would consider myself a novice mechanic. I have a decent array of tools and have done basic maintenance, but have never fully restored a car.

I would appreciate any insights that you can provide regarding whether I would be a good candidate to purchase a Studebaker, and also what models you might recommend.

Thanks,

Ash

63t-cab
08-22-2018, 09:39 PM
Welcome Ash, I really can't tell You what to buy. BUT I would say YES buy a Studebaker "they are tons of fun all around" get Your self a Super Lark/Lark Type 1963 - 64 and give the Family a real run against what ever they are Driving :):woot:.

Lou Van Anne
08-22-2018, 09:40 PM
There is one big problem....you won't be able to stop at one!....pretty so0n you will start looking for the second one....and then the third....

TWChamp
08-22-2018, 09:58 PM
I find Studebaker to be a better looking and higher quality car than the big 3. I also think it's a much better buy for what you have to pay to get one. If it needs to be restored, then that cost is pretty much the same for the same type work on any car. If you want something sporty, then I'd look for a 53 or 54 C or K body, any Hawk, or an Avanti.

I enjoy my 1950 two and four door Studebakers. My 1950 Land Cruiser is probably the nicest, smoothest riding car I've ever owned, and it get good gas mileage.

sals54
08-22-2018, 10:06 PM
Studebakers come is all shapes and flavors. I have an Avanti and a 54 Coupe. They are equally beautiful, in my opinion, but quite different animals. Mechanically, they are similar. Same frame, same suspension, same engine/trans (for the most part). But they look different as night and day.
I also have a 56 2 door wagon. It is, again, quite different than the other two cars, but mechanically very similar. I think that is one of the nice things about the cars. That you can cross mechanical parts from 1951 through 1966. That alone makes them easier than most for parts hunting. Its the shiny stuff that gets tricky.
For example... I just pulled the 289 V8 and 4 speed out of a 61 Hawk, and it will bolt right into the 54 Coupe and look like it was born there.
The Commanders and Lark type cars will be your cheapest and easiest to find. They can be made to be formidable speedsters, but will not compare to a modern high performance car. Computer controlled modern V8s are quite powerful these days.
Good Luck. Do your homework on the body styles you like. Search on google for the different styles and you can see how varied the styling is. One of them will surely catch your eye.

t walgamuth
08-22-2018, 10:09 PM
Studies are very stylish!

studegary
08-22-2018, 10:09 PM
Welcome to the SDC Forum!

Reading your post, I would recommend buying a car that is near done or done. This way you can enjoy it right away. There are always things to do.

Join the Studebaker Drivers Club and you will learn of all the vendors and parts available. Many more common collector cars have fewer NOS parts available. Some of the top collector cars do have many reproduction parts available (like to build an entire car). There are Studebaker reproduction parts as well as NOS, but not to the extent of a Camaro, for instance.

When you own a Studebaker, you will find that at most events you will have the only one and draw more attention than a line of Camaros or Mustangs.
Being in Pittsburgh, check well for rust or hidden rust. I mostly buy collector cars from Texas, New Mexico, etc. I would rather pay shipping than deal with rust.

yoyoman
08-22-2018, 10:44 PM
Hey Ash, Good advice there from Gary.
Good Luck in your search.

plee4139
08-23-2018, 04:31 AM
If you've ever been to a car show then you know they are typically about 75% what I call "FordRolets" and ChevroFords, i.e. the "usual supects. i hav a 56 Sky Hawk and I see people walk past he seemingly endless rows of tri-five Shlebbiess. Carvettes and Muststinks, etc, blah,blah yadda yadda been-there-done-that, and stopped in their tracks with cameras at the ready to fixate on my Gloriously Green goer. Last week I had it parked in front of a store and an otherwise sane-appearing man was looking at it and said, and I quote: "It isn't just gorgeous, it's breathaking." It's got a newly rebuilt Sudebaker, not Ford, 289, and it will go! I think cars like Firebirds are OK if you'r 19 and want to pretend you're Burt Reynolds with Sally Fields sitting next to you with adoring eyes, but for a real car lover, there's nothing like a Studie. Questions?

