PDA

View Full Version : 1952 Hardtop production numbers?



(S)
04-27-2012, 12:23 PM
Were these in TW a few years back? Which issue?

Just looking for the total of all models combined. Thanks

BobPalma
04-27-2012, 12:39 PM
12,119 Champion Regal Starliners, priced at $2,220 each.

14,548 Commander State Starliners, priced at $2,488 each.

Now, the following information will tell you what Studebaker dealers were up against beginning in the early 1950s. Note these prices and production numbers:

1952 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Bel-Air 2-door hardtop: 74,634 sold, priced at $1,992 each.

1952 Ford Crestline Victoria 2-door hardtop: 77,320 sold at $1,925 each.

If those Chevrolet and Ford prices didn't get your attentuion, consider these:

1952 Buick Special Riviera 2-door hardtop: $2,295

1952 Buick Super Riviera 2-door hordtop: $2,478

Now, by 1952 an automatic transmission was becoming a popular, even somewhat expected, option on models such as these top-of-the-line 2-door hardtops.

Things became even worse for the Studebaker dealer if he wanted his hardtops equipped with an automatic transmission. Check out these realities:

1952 Champion Automatic Drive: $231
1952 Commander Automatic Drive: $243

1952 Buick Dynaflow: $193

1952 Chevrolet Powerglide: $178

1952 Ford Fordomatic: $170

OUCH! BP

(S)
04-27-2012, 01:32 PM
wow! thats alot! I see so few of them, you'd think they would have made less than that. They are good looking cars- maybe they just got used up instead of collected up?

Thanks Bob!

BobPalma
04-27-2012, 01:36 PM
wow! thats alot! I see so few of them, you'd think they would have made less than that. They are good looking cars- maybe they just got used up instead of collected up? Thanks Bob!

Check out the added pricing information, Mike: It's amazing they made and sold as many as they did! <GGG> BP

AnAvanti4Bob
04-27-2012, 02:19 PM
Now that's an eye-opener: I had no idea that Studebaker pricing was so much more than what I thought would be its real competition - namely Pontiac, Dodge, Nash and Mercury. Were Studebakers high manufacturing costs mainly responsible for the disparity?

fatboylust
04-27-2012, 02:26 PM
(S), TW Aug 1994 may be the issue you're thinking of.

BobPalma
04-27-2012, 03:08 PM
Now that's an eye-opener: I had no idea that Studebaker pricing was so much more than what I thought would be its real competition - namely Pontiac, Dodge, Nash and Mercury. Were Studebakers high manufacturing costs mainly responsible for the disparity?

For the most part, yes. Plus the economies of scale; Studebaker's fixed costs had to be absorbed by (distributed among) a much smaller number of cars. And, yes, they were paying a higher-than-Detroit overall wage and benefits package. Things did not improve as the decade wore on, which explains so much of their trouble.

Here's another good example: 1954 Station Wagons. Studebaker dealers were excited about finally having wagons in what was becoming a hot 1950s market segment, even if they only had 2-door wagons when both Ford and Chevrolet also had 4-door wagons.

But look at the pricing they had to tolerate. (All prices are the lowest trim level, 2-door wagons):

1954 Studebaker Champion: $2,187
1954 Studebaker Commander: $2,448

1954 Ford Mainline Six: $2,029 (modern, OHV six)
1954 Ford Mainline V8: $2,106 (and by then, Ford had a modern OHV V8, too)

1954 Chevrolet (4-door only): $2,020

By way of contrast, if you had $2,448 for the cheapest Studebaker Commander 2-door wagon, you could buy a top-of-the-line 1954 Ford Country Squire V8 4-door wagon with woodgrain for $33 less ($2,415) than the el-cheapo Commander 2-door!

(Which may help explain why the Country Squire outsold the Commander almost 7 to 1: 12,797 units to the Commander's 1,912.)

Sometimes you wonder how Studebaker lasted as long as they did in that cut-throat market. (We know now that they suffered ultimately fatal wounds as a result; it's just that their sheer size and the "nick of time" Lark saved their bacon for another day.) BP

studegary
04-27-2012, 03:49 PM
A Bob Bourke quote: "They priced out a Commander Starliner using General Motors costing parameters. I found that Chevrolet could have built it to sell for around $2,000 if they wanted to - about $500 less than we were selling it for." I believe that this was for 1953.

(S)
04-27-2012, 04:19 PM
I think '52 was an awkward year for the competition. I think the Studebakers looked nicer, so maybe people payed a bit more to have a better looking car.

Anyway, I'm going to look at one for sale. I hope it survived well.

(S)
04-30-2012, 01:41 PM
I went to see it and it was sad. It had a decent older paint job and looked OK at 30 feet, but I have never seen so much rust. The floor stifeners, trunk pockets were gone. The body was slightly cocked resting on the frame. The trans X member was so rusted it only had parts of one half of the metal left.

I had to tell him the $2500 apraisal done in 1996 was very far away from what the car is now and the fact that it is not a hardtop, just a 2 door.

I had a hard time trying to put a value on this. It is a complete car, but needs structural welding, and patches everywhere.

decklid and hood are the only metal without holes, they were replaced not long ago.
Glass is very good, not tinted, but no cracks, no bubbles, 1 med wiper burn. Grille chrome was replaced, but being a 52 is dull with minor pits.
both bumpers are good. Steering wheel is the nicest I have seen in awhile.
It runs, but it needs a tune up. I wish I could save them all.

This was an original owner car. I was amazed that he bought it new in '52 and never owned another car. He drove it until he passed way in 1996.