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Thread: 1955 Commander Finally Home, LOTS of work ahead

  1. #1
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    1955 Commander Finally Home, LOTS of work ahead

    Well this is a very exciting few days. The sand car will be coming soon, and I just got the 55 Commander in the yard finally.

    It seems pretty complete, but has some spotty rust. A few extra parts, including a "Spare" engine I need to identify. Passenger door is too close to the fender, and there is some damage to the front trim on that side. Wheels are locked up, have no idea about the engine in the bay yet. [B)]

    What do you all think?









    55 Commander
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
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    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.

    55 Commander Regal Coupe
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    Mad Max Car\'s \"Hero Car Ranch\"; Seattle, Wa.

  2. #2
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    I like it! Looks like an early '55, original engine would probably be a 224, not sure if the trim and engine size changes coincided. Maybe you'll get lucky like I did and somebody swapped in a 289.

    Analog man in a digital world.

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member Roscomacaw's Avatar
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    I like it!

    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1963 Cruiser
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe
    1957 President two door


  4. #4
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    I like it too! [8D]

  5. #5
    Speedster Member 3rdGenStude's Avatar
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    I could only wish that Natasha looked that good! But I'm partial to hardtops, so. . .

    Paul

    In memory of Boris, the 1950 Land Cruiser project,
    . . . he became a down payment for. . .
    Natasha, the 1955 Speedster project

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member N8N's Avatar
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    I have great jealousy of the pass. side parking light housing on the seat. If it fits the car (e.g. it's not just a sedan one that happens to be sitting in a C-K) you are one lucky man.

    nate

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    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

  7. #7
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    Very cool score. I love the 55 side trim. I still consider putting that on my 54. I think its cuz when I was young and impressionable, one of the guys at the local Stude wrecking yard had a red 55 Pres Coupe with a 54 front end on it. I loved that car. I also remember the plum and white 55 Pres HT with the 54 front end on ebay not long ago. Perhaps the prettiest car I've ever seen. You're gonna love working on this car. I've loved working on mine for 38 years.

    sals54

  8. #8
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    If it is a standard shift car with a hill holder that night be your locked brakes, if not then might be just from sitting...Bob

    Bob Peterson / C & B Studebakers

    Castro Valley, CA


  9. #9
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    Nice start. jimmijim

  10. #10
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    Hippy:
    I will count myself luck if the motor in it is not completely frosen up! But if I end up with an upgrade as well, I will be pleased as punch.

    Mr.Biggs, Blue15G, & Jimmmijim:
    Thank you. That makes me feel better. I was a bit worried about what I am getting myself into, but she sure seems beautiful under the "Patina".

    Paul:
    Thank yo, Me too. My dad had a 55 Commander, so I had to get one.

    N8N:
    I sure hope it fits! The original on the car has some damage (from what seems like a minor hit, bumper guard bent a litle, door too tight against fender.) and also has lots of pitting. I am sure it is there as a replacement, but I didnt even know the Sedan ones would be diffrent, and not sure if the previous owner did either.

    Sals54:
    Thank you for the encouragement! I already love it, and I havent even gotten to strat and break the rust on the wheel lugbolts. My wife is actually excited to work on the car too! As I said above, my Dad had a 55 Commander, and he would always talk about how much he liked it while I was growing up, how ahead of its time it was. I had to get this one, and build it as a tribute to him.

    Bob:
    its a 3sp with OD I am told. I will need to figure out some things about the car like that.

    55 Commander
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.


  11. #11
    President Member silverhawk's Avatar
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    Cool, good luck and have fun!

    Dylan Wills

    '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

  12. #12
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    Looks like a fun project. Enjoy.
    Rog

    '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
    Smithtown,NY

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    In your bottom picture...It's licking its lips, as if to say..."Let's get going!"

    Good luck! I have one asleep in the shed.