Avantidon
08-23-2018, 05:33 AM
Welcome Ash and thanks for asking about our cars. As many have said Studebakers are fun not only to drive but to let folks see. Most don't know much about them and then there are some who know lots about them. One of the best ways to learn about our cars are to talk to the folks who own them. In the Pittsburgh area there are many Studebaker owners and a local SDC Chapter. Please join the SDC receive our award winning monthly magazine and you first year membership is only $24.00. Consider that the subscription cost of the magazine and get the Club for free. If you'd like the names of some local SDC members near you, PM me and I'll be happy to give them to you. As for parts, we have over 200 vendors and many NOS parts for just about any thing you might need. Got more questions? My email is available on the club's website.

Don Jones

Kurt
08-23-2018, 06:11 AM
Studebaker are fun. The biggest kick I get is all the people that come up and ask about them. I think it is because they are different. A Lark or Hawk with a Supercharger will definitely get people’s attention. They drive and handle pretty much like every other car from the 50’s and 60’s. As for fixing them up, some things are fairly expensive and some things are dirt cheap. I would say that a Lark or Commander would cost less than a big three muscle car to restore. I might be wrong about that maybe others have experience in that area

Mrs K Corbin
08-23-2018, 07:12 AM
One piece of Advice. Buy as Rust Free and already Painted up. With pictures of the process if possible. Finding a Body shop to work over a restoration project is daunting in itself, and if you have mucho rusto, you've got real trouble. I've done 1 studebaker truck from the ground up, and got half-way thru the second before I stalled as no body shop will touch it, even after it's been removed from the frame, blasted, new metal welded in. I've not thrown any mud on, it's just in Epoxy. anyone who will touch it wants to start at $10k with an open wallet. Krazy... My name is not Barrett, or Jackson!!!!!

As for drive train, that's up to you. I'll not get into that. I'm mostly factory myself, but anything goes. I've seen everything from bone stock to LS conversions, to studebaker sitting on either an S10 or Dakota frame. If I were to make a daily driver again, it would be a R series truck on a Dakota frame and a v8.

Seriously, do not buy thinking that someday you will make a profit. It's for fun. Studebakers are different and will garner much attention. I'll pass 3 Novas, 2 mustangs, a hundred corvettes, just to look at a studebaker.

55s
08-23-2018, 08:01 AM
Definitely buy the best car you can for the price you can afford, preferably ready to enjoy.

Studebakers themselves are well-built cars, and the parts are reasonably priced still because there are so many interchangeable parts. Easy maintenance. I am going to be changing a water pump today - 4 bolts, about an hour.

Definitely join the club first to get a sense of the people, cars available, and get advice before spending money. Turning Wheels magazine, this website, and current members are probably the best source of information.

Above all, have fun and make sure your family is involved.

sals54
08-23-2018, 09:10 AM
Ditto to all of the above about buying the best, rust free car you can afford. And if you find a very nice 6 cylinder car, a V8 will drop in very easily.

Ash400
08-23-2018, 09:15 AM
I like the idea of restoring a car, but I have a feeling that my lack of knowledge, and the likely ballooning budget would be frustrating and diminish the joy of owning a Studebaker.

I think the idea of joining the SDC is wise as well. So that is something that I will pursue.

Thank you all for your insights and I welcome any additional thoughts.

Ash

candbstudebakers
08-23-2018, 10:56 AM
All that have said things are about as true as it is going to be, so not much for me to say except that I have owner over 300 Studebaker's since 1958 when I got my first a 1948 Land Cruiser. Start by joining the club and you will see something special when you get your first Turning Wheels, then you can go from there and really start looking for a car, thanks for being interested in Studebaker's.

voxnut
08-23-2018, 01:44 PM
I will add my voice to reiterate the others- buy a driver and just have fun maintaining it. It will still give you plenty to do that allows you to have sweat equity in the car and for it to feel like it is truly yours, but you'll be able to enjoy it right away and look for opportunities to improve the car here and there replacing things that are a little worn or out of adjustment.

