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Mr.Biggs
06-17-2005, 01:13 PM
[|)] Well, when I finally got a PO for my 53 coupe, I was a bit let down as I'd hoped it might give a clue as to where it was sold new. There's no such clue.:( In the "destination" block it simply says "stock" - which means it was built for inventory stock that dealers would draw from as they stocked their showrooms or searched for one for a client.
This car was built in the Los Angeles (Vernon), CA plant. Option-wise, it shows ONE optional item on it's build sheet - AC2314, which is full disc wheelcovers (which oddly enough, the car was fitted with the "bottlecap", standard, small covers when I got it and I would bet those have been on the car it's whole life)
Truly, the car was austerely equipped most of it's life. No radio, no climatizer, no cigar lighter. Just your basic auto. Being a "Deluxe" edition, it was pretty sparsely trimmed too - which I find attractive, BTW.
And somewhere along the way, someone added factory back-up lites to it. The holes in the decklid to accomodate the fixtures are rather crudely cut but this was not visible once the fixtures were mounted.
All in all, as pretty as it is, a pretty unremarkable edition of a 53 Starlight Coupe.
But after thinking about what the PO revealed, one thing struck me as odd. This car was built late in the 53 model run - Date Written is Aug 12th '53 and Date Shipped is Sept 9th '53. The odd thing is that this car came with the Tri-star emblems, front and rear. And I've read that they changed in mid-year to the V emblem to quell Mercedes-Benz's gripe about their trademark tri-star being infringed upon.
A quick check of the parts book confirms this for both South Bend and Canadian-built Studes. But there's NO mention of the LA plant making the switch. Consequently, I have a very late production Tri-Star Stude. I think that's kinda neat.
Production was kinda low outta the LA plant so maybe they decided to just use up what stock of hoods and deck lids they had on hand already and never used all the ones that were drilled to accept the Tri-star emblems before the model year ran out.:D

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Dick Steinkamp
06-17-2005, 01:50 PM
Hey, Bob...I thought that Coupe had overdrive??

-Dick-

studegary
06-17-2005, 02:41 PM
Bob - Thanks for the interesting information/observation. Does the serial number reflect late 1953 Vernon production? How far from the end of the model year? The 1954 models were released to the public on November 23, 1953. I imagine that 1954 build started about one month prior to that. I wonder if your car ended up being some dealer's leftover sale special.
What do you mean by "PO", maybe purchase order or production order? I usually refer to what comes from the Studebaker National Museum as a build sheet, but I don't remember what it is labeled as.
Early 1953 C/Ks from Vernon also used the Studebaker nameplate on the C-pillar on monochrome cars, as well as on two-tone cars. The other plants only used this nameplate on two-tone cars. Many years ago, when I saw my first single color (black) '53 Starliner that was built in Vernon, I thought it was incorrect that it had the C-pillar nameplate. Shortly thereafter, I learned that it was correct.

Roscomacaw
06-17-2005, 05:14 PM
Dick,
It does have OD but that's not listed under "Other Special Features" ("options", if you will) The second line of the Production Order has a transmission section to it with boxes to be checked for "Overdrive - Standard - Automatic" in that order.

Of the 19,600 53 Commanders assembled in Los Angeles, my coupe is amongst the last thousand or so built. So it's pretty late.

Gary, it's titled Studebaker Passenger Car Order and Inspection Record so far as this '53 is concerned.
The later style form like my '60 Larks written on says - Passenger Car Production Order.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

studegary
06-18-2005, 02:51 PM
Bob - Thanks for the proper names of what I refer to as build sheets. IIRC, your car is a 1953 Commander Starlight DeLuxe. There were only 1319 of those made in Vernon.

Roscomacaw
06-19-2005, 01:55 PM
They are indeed rare as 53 C-Ks go.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS