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View Full Version : '53 "Starlighter" at Russo and Steele Auction



paintim613
12-03-2010, 01:04 PM
She's a beaut if you like customs.

http://www.russoandsteele.com/collector-car/1953-Studebaker-Champion-Regal-Starlighter-cpe/6018

studegary
12-03-2010, 02:47 PM
It appears to be a nice car. I like the all new frame/chassis and A/C along with performance. It is great in black with enough original chrome and the original lines in tact. The car appeals to me, but I no longer participate in these major auctions that require you to pay for the privilage of bidding on one item.

showbizkid
12-03-2010, 03:31 PM
Reminds me of Dick Steinkamp's old Starliner.

PackardV8
12-03-2010, 04:01 PM
Beautiful build which will probably go for less than half what it cost. Here's what will keep the bids lower - It's not a hardtop, not a 100-point restoration, not an over-the-top-big-name-built-blingstermobile and it is a belly button. On the plus side, it is nicely understated, it is the type street custom which probably drives out wonderfully, gets decent fuel economy and would get a couple to a long distance show in comfort. But good doesn't grab the gonads of those who are looking to one-up their buds at the Good Guys Show.

And who writes the copy for R&S? Yet another example of how not to sell a really nice car.

jack vines

sweetolbob
12-03-2010, 04:24 PM
I don't doubt that it will go for less than the construction cost but the final value compared to a restored 53C of the same quality will be interesting. Cars at B&J and Mecum that have been modified as high powered fast cornering road burners (Whatever they are currently called) have been drawing large bucks.

The one thing about showing up with a 53 Studebaker among all the other Camaros and Mustangs equally modified is the cool and unique factor. Not many like that at those shows.

It will be fun to watch.

Bob

PackardV8
12-03-2010, 04:34 PM
The one thing about showing up with a 53 Studebaker among all the other Camaros and Mustangs equally modified is the cool and unique factor. Not many like that at those shows. Cool and unique for you and me, Bob and maybe a very few others. Survey says not so much for most auction buyers. An equal investment in building a '69 Camaro Z28 clone, a '69 Shelby Mustang clone, or a '69 Hemi Road Runner clone would bring twice the return, all day every auction.

jack vines

sweetolbob
12-03-2010, 04:40 PM
Cool and unique for you and me, Bob and maybe a very few others. Survey says not so much for most auction buyers. An equal investment in building a '69 Camaro Z28 clone, a '69 Shelby Mustang clone, or a '69 Hemi Road Runner clone would bring twice the return, all day every auction.

jack vines

Jack

My brain says you are probably correct but my heart wants to see a gorgeous 53 go for big money like the aforementioned Brand X's

Here's hoping.:D

Bob

00RACER
12-03-2010, 05:44 PM
It is a shame it is ruined with a GM engine

BeeJay
12-04-2010, 12:12 PM
Yeah, I "ruined" mine with a Chevy engine too. Only ended up with a still beautiful car that I can drive long distances without worrying about carrying a trunkful of spare parts. Anyone wants a running when pulled 232 Stude engine, will be more than happy to sell them one.
Bob

52-fan
12-04-2010, 12:38 PM
Gorgeous car! I love black 53 coupes regardless of engine choice. The comment about carrying a trunk full of parts if Studebaker powered doesn't hold up though.

woodysrods
12-04-2010, 06:34 PM
Yeah, I "ruined" mine with a Chevy engine too. Only ended up with a still beautiful car that I can drive long distances without worrying about carrying a trunkful of spare parts. Anyone wants a running when pulled 232 Stude engine, will be more than happy to sell them one.
Bob
Well said Bob. I "ruined" mine too. With a SB Chev, 700R4, and an 8" rear. As a matter of fact I used a complete Chev, S10 chassis under my 46 M Series. I have driven it over 60,000 miles over the past 8 years absolutely trouble free. I don't carry as much as a screwdriver for tools.5803 And I don't have BCAA, a cell phone, or a spare tire.
I drive it hard, fast, and lots, without worry as I am confident in my build 5802and just don't give it a second thought when I leave the end of the driveway for another adventure as we call it!
I am in the process of "ruining" another one (my 56 Power Hawk) with a ZZ4, 6 spd, and 9" ford.
See you somewhere down the road between here and Florida! Give me a waive as I go by!
Good Roads
Brian

Pat Dilling
12-04-2010, 06:56 PM
Beautiful car, I am a least a little curious why he chose to flare the fender wells when he changed the front suspension and rear axle and could have easily adjusted the track width. In any case I will be very curious to know what it goes for. Always good to have a value mark set. As for changing the motor, Stude motors are great but if you want 400+ hp that is reliable, drivable, guaranteed and reasonably priced it's hard to beat a Chevy crate motor. I opted for the late model EFI aluminum motor for my 53 and love it. The Conestoga will have a Stude 289 though.