I bought my '61 Lark wagon about 2 1/2 years ago and my only regret is "what took me so long?" Since I've had it, I rebuilt the entire brake system including new hard lines, clutch linkage, and the generator. I put slightly wider 5" Ford steel rims on it so I can run tires I can get at my local tire shop, rather than collector car tires. Drained and refilled both the rear end and the transmission. Located Studebaker full wheel covers and replaced the stock dog dish hubcaps. Found the correct accessory clock and had it rebuilt. Had the radio rebuilt and a port put in for an MP3 player. The jobs coming up are replacing the valve stem seals, swapping in a new 4 barrel Edelbrock carb and re-machined manifold, and a new stainless steel exhaust system. Install the new carpet kit I have for it plus replacing weather stripping. Down the road, I'm looking at having the original seats that are starting to wear out, recovered in the original vinyl, and eventually installing a vintage air A/C system.

But through all of this, the car has never been off the road longer than a weekend, and I wouldn't anticipate it will be with the upcoming jobs. It has been a ton of fun with lots of driving and enjoyment. Equal opportunity for tinkering and driving - and a lot of the tinkering has been because I wanted to make the car a little better, not that the car wasn't running at the time. The only thing that pooped out on me was the generator.

So as many have said, get the best driver car you can afford and have fun with it over the long haul.

74999

wittsend
08-23-2018, 02:05 PM
If you choose the Lark just be ready to say, "No, it's not a Rambler." And while that does set you apart from the Camaro's and Mustang's a Studebaker (Lark) does receive brand confusion from the casual observer. The '65/'66 cars have the GM (Mckinnon) engine. And you might not have to argue that the engine isn't a Ford 289 (that’s a plus) - though some may accuse you of a (GM) engine swap (that’s a negative). Then comes the, “Wait..., Studebaker’s are American cars..., why was yours made in Canada?” question if you opt for a ‘65-‘66.

So, yes, a subtle attention getter that can often require corrective dialogue. If you are the conversational, teaching type it just might be the car for you!

70Avanti2
08-23-2018, 04:47 PM
I second buying the best car you can afford. Rust free for sure. And a older restoration that you can fix like you want and still not be afraid to drive. A six cyl will be the best bang for the buck. Then convert to a v8.

BobPalma
08-23-2018, 05:19 PM
:) I'll second all the advice that's been given, Ash, except the advice to buy a six and convert it to a V8.

Not a good idea unless you're prepared to change the transmission, differential, brakes, and springs, all of which were nearly always different, and lighter-duty, than those on V8 cars.

If you plan on doing much highway cruising, especially if hills are nearby, just buy a V8-powered car to begin with. They aren't that difficult to find and well worth the extra money over a comparable six. Nothing against sixes; many people own and enjoy them. Just don't entertain changing one to a V8.

(In my never-so-humble opinion, of course; other opinions may vary.;))

And a hearty welcome to The Studebaker World. It's a great place full of wonderful people.:) BP

sweetolbob
08-23-2018, 05:34 PM
If you still have the muscle car jones, it will come as no surprise to forum members that I'll recommend the red-headed step child of Studebaker, Avanti II. They are basically 63/64 Avanti's with SBC/ GM trannys from the factory. They sell for much less than most Studebaker powered muscle cars, $10K will get you a very nice one and , I suspect, with your history GM engines are not unfamiliar to you.

You'll seldom meet yourself at most car shows and the styling holds up well even today. Need 400+ HP, can't beat SBC's and their off-spring for $/HP. Parts are available and generally on a par with other Studebaker for cost as they are Studebaker in origin.

75003

I will admit I'll a big fan as I own two.

Bob

6hk71400
08-24-2018, 02:08 AM
Richard,

Welcome to the Forum! One thing I would recommend is to join SDC and the local chapter. If you go to the home page of SDC, click on resources and local chapters to find the one near Pittsburgh. Wonderful people and great information. Who knows, you might find a car within the chapter.

We have recently had a new member in our area that has joined SDC. He has not bought a car yet but is looking. Our Tourmaster, John Lewis, is in contact and working to find a car. Our new member Bill has extensive knowledge and would like to have one of the cars that he as a young man was involved with building. His name is Bill Frick, son of THE Bill Frick. If you don't know about Bill Frick, google Bill Frick Studillac. Bill is looking for one of those cars but also is wanting to get a Studebaker in the mean while. I hope to get with him and do a story on his father and Bill himself.

