View Full Version : "CAL" tag attached to cowl tag

09-18-2012, 11:40 PM
Does anyone know what a tag with the letters CAL attached to the cowl tag on a '50 Champion business coupe means?


09-18-2012, 11:51 PM
Look in your 1950 Chassis Parts Catalog for the Western Union Telegraph codes in the front of the book. If it is not one of the codes for a '50 Champion Business Coupe with certain options like Overdrive etc. then it may be the code to send the body to the L.A. (Vernon) Plant.

09-19-2012, 12:52 AM
Thanks Rich!

09-19-2012, 08:26 AM
This is the EARLIEST "streamer" tag I've ever heard of! I've seen a number of CA-built '50 Studes and none have had one of these.

09-20-2012, 10:19 AM
Howard my 50 Starlight built in La does not have it on it....I would agree with Roscomacaw.


09-20-2012, 10:36 AM
Howard, do you think you could get a photo of that tag? During this era (especially 1950) Stude had more than one shift going to keep up with demand. Some years ago I asked Mr. Quinn if he could explain how some of the body tags from that era ended up with obvious punch marks on them - differeng numbers of strikes up to as many as five. His mention of this in his TW column got a reply from someone who had worked in the body assembly area. That source allowed as how the punch marks were a way of designating which shift a given body had been constructed by. I relate this only to say that that's the only sort of peculiarity of body tags I've ever known of thru 1952. The earliest streamer tag I have is one from a '55 coupe, denoting it was a C3 two-tone car.

09-20-2012, 11:26 AM
Many years ago in the San Francisco bay area a beautiful 50 Champion starlight coupe appeared on the "for sale" circuit. It had an excellent dark green paint job and a not too bad, new grey cloth interior. But what got me was the body tag. It had the "cal" streamer on it and it was also body number 4. Yes, number 4.

Sure wish there had been someone around who knew anything about it. But the various owners that it went through in the course of several months were not interested in or knowledgeable of Studebakers, nor were they the least bit focused on anything but selling it for as much as they could get. Fortunately, at least one of the "flippers" lost money fairly big time for the day. As I recall the asking/transaction/auction prices were $2200, $2400, and $900, in that order. The last price was at Harrah's auction in the days before the whole swap meet and auction morphed into hot August nights.

The year was around 1978-1980 or so, when old car prices were rising rapidly around here. In those days, every two bit hustler was trying to make a killing in the old car market. I was glad when they got taken for a ride, but always wonder what happened to that car.

09-20-2012, 09:31 PM
Interesting question. I bought a 1950 business coupe several years ago (about 5 or 6) that was built in South Bend and originally sold in Terre Haute, IN that had the "CAL" streamer on the body tag. I always wondered what it meant, but didn't follow up on finding out. I sold the car to a person in northern Indiana in May of 2010. I bought the car in Iowa, brought it to Louisiana, and then delivered it to Indiana when I sold it. Tom