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1955 Commander trim questions.

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  • 1955 Commander trim questions.

    Greetings! Attached are pictures of my recently acquired '55 Commander. This was from the late Dennis Weinsteiger's collection. Some of you may have known Dennis or might even know this car. I have searched as many 1955 Studebaker pictures as I can and have not seen even one with the small bright trim pieces that are on top of my front fenders. I know the Presidents and Speedsters had the larger spears with the little upright lucite fins but all the unaltered Commanders I've seen have nothing there. The metal used here looks like none of the other trim used not being either Chrome plated or Stainless steel. So I'm wondering if any of you know if this was a dealer option or just an owner's custom touch ( and IMO an unnecessary one). The other question I have regards the hood rocket ornament. All the 55s that I've seen have a more modest airplane pointing the way. Have any of you encountered my much more elaborate looking one before? I am not a stickler for complete correctness so I will keep the rocket wether it is factory or dealer optioned because I like it and the chrome is near flawless. I think it works with the over-the-top-ness of the 1955 design update as opposed to the dull metal fender trim pieces which are either overkill or not flashy enough to live on this beast. So unless this is a rare option I will probably remove them at some point.Click image for larger version

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    Thanks for any info or thoughts on this!


  • #2
    Welcome to the SDC Forum!

    It is a nice car. Was it originally a two-tone (look for a paint label on the exterior, bottom of the glove box, unless you have the production order). Those fender spears do not even look like they are placed at the top of the fender, in line with the center of the headlight, in fact one looks to be off in one direction and the other in the other direction (may be an optical illusion in the pictures).
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer


    • #3
      I haven't discovered that label yet but I've determined from bits of paint on the passenger side window sill and door jamb that it was originally red and black like this car that I found on line. When I first came across my car I experienced a slight pang of disappointment that it was not a two-tone but now I love the all black and intend to keep it that way. Pretty sure the crooked looking fender spears is an optical illusion but you've piqued my curiosity. I'll give it another close look tomorrow with that in mind.


      • #4
        To answer your questions, the fender spears aren’t from any Stude, and the hood ornament is from a ‘54.

        Nice car! ‘55’s look good in all black.


        • #5
          Yes the Fender "Trim" pieces are definitely "Owner applied" or directed.
          You can equate those to the fact it has some kind of aftermarket "Hub Caps" with Beauty Rings, also a "Custom" touch.

          Very nice looking Car, minus those two items.

          Here is a Correct Solid Color '55 President Hardtop with the Correct Wheel Color, Tires and Wheel Covers:
          Click image for larger version

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          Last edited by StudeRich; 11-10-2018, 01:42 PM.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


          • #6
            A very nice '55 Commander. Whether you lose or keep the moldings is your choice. You have a dang good looking car either way. One can't improve on an all black '55 C-K.

            (well, maybe put a '53 front end on it)
            Jerry Forrester
            Forrester's Chrome
            Douglasville, Georgia

            See all of Buttercup's pictures at


            • #7
              Now that 2 of you have confirmed that the dinky fender spears are add-ons I most likely will remove them when I get around to having a paint shop do some touch-ups. The hub caps are another matter., The car came with some beat up looking after market fake wire wheels and since I am not a fan of them ( on ANY car including "correct" Studebaker ones) I was planning on tossing them when I realized the wires could be unbolted revealing this concentric discs full hubcap with a painted black section that gives it the beauty ring look. A bit of polishing with some Quick-Glo made them shine and with the addition of some Ebay dummy knock-offs I think they look pretty shasrp. As I stated before I am not a stickler for "correctness" and feel these compliment the over-the-top styling of the 55s and besides, I am discovering the conical Studebaker wheel covers are pretty scarce and expen$ive.


              • #8
                Ha! I understand why some folks have a problem with the 55 chrome fish mouth, but I would never replace mine with a 53 or 54 front end ( even though that it an undeniably gorgeous design) or paint over it, as I feel the models with the stainless "butter knives" on the sides need all that chrome up front to balance them out.