Bob Miles
Pacific Southwest Zone Meet 2018-2020

Hallabutt
08-24-2018, 04:07 AM
Ash,

You ask the question "should I buy a Studebaker?" My answer is that it all depends. Ask yourself a few questions: 1)Do you enjoy driving, owning and showing something different? Many years in the car hobby has taught me that we all have a tendency to arbitrarily separate ourselves into groups, which might be referred to as cliques. In general there are Chevrolet people, Ford people and everyone else. Owning a Studebaker you will not be a part of the first two groups. The American car world is dominated by the first two groups, and you shouldn't expect much love from them. So that kind of leaves you with the everyone else group. Even though the Studebaker community is a family we have our favorite cars, but generally we stick together. In most car events (excluding Studebaker events) you will be a minority and that's where you will have to be satisfied by interest from others who like something different. 2) Are you willing and able to become knowledgeable, and are you willing to educate the unwashed, because you will have respond to a myriad of questions about your car and the company that made it? 3) Are you willing to accept a car that is a bargain in the hobby, but with the understanding that you will, most likely, not get rich on the purchase of any post war Studebaker? I doubt that you are going to be able to answer all of these questions without the experience of ownership, so I guess the question should be are you willing to try?

Mrs K Corbin
08-24-2018, 06:40 AM
I've always thought the Avanti's were BAAAAAD A$$$$

lelshaddai
08-24-2018, 09:57 AM
Ash, I will throw my hat in the ring. I started my first vehicle in 2005, It was a 1940 Plymouth Truck, and since then I have stuck, for the most part, to vehicles that are different. I like different. Volvos, Metropolitans, Corvairs, Datsun roadsters, Plymouth Suburbans. At a show these vehicles get a lot of attention, but do not win a lot of awards and they do not always get your money back but they were fun to do and drive. A lot of thumbs up and questions about the cars. Everyone has a story to tell you of more unique different cars.

I like you was not knowledgeable. (still do not feel like I have improved much) It always seemed two steps forward and three steps back. But I learned by doing it myself and in the end it may not be a show car, but a driver. I had the pride to know that I made it run and drive. Anyone can buy a finished show car and win awards. My cars may not be perfect and far from it but I did it. I agree, find a driver with limited rust. My 51 Commander was such a car. I can drive it and fix things as I go. I got into the Studebakers 3 years ago. Bought a 53 Commander Starlight Coupe. They are different and people ask questions. Liked it so I bought the 51 Starlight coupe. This one gets attention, although it may be to make fun of whether it is coming or going. When you go to the cruises or shows do you spend a lot of time looking down Mustang and Camaro row all looking the same?

I did a ground up restoration of a 61 Metropolitan. It was a high 390 point car. So afraid to drive it that I sold it soon after it was finished. Took it to two shows in a borrowed enclosed trailer. I swore I would never had a trailer queen. I have found the Studebakers to be easy to work on, reasonable for most parts and a lot of knowledgable, helpful people on this forum that have helped me tremendously. At least with their help I feel I am two steps forward and maybe keeping up.

Both my Studes have the V8's. The 53 has the 289, 4 barrel with Fight o matic transmission, all stock. It easily lights up the tires. These cars have nice tech that was ahead of the other brands. Not like my Metropolitans that were 1960's cars with 1940's tech.

I have found that the best car is the one that is really complete. Tracking down a bunch of small missing pieces can really add up.

