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Opinions on a 52 commander

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  • Opinions on a 52 commander

    I am thinking about purchasing a '52 Commander. He's asking $1500 and its in rough shape. Most of it's there though and engine spins freely. Still filled with oil too. Thoughts?

  • #2
    Looks like a lot of glass and tail lite lenses, depends on what your plan is,hot rod, stock or rat rod your money ,your goal. Does look straight.

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    • #3
      It is straight and mostly surface rust it seems. It was in good working order 3 years ago. Next to a barn that caught fire and got hot enough to blister paint and blow out all the glass

      Goal is just a decent looking as stock as possible driver.

      Biggest question is the price about what it should be?

      Comment


      • #4
        The Commanders love the highway, and are attention getters.
        I have a friend who bought a '52 Champion 2-door sedan for $2000 that had sat for years and was in similar condition, but with no missing glass, and a lot of metal gone from rust termites.
        He did most of the restoration himself, supervised by a shop owner; and has driven it now to three International Meets and received awards at all three.
        If he were to sell it he will never get what he has in it, primarily because it's a 2-door sedan, and not a Commander. But he doesn't care because he just enjoys driving it anyplace he can; groceries, grange and Lion's Club meetings, church or breakfasts at the Waffle Shop.
        Don't buy it as a financial investment.

        All glass is readily available, with the exception of the back light. That you will probably have to find used.
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

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

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        • #5
          Ill look to see if the back glass is available. If I remember correctly it is. I think it looks like a fairly viable project. Would be nice if you knew more about the engine.

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          • #6
            I owned a '52 Commander back in the 80s. It was great driver and lots of fun. It would cruise all day at 70. Can not really say if the price is right. but it is only a fraction of what it will take to bring it back to a decent condition. Offer half of the asking and go from there.
            American iron, real old school
            With two tone paint, it sure is cool

            Its got 8 cylinders and uses them all
            With an overdrive that just won't stall

            With a 4 barrel carb and dual exhausts
            With 4.23 gears it can really get lost

            Its got safety belts and I ain't scared
            The brakes are good and the tires are fair.

            Tried to sell her, but got no taker
            I"ll just keep driving my Studebaker

            Comment


            • #7
              The glass is not as big a problem as replacing chrome is on a 52. The chrome on that car looks surprisingly good. If the car is solid, and you are up to the challenge, it is probably a good deal.
              "In the heart of Arkansas."
              Searcy, Arkansas
              1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
              1952 2R pickup

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              • #8
                IMO, you would be better off spending a little more and getting something in better shape that you can enjoy sooner, unless you just want the work/challenge.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
                  The glass is not as big a problem as replacing chrome is on a 52. The chrome on that car looks surprisingly good. If the car is solid, and you are up to the challenge, it is probably a good deal.
                  Yes, glass i looked at and seems I can get a new set for about $900 plus shipping. Chrome wise think the only things missing are the two vertical side pieces for the front fender. The 2nd middle one is on the trunk.

                  Only thing I haven't found yet is where to get all new rubber.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by studegary View Post
                    IMO, you would be better off spending a little more and getting something in better shape that you can enjoy sooner, unless you just want the work/challenge.
                    As far as money goes this one is doable now. It's hard to save up much sometimes due to the wife.

                    As far as enjoying it I am never home, so that then gives me time to save every few months to work a bit on it when I am till I get a local job at home. At least I will now it is there waiting for me, and I don't mind th ed challenge of it. Might help me get out of OTR sooner.

                    I figure glass and getting the rust taken care of would be the first priorities to prevent the car from rotting out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by studegary View Post
                      IMO, you would be better off spending a little more and getting something in better shape that you can enjoy sooner, unless you just want the work/challenge.
                      I am in agreement with Gary. Having owned several 52 Commander cars, they are a great road car with overdrive. Chrome is a weak spot on the car with the "Korean" chrome and you can spend a small fortune on that, especially on a 2 door hardtop. I did own a 52 Commander convertible that was pace car colors but I turned a large fortune in to a small fortune.

                      Other than 1950 and 1951, the 1952 Studebaker production numbers would be the highest number of cars built until production ceased in 1966. It will cost you just as much money to bring this car back as it would a more desirable Studebaker collectable.

                      The last 52 4 door I bought was in great shape with a decent interior. Engine was frozen, chrome ok, did not have wheels, but I had plenty to get the car rolling onto a flatbed. I paid $400.00. It was used as a parts car but very few parts were used.

                      I would offer $400.00 but be prepared to walk away. Through the Studebaker Drivers Club the vendors are here to help get your car going. BTW, I bought a NOS front hood V emblem for a car I didn't have. I keep my eye out for a 52 still, but it will have to be right for me.

                      BTW, studebakerparts.com, Russ and Sharon Ware in Gilbert AZ bought out Fennesey's glass and rubber and have all the glassand rubber. Check out the website to get an idea on price of glass.

                      Bob Miles
                      Last edited by 6hk71400; 04-07-2021, 10:02 PM. Reason: add content

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                      • #12
                        Looks like nice project to me. As far as price goes I always try to negotiate as low as possible for a project or parts car. But 1500 is what I gave for my 50 champion starlight 17 years ago that was in rougher shape than that 52. Although mine had all the glass intact.

                        If you do get the car I have a nice recovered blue front seat out of a 52 hard top for sale. ...

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                        • #13
                          as long as the tin worms didn't get the floors, trunk and fenders, I would say you are money ahead.

                          they are all money pits arent they?

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                          • #14
                            There is simply too much that we don't see. Has any of the interior survived? What about the condition of the dash, floors?

                            You seem to be interested, but how committed are you? There is work involved, how much can you afford? This is a good worth while project, but only you can say for sure whether you are up to the challenge. If you are not up to it, leave it for the next guy. There is nothing more rewarding then bringing a car back. The flipside is having to move a millstone from around your neck, when you become overwhelmed by the process.
                            Last edited by Hallabutt; 04-08-2021, 11:58 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hellmonkey79 View Post

                              Yes, glass i looked at and seems I can get a new set for about $900 plus shipping. Chrome wise think the only things missing are the two vertical side pieces for the front fender. The 2nd middle one is on the trunk.

                              Only thing I haven't found yet is where to get all new rubber.
                              Same place you get the glass. Studebaker Glass & Rubber; or Studebaker International, or Stephen Allen's, or ...
                              https://studebakerglass.com/
                              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

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

                              Comment

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