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View Full Version : 1953 Speed Age magazine Starliner review.They hated it!



bob40
01-15-2014, 12:07 PM
Just bought a new batch of older car magazines and came across a article in the September 1953 issue of Speed Age where they did a road test.
Mirror creates a blind spot
Door handle hits leg.
No rear leg room.
Auto trans binding and immobilizing car.
Rear center arm rest a after thought.
It went on and on.They pick the car apart.
The cover says "Studebakers Gamble...will it pay off."

I have read a great number of car magazine reviews of Studebakers and have never run across one so negative.
They even harped on battery location although no mention of a battery hold down so it's ok to assume it was there;)

sweetolbob
01-15-2014, 12:52 PM
I guess when you are a 60 yo tester, wear a hat and just tested a 53 Chevrolet coupe, all of the above is true. IIFC a lot of those testers were not know for there vision and payola was still not illegal, just saying. So I would not get my shorts in a wad and check what McCahill had to say. Him I enjoyed.

Not everyone was a Studebaker affectionato in that era, or any other for that matter, so I understand as our vision can be blurred occasionally too.;)

Bob

57pack
01-15-2014, 03:48 PM
Ah! What did they know!
:yeahright::

southbend
01-15-2014, 04:04 PM
Not everyone was a Studebaker affectionato in that era, or any other for that matter, so I understand as our vision can be blurred occasionally too.;)

Bob
True, but I believe Studebaker, as a business, lasted a lot longer than "Speed Age" magazine did. ;)

Andy R.
01-15-2014, 04:13 PM
Funny that a magazine called "Speed Age" would be concerned with door handles, arm rests, et al...
What did they say about the styling?

SN-60
01-15-2014, 04:27 PM
Funny that a magazine called "Speed Age" would be concerned with door handles, arm rests, et al...
What did they say about the styling?

I believe the testers thought the car was beautiful, but were disappointed with the poor build quality (they felt) of the example they were given to test. It really floored them when they had to phone the local Stude garage for a mechanic to be sent out to 'pop' the gearshift linkage out of park! (Car was parked on a steep hill)

FlatheadGeo
01-15-2014, 04:54 PM
"True, but I believe Studebaker, as a business, lasted a lot longer than "Speed Age" magazine did." (Mark Vail) This about says it all!!!!!!

SN-60
01-15-2014, 05:01 PM
I think the road testers at 'Speed Age' would have liked the '54 Commander Starliner much better. (Except for that horrible 'toothy' grille!)

SN-60
01-18-2014, 01:17 PM
Probably the biggest mistake Studebaker made in the construction of the C/K models from '53 on was the lack of inner fender 'wheelhouses' to seal road 'splash' from the inside of the exterior sheet metal panels. New Studebaker coupes showed signs of body rot after one year in certain areas of the country, which certainly killed their resale value. This bad situation could have been avoided. Of course, the new car price would have gone up some.

swvalcon
01-18-2014, 01:28 PM
Yes inner fenders would have helped but they already where kind of expensive compared to a chev or ford. I had a guy tell me how he wanted a 53 studebaker but got a chev instead because it was cheaper.

hausdok
01-18-2014, 01:37 PM
If you own a '53, my advice is not to allow it to temper your enjoyment of owning the car.

I love my P.H. (I'm sure I'll love it more when I finish it). Loved them when I was 7 years old and to this day have never minded that much about negative stuff folks said about them back in 1958 and the negative comments I hear from others today.

I've read time and again in various sources that the '53 was considered beautiful but the build quality from the factory sucked and it took Studebaker a couple of years to sort that out. If build quality sucked in '53 it sucked and I think we ought to accept what the experts who were around in '53 said. History is replete with products that were not initially well received which folks today are gaga about. If it's your car's story, accept it. It adds to the character of your car.