Good look with your purchase.
These guys are here to help.
Jim

daytonadave
08-24-2018, 12:05 PM
Buy a Studebaker for the Fellowship of the Club and its Events. Still one of the Largest in the Country. Studebaker has "Great Bones".
Any True Super Lark is Big Money today. Make a Clone.
Personally, I like the Daytona Lark hardtop, but for performance get a 2-door post.
Buy A Grease Gun for the many Grease Zerks.
I had a new 77 Black Trans AM, Smoky and the Bandit era. I called it my "Lead Sled". 3000rpm was 100mph. When Gasoline hit a $1.25/gallon it was time to trade. I read that GM restricted the motor by constricting the intake/exhaust runners/valves. A 400ci motor should make more than 180hp.

studegary
08-24-2018, 12:18 PM
Ash, I will throw my hat in the ring. I started my first vehicle in 2005, It was a 1940 Plymouth Truck, and since then I have stuck, for the most part, to vehicles that are different. I like different. Volvos, Metropolitans, Corvairs, Datsun roadsters, Plymouth Suburbans. At a show these vehicles get a lot of attention, but do not win a lot of awards and they do not always get your money back but they were fun to do and drive. A lot of thumbs up and questions about the cars. Everyone has a story to tell you of more unique different cars.

I like you was not knowledgeable. (still do not feel like I have improved much) It always seemed two steps forward and three steps back. But I learned by doing it myself and in the end it may not be a show car, but a driver. I had the pride to know that I made it run and drive. Anyone can buy a finished show car and win awards. My cars may not be perfect and far from it but I did it. I agree, find a driver with limited rust. My 51 Commander was such a car. I can drive it and fix things as I go. I got into the Studebakers 3 years ago. Bought a 53 Commander Starlight Coupe. They are different and people ask questions. Liked it so I bought the 51 Starlight coupe. This one gets attention, although it may be to make fun of whether it is coming or going. When you go to the cruises or shows do you spend a lot of time looking down Mustang and Camaro row all looking the same?

I did a ground up restoration of a 61 Metropolitan. It was a high 390 point car. So afraid to drive it that I sold it soon after it was finished. Took it to two shows in a borrowed enclosed trailer. I swore I would never had a trailer queen. I have found the Studebakers to be easy to work on, reasonable for most parts and a lot of knowledgable, helpful people on this forum that have helped me tremendously. At least with their help I feel I am two steps forward and maybe keeping up.

Both my Studes have the V8's. The 53 has the 289, 4 barrel with Fight o matic transmission, all stock. It easily lights up the tires. These cars have nice tech that was ahead of the other brands. Not like my Metropolitans that were 1960's cars with 1940's tech.

I have found that the best car is the one that is really complete. Tracking down a bunch of small missing pieces can really add up.

Good look with your purchase.
These guys are here to help.
Jim

Nice input with one exception. I do not want any readers of this SDC Forum to think that a 289, 4 barrel or Flightomatic were "stock" in a 1953. These may be Studebaker parts, but none were available in 1953 models.

lelshaddai
08-24-2018, 03:31 PM
I stand corrected. I know the 53 came with the 232. I just meant there are nice Studebaker engines that are stock that perform well.
Jim:D

tim333
08-24-2018, 04:39 PM
Sent you a PM Ash

rusty65
08-24-2018, 08:17 PM
Yet another Studebaker car show story here.I was at a local smaller car show some years ago.I entered my car (65 Daytona) in the 'Under Construction" class. Parked next to me was a 1980 red Corvette in showroom condition.When I pulled up next to him on the lot (I was told to do so by the organizers), he looked at me like I was the scum of the earth.Not a lot of conversation between us,just a lot of dirty looks from this guy.Well the spectators began filing in and I must have had 30 people asking things about my car (Who made Studebakers?What year is it?I didn't know they made them in '65!When did you get it?) Nobody was saying anything to Mr.Cool parked next to me.He was taking slow gas!!What frosted him the most was when a really good looking woman came up to me and said,"I really like your car.It looks like an Easter egg!"I can only guess that she really liked turquoise.By this time this guy had about had it! Neither one of us won an award but it was such a great feeling I had that day!
Short story long my friend, by all means buy a Studebaker.It doesn't matter if it's a clapped out 4 door sedan, a weather-beaten Champ truck or a fully restored Avanti or Speedster.The fun factor will be well worth it.

I was on my way to a cruise night on the Interstate when a couple in a brand new Jaguar pulled even with me so that the wife could take a video of MY car.Awesome! Get yourself a Studebaker.You'll be glad you did!

