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Thread: 1958 Studebaker Champion with low mileage is back on the road!! Yeah!!

  1. #1
    Champion Member Stuart.NZ's Avatar
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    1958 Studebaker Champion with low mileage is back on the road!! Yeah!!

    After a few months of nursing this very low mileage 1958 Studebaker Champion back to the land of the motor living, I drove her home for the first time. This Stude has not been really driven, excluding a few test miles running her in, since 1984 and then only a couple of miles bringing up to 74 miles since coming off the South Bend production line! She is almost brand new! What an absolute dream to drive!!

    Stude 4.jpgStude 1.jpgStude 3.jpgStude 2.jpg

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    Welcome: Glad to see your post.

    I was born in 1958. It's like being transported back to my BIRTH !
    What a great car. So clean !

    The car is not as "bug-eyed" with the single headlamp, vs. having duals.

    Please post the history on how this car made it to New Zealand and retained such low mileage. Any previous Owner's story ?
    Also how did it come into your life ?

    Enjoy it. It is a dream for the rest of us.

    Keeping Studes Alive

    Stude-Preferred
    Atlanta, GA

  3. #3
    Champion Member Stuart.NZ's Avatar
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    Stude Story.jpg

    Thank you for the lovely welcome. Very much appreciated.

    I have attached a photo of a page from the magazine the company I work for publishes. This is the story of the Studebaker Champion. The following link provides a news story about her too:

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-ze...-interest.html

    I'm also tracking the Champion's journey back to the road on the following site. The fascinating story of a wedding that never happened and the brand new Studebaker present being locked away supposedly as a monument to that lost love is documented there:

    https://www.facebook.com/whatsthestudedone/

    Kind regards from RHD New Zealand.
    Last edited by Stuart.NZ; 01-05-2017 at 07:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Wow, that is an amazing purchase. Best wishes with it.

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    I remember the story that the famous Carroll Studebaker told me when he visited Melbourne in 1985 for our Aussie National Studebaker Meet. He and his wife, Verneda, took in the sights of NZ on their way here & told the story of this Champion. He was interviewed with the car on TV & no doubt probably made an offer at that time on car allowing he was quite comfortable. It is good to see that Stuart is sharing this beautiful vehicle with all of us on the Forum.

    \"QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER\"
    MELBOURNE.

  6. #6
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    I know we can't expect perfection, but whats that on the headliner? Looks like a stain or patch? Also right above the rear window: looks like it has been scrubbed clean?
    KURTRUK
    (read it backwards)




    Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

  7. #7
    Champion Member Stuart.NZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kurtruk View Post
    I know we can't expect perfection, but whats that on the headliner? Looks like a stain or patch? Also right above the rear window: looks like it has been scrubbed clean?
    Good spotting.

    Although very original, sitting in dark garages and being pulled on and off car transporters all for the sake of keeping the miles low hasn't necessarily been the best for keeping this Champion original. I don't think that was the original owners intention anyway, rather something more personal. There are a few stains on the headliner (no idea why and any reason is lost to history), chips to the paint work probably more from dings from being stored for 48 years of the last 58 in actively used garages than stone chips (being driven hardly anywhere). The original tyres of course have needed replacing having gone rock hard as has all oils which have reverted back to the state of when pumped out of the Gulf of Mexico. The floor liner has also gone rock hard and cracked. Of course all of this is relatively superficial. The plastic on the seats of the photo I've added may well be as delivered from South Bend in 1958. Seats and dash are mint.

    I'll not touch the headliner at this stage as it remains taut and without sagging but will replace the floor liner. Any recommendations of near original suppliers of Studebaker floor liners would be appreciated. I have already had the paint chips fixed without any need for panel paint work. I am up to the final hurdle with re-registration and that is the requirement for lap belts (I received an exemption from needing to have lap diagonal which would have required significant retro fitting to the pillar ... phew). Everything about this very original Stude has been signed off. She is oh so near being legally allowed to return to New Zealand roads where this Champion belongs ...... well, periodically on a nice sunny day.

    Plastic.jpg1468872483121.jpg

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    President Member BRUCESTUDE's Avatar
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    Please post more close ups when you get a chance! It's a treat to see such an original car, and how it really came off the line (not over restored), especially this model which are kinda scarce anyhow.