    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    I have only two limitations ...BRAINS & ENERGY
    SDC member since 1975

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Wow. A first series Regal two-tone; rare combo! I've always liked '55s, especially Regals. Good to see this one getting the attention it deserves. Congrats. BP

  15. #15
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    quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

    Wow. A first series Regal two-tone; rare combo! I've always liked '55s, especially Regals. Good to see this one getting the attention it deserves. Congrats. BP
    How rare? Mine is a first series Regal that was originally two tone and will be again someday. It looks like at one time mine was Chasta White over Cascade Green although the roof may have originally been a darker green but so far I have only found evidence of white on the roof. The lower body was definitely Cascade (Seafoam) Green.

    Analog man in a digital world.

  16. #16
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by Hippie

    quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

    Wow. A first series Regal two-tone; rare combo! I've always liked '55s, especially Regals. Good to see this one getting the attention it deserves. Congrats. BP
    How rare? Mine is a first series Regal that was originally two tone and will be again someday. It looks like at one time mine was Chasta White over Cascade Green although the roof may have originally been a darker green but so far I have only found evidence of white on the roof. The lower body was definitely Cascade (Seafoam) Green.
    Well, you had 4,639 Commander Regal coupes built for the entire 1955 model year, versus 6,975 Commander DeLuxe Coupes.

    First-series 1955 production was less than the longer run of the second series, so let's say 2,000 of the 4,639 were first-series 1955 Commander Regal coupes. If only half of them were two-tone (likely no more than that), then you'd have maybe 1,000 first series, two-tone, 1955 Commander Regal Coupes shipped.

    I'd say any surviving Commander that was produced in late 1954 (as a 1955 model) is rare, if it survived a full 55 years since production, from a pool of no more than 1,000 cars to begin with. BP

  17. #17
    President Member clonelark's Avatar
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    What's the difference in early vs late in looks on a C-K other than the serial# and being a 224ci. and what about Speedsters were they all late 55s with the 259.


  18. #18
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by clonelark

    What's the difference in early vs late in looks on a C-K other than the serial# and being a 224ci. and what about Speedsters were they all late 55s with the 259.
    Bob:

    1. All Speedsters were 259s, as were all 1959 Presidents, regardless of build date. Some Speedsters were built in calendar year 1954, contrary to conventional wisdom.

    2. The biggest difference between first and second-series C/K 1955s was the two-tone treatment on two-tone Regal models. First-series, two-tone Regals had only the roof and a band below the backlite the second color, as is the car that began this thread.

    Second-series cars had the diagonal stainless-steel strip at top front of the rear fenders separating the two colors. The roof, deck lid and tops of the rear fenders above the butter-knives, were the second color.

    3. Second-series DeLuxe models (no butterknife side trim) continued the first-series two-tone treatment, if two-toned. BP

  19. #19
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    Bob:
    Thank you very much for the information. I cant tell you what it means to know a little about her. Especially nice to know she is a rare example. Originally pink (with the white top I suppose), and painted over this brown/copper color. I hope nobody will think I have flipped if I choose a more appealing factory color (perhaps black/white, or red/white).

    What sets the Regal apart, or what else should I know about it? Is it the highest trim level for the 55 Commander? Please excuse the Newbie questions[:I], I am admitedly not as imformed as I should be, or as I am about my old "Brand X" Loves of the past [I could tell you a thing or 2 about Australian Falcons).

    Dylan, Rog, John:
    I sure am loving being a Stude Owner, thank you for the kind words. Cant wait for the time when I get to take her for a spin.

    55 Commander
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.


  20. #20
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    quote:
    Well, you had 4,639 Commander Regal coupes built for the entire 1955 model year, versus 6,975 Commander DeLuxe Coupes.

    First-series 1955 production was less than the longer run of the second series, so let's say 2,000 of the 4,639 were first-series 1955 Commander Regal coupes. If only half of them were two-tone (likely no more than that), then you'd have maybe 1,000 first series, two-tone, 1955 Commander Regal Coupes shipped.

    I'd say any surviving Commander that was produced in late 1954 (as a 1955 model) is rare, if it survived a full 55 years since production, from a pool of no more than 1,000 cars to begin with. BP
    Wow, that makes mine the 2nd lowest production car I have ever owned. Rarity aside my Commander is my favorite of all the cars I have ever owned and I would not trade it for anything else. Barring some crisis I will keep it until I can't keep it anymore.

