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'51 Commander 4-door six cylinder? Collectable?

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  • '51 Commander 4-door six cylinder? Collectable?

    A while back I saw a picture of a '51 four door that was supposed to be a Commander but had a six under the hood. Everything I've read says the Commander in '51 was a V-8. If the car was not mis-identified as a Commander instead of a Champion, is it possible that the Commander could have been ordered with a six? The dash board does not have the three round gauges I have seen on the Commander but instead has the single unit instrument cluster. Could it be possible that this was a Commander and not a Champion?

    One last thing. The four-door model studebakers don't seem to be nearly as popular as other models based on how many I've seen in picture galleries on the web. Value-wise, how much less collectable are the bullet-nose sedans when compared to the coupes?

  • #2
    My guess would be you're looking at a Champion with Commander emblems on it. Post the vin# [on left front door pillar],and the body tag on the right firewall area[under the hood] and someone on here can decode them for you--if they are original to the car.
    Awhile back,a friend of mine was looking at a 51 Champion,the seller insisted it came from the factory with a v-8! Might never know the truth about that one either.
    Value? Condition means everything-could be a $1000,if it runs,or could be $10,000-no easy answer!!!Price will be determined by what you're willing to give,and what the seller is willing to take!

    Everybody's Uncle Used To Have One!
    Oglesby,Il.

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    • #3
      While Studebaker was flexible with some special requests, they wouldn't have built a 1951 Commander with a 6. Now - the FIFTY Commander (also a bullet-nose) would have had a 6. But it too, would have had the 3 seperate ROUND pods for the instruments. This single cluster you mention indicates a Champion for '51
      As 52hawk says, it'd be easy for someone to swap the Commander nameplate onto the Champion - especially for '51. Either the serial# tag on the drivers door jamb or the body tag on the firewall will tell the truth. The serial# tag will start with a G and the body tag will start with 10G - either one signifying a Champion and thus a 6-cylinder.
      4-drs have a stigma attached that they're not as "sporty" as 2-drs. That's it in a nutshell. But lotsa folks nowdays are wowed by the "Suicide" rear doors that were part of the 4-door Stude design thru the 52 models.
      2-door - 4-door ........ sporty - taxi. If you like 4-doors (like I do), you're in luck 'cause there's gonna be less competition for the cars you like and that means they're gonna cost less![}]

      Miscreant at large.

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      1957 President 2-dr
      1955 President State
      1951 Champion Biz cpe
      1963 Daytona project FS
      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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      • #4
        Many Studebaker collectors would consider a 4-door 6-cylinder Studebaker to have "two too many doors and two too few cylinders." However I agree with a previous post that the 4-door suicide design is gaining favor and anything with a bullet nose in front is also becoming much more interesting to collectors. I've seen very nice examples of 1950-1951 Champion 4-doors go for as high as $7,500 at auctions in mid-U.S.

        Studedude1961
        - 63 Cruiser

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        • #5
          Twenty years ago I bought a 1950 Land Cruiser for $400. Drove it home and parked it. Put my money into a 60 Convertible and ended up parting out the Land Cruiser.
          Don't have either now but, if given the option, I'd opt for the Land Cuiser. It doesn't have the market value of the convertible but was a helluva lot more automobile.
          "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"

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          • #6
            With so much evidence pointing toward identifying this car as a Champion , I was wondering if the hood emblem is similar enough to a Commander that it could have been bolted on by mistake at the factory? Maybe it was built on a Monday.

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