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    President Member junior's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting...cool story. Why did you have to get permission to keep the original black and silver plate?...I thought they had to stay on the car for it's entire life in NZ. I lived in Auckland many years ago, and the coolest thing about the Toyota I drove there was the plates...being cast and machined and all. When I sold the car I wanted to keep the front plate as a memory but there was no way the new owner would allow it because he claimed he would never be able to register it without the original plate. Cheers, Junior

    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

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    Champion Member Stuart.NZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRUCESTUDE View Post
    Please post more close ups when you get a chance! It's a treat to see such an original car, and how it really came off the line (not over restored), especially this model which are kinda scarce anyhow.
    Will do. On summer hols but will have a good look over the Champion when home this weekend. She is a little like a "South Bend time capsule" being so original. i remember in the doors the original paint job has run and some of the parts added to the 58 model don't quite fit properly. Nothing major but I'd wonder whether this would have made it past the QA of today?

  11. #11
    Champion Member Stuart.NZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junior View Post
    Thanks for posting...cool story. Why did you have to get permission to keep the original black and silver plate?...I thought they had to stay on the car for it's entire life in NZ. I lived in Auckland many years ago, and the coolest thing about the Toyota I drove there was the plates...being cast and machined and all. When I sold the car I wanted to keep the front plate as a memory but there was no way the new owner would allow it because he claimed he would never be able to register it without the original plate. Cheers, Junior
    The silver on black plates are certainly increasingly becoming an important part of a truly classic kiwi car. You are correct with a plate staying with a car for its life time while registered. When de-registered the plates are theoretically removed and can't be used again. De-registration generally comes from a write-off. For the 1958 Studebaker Champion they simply stopped paying the annual registration fee which is a less common way of de-registration. For a number of years when re-registering NZ Transport Agency enforced the change to the current black on white which was a shame for old classics who still retained the plates albeit de-registered. In 2014 I understand the NZ Vintage Car Club succeeded in lobbying Government to allow to re-issue of the silver on black if the plates remained with the car and proof of the plates assigned belonged to that car. I was able to do this with my Stude.
    Last edited by Stuart.NZ; 01-09-2017 at 03:02 PM.

  12. #12
    President Member junior's Avatar
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    thanks for the response, now I know. my wife and I were recalling the cars that we have owned together over the years and we both agree that the 71 corolla that we owned in NZ was one of our favorites...we drove the hell out of that car and it never failed us, and was lots of fun to drive...took so much effort to keep our butts planted in the all-vinyl seats racing around the rolling curvy NZ roads...what a riot! hats off to you for allowing this stude to get some exercise on the road again! cheers, junior

    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK64 View Post
    I remember the story that the famous Carroll Studebaker told me when he visited Melbourne in 1985 for our Aussie National Studebaker Meet. He and his wife, Verneda, took in the sights of NZ on their way here & told the story of this Champion. He was interviewed with the car on TV & no doubt probably made an offer at that time on car allowing he was quite comfortable. It is good to see that Stuart is sharing this beautiful vehicle with all of us on the Forum.
    I too was told all about this car by Carroll over 30 years ago and I believe I still have pictures of it from the mid-80s in my memorabilia collection. There have been earlier threads on this car. I'm thrilled it's staying with a Studebaker fancier.

    Stu Chapman

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    Thanks you so much for the photos you have already posted. My 58 Champion has slightly over 1000 times as many miles as yours so I will be very interested to see any and all detail shots of your car inside, outside, underside and in the trunk. These would all be so helpful for restoration..

  15. #15
    Champion Member Stuart.NZ's Avatar
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    Hi Ross, My sincere apologies in my very tardy reply. I haven't been back to the Studebaker forum for some time. My Champion is currently getting its final registration so it can be legally driven on Kiwi roads. It has been a long drawn out process but nearly there. It's not at home at present. I have been adding photos to the following page - https://www.facebook.com/whatsthestudedone/ - and I'll put a lot more when she is finally home.

  16. #16
    President Member Sdude's Avatar
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    I am pleased to see you plan to drive the car. I know it must be tempting to not put any more miles on the car but I think it is sad to see a car not driven at all. Just so long as you keep it original.
    Jon Stalnaker
    Karel Staple Chapter SDC

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