    Analog man in a digital world.

  21. #21
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    It is probably the rarest production car for me as well. My XA Bat is the first, and so far only, Replica of the XA Bat in the world, but its "Under the skin" production car was more common by a bit than my 55, if it is 1 of 1000 combo.

    55 Commander
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.


  22. #22
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Dee: Yes, the Regal was the higher of the two Commander Coupe trim levels. There was a cheaper Commander Custom trim offered, but only in sedans, not coupes or hardtops.

    The interior is fancier on a Regal, too, although it's hard to describe trims. Does your car have coarse carpeting in the rear and a rubber floor mat up front, or visa-versa? Regals had either one treatment or the other.

    But the biggest difference all year long between Regals and DeLuxes was the large, signature "butterknife" side trim on Regals. That's the major difference, out there where everyone could see it!

    The first-series 1955 brochure, dated 9/54, shows a two-tone 1955 Commander Regal coupe, red over gray. BP

  23. #23
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    Bob:
    I thought that might be the case.
    I sure do Like that "Butterknife" trim, it sort of makes the lines flow with more..... Style?....It breaks up the side panel in an intresting way.

    Im not seeing any evidence of mats now.... Probably inhabited by Rats and pitched (if the nasty mess in the trunk is any clue). Will my VIN/build sheet tell me how that was done at the factory, or do I get to guess and decide by my prefrence[8D]?

    The brochure had a 2 tone Regal with a Red top and Grey Body? That sounds really cool! Or was it vis a vis? I would like to see that photo someday.

    I dont think I will get docked points (when the time comes) if I choose a neat combo like that....as long as I stick with factory color combos right?



    55 Commander
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.


  24. #24
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by Desert Explorer

    Bob:
    I thought that might be the case.
    I sure do Like that "Butterknife" trim, it sort of makes the lines flow with more..... Style?....It breaks up the side panel in an interesting way.

    Im not seeing any evidence of mats now.... Probably inhabited by Rats and pitched (if the nasty mess in the trunk is any clue). Will my VIN/build sheet tell me how that was done at the factory, or do I get to guess and decide by my prefrence[8D]?

    The brochure had a 2 tone Regal with a Red top and Grey Body? That sounds really cool! Or was it vis a vis? I would like to see that photo someday.

    I dont think I will get docked points (when the time comes) if I choose a neat combo like that....as long as I stick with factory color combos right?
    Dee: I don't see a street address listed for you (or even your name) in the 2008 SDC Roster. If you'll send me a PM with your address, I'll send you a color copy of the brochure photo.

    The top of the car is red; the bottom grey. As far as SDC judging goes, any combination available on a car in a given year is OK.

    Most Studebaker paint code stickers have long since fallen off the underside of glove boxes by now, so there's no way to tell a car's color combo without the build order.

    As I said, even if the build order shows a different color than what is now on the car, it's still OK as long as "what's on the car" was available that year. BP

  25. #25
    President Member warrlaw1's Avatar
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    I'm right in the middle of a total body off resto on a 55 Commander regal K-code. No colour issues on this one. She was factory velvet black and will stay that way. Good luck on yours. Seems like you have plenty to start with. If I can help at all, just ask. As George Jones might say: "She looks hotter than a two dollar pistol!".

  26. #26
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    Bob:
    PM Sent THANK YOU!!!! I think I missed getting in by the 08 Roster, look for me in the 09 when it comes out. I will be glad to see the photo, it may end up being my inspiration.... Do they show the interior?

    Warrlaw1:
    Thank you. I have been riding the wave of being pleased at how complete she is, and the beauty intrinsic in her design, and not so pleased at what time and disuse has done to her before she came here. I got a nasty surprise when I opened the glovebox[xx(]
    I will galdly ask for help when the time comes.