Milaca
08-24-2018, 08:55 PM
I recommend buying an International Harvester Scout II....oops..sorry, I thought I was on the Binder Bulletin for a moment...

sals54
08-24-2018, 11:59 PM
Yet another Studebaker car show story here.I was at a local smaller car show some years ago.I entered my car (65 Daytona) in the 'Under Construction" class. Parked next to me was a 1980 red Corvette in showroom condition.When I pulled up next to him on the lot (I was told to do so by the organizers), he looked at me like I was the scum of the earth.Not a lot of conversation between us,just a lot of dirty looks from this guy.Well the spectators began filing in and I must have had 30 people asking things about my car (Who made Studebakers?What year is it?I didn't know they made them in '65!When did you get it?) Nobody was saying anything to Mr.Cool parked next to me.He was taking slow gas!!What frosted him the most was when a really good looking woman came up to me and said,"I really like your car.It looks like an Easter egg!"I can only guess that she really liked turquoise.By this time this guy had about had it! Neither one of us won an award but it was such a great feeling I had that day!
Short story long my friend, by all means buy a Studebaker.It doesn't matter if it's a clapped out 4 door sedan, a weather-beaten Champ truck or a fully restored Avanti or Speedster.The fun factor will be well worth it.

I was on my way to a cruise night on the Interstate when a couple in a brand new Jaguar pulled even with me so that the wife could take a video of MY car.Awesome! Get yourself a Studebaker.You'll be glad you did!

Dang... You're my hero. I had a nearly duplicate experience years ago with my 54 Coupe.
My Coupe was in primer black, lowered and rather loud. No interior. Just bucket seats bolted to the metal floor. No door panels, no headliner. Dang, it was rather ugly. But it was coool. I didn't even put my hood up.
The guy next to me was sporting a nice blue 68 Camaro. Very nice car. I got about the same response that you got.
When the folks started coming in, I had all sorts of people asking me about my car. Some posing and taking pictures with it. I even let some of the little kids stand on the front seat and play with the steering wheel. They loved it.
The Camaro guy got steamed after about an hour of this and moved his car to another part of the show.
I thought it was hilarious.
Good show for us, eh?

Kurt
08-25-2018, 06:08 AM
Dang... You're my hero. I had a nearly duplicate experience years ago with my 54 Coupe.
My Coupe was in primer black, lowered and rather loud. No interior. Just bucket seats bolted to the metal floor. No door panels, no headliner. Dang, it was rather ugly. But it was coool. I didn't even put my hood up.
The guy next to me was sporting a nice blue 68 Camaro. Very nice car. I got about the same response that you got.
When the folks started coming in, I had all sorts of people asking me about my car. Some posing and taking pictures with it. I even let some of the little kids stand on the front seat and play with the steering wheel. They loved it.
The Camaro guy got steamed after about an hour of this and moved his car to another part of the show.
I thought it was hilarious.
Good show for us, eh?

i bet a lot of members have stories like this. Here is mine. I have a 51 Commander 4 door that is light blue in color. It is in fair shape. Driver quality I would say. A guys pulls up in a 68 or 69Dodge Charger. It is a VERY nice car. He gets out, looks at me, and says “is that Grandmas car” I didn’t miss a beat and said, “no, actually it was Grandpas” . Right away I was getting all kinds of questions and looks. The other guy was clearly miffed that the grandma car was getting all the attention. In my mind following the crowd isn’t that much fun. That is part of the reason I enjoy my Studebaker so much.

sweetolbob
08-25-2018, 07:41 AM
The uniqueness of a Stude is both a blessing and a curse. At car shows they are unique enough to stand out so they draw a significant amount of attention. I can add several stories about folks that preferred to discuss my Avanti/54K over better prepared and higher dollar Big Three models. Heck, when I took my Avanti to a local show sponsored by the area Corvette Associations, they put it in the front row along with the other vettes they wanted to feature.

The curse is most folks grew up dreaming about a car that turned their crank when they were young and it wasn't a Stude. I grew up a GM devotee but saw both an Avanti and 54K in the wild in my youth and those were the cars I wanted in my dotage. Otherwise, I just be admiring the occasional one at a car show and driving my third gen vette (chrome bumper version) away.

