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Highlight the differences between 50 & 51 sedans

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  • Highlight the differences between 50 & 51 sedans

    Hi

    Can you highlight the major differences between the 1950 & 1951 sedans? What would make one model year a more desirable Stude than the other?

    I currently own a 1950 2 door sedan with 6cyl & 3sp w/od. I am always on the lookout for a vehicle in better condition to "upgrade". My thinking is that the 6 with 3speed is better than the V8 automatic due to shear simplicity and ease of maintenance. But are there major things about one of the years that I should be considering?

    Thanks and will be looking forward to those of you with a lot more experience with these cars.



    Tim Porter
    Hebron Illinois
    1950 Champion 2dr

  • #2
    The 1950 is the last year for the planer front suspension, and the last year for the pre-war frame. The 1951 is the first year of the coil front suspension and this was the frame used (with running modifications) until the end of production. The wheel bases are different, and the major body sections are different. My favorite engine/transmission combination is the V8 with the 3-speed o/d. There are very few parts that interchange between the 50 and the 51.

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    • #3
      Front suspension is 1950 only. 1951 on is basically all the same.

      Terry

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      • #4
        1950 Commanders have a longer front section with large pontoon fenders. The 1950 Champion and all 1951s have a shorter front end section.
        As has been said, the 1950 has a one year, older style front suspension. The 1951 uses the independent coli spring front suspension that was used by Studebaker until 1966 and Avanti until 1985.
        The flathead six may be simpler, but the V8 is a lot nicer to drive and more valuable.

        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

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

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          I have a 51 Commander Starlight Coupe 232v8 and 3spd love it,


          She gets 22mpg on hwy.

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          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by whacker

            The 1950 is the last year for the planer front suspension, and the last year for the pre-war frame.
            The 1950 is the first year for COIL spring front suspension, but it is a one-off system and was totally redesigned in 1951 to a much better system that was retained pretty much in tact until 1966.

            Desirability, drive-ability, performance, value, ALL are better on Commander V-8 which debuted in 1951, and to a lesser degree on '51 Champion.

            StudeRich
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner



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            • #7
              Not slighting the sixes at all here, but I think it's a mistake to characterize the V8s as "more complex". While they certainly take up more engine compartment space, this isn't a matter of complexity.

              The cabins of all four cars 50 Champions, 50 Commanders, 51Champions, 51 Commanders are all basically the same (yes, there's extra inches in the Land Cruisers). In each year's offerings, my first choice would be the Commanders - simply for power and the extra tractability it affords. But I've driven a 52 Champion 4dr in the past (as a daily driver) and it was a great car!

              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.

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