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Story behind the 53-54 2dr sedan?

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  • Story behind the 53-54 2dr sedan?

    All the discussion the past couple days on here about some of the scarcer variations on the Studebaker theme has got me thinking about the 53-54 two-doors...not the iconic Bourke Coupes, but the sedans. Until last year, I was not even aware that body style existed; once I saw a pic of one I immediately wanted one...despite the fact that it actually looks like a converted four-door with that two-piece rear quarter.

    My question? I know that the Bourke coupes (deservedly) caused a sensation, and from a sales standpoint the sedans turned into also-rans...which caused the company quite a bit of grief because they'd tooled-up to build the sedans in volume but not the coupes/HTs. My suspicion is this: the sedan was intended to be a four-door only; the excessive demand for coupes meant Stude had to start cranking out two-doors in quantity quickly to woo would-be coupe buyers with something that at least somewhat resembled Mr Bourke's some of the too-many four-door bodyshells were adapted into "coupes". Am I anywhere near the mark with that assessment?

    My other question would be, how many of these two-doors were built, and do more than a handful survive? I still want one...


  • #2
    Considering the odd seam appearance on the two door sedans, you could be right.

    Ten or so years ago I found a '53 Commander two door sedan sitting next to a garage. It was totalling intact and unmolested, though most of the lower sheetmetal was thinned out a bit. I was not in the market but spread the word and couldn't find a used parts dealer who was interested in it for the $100 asking; full drive train and complete dash with radio, etc, etc.

    Gone now.
    Brad Johnson,
    SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
    '56 Sky Hawk in process


    • #3
      You're right Steve, with all the hype about the coupes and hardtops
      being the models to have in your "stable", there were the sedans.
      I had "Charlene" for several years and she now resides in Wagoner
      OK......but she is a classic example of a 1953 tudoor sedan.


      • #4
        I just LOVE the look of those cars... especially the clever way the designers tried to hide the cobbled look with that big boomerang moulding[8D] I'll have one someday...

        Is that actually a disabled door unit with provision for hinges, or a panel jury-rigged by the designers to fit?

        Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
        Parish, central NY 13131

        "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

        "With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"


        • #5
          I doubt very much that the 2 door sedans of that era were built as an afterthought, or to be used as a stopgap measure until Coupe/HT production could be increased. The 2 door sedan body style was still very popular and common at that time (among all makes, not just Studebaker) and it was only natural that Studebaker would offer one as part of the '53 line. Besides, they were introduced at the same time as the 4 door sedans anyhow.

          I like them too.

          Dave Bonn
          Valencia, PA
          '54 Champion Starliner


          • #6
            Hi Folks... I have one of these Sedans, mine is a 15G-F1, the el-chepo "Custom" as it were. Bought it from the original owners. Use Google and type "studebaker buddy" and look at mine. The web site is maintained by John Mcdonald in Nova Scotia. He does a real good job.. You might check out his large site at...


            When I get the Plymouth out of the garage the Champion goes in for a disassemble...

            Buddy...'54 Champion 2dr
            Warner Robins, GA 31088


            • #7
              I like these sedans a lot as well, and have often wondered if one could adapt that panel to open, suicide-style, like the Saturn coupes of a few years back. Talk about a conversation piece!~


              Clark in San Diego
              '63 F2/Lark Standard

              Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


              • #8
                Almost certainly, what Blue 15G says is the case. The 2dr sedans were in the lineup before production ever started for 1953. Why did they do it like they did? It HAS to BE a matter of money. The ability to use ONE basic body shell to achieve two models is gonna save bucks.[^]

                Miscreant Studebaker nut in California's central valley.

                1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                1960 Larkvertible V8
                1958 Provincial wagon
                1953 Commander coupe
                1957 President two door

                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


                • #9
                  The question that I don't see answered here yet. There were 16,886 two door sedans built for the 1953 model year. Not exactly a low number, but I think that few have survived. When new, they were often business/sales cars that were used up and when they were used there wasn't much of a demand for them.

                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer