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Idle Speculation / What If?

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  • Idle Speculation / What If?

    Now... why couldn't this have been the '55 facelift... or even the Packard Hawk?

    Unsightly European chest hair aside, of course...

    Many thanks to gueguette80 @ Flickr, who posted this picture here:
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Grille area reminds me of a Willys of the era.

    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup


    • #3
      That does remind me of Bob Bourke's personal Black Starliner with his own '55 design front end, that he could not sell to Management.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        Willys, nothin, thats straight from a Henry J.


        • #5
          I think I like the '55's the way they are. I have seen a '53-4-5 somewhere with scoops on the hood like that. They did not, as I recall, have the chrome trim. I thought at the time that they looked really nice. That Willys or Henry J grill treatment really doesn't do much for me, but that's just me.
          Joe Roberts
          '61 R1 Champ
          '65 Cruiser
          Eastern North Carolina Chapter


          • #6

            Check the "French Translation needed, unusual 1954 Studebaker Ad" thread for how this car was used in French advertising.

            I agree, this design would have been a better choice for '55, at least for the C & K bodied models.

            That's definitely Raymond Loewy. Anyone know French license plates? Tell us where and when it would receive that license plate.

            Last edited by 56H-Y6; 11-05-2010, 07:16 AM.


            • #7
              That is even more of a 'face' than most cars try to get away with (well, other than the new Mazdas which are definitely flying with really strong psychotropics and are hugely, majorly creepy, like Jack Nicholson axe murderers IMO <shudder>) Those eyes, that expressive nose, and that thin, trimmed mustache. All it needs is an Ascot (and some chest hairs), and it would be a mirror reflection of some French designer at an overpriced beau monde summer wonder you aren't fussy!

              Wondering about car faces, how did they ever manage to sell those really 'sleepy' 53 Oldsmobiles with the huge bags under their 'eyes'?

              My sister once designed a front end treatment for my red 65 Corvair convertible to include long black eyelashes (shop broom bristles) and lipstick (red reflective tape). She wasn't as happy when I added white fangs (white reflective tape) for Hallowe'en!

              Just occurred to me about the licence plate on the St Tropez car--it has a TT in it and I'm wondering if that was a tax dodge car. The French have had this fascinating system called TT for "taxe touristique" and if you are going to Europe via France for longer than say 4 weeks, it is still (I think its still in operation) a very inexpensive way to 'rent' a car for longer terms. You actually 'buy' the car, and the factory will deliver a brand new car to the airport, then when you leave you 'resell' the car back for a pre-arranged price, and you in effect only pay the difference. You have to do the servicing and pay for making any damage right, but no biggy. Because it is sold to a foreign national bone fide tourist non-resident who picks it up in person, it is treated like an export and there are no taxes on the 'sale'. Once it is used it is depreciated, so the factory gets to re-sell virtually new cars at a steeply discounted price to the public, so everyone-the manufacturer, the French public, and even the French government is very happy about this. It seems to me that either the system was only available from a French Airline/cruise line or that trying to go by a different carrier other than Frech ended up being so time consuming that the better alternative was to fly Air France and pay a few dollar more, to save scads and buckets of money on a car.

              Of course, TT could also be the two letter designator for a particular region in France, but I doubt it. I remember stopping in Normandy in a Renault I had picked up in Calais, and everyone looking at me suspiciously as if I were M l'inpecteur de la taxe fiscale. It seems that the real tax police often used the same model and of course the two letters on the licence plate indicated that it been issued in Paris for a Paris-located entity. As soon as I spoke, they relaxed, because I didn't speak like a fonctionnaire from Paris, but rather like a country cousin. (Canadian French, and especially the French of Acadie, is largely based on the dialect and regionlisms of the Normandy-Brittany region, of several hundred years ago.)
              Last edited by Jim B PEI; 11-05-2010, 07:41 AM. Reason: TT


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jim B PEI View Post
                Wondering about car faces, how did they ever manage to sell those really 'sleepy' 53 Oldsmobiles with the huge bags under their 'eyes'?
                They were supposed to represent turboprop air intakes and, for the most part, they read that way at the time. It's just that airborne engine design changed so quickly in the Jet Age that within five years we were all looking at jet engines which had rounded intakes with simple nacelles in their centers and coming up with under-eye treatments like the parking lights on the '58 Chevy, which couldn't be more clearly brought to us directly from under the wings of a B52 if they tried.

                I'm right with you though: those early-50s Oldses now look hideous to me. Buick did the same thing at the same time but with a whole lot more panache because their version was much simpler and, therefore, much closer to being timeless.


                • #9
                  Interesting comments all, but the car still seems to be several trinket steps down from the production '53 Starliner.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Don Jeffers View Post
                    Interesting comments all, but the car still seems to be several trinket steps down from the production '53 Starliner.
                    Which answers my question succinctly, for which I thank you: This could not have been the face of the '55 because the '55 was all about CHROME (well... chrome and shiny stainless steel, anyway).

                    I still have to admit I think it would have made a great Packard Hawk, however: it's even got the rounded bump-up in the center of the grille...
                    Last edited by JGK 940; 11-05-2010, 02:07 PM. Reason: afterthought


                    • #11
                      Yes, because the production cars lacked, to whack at that analogy one more time, the gold chains around the neck, even if a few chest hairs were still showing. (that's a good thing)

                      Has anyone ever noticed or commented on how similar, if done in entirely different national idioms, the Studebaker 53-55 experiment and the Citroen DS (ie, diesse, or goddess) are? Both timeless and very satisfying designs.


                      • #12
                        Was just looking at a head-on photo of a Citroen DS in the past day or two, and did indeed notice that the contours of the hood and fender tops favour the Bourke Coupes rather a lot.

                        The rest of the car actually makes me think of those two Loewy-designed Avanti-theme sedan prototypes even more. I guess that isn't surprising, given Mr Loewy's French ancestry and the fact that those designs were translated into metal by a French coachbuilder...



                        • #13
                          I wonder what would have been had Studebaker simply left the 1953-54 design as it was until 1958 or 1959 (for 4-door sedans and wagons) while continuing to add mechanical improvements. I assume that the 1953-54 was so advanced for the day that it may have taken most people a couple of years to grow fond of it. By the time they may have realized it was a beautiful design, the boxy 1956-58 non-Hawks were in the show rooms.
                          In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


                          • #14
                            Love the grill and the hood scoops, but the glob they threw at the center looks like a Henry J/Willys wart. Could have done away with the fender spears also.
                            101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.