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  • Here's a Question - Opinions Wanted

    So, if you were starting out today to buy a Studebaker vehicle to provide yourself with daily transportation (for 2 people) to the tune of about 18,000 to 20,000 miles per year, which model would you buy? With what engine, transmission, etc.? And keeping in mind the availability of service parts and ease of doing most of the maintenance yourself.

    Opinions with reasons wanted. Thanks in advance.[^]

    PS: - I expect this will generate a number of varying opinions.

    <h5>Mark
    '57 Transtar Deluxe
    Vancouver Island

    The NW Overdrive Tour in Parksville, BC
    May 23 & 24, 2009; check it out at -
    http://sdcvi.shawwebspace.ca/
    </h5>
    Mark Hayden
    '66 Commander
    Zone Coordinator
    Pacific Can-Am Zone


  • #2
    I've had my license for only 3 years, but my daily drivers have been:

    Worn out '63 Daytona. 6 with auto. One sluggish car.

    60K mile '59 Scotsman pickup. 6 with Overdrive. (not fun on long trips, but a blast around town.)

    '62 Lark 4 door. 6 with 3 speed, no OD. Okay for around town, but RPM's too high on the highway. (Needed overdrive).

    And a '58 Commander, V8 with auto. Great in town or on the highway.

    The BEST driving, and best highway car has been the '58 by a long shot. Smooth, comfortable, and will hang with highway traffic all day.

    My vote is for a V8 sedan. Plenty of power, plenty of room, and plenty of comfort.

    Matthew Burnette
    Hazlehurst, GA

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Matthew, V-8 sedan. Transmission of your choice. Spilt reclining bench, that fixed seat can get real old sitting in traffic. No horn bar, the bar is classy but its too easy to get your long sleeve shirt/jacket caught up and blast the horn! As far as parts go I'd shoot for a 65-66 every parts store from here to Jupiter has ch*vy parts. I have personally driven a 6 cyl 3spd od 4 door Lark 15k mi a year commuting to and from work/school/play. The overdrive is nice for the highway but can get annoying in the city. Add an aftermarket AM-FM-CD radio for some tunes, oh yea since you are way up north a heater is a no brainer.

      Jon Krimm
      1962 Lark Sedan

      1961 Champ

      Comment


      • #4
        I actually found overdrive very nice in stop and roll traffic. Most of the time I could just leave it in second gear and the freewheeling made it so I didn't have to keep putting in the clutch.

        And yes, I agree a V8 sedan... although a Commander six wouldn't be bad either.

        Jeff DeWitt
        http://carolinastudes.net
        Jeff DeWitt
        http://carolinastudes.net

        Comment


        • #5
          Having owned two Chevybakers,I am kind of biased in favor of them.The 283 rocks when tuned properly,but if economy is the name of the game, I would go with a six-banger with a three on the tree.The six is virtually bulletproof.Just be prepared to crank up the tunes so you don't hear the valves tapping and keep a case of oil in the trunk.Let us know what you finally decide to buy!!Just my 2 cents....

          Comment


          • #6
            Agree, V-8 sedan w/T86 OD. Can't beat the 56-58 for ride comfort. Lark types easier to find parts and the Cruiser, with the longer wheelbase, approaches the comfort of the earlier models. Fuel economy, determined by gear ratio, can match any six.
            "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.
            sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

            Comment


            • #7
              From a pure practical, daily transportation standpoint, I'd have to take a 65-66 4 door sedan or wagon. V8, three speed OD. Drum brakes, no PB, PS, or AC.

              I love the Stude V8, but I believe I can get by cheaper with the Chevy and get needed repair parts quicker and easier.

              I like the Lark's size both for interior room and the relatively small outer dimensions. They handle well and have good visibility.

              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

              Comment


              • #8
                I too have no problem with overdrive around town. I rather like it.

                I would also vote for a V-8 sedan. The sedans seem to be more comfortable. They also provide more room for people and "stuff." For me automatic or straight drive is a flip of a coin, but if you go for a straight drive get it with overdrive.

