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View Full Version : Just Wondering? How many 1951 Commander HC-5 Starlight Coupes are on the road?



effiedude
02-03-2014, 04:46 PM
I've been collecting parts for My 1951 Commander HC-5 Starlight Coupe and just made room in My shop to do a body off restore. I have seen lots of Bullet nosed cars 50 and 51's but most have been Champions and Land Cruisers. Not too many Commander Star lights. So My question is, Is the 1951 Commander Starlight Coupe considered a rare car? Please reply with Your input as it will be helpful. Pics of Your 1951 Commander would be nice. Thank you all and Have a fine day!

RadioRoy
02-03-2014, 04:57 PM
To my mind, it's one of the best of the bullet-nose cars. It's got a bullet nose, the wrap around windows, a V-8, and it's the first year of the "modern" suspension system that can be modified with bolt on brakes, sway bars and such. The only thing missing is a good bolt-on power steering system.

You are lucky to have found such a car.

rockne10
02-03-2014, 10:24 PM
Pat,
I got mine for $450 after a barn had caved in on it, crushed the roof, then sat outside for eighteen years.
It took a few years but it missed a first place at Lancaster 2008 by six points. As always, a head turner and tons of fun to drive. One of these days I'm going to get around to sending Roy my radio.

http://s57.photobucket.com/user/rockne10/library/1951?sort=2&page=1

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g233/rockne10/1951/P3210066.jpg
(http://s57.photobucket.com/user/rockne10/library/1951?sort=2&page=1)

avantilover
02-04-2014, 12:36 AM
If my information is correct you have a Commander State with 232.6 Cubic Inch V8. Production was 11637.
The other coupe production figures are:

Sixes:
Champion Custom 2781
Champion Deluxe 9444
Champion Regal 14103

Eights:
Commander Regal 8192

effiedude
02-04-2014, 09:02 AM
Thanks Guys! But I have a dilemma, I have an extremely rare project that needs finishing and thank goodness it's all aluminum Cause it's sitting outside of My shop at the moment! Last Summer I shot My 14' Boeing Aircraft Factory Produced (In 1954) runabout boat with Alaska Ferry Zink infused epoxy and let it sit for a year to cure. The boat is EXTREEMLY rare, Being produced with surplus Aluminum from the manufacture of War planes at the Boeing Aircraft Company in Everett WA, I am aware that after WWII Boeing manufactured Furniture, and also a few Small travel trailers. What's nice is I have all the factory documentation on the boat ( I did spend the better part of the last 6 years chasing those documents but was fortunate to find One of the Two brothers that built the boat alive and able to document the build.) Some of You here in the forum know me well, and I've always been a shoebox Ford guy, and over the course of My 54 years have restored or rodded (1949-51 Ford Coupes and Sedans) I never thought I'd say this but I am selling all My 50's for cars to concentrate on the ground up restoration of My 1951 HC-5 Commander Starlight Coupe. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before I get to old to enjoy it. Again thanks to all who share their input with Me here on the forum. and if Your in the market for a Ford shoebox project or Two send Me a inquiry here on the forum. Have a fine day all!

effiedude
02-04-2014, 09:04 AM
Thanks Guys! But I have a dilemma, I have an extremely rare project that needs finishing and thank goodness it's all aluminum Cause it's sitting outside of My shop at the moment! Last Summer I shot My 14' Boeing Aircraft Factory Produced (In 1954) runabout boat with Alaska Ferry Zink infused epoxy and let it sit for a year to cure. The boat is EXTREEMLY rare, Being produced with surplus Aluminum from the manufacture of War planes at the Boeing Aircraft Company in Everett WA, I am aware that after WWII Boeing manufactured Furniture, and also a few Small travel trailers. What's nice is I have all the factory documentation on the boat ( I did spend the better part of the last 6 years chasing those documents but was fortunate to find One of the Two brothers that built the boat alive and able to document the build.) Some of You here in the forum know me well, and I've always been a shoebox Ford guy, and over the course of My 54 years have restored or rodded (1949-51 Ford Coupes and Sedans) I never thought I'd say this but I am selling all My 50's Ford cars and parts to concentrate on the ground up restoration of My 1951 HC-5 Commander Starlight Coupe. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before I get to old to enjoy it. Again thanks to all who share their input with Me here on the forum. and if Your in the market for a Ford shoebox project or Two send Me a inquiry here on the forum. Have a fine day all!

deco_droid
02-04-2014, 10:56 PM
You're right, I think your 51 commander starlight is the first I've seen on this site in quite a while. I prefer the 50, of course, but all starlights to me, are nice looking cars.

