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Do I have Automatic Drive?

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  • Do I have Automatic Drive?

    I have a 1952 Studebaker Champion (someone said it is a Champion Starlight Coupe, but I don't know). Here is a picture of the cockpit... How do I know if it has Automatic Drive and how does automatic drive work? I Googled around, but haven't found anything too solid.











  • #2
    It is a '52 Champion Starlight Coupe but has a standard transmission, not automatic. Perhaps they are telling you it has automatic overdrive.
    If there is a "T" handle marked OD under the dash left of the steering column it has overdrive, assuming the transmission is still equipped with a solenoid and governor.
    Looks like a car with great potential.
    You can find many threads on the overdrive operation right here if you use the "Advanced Search" function in the upper right corner of this page.
    Last edited by rockne10; 03-28-2011, 07:56 PM.
    "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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    • #3
      I don't see an overdrive handle or cable either. So it may not have been equipped with it.
      If you are curious about the tag under the hood, the 12G indicates 1952 Champion. The C is your body style, starlight coupe. The 5 is a trim level - there were 3 for the Champions - Custom, Deluxe, or Regal. The serial number on the door frame plate can be sent in to the Studebaker museum. They can pull the orignal build sheet for your car and you'll know when it was built and what options came on it.
      So the motor is cleaned up and there are a few emblems shaved off the hood. I agree it has potential. Be careful with the grill pieces. They are very hard to find in decent shape.

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      • #4
        Would the automatic drive have a clutch? I am going to search the forum for automatic drive, but I will will check back frequently. Thanks for the information guys.

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        • #5
          hmm... I will see what I can do with the center grill. the metal seems to be really cheap cast. I was hoping to put in a repo, but if they don't have one then I guess I will make due.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by anthonyforensics View Post
            Would the automatic drive have a clutch? I am going to search the forum for automatic drive, but I will will check back frequently. Thanks for the information guys.
            Automatic Drive was Studebaker's name for their automatic transmission at that time. The Automatic Drive would be a fully automated transmission with NO clutch or clutch pedal.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by anthonyforensics View Post
              hmm... I will see what I can do with the center grill. the metal seems to be really cheap cast. I was hoping to put in a repo, but if they don't have one then I guess I will make due.
              Don't expect much in the way of repro for the exterior or interior of a 1952.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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              • #8
                so I guess the 52 is pretty rare

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by anthonyforensics View Post
                  so I guess the 52 is pretty rare
                  Rare compared to some, but not as rare as some others, like Avanti or Packard Hawk, but there is not enough demand for 1952-only items to make it profitable to make reproductions. Much of your car is similar to 1947-1952 and even beyond.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                  • #10
                    Now those 52s can grow on you, especially the starlights. Take your time and read up on it while you're bringing it back. Turning Wheels, the Cooperators technical advice section is like speed notes. Send away for a Studebaker Int' Catalogue and check out the SDC club vendors. Body metal looks fine from here, but even that is available. Those cast grill pieces, if they are not broken, would be great cores for a replater
                    Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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                    • #11
                      I have become a big fan of the 52. That said I have learned that rare is probably the wrong word. The public in general who is into cars knows the "Bullet Nose" and the "Low Boy" and some know Hawks and Avantis. The 52 may be the least known of the post war era. Not many parts cars seem to have survived and not many Studie guys have saved 52 parts. When you said you hoped for a re-pop grill I was thinking that grill looks pretty good; I wish mine was that good. I have been asked several time why I don't just but a bullet nose on it. I was offered all the parts for that when I bought it at no extra cost. Only because I want a 52 will I make the effort to make it so. Your Starlight can become a lovely car what ever path you follow and I wish you great success.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michidan View Post
                        I don't see an overdrive handle or cable either. So it may not have been equipped with it.
                        If its an automatic, there should be a pull-to-start T-handle where the OD T-handle would be, less a cable; just a momentary contact switch behind it. They are similar in appearance, and are in the same location.

                        Craig

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                        • #13
                          One thing to remember about the '52 cars. Those are the centennial cars for Studebaker. 1952 marked the 100th year of the Studebaker Corporation and there were promotional ceremonies, programs, and publications to celebrate the fact. It would be years before any other vehicle company could make that claim. Many companies never achieved that milestone.

                          As far as the chrome for the '52's it is important to remember that chrome was in short supply and rationed because of the korean war effort. Due to this often forgotten fact, the plating was done lightly and shortcuts were taken that resulted in poor quality that would turn yellow and fail prematurely. This plagued the entire industry and not just Studebaker.
                          John Clary
                          Greer, SC

                          SDC member since 1975

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                          • #14
                            I did not know that they were centennial cars. AWESOME!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jclary View Post
                              It would be years before any other vehicle company could make that claim. Many companies never achieved that milestone.
                              I think Oldsmobile was the first to match the feat in 2002!
                              "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

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