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'58 Commander Starlight - caught between rock and hard place?

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  • Dwight FitzSimons
    replied
    I'll agree that it's hard to find a good looking 1958 American car ('58 Ford, maybe), and Studebakers looked better than most, except for those tacked-on headlamps. American cars hit their nadir in '58. Aside from that, why did Studebaker spend precious money for the '58 restyling when they must have been already looking ahead to the new '59 Lark? The '58s were a one-year, interim product. The '57 Studebakers, and especially Packards, should have been simply continued through 1958. Still, debating Studebaker's decisions is an academic exercise. It what it is. They made a great recovery in '59, with a very pretty car that sold well.
    -Dwight

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  • Studebakercenteroforegon
    replied
    For the critics of 1958 Studebaker styling....you need to take yourself back to 1958 and compare to other cars.
    I've always felt that the 1958 Buicks and Oldsmobiles were much less attractive. Don't like the dual headlights? Look at a Mercury Turnpike Cruiser.
    I once did own a '58 President hardtop and loved it's looks.

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  • Lou Van Anne
    replied
    You got that right!
    Originally posted by Dwight FitzSimons View Post
    I didn't think that any styling could be worse that the '58 Studebaker sedans, but these pictures prove that it can be worse.
    -Dwight (soon to "Ralph" or something after the '58 loyalists chime in)

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  • RadioRoy
    replied
    It's also reminiscent of the car wash scene in the original "gone in 60 Seconds" movie.

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  • Michidan
    replied
    Sure is a shame, I was also very curious as I used to try and track these 58 hardtops.
    I can't imagine what the owner thought when he got the call.

    It reminds of the movie vacation.
    "Bring Mr. Griswold's car back out here"

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  • 8E45E
    replied
    Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
    : but there aren't enough 1958 Commander Starlights around to sacrifice any of them to a distracted/sleepy/drunk driver. BP
    That's just it!

    Try and find another one that's in similar original condition that this one was.

    Craig

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  • BobPalma
    replied
    Thanks for the report, Jerry. As sad as it is/was, at least no one was injured in the Studebaker. Being a rental truck, we would hope some insurance was in place, but there aren't enough 1958 Commander Starlights around to sacrifice any of them to a distracted/sleepy/drunk driver. BP

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  • Studebakercenteroforegon
    replied
    I finally found out what happened to this poor car.
    I stopped by a Portland shop that works on older cars. They buy parts from me on occasion and I had known that they worked on this very car. I asked if they knew about the severe damage, and yes, they told me it happened right in front of their shop.
    The owner wanted to pick the car up after their 5:00PM closing. They have a fenced and locked area for their customers cars so they parked it out front on SE Milwaukie Ave. a two lane but busy street.
    For whatever reason the owner did not pick up the car that evening.
    At 1:30AM a very sleepy driver, driving a rental box van - a pretty big truck - ran into the back of the car at whatever speed he had been driving - no braking involved - and this was the result.

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  • packard352
    replied
    Hope the Insurance Company didn't give anyone the run-around. Without even reading the 'story,' I doubt the owner was driving the car... and if parked in legal circumstances, should not be held to account. Looks like a very sad story, and having had a car incinerated by someone else's stupidity, I know of all the aggravation that can come from something like this happening.

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  • StudeDave57
    replied
    There's got to be a very sad story there....




    StudeDave '57

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  • 57pack
    replied
    Sad to see such a rare car destroyed. Hope no one was injured or killed. Like on Monty Python, looking at that poor Studebaker, makes "my brain hurts" .
    I also would like to know what happened? Due to the extent of damage , I'd would agree that it looks like it was hit by a locomotive and pushed down the tracks for a thousand feet or so.
    Last edited by 57pack; 04-21-2017, 04:46 PM.

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  • Bordeaux Daytona
    replied
    Sad. I was going to say it reminds me of the Christine Fury at the end but it's not going to fix its self like in the movie. I didn't know this Commander was nicknamed Christine.

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  • 8E45E
    replied
    Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
    Gosh, you do wonder how that happened.
    I hope it wasn't the IIHS at work again.

    In any case, it is a shame to see such a nice, original 1950's car like this lost, regardless of the make.

    Craig

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  • BobPalma
    replied
    Gosh, you do wonder how that happened.

    Take a look at that LF fender from the side. It appears to have never been rusty along the back edge; repaired or otherwise.

    So sad to see that fate for what was apparently a nice car and rare Studebaker model, although, surprisingly, it was the 4th most popular 1958 V8 car:

    1. Commander sedan: 6,771 units
    2. Silver Hawk coupe: 4,485
    3. President sedan: 3,570
    4. Commander hardtop: 2,555

    BP

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  • 8E45E
    replied
    I would guess an encounter at a level crossing with a train.

    Craig

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