Bottom line, if you see something that stirs your drink in the Studebaker family buy it and restore/mod it to suit your vision. If you don't see yourself driving it, pass. I'm pretty sure most of us here are doing it for themselves and not for what other people want. Well!!! At least I am.:woot:

Bob

56H-Y6
08-25-2018, 08:00 AM
Good advice all, take the time to survey a variety of makes and model years, research the pros and cons of those of specific interest, then the take away is to buy what you like that is within your budget. One proviso is, unless you are skilled and equipped to undertake a restoration, buy the best example of the one you decide to pursue. Good luck in your search.

Steve

Stude Shoo-wop!
08-25-2018, 09:42 AM
Well, it seems that many others on the forum have covered this topic in great detail. All I'm going to add is that you must be prepared to be a missionary for Studebaker. What do I mean by that? You must educate those who don't know better and behave in such a way that you may even convert a few of them over to Studebaker-Packardom, as unlikely as it may seem.

Ash400
08-31-2018, 10:56 AM
I want to thank everyone for their responses. You have provided very useful insight and have helped me focus my search to cars where most of the work has been done, so that I may enjoy driving the car, vs. finding myself in an expensive and drawn-out restoration process.

Unless I can find the "needle in the haystack" Super Lark. I am going to focus on the cars that I find most attractive '53 & '54 Commanders. Finally, I am going to look for a resto-mod where the mechanicals are updated and I can use and drive regularly.

I appreciate the help and I will keep you posted on what I find!

Ash

Stude Shoo-wop!
08-31-2018, 04:18 PM
Unless I can find the "needle in the haystack" Super Lark. I am going to focus on the cars that I find most attractive '53 & '54 Commanders. Finally, I am going to look for a resto-mod where the mechanicals are updated and I can use and drive regularly.

I appreciate the help and I will keep you posted on what I find!

Ash

Just one suggestion for the restomod: please use a project-condition 53/54 Commander as your base for the restomod. There's no sense in taking a perfectly good Loewy coupe through a restomod, when you can rescue one instead.

TWChamp
08-31-2018, 04:34 PM
I agree. In fact I can drive any of my Studes everyday just as the factory built them.
I wouldn't mind having A/C though if I was to make one my daily driver.

studeclunker
08-31-2018, 05:49 PM
Grandma's car...:!!: Yeah, I drove Grandma's car for a year. 1962 regal (I think) stationwagon with everything including the V8 (no idea which) with overdrive. Didn't use the OD much as we lived in the mountains. Loved that car, still do.

I was first exposed to Studebaker through Gram's car but also the horse-drawn vehicles. Studebaker has the distinction no modern Car maker has, having built carriages for fifty years before auto-mobile buggies. Well, Ferrari did, but they're Italian, not American...

My first Studebaker was purchased rather unintentionally by losing a bet. A friend pulled a stationwagon out of a field it had resided in for at least seventeen years. I bet it wouldn't start without a rebuild. Apparently, it was abandoned because of a bad carb. It started and I bought a 'wagon. Smoked worse than my mother and ran like a top. Actually turned out more reliable than the Caddie I had at the same time. One thing I found out from this transaction was that Studebakers are less expensive than Chevies or Fords. The parts are about the same and in some ways more available. No, you aren't going to find many parts at FLAPS nationwide. However, we do have our own suppliers and they do very well, thanks. Another thing I have found out is that the restored cars are actually better priced than comparable big-three cars. Much... better priced! If you have the income, my best advice is to buy a restored Studebaker. You will save money in the end. However, I would make sure you are plugged into the support-group, uh... the uh, network. That way you have enable... Uh, knowledgeable people at hand for your mad... uh, ah, addic... uh, hobby!:whome: Lou is right though. If you buy a Studee, you might as well put up a carport for its siblings. Studebakers are kind of like children. After the first one comes along, there usually are more than you expected following it...:rolleyes::o

studegary
08-31-2018, 08:03 PM
I want to thank everyone for their responses. You have provided very useful insight and have helped me focus my search to cars where most of the work has been done, so that I may enjoy driving the car, vs. finding myself in an expensive and drawn-out restoration process.