                That said my daily driver Studebakers have been a '59 Lark V-8 w/auto; a 2R6 pickup with a t-86/od; a '55 Champion fourdoor w/od.; a '61 Champ w/R1 power and a t-90w/od; and a '65 Cruiser V-8 w/auto. The last is the most comfortable, but I really loved the 2R6 -- there was something about that Commander Six that I really loved. Wish I still had it.

                Joe Roberts
                '61 R1 Champ
                '65 Cruiser
                Editor of "The Down Easterner"
                Eastern North Carolina Chapter
                Joe Roberts
                '61 R1 Champ
                '65 Cruiser
                Eastern North Carolina Chapter

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think I would go with a 1964 two door hardtop Commander.
                  Either standard or automatic transmission would be fine.



                  Gary Sanders
                  Nixa, MO
                  President Toy Studebaker Collectors Club. Have an interest in Toy Studebakers? Contact me for details.
                  Gary Sanders
                  Nixa, MO

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A 56-61 Hawk on an S10 frame.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm thinking either a 57-58 Golden Hawk with OD or else a '58 hardtop. long wheelbase for a nice ride but I am somewhat style conscious; 4-door sedans aren't my style. A GT would be a practical choice but to my eye the early back window is way more attractive. Yes, I know the whirly thing needs a little extra maintenance, and the hardtop body leaks; I'm willing to deal with that. If you're not, any 56-61 Hawk with a V-8 would do. Whatever it was, it'd have to have OD for the gear spread - with a straight drive trans I'd probably want a 3.31 or 3.08 rear gear for highway driving, and either a 4-speed or a 2nd gear start autobox might be a little sluggish around town, but with OD you can run more rear gear for an effectively lower first gear ratio.

                      If you had to have an automatic, maybe a '55 President coupe (not a Speedster or hardtop just due to the difficulty of making them waterproof) with a DG would be a nice choice, although finding someone to rebuild it might be challenging. It appeals to me because of the lockup TC though. Same thing for a 56J/Ultra, but more so.

                      If you have good roads and/or the long wheelbase isn't a must, a Lark 2-door sedan would be a good choice - maybe a 65-6 sport sedan?

                      nate

                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        59-66Lark 2 or 4 dr 16 58 sedan, the earlier cars ride nice but 6 volt systems and harder steering.


                        101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dick, what "repair parts" do you anticipate needing on a regular basis??? Carrying a spare fuel pump, water pump and belts is just common sense. If you need a rod or a timing gear, overnight shipping is there. But you're more likely to NEED such things with the lesser motor.[^]

                          OH! 50s V8 sedan or later Cruiser.

                          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                          1963 Cruiser
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by Gary1953

                            I think I would go with a 1964 two door hardtop Commander.
                            Either standard or automatic transmission would be fine.



                            Gary Sanders
                            Nixa, MO
                            President Toy Studebaker Collectors Club. Have an interest in Toy Studebakers? Contact me for details.
                            I would reccomend a 1964 Commander 2 door SEDAN (tightest body style) or a 4 door. with a 259 2 barrel, Flight-o-Matic, and power-steering (just 'cause I like my real Studebaker's better than the '65-'66 "Chevy-bakers".

                            Gary, you are aware that the factory did not offer the true (pillarless) "two dooor Hard Top" in the Commander line in 1964?
                            This is of particular interest to me, because I own a 1964 Daytona 2 door Hard Top and have purchased all of the NOS stainless trim and emblems to transform my Daytona HT into a (phantom) Commander Hard-Top, as even back in '64 I preferred the simple thin Commander stainless trim, over the wide aluminum moldings that were used on the more expensive Daytona and Cruiser models, and while the aluminum trim oxidises and dulls over the years, the "cheaper" stainless trim maintains its shine with minimal care.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Interesting idea JessieJ. I think your "Commander" will look good.

                              Comment

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