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View Full Version : 1953 studebaker commander convertable might have found one.... HELP!!!



luck
10-08-2010, 12:04 AM
May of found a 1953 studebaker commander convertable. I would like to ask anyone who knows about this one to give as much information as they can. It belongs to my father in law and the car has not been driven since the early 60's. Needs to be restored. I was told only 2 where made by his 17 year old son. A pic of the other one would be helpful. I will try to get more info on it this weekend. Also how do you find the vin and what number in it is the year?

(S)
10-08-2010, 12:15 AM
Under the hood on the cars RIGHT side is a tin tag. Record all of the letters and numbers. This is the body type, car model, and body number.

In the drivers door jamb is a stainless steel tag with numbers. This is the car serial number/engine type. Record those numbers.

You wont be able to tell what year a 53 is by any of the numbers without a book. Posters on this forum will tell you in minutes......

JGK 940
10-08-2010, 01:40 AM
Pics as requested; snagged from the Web.

The lady is Raymond Loewy's daughter Laurence.

luck
10-08-2010, 02:01 AM
Pics as requested; snagged from the Web.

The lady is Raymond Loewy's daughter Laurence.

ok now i have somthing to compare it with there are some simalarities from what i remember. I want to say the quarter panels look right I don't think they stuck out. I will know more when i get the vin and pic's this weekened. Thank you very much for the pic's they will help

Michael
10-08-2010, 03:02 AM
The pictures posted are not on the original 1953/54 Commander convertible prototype.
That one is a replica built by Jim Maloney in CT.
By the way, only one convertible prototype was built by Studebaker in 1953. It was
eventually updated with 1954 trim. It has survived.
If you have any pictures and VIN and Bodytag numbers we will help identifying the car.

Michael Bostedt

luck
10-08-2010, 05:29 AM
What type of trim is on the other one?

Michael
10-08-2010, 10:41 AM
It looks about the same although when converted into a 1954 it was dolled up with chrome accessories.
I have lots of pictures of it somewhere but I can't find it now.
I'd love to see pictures of you father in laws Stude.

Michael

PackardV8
10-08-2010, 10:59 AM
The pictures posted are not on the original 1953/54 Commander convertible prototype.
That one is a replica built by Jim Maloney in CT.
By the way, only one convertible prototype was built by Studebaker in 1953. It was
eventually updated with 1954 trim. It has survived.

There are several convertible conversions extant, some more faithful to the prototype than others. There are also several shortened wheelbase two-seat versions running around. How these look depends primarily on what was done with the windshield.

A bit OT, but I remember one hot rod convertible conversion built back in the day which ended up with the doors welded shut. Without the roof, the A-pillars and doors sagged too much with the doors opened and the B-pillars were so flexible, the doors would pop open on a bump and it rattled like a coffee can full of marbles. It takes much professionally fabricate interior bracing to make a C/K convertible really operable, not to mention the work on the top.

jack vines

mr moto
10-08-2010, 01:20 PM
This recent thread might shed a little more light. I mentioned posting photos from the old TW article but I never got a scan that looked very good. Maybe I'll post the article this weekend anyway.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?44490-Any-knowledge-about-the-53-convert-prototype

luck
10-08-2010, 04:25 PM
Ok I called and I guess it's a 1950 but some stuff on this car is still confusing. I did get the vin number
it has 2 doors but it has a v8 in it and marked with v8 on the hood. I think the motor is original


here it is: GI084T74 If someone could look this up that would be great

fatboylust
10-08-2010, 06:15 PM
Something is not quite right with the number: including the "G" it should be 7 characters long with no Alfa characters other than the first "G". Note Studebaker used the letter "I" as their 1.

luck
10-08-2010, 06:33 PM
I wonder if it is G1084174 instead of GI084T74 he said the tag in the door jam was old but thats probably it

Michael
10-09-2010, 01:00 AM
If that's the correct serial number the car would be a 1951 Studebaker Champion (six cylinder).

Michael

JGK 940
10-09-2010, 03:02 AM
The pictures posted are not on the original 1953/54 Commander convertible prototype.
That one is a replica built by Jim Maloney in CT.
Michael Bostedt

Ah... learn something new every day. I sit corrected. Thanks, Michael.

How about this (snagged off the Web; I'm ashamed to admit I did not note where)?:

luck
10-09-2010, 04:38 AM
I wonder why there is a v8 under the hood and the hood itself says v8 in the middle? Did Studebaker ever put a v8 in a champion, or could it be ordered by the customer from the dealer? The reason I ask is that the car in question was junked in 1962 and if it is a 51 Champion the commander had a option of a v8. Also if there was a engine swap from the 6 to the 8 and then junking the car all within that 11 years or so it seems like a waste.