Pat

BeeJay
12-06-2010, 08:56 AM
Don't mean to disparage those who chose to be purists. I bought my first '53 Commander in '55. Drove it everywhere. But then parts were available with ease. If you are on the road today and lose a fuel pump, where do you get one? Dist cap? Even a rotor? All things mechanical have the ability to fail, usually at the most inconvenient times. Parts for my SBC can even be found at the drug store. Yes, there used to be a CVS in my neighborhood that had an auto parts dept at the rear of the store!
Bob

4961Studebaker
12-06-2010, 09:51 AM
Reminds me of Dick Steinkamp's old Starliner.

Thought the same thing when I saw the photo, great cars.

Now I need to go borrow some plans and build a new man cave so I can house one of these.

PackardV8
12-06-2010, 12:25 PM
We're getting way off-topic from this particular car at auction, but that's never stopped us before.


Don't mean to disparage those who chose to be purists. I bought my first '53 Commander in '55. Drove it everywhere. But then parts were available with ease. If you are on the road today and lose a fuel pump, where do you get one? Dist cap? Even a rotor? All things mechanical have the ability to fail, usually at the most inconvenient times. Parts for my SBC can even be found at the drug store. Yes, there used to be a CVS in my neighborhood that had an auto parts dept at the rear of the store!

I'm far from a purist. At present, I own three customs and no stock Studes, so I can see both sides. Interestingly, most of the SBC conversions cite reliability and parts availability as the excuse. Guess I've just been incredibly fortunate, but in fifty years of driving stock Studes, many of them as daily drivers, I've never been stranded, never had one come home on the hook. The Studebaker engines and running gear are so dirt-simple, the components likely to fail usually give a competent mechanic plenty of warning of weakened condition in time to replace them before they fail. Replacement of parts as they wore, an annual tune-up and oil change and they just kept getting me there and back. Those Studes I've had to rescue for others usually were long overdue for maintenance and often the owner would admit he knew it needed work but "don't drive it that much any more and just hadn't gotten around to it yet." Bottom line, a Stude maintained by the Shop Manual is one of the most mechanically reliable vehicles ever built. Your results may vary.

Again, my experience, and it incorporates owning, working on or building at least a hundred Studes and a like number street rods and customs, is the combination of many new, but unlike OEM parts and aftermarket parts are more likely to give problems than is a well-maintained stock Stude. I own one custom Avanti and am building a custom Hawk and a C-cab at present and despite my best efforts and experience, all the new bells and whistles will take weeks of road-testing, debugging and probably some expensive redesign or replacements before they are anything like as reliable as the original stock car/truck was. Reliability isn't why I changed from stock Stude - wanting to try some new ideas, get lots more performance and just wanting to play with Packard V8s was why I changed. Your results may vary.

jack vines

studegary
12-06-2010, 03:31 PM
Don't mean to disparage those who chose to be purists. I bought my first '53 Commander in '55. Drove it everywhere. But then parts were available with ease. If you are on the road today and lose a fuel pump, where do you get one? Dist cap? Even a rotor? All things mechanical have the ability to fail, usually at the most inconvenient times. Parts for my SBC can even be found at the drug store. Yes, there used to be a CVS in my neighborhood that had an auto parts dept at the rear of the store!
Bob

I have noted your comments and now decided to reply. I have owned both stock and modified Studebakers. Aren't you the guy that was stranded far from home in the not too distant past when one of the non-Studebaker parts of your car failed (front suspension IIRC)?

00RACER
12-06-2010, 06:45 PM
After seeing the other comments, I had to post another to clear the air.
I think this is a very nicely done car, and looks gorgeous. I just personally am not a Chevy fan, and have to point out "TO EACH HIS OWN". Maybe some people do not like certain things on my cars, but hopefully respect this is what I wanted.
Again, very nice car and what "HE" wanted!