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'58 Commander up for grabs

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  • '58 Commander up for grabs

    Up for sale is my '58 Commander four door sedan. I really want a prewar Stude so this one has to go. It has been the most dependable Studebaker I've ever owned. I need to put a new fuel pump on but with that it would be drivable. It needs a tranny rebuild (I have a supposedly good one that goes with the car) and the brakes need adjusting.

    The 259 runs strong, but there's the typical loud lifter noise and every oil seal is bad. (It leaks and the engine bay is filthy). Dual exhaust with glasspacks and the thing sounds great.

    It was a radio delete car and I added a rebuilt push button radio to it. It plays but needs a new speaker, the one I put in it was a quick-rig just to see if it works. There's an FM converter in the glove box. Tom Elliott and I installed a NOS wind-up antenna in his driveway one afternoon.

    Cosmetically it needs some help. The paint is 100% original, and to me, the "patina" is pretty cool. The only dents are on the roof, it looks like a board or something fell across it once and dented the roof in the back. Not really noticeable, but it's there. The window rubbers are all shot and it leaks in the rain. Door fuzzy strips are all bad so the windows do rattle. (Not as bad as most, however). The grille is a NOS President unit and it took me months to find. I hit a deer one morning and luckily all that was hurt was the grille.

    The interior needs help. Headliner is 85% there and the insulation has fell down. It has Historic Automotive seat covers with Lark bucket seats up front. (I do have the original bench seat). No carpeting at all, I coated the floors with bed liner. (Carpet is pointless with leaky window gaskets). Door panels are original and really aren't too bad. While in South Bend in May I was given a set of new front kick panels. These are the ones that go on the sides, just in front of the doors.

    The ONLY rust that I've found on the car is the driver's rocker panel. I do have a used replacement for it. The passenger side rocker is solid, but also needs replacing as it's pretty beat. Cabin floors, trunk floor, and sheetmetal are all VERY nice and solid.

    Like I said, this has been one very dependable car. I bought it in January of '09 (from the grandson of the original owner, I'm the 2nd registered owner) and had it running the day I brought it home. It'd been sitting since 1974, that's 35 years. It was bought new by a dairy farmer in Atlanta. I got the engine smoothed out, did a brake overhaul, and proceeded to put thousands of miles on it. I did just enough to get it roadworthy and presentable. Last year I went on at least 10 trips to Atlanta and 3-4 trips to Tallahassee in the car, both are about 200 miles each way. The only trouble it ever gave was a bearing in the replacement generator went out. The gen. has since been completely rebuilt. The water pump started making a little noise a couple thousand miles ago, I bought a new one but haven't installed it yet.

    Overall, it's a pretty decent old car that with a little maintenance, I wouldn't be afraid to drive anywhere. It'll go as fast as you want it to but anything above 70 MPH and it gets a little scary. The front end tracks and handles okay but really needs new bushings. The engine does run a little warm in the summer and I don't know why. Radiator is one from a Hawk and last summer I removed all of the freeze plugs and totally flushed the block out. It still runs pretty warm but it never gave trouble.

    At the South Bend swap meet, this car's twin was in the for sale lot. Same color combo and everything, but a much nicer original. He wanted $5500 for his and it was a Champion. It was cosmetically superior to mine, though.

    I'm asking $3000 but will consider any reasonable offer, or trade for a pre-WWII Stude. If a person really wanted to go nuts, almost every part for this car is available NOS from Studebaker International. If the car sells, I know I'll regret it but I want an oldie more than I want this one, and I don't want a yard full of cars.

    This is a pic from last year. The car looks the same but the paint could use another polish/wax job. It has a lot of "patina" and I like the fact that it is the factory paint. (Complete with paint runs!)

    Last edited by mbstude; 06-11-2010, 12:05 PM.

  • #2
    Trade ya a model N door for it...

    (Or not...)
    Chris Dresbach


    • #3
      Well I thought I'd get at least some feedback or interest in the car, but I haven't even gotten a low ball offer (which I would actually consider). Guess these '58's really are unliked.

      If Tom in California can't sell a solid C body for $500 bucks, I guess I'm silly to think I could sell a sedan.


      • #4
        Hey Matt,

        I love the 58's.. My first car was a 58 Commander. It was a 2 door hardtop thou.
        If yours was closer and I was in a position to add to my fleet I'd be calling you.
        Don't give up, seems like there is not much activity on the forum as there once was. I'm sure once the word gets around, you'll have a buyer..
        George King
        Grants Pass, Oregon
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        • #5
          Do you have an eye on one you want ? I know where one is that has a sticker in the rear window, but I don't think the owner is ready to sell. (g) I do have an other in primer just like it, but it's a project, It will run, go and stop.


          • #6
            Ebon I don't mind primer. Wanna trade?