Hallabutt
02-05-2014, 05:06 PM
Patrick
I always use the one percent approximate survival gage for cars over thirty years old. So figure about one hundred plus or minus as and approximate survival number. Rare but certainly not among the rarest of Studebakers.

Commander Eddie
02-05-2014, 05:14 PM
I like all of the bullet nose cars, and I have no idea how many are still on the road. Since Studebaker built about 611,000 of them between 1950 and 1951 there is a chance there are more of them still around than most any other Studebaker.

jclary
02-05-2014, 06:01 PM
"Rare" is...in my opinion...the most "over-rated" term in the collector car world. "Popularity" almost always trumps "rare." Park almost any so called rare car next to any popular car of the same vintage (even if the popular car was produced by the gazillions) and the crowd usually forms around the popular car.

It is too easy to flip out the word "rare" instead of "undesirable," "sales-flop," "Dud," or "failure." I try to avoid the term because I feel that it is a weak description when attempting to present a vehicle in terms that promote and elevate it's value.

Those of us who own both, Champions, Commanders, and Land Cruisers, know that the more expensive heavy cars are built better, ride better, quieter, and more durable than the economy cars. Same with other makes, like a Chevy Nomad VS a Pontiac Safari wagon, or any '57 Chevy Coupe VS a '57 Caddy two-door Coupe. (Or Two Door '57 Buick Roadmaster Hardtop.) Run any of these comparative offerings through a crowd of average everyday folks, and the crowds will usually form around the popular versions.

By the way, regarding the car that is the subject of this thread...I have a good friend who has a '51 Commander 5 Passenger Coupe...I love it. It is a blast to ride in and gets great attention anytime he has it out.

SN-60
02-05-2014, 06:24 PM
Sales flop or extremely popular,...Rare=$$$$$!

effiedude
02-08-2014, 10:08 AM
Exactly what is the name of Your 1951 Starlight? Is it a regal or a state? I cant remember. Thanks for the info.~Patrick

rockne10
02-08-2014, 03:08 PM
C3 would be a Regal.
C5 would be a State.
Mine is a C5.

effiedude
02-08-2014, 08:04 PM
That's what I thought! Dale, I remember You saying a while back that I was lucky to find a 51' Starlight just like Yours! So is the state a step down from the regal?
or visa versa?

rockne10
02-08-2014, 08:30 PM
State was the top trim in the '51 Commander, Regal a step lower.
Regal was the top trim in the Champion.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g233/rockne10/Modeldesignation_zps530478c6.jpg?t=1391826328

Jim B PEI
02-08-2014, 10:04 PM
I'm confused by the chart, re the K2 Convertible Hardtop. Wouldn't the K2 be a 1952 only body, either Champion 6 or Commander V8? What was called a hardtop or (B) pillarless coupe in the mid 50s, but early on was called a hardtop convertible because it emulated the look of a true convertible with a folding top. Unless it was just a type, how was there a 1951 K2??

rockne10
02-08-2014, 11:13 PM
Wouldn't the K2 be a 1952 only body, either Champion 6 or Commander V8?
Quite probably, Jim. There were often editorial discrepancies between the engineering, production and sales departments. A 1951 K2 did not show up until some energetic Stude owner decided to graft the '51 clip to a '52 K2 body.

Mark L
02-08-2014, 11:33 PM
I have a somewhat related question: Is there a registry for '50-'51 bullet-nose cars?

Mark L

mapman
02-09-2014, 02:42 AM
I got mine about 10 years ago. I was surprised to find another one about 10 miles away in a barn. He has it running but just drives it on the farm.
Rob