    55 Commander
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.


  27. #27
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    Good luck with your project, it will be nice when complete. I am going to part out a 55 regal hard top. Dan[8D]

  28. #28
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    Dan,
    Thank you!
    Please send me a PM with your contact info...... I already know that I am going to need lots of little bits...... The car is pretty complete, but time has not been kind to it and lots of stuff will need replaced I am sure. If your parting out a 55 HT it could have some bits I need.

    55 Commander Regal Coupe
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    Mad Max Car's "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.


  29. #29
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by Desert Explorer
    Originally pink (with the white top I suppose), and painted over this brown/copper color. I hope nobody will think I have flipped if I choose a more appealing factory color (perhaps black/white, or red/white).
    If you choose Coraltone/Velvet Black, you won't be alone:

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...rms=pink,black

    Craig

  30. #30
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    Wow Craig,
    That 55 looks nice, even the worn paint on the 55 Dick got from SF looks nice being buffed up with "Stude Sparkle" (Patent not pending)

    However, I just can't do it. Just like many of the folks who responded to the thread you linked. The hidden "Pink" on my 55 looks more like a "Salmon" color than the "CoralTone" (looking in the trunk and under the hood..... Still I just cant, even my WIFE said "YUCK.. Your not planning on painting it back THAT color are you?", "No..." says I, "...Ill pick a factory color but not THAT one". Is that Salmon color just my eyesight, or a factory offering?

    55 Commander Regal Coupe
    XA Bat (The Roadwarrior)
    KARR (Knightrider)
    Eleanor (ORIGINAL Gone in 60 Seconds)


    Mad Max Car's "Hero Car Ranch"; Seattle, Wa.


  31. #31
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    So this is 55 Commander #8 (body number on the tag is just "8"). This is the car I am hoping to bring the SDC community at large in to restore. As mentioned in my other thread, my health (kidney disease, and recent transplant) sidelined plans for a good long while. Now that I am able to concentrate on other things in life outside of simply staying alive, I would dearly love to see this car rescued. Not just for me, I have in mind to eventually see it in a prominent local auto museum to help promote the Stude Hobby and SDC in particular. I will post the photos in the other thread as well.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Explorer View Post
    So this is 55 Commander #8 (body number on the tag is just "8"). This is the car I am hoping to bring the SDC community at large in to restore. As mentioned in my other thread, my health (kidney disease, and recent transplant) sidelined plans for a good long while. Now that I am able to concentrate on other things in life outside of simply staying alive, I would dearly love to see this car rescued. Not just for me, I have in mind to eventually see it in a prominent local auto museum to help promote the Stude Hobby and SDC in particular. I will post the photos in the other thread as well.
    Good luck with your project.
    The #8 would be for that particular body style, not all Commanders.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  33. #33
    President Member Xcalibur's Avatar
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    Looks about as good as the one I paid $75 for and drove to high school for a couple years.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    Good luck with your project.
    The #8 would be for that particular body style, not all Commanders.
    So, does anyone on here have, or know of, a (16G8 - C5) with a lower digit on the body tag?

    Mark
    Last edited by S2Deluxe; 07-11-2018 at 12:26 AM.


    S2Deluxe = (5H - C3).

  35. #35
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    Xcalibur, if you still have the car, I will give you $150.00, and you will double your purchase price! LOL Plus, you had a ride to school for a couple of years.

  36. #36
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    Dee,

    Congratulations, your car is impressive! I've been driving 55's for more the 55 years, they have always been my favorite post war Studebakers. I've owned somewhere around twenty of them over the years, and still have three in the collection.

    I don't see your name in the 2010 rooster either. Mary says that you are not a member of either the Seattle or Tacoma chapter, so you're kind of out of the loop. FYI the annual joint Studebaker picnic will be tomorrow at the Mud Mountain dam. Take hwy 410 east out of Enumclaw, about four miles after the last stoplight, look for a dedicated right hand turn lane and a sign. It's a potluck, either bring something, or just bring yourself. Love to see you there.

    Bill

  37. #37
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    Just realized that I'm responding to a 10 year old post! I'm wondering what happened to Dee and his car? Invitation still still stands for anyone who wants to join us tomorrow.-Bill

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