View Full Version : Newby to studebaker needs help

03-10-2012, 08:17 PM
i hope you folks can help me.i just bought 2 late 20s/early 30s studebaker sedans.i need to know what year they are.i have numbers off both body tags,and a serial number for what i beleive is the newer of the two.here goes;body tag 55w2 3253,serial on frame is 5150665.2nd one reads 53w1 2439.the second does have a tag on the frame but i couldnt get close enough to read the number.however,the tags says"erskine"studebaker,built in canada.any body help?thanks in adavance.

03-10-2012, 08:39 PM
Welcome, and congratulations on your purchase! Some may be able to help you identify it by the numbers you've provided, but the rest of us would love to see some pictures if you have any to post.

03-10-2012, 08:47 PM
im bringin them home next saturday.they arent pretty but i got them for less than scrap price.one looks like it had roll down window shades in it.is that factory?

03-10-2012, 08:48 PM
I thought the 55W2 would be a 1932 Model 55 Regal or Cruising four door sedan with side mounted spares, but the Serial No. seems to indicate a '34 Model A. The 53W1 could be a 1930 Model 53 four door with rear mounted spare. Both probably had rear window shades.

03-10-2012, 08:58 PM
does the erskine name on the serial tag mean anything?i know a fellow named erskine ran studebaker around then,but am not sure if that means anything.by the way,there are some newer studes in the same patch i found these.they are for sale,and i wil post some pics next weekend.thanks for the help.

03-10-2012, 11:49 PM
Hey Buddha - welcome to the Forum!

Yes, Erskine was a short-lived Studebaker subsidiary that was named for the President of the Corporation. They're pretty rare birds. Nice finds!

03-11-2012, 12:19 AM
does the erskine name on the serial tag mean anything?i know a fellow named erskine ran studebaker around then,but am not sure if that means anything.by the way,there are some newer studes in the same patch i found these.they are for sale,and i wil post some pics next weekend.thanks for the help.

The Erskine was a Studebaker car built from 1927 to 1930.


03-11-2012, 12:43 AM
Upon further reading, the Model 53 appears to be the same as Studebaker or Erskine just about the time the Erskine was being discontinued. Erskine was the low price offering from the Studebaker Corporation. Their high price offering at the time was Pierce-Arrow.
Albert Erskine was President of Studebaker at that time.
You could consider the Erskine relationship to Studebaker in the same light as the Chevrolet to GMC; only less successful. Two years later, the Rockne was introduced as the low priced marque. It lasted only two years but, the engine designed for it by Ralph Vail and Roy Cole would be produced in various displacements through 1961.

Studebaker Wheel
03-11-2012, 01:21 AM

Reference: 1930 Erskine and Studebaker Six Model 53

I will take these one at a time. The Erskine was Studebaker's economy model from 1927 thru 1930. The car you have is a Model 53 Studebaker Erskine. This model was introduced in Dec. 1929 as "The Dynamic New Erskine." For the first time in its four-year history, the Erskine featured a Studebaker built engine, a 205.3 C.I. 70 H.P. L head Six based on the Dictator 6 engine (1927-1929 Erskine models used the Continental engine). Between late Nov. 1929 and April 30, 1930, approximately 11,550 Erskines were produced. On May 10, 1930 the name was officially changed to The Studebaker Six. The only physical changes were the hubcaps and the radiator badges. Dealers with unsold cars in stock were sent new "Studebaker" parts to convert them, and all Erskine Model 53 owners were offered new owners manuals and presumably new ornamentation. Between May and early Nov. 1930, 10,168 Model 53 Studebaker Sixes rolled off the assembly line. This was by far the highest production of any Studebaker during that model year, outselling the next highest production Studebaker, the Model FD Commander, by more than 2-1 margin.

The Model 53 Erskine/Studebaker Six for 1930 was originally offered in 5 bodies: two passenger and a 4 passenger rumble seat coupes, a open tourer, a club sedan (2 dr.), a landau and a 4 dr. sedan. The tourer and 4 dr. sedans were offered in a "regular" series with 5 wood wheels (like the one in the photo above), or Regal with 6 wire wheels and trunk rack. All Landaus were Regal models. In July 1930 a roadster was introduced and offered in either the regular and Regal model. Your cars body tag (53 W1) indicates that is a model 53 and the W1 means it was a standard four door sedan with mohair upholstery. Much more information available including literature, serial and engine # range service info etc.

If you plan on doing anything with these cars you should join the Antique Studebaker Club which specializes in 1946 and earlier Studebakers only. There are many model 53s owners in the ASC. Membership cheap at $30! http://www.theantiquestudebakerclub.com/

Studebaker Wheel
03-11-2012, 01:53 AM

Studebaker made four models in 1932, the President Eight (1339) was the largest and most expensive followed by the Commander Eight (3551), Dictator Eight (6021) and Model 55 Studebaker Six (13,647) – numbers in parenthesis is actual production numbers. Again your firewall number 55 indicates the model designation and the W2 tells us that it is a Regal Sedan with dual side mounts and either artillery or wire wheels. The Dictator and Model 55 Six were identical cars except for the engines. Both on a 117” wheelbase. The Six actually had a higher displacement that the Dictator Eight (230 c.i. vs 221). The serial no. range for this model was 5120001 to 5133400 so I believe you have one digit incorrect (maybe 5120665 instead of 5150665?).

You will want to read this thread posted just yesterday. Maybe you two guys can get together: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?59921-Decision-time-1932-Studebaker-restore-it-or-part-it-out

Lots of literature specs, serial and engine data is available. Again you need to join the Antique Studebaker Club. http://www.theantiquestudebakerclub.com/

03-11-2012, 10:02 AM
wow.thanks for all the help.its possible i have a number off.i was layin on the ground in the yard where has been sinking for who knows how many years.the 30 is more complete than the 32.but not by much.the 30 still has the fenders and some glass is ok,but the front axle is missing,the 32 has both axles but no fenders.neither have motors,transmissions,steering columns,etc.these wont be restored but probably rodded.these had to be something in their day,just by what ive seen thats left,and by the construction that went into them.ive seen a lot of fords from this era,and the studes were built a LOT better in my opinion.thanks again,and i will post pictures next saturday.

03-12-2012, 05:49 AM
There's no shame in rodding the cars as long as a classy result is attained. You're lucky that the absence of engines etc allows you to do so with a clear conscience as those parts were stripped off ages ago. I recall a fellow who had a 1930s Buick I think with a modern engine and drivetrain, looked original and was beautiful. best of luck with them.

Steve T
03-12-2012, 03:52 PM
Yep...rod them classily, drive them, and take pride in having rescued them! Here's one of two Erskines in a private collection in Ontario...in this case both are complete cars and have remained stock.


A recent Turning Wheels featured a gorgeous Erskine rod built in Finland...try hunting that article down, it'll inspire you.