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49 Champion Starlight Coupe Discovered After Elderly Owners Passed Away

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  • 49 Champion Starlight Coupe Discovered After Elderly Owners Passed Away

    Recently purchased a 49 Champion.
    Last two senior collectors that owned this car have passed on. During their term as care takers they collected a good bit of parts, manuals, Turning Wheels publications and "Stude-O-mobilia" that was packed in the trunk and back seat. The car sat unattended in a garage for nearly a year as time passed with no proper offers from perspective new owners.
    I knew about the car, but assumed it would sell and tried not to lay awake at night because I have plenty of toys and no room for another. Eventually the price was lowered and when I looked at the abandon old Champ, there was evidence of invading rodents. I could not stand to see it suffering in dust covered misery with a vociferous pack of mice nipping at it's wide whites. I paid the price for rescue and the Champ started right up! The car would back up, but forward movement was hindered by bound up front brakes so I returned with my trailer and forced the issue at hand.
    Here is a picture where I found it and one arriving home. I am servicing the old Stude from front-to-rear (if you can tell which is which?) and will post more pictures and text shortly.
    I am enjoying this forum, thank you for having me!
    Tony

  • #2
    Tony, sweet find. That should give you tons of fun. Glad that you saved it from the mice and other elements. Please post more photos. I would love to see the interior. Also happy you joined the Forum and are finding it fun and useful. Waiting for more.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

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    • #3
      Thanks for warm welcome C.E.
      Interior photos as requested...pretty cozy in there! The "older resto" that happened some years back was very kind to the Champs inner workings. There is enough room under the rear armrests to hide a case of preferred beverage or several pounds of another weakness!
      Cleaning and servicing...more photos and text to come!
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Very NICE!! You have found a nice one. They just seem to keep being "found". I like to hear the stories behind the finds, as well as more photos

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        • #5
          F.B.
          In post #1, I made mention of the large amount of "Stude-O-mobilia" packed in the trunk and back seat. I have been sifting through it and it has become something beyond entertaining. There is a hand written journal and numerous pages of recorded purchases for this great old survivor. A previous owner (Walt Zander),(former member of SDC) wrote dates and and details of everything he did to the Champ. Walt dreamed of owning a Starlight Coupe as a youth and finally managed to get this car. He lovingly named the unique vintage auto "Annie" and seemed to be elated to finally gain a lifelong dream. I was sad to learn that he passed on before finishing his life-long Studebaker love affair. His widow (Grace) gave the car to her son (Dave) and this honorable young man took it upon himself to finish Walt's dream.
          Annie was restored and Walt's widow Grace got to ride in the car! Here are more photos of the extra goodies that was in the trunk and back seat.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            This endearing old form of conveyance came out of the Dakotas in the late sixties. It went to Wisconsin where this story started.
            After "Annie" was restored she was put up for sale. Another senior collector name Kyle Olson purchased Annie and brought the Champ home to south Minnesota with him. Kyle enjoyed the Champ for several years, but at 80-plus he could not steer the car (manual steering) unless it was rolling. Kyle was not about to give up driving Annie and he would roll in to the local car shows and head straight for the crowd of people, pull up to them and shut the car off. After exiting the car with cane in hand, one of us would park Annie for him while he enjoyed socializing. When it was time to go Kyle would point in the direction he wished to travel and a show attendee would bring the old Stude out and aim it straight down the road for Kyle. After bidding everyone well, Kyle would climb in and off he would go.
            I can only hope for a similar experience if I live more than 80 years!
            More photos for your viewing pleasure.
            Tony
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tony Thompson View Post
              I can only hope for a similar experience if I live more than 80 years!
              INDEED!! What a neat story, thanks for sharing!

              sigpic
              Dave Lester

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tony Thompson View Post
                pretty cozy in there!
                That's one of the cleanest and most original Studes that I've ever seen. Congrats on your purchase. I bought a very original '50 Champion in 2008 that was purchased new by a woman and it was very "cozy" in there too. I mentioned that on the site here and someone said to take a look where the seat was bolted to the floor because there are 3 sets of adjustment holes and my seat was not only all the way forward but there were 4 wooden blocks under it raising the seat up a couple of inches. After removing the blocks and moving the seat back I had a lot more headroom and legroom so you may want to check that out too. Good luck with your new ride....



                Attached Files
                1949 Studebaker 2R5 half ton pickup...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pictures in post #5 show some of the previous owners enthusiasm.
                  As I unloaded totes, boxes and bags of hobby related material I discovered a four piece set of Venetian shades that appeared to be a custom fit for the notorious panoramic Starlight back window. Excitement grew as I learned that a Kansas based company made these window shades for Studebaker and swap meet prices, asking and paid, were reportedly high for the rare opportunity to own these unique Venetian shades.
                  After test fitting, adjusting and cleaning, the window shades fit well and seem to add an element of nostalgic class to the remarkable Starlight rear window.
                  Here are some pictures of my good fortune...more to come!
                  Tony
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What a nice little car. So good to see that you rescued it. And what fun to find all the "extras" that came with it!

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                    • #11
                      Tony,
                      Congrats and welcome to probably the best automotive forum on the planet. I too have a 1948, but alas, no rear window shades. That is indeed a great find. (I do however have the rare bumper extenders, do you?)
                      Best of luck with your great find.
                      Cheers, Bill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Tony,
                        I do however have the rare bumper extenders, do you?
                        Cheers, Bill[/QUOTE]

                        Hi Bill,
                        Bumper extenders? Going to need some help on that one. I am here to visit and learn and look forward to everyone's input.
                        Thanks,
                        Tony

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We own a 1950, but "Amelia" has a big nose. Regal maybe, but not as cute as your car, with it's little pug nose. Enjoy!
                          Bill

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the additional photos, Tony. Great shots. You mentioned the storage under the rear armrests. My folks owned a '51 Starlight Coupe when I was very young and they told me they used to pack those with ice to keep drinks and my milk cold on long trips. There are drain plugs on the bottom to drain the water from the melted ice. Very cool!
                            Ed Sallia
                            Dundee, OR

                            Sol Lucet Omnibus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wonder why there was an alternator in the trunk. Was a 12 volt conversion planned at some point? Is it a 6 volt alternator?
                              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                              17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                              10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                              56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                              60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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