Unless I can find the "needle in the haystack" Super Lark. I am going to focus on the cars that I find most attractive '53 & '54 Commanders. Finally, I am going to look for a resto-mod where the mechanicals are updated and I can use and drive regularly.

I appreciate the help and I will keep you posted on what I find!

Ash

You probably do not mean all "'53 & '54 Commanders". Commander in those years simply means that it is a V8 model and is not related to the body style (could be a 2 door sedan, 4 door sedan or even a wagon in 1954). You are probably interested in a Starlight (C) or Starliner (K). These are the low coupe models on 120.5 inch wheelbases. If you want a restomod, it could start out as a Champion (6 cyl.) and have the same body.

Mark L
09-01-2018, 08:12 PM
Ash, If you're going to look for a 53 or 54 coupe, you may want to look for a 54. They are very similar, but the 54s were generally better quality from the factory.

earthtechy
09-02-2018, 02:15 PM
Since your relatively young you may want to start with a stylish convertible. Try this one one

https://nh.craigslist.org/cto/d/awesome-1949-studebaker/6685239478.html

Xcalibur
09-02-2018, 09:04 PM
Since you asked, and reading your blurb... you sound perfect, for something more mainstream.

Seriously, I think you would find such easier to deal with in all regards. All the best, in any event!

TWChamp
09-02-2018, 11:01 PM
Get your feet wet and buy any drivable Studebaker reasonably priced.
Then when you find another you like even more, you can add it to the collection, or sell the first one.

nwi-region-rat
09-04-2018, 01:01 PM
YES....you should.....here's my perspective.....I have one Studebaker....a 2R17A grain truck....and orphan even in the studebaker world....why? BIG...almost 23'....WIDE...97"....has 6 Tires, with a speed limit of 55 per DOT......however.........I can carry over 2 TONS of crap home...(which I shouldn't) it's a landscaper's dream......Flat bed with removable sides...and a hydo-lift, so she doubles as a dump truck......the flat bed is great for hauling and for PARADES.....she's old and slow.....but.....she pulls like a team of OXEN.....has a WTF factor of 11.....she amazes everyone with what she hauls....and how quiet she is......and how smooth that 6 runs.......I'm in the suburbs...so a farm truck is a little out of place, but I get thumbs up from the landscapers....lol and I shock the folks at the lumberyard.....and the materials place when I pick up stone.......the local drive in......nothing like her at all....sure trucks....but no Studebakers.......

I was/am a mopar guy, two dodge trucks for my daily drivers, in the garage 67 Chrysler 300, 68 Fury Convertible, and 89 Dodge Police Car.....C-Body mopars are just starting to get love.....the c-body guys are cool to one another, but most of the rest won't look at you even at an all mopar show......my police car is too new for some, too closely related to an Aspen/Volare for others....unless you too have and FMJ Body or a Police Pack car......they stick together.......still love them, only have two "mopar buddies" For the most part, if you run a hot mopar.....everyone acts like you got a secret and everyone is out to steal it from you.....or they are very picky on how PURE and OEM your car is......if you want to be fast, do it yourself, not many will share secrets......now with the internet, it's better, but show time, I really don't talk much to other mopar guys.....

Back to the Studebakers.......DIFFERENT BY DESIGN? more like a DIFFERENT CROWD.......NICER too.........if it's a Studebaker, they welcome you.....don't matter what year, color or door count, No problem if it's a six.......everyone wishes for the Overdrive everyone wants a SUPERCHARGER......and If you have it.....your're tops. And if not......you're still cool....the guy with the showroom Avanti will lover your Stude-beater as much as his own, we realize that we are far and few between, why not make friends......I have made friends with more Studebaker guys that Mopar, Been a mopar guy for my whole life......first car even (67 300 in the garage) I only joined the Studebaker crew a few years ago, and have had more fun with them than others......The cars and trucks were cool, cutting edge at times......the people who drive them are very kind and supportive of anyone who likes the pride of South Bend........

So yes, buy a Studebaker.....(try and keep it mostly Studebaker) but proudly fly the flag of the lazy S and you'll have a bunch of new friends.