I will know more tomorrow I have all the information and pic's I could get my hands on. Thank you all for your help it's been helpful and I will post everything I find out and pic's.

studegary
10-09-2010, 01:38 PM
I wonder why there is a v8 under the hood and the hood itself says v8 in the middle? Did Studebaker ever put a v8 in a champion, or could it be ordered by the customer from the dealer? The reason I ask is that the car in question was junked in 1962 and if it is a 51 Champion the commander had a option of a v8. Also if there was a engine swap from the 6 to the 8 and then junking the car all within that 11 years or so it seems like a waste.

I will know more tomorrow I have all the information and pic's I could get my hands on. Thank you all for your help it's been helpful and I will post everything I find out and pic's.

In 1951, the Champion came with a six and the V8 could NOT be ordered as an option. The Commander did NOT have "...a (sic) option of a V8". The Commander only came as a V8 (standard equipment).

As said, the body number and serial number will tell the story.

luck
10-10-2010, 08:48 AM
In 1951, the Champion came with a six and the V8 could NOT be ordered as an option. The Commander did NOT have "...a (sic) option of a V8". The Commander only came as a V8 (standard equipment).

As said, the body number and serial number will tell the story.

Ok I have arrived and took the pictures and numbers of the car. There are more but would only let me post 5.
pic of body number under hood

pic of hood with v8 and champion logo

pic of v8 number on block from 1950. notice it's a 6 cyl number from 1950. probably prototype because the v8 did not come out yet, no letter and is not on the back of engine its on the front

pic of v8 logo

pic of v8

please enjoy the pic's. still have no idea on what this is but i hope there is a answer
thank you

fatboylust
10-10-2010, 09:22 AM
For the engine serial number you will need to look for the stamped numbers located on the top of the block next to the distributer (rear of block). The cast numbers are casting numbers which don't tell whole the story.

whacker
10-10-2010, 10:01 AM
This is a 1951 Commander, from the bullet style on the nose. The engine looks like a 232, the stamped engine serial number will be on the machined pad to the left of the distributor (facing the engine from the front).

bezhawk
10-10-2010, 10:36 AM
So, if I put a Golden Hawk emblem on a 6 cylinder Lark.....it is transformed instantly into a Golden Hawk??????
I did not know this!

After half a century and more, many things have been changed on vehicles.
Probably broke the Commander script and replaced with a Champion script from used or salvage vehicle.

luck
10-10-2010, 11:12 AM
The present owner has had the car since 1960 and baught it from a friend who was the origional owner. Car has not been driven or seen since 62

I don't think anyone would fake A champion for A commander back then because of loss of money the commander was a more expensive model

aarrggh
10-10-2010, 11:21 AM
How about a picture of the whole car , instead of bits and pieces . . ? ! ..............

woodysrods
10-10-2010, 12:49 PM
It is easy to tell what this is! It is a ratty old studebaker that needs a total restoration. Which will cost two to three times what the car will be worth in the end if done riight.
Those are the pure and simple facts. Not just some fantasy about an un earthed proto type.
Not trying to sound negative just pointing out the facrts.
Brian

StudeRich
10-10-2010, 01:51 PM
As we all said right from the very start..."THE BODY TAG TELLS THE STORY!".

This car's BODY is a 1951 Champion Six Convertible body number 3774, that's IT.

AND it's "G" Serial # which IS a Champion 6.

The rest is just very common shadetree upgrades ie: a V8 hood ornament and a V-8 Engine!

We don't know about the frame, the whole thing could be a Commander V-8 even.
If the prior owner did buy this new, it is highly unlikely that he bought it in this configuration unless he paid the Dealer a LOT of money to modify it, and it would be a lot cheaper to just buy a Commander or if none were available, wait for Sept. 1951 to get a '52.

luck
10-10-2010, 10:22 PM
I managed to obtain the engine number and I have the original owner's name and info. the engine number is v76987 witch is strange. it's a 51 commander motor and if these numbers go in any type of sequence they may have left the factory at the same time as the body tag. There is no interest for me money wise in this. Not my car even. Just automotive genealogy so to speak. I may contact the museum just to see what comes up but thanks for the help. sorry for the trouble

laughinlark
10-11-2010, 12:39 AM
No trouble Luck. I'm no expert on this model, its a lot older than the ones I drive..
Sorry, I edited my post because the linkage comment was incorrect.
Gordon