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  • Thinking of buying this 52 land cruiser

    Hi everyone,

    (if this should be in technical a mod can move it, I wasn't sure)

    I'm new to the forum, and never had a studebaker. I routinely go to route 66 ( a pretty big classic car show in southern california), and always had a thing for studebakers, especially ones with suicide doors I enjoy working on cars, I've always done maintenance and fixed all my cars, I've never done a full restoration or engine/transmission work though.



    So there she is. Body is said to be in good condition except for a hole in the drivers floor pan. Car is running but needs a radiator - as in the radiator is missing, owner sold it. I'm going to check it out some time this week, and the owner is sending me pictures of the engine bay which I'll post when I get them.

    In the meantime, I had a few questions. How hard is it to find parts for this car? I'm guessing the radiator might be a little hard to find, as this car is in the middle of nowhere, and someone went all that way just for the radiator, but, are there other radiators that will work? I would eventually like to get all original parts, but would like to get it up and running for now for relatively cheap.

    I think it needs a headlight or two, and a number of emblems/trim pieces as well. I read they still have all glass lights for this year? Are there any reproduction companies, or is it all hunting originals?

    Does anyone have pictures of a 52 land cruiser engine bay? Or at least something fairly similar? Like I said, I work on my cars, but older engine bays always look empty to me anyway, so I might not notice if another major part was missing besides the radiator. Obviously it needs an engine and tranny, radiator, carb, but things like power steering and alternator I have no idea.. lol

    Anyways, Happy Easter and hopefully I'll be a proud Studebaker owner soon enough.

  • #2
    Welcome to all things Studebaker. Many of your question will be dependent on your intentions, let me explain. Are interested in a Stock "show car" or a resto-rod or something in between. A stock original radiator will only be hard to find, not impossible. A search here will find reference to the use of mid 60s Mustang (V8) radiators which will fit with some work but not be original. Headlight trim rings show up on Ebay often enough, hot a beg deal. So if you jump on this or you find another which is more complete the choices are yours as how much you are willing to spend to achieve the end results you desire. Search the forum and you'll find lots of ideas. Search Google images for 1952 Studebaker Commander or Land Cruiser and you will find engine bay pictures as both models (in 52) were the same under the hood. Please ask all the questions you want there are many here who will help. Some sellers have on occasion under estimated the amount of rust there is in an old car and while there are many repair panels available, particularly floors, the work required to repair rust should not be taken lightly. Here is a forum link I think you might like too.
    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...003#post502003
    Good Luck and I hope this helps.
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1667998 Here is a proper 232 1952 engine bay
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1667997Here is a sad 259 (57) in a 1952 engine bay
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ID:	1667996And another view of a proper 232 in a 1952.
    Last edited by fatboylust; 04-24-2011, 02:50 PM. Reason: added link and rust thought

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    • #3
      Thanks, for the input and links. The cars in that thread are beautiful. I've heard of rust being a big problem, but he said it was stored until recently, and if its a california car it shouldn't be a huge deal, I'll definitely check everything out though.

      If the engine turns out to be a dud, what would it an estimated value be just for the shell and wheels?

      http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...stang+radiator < I found this thread on the radiator - I looked and a 67 289 radiator looks like the price range I was thinking, and definitely easier than chasing down another radiator.

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      • #4
        Well value that is the question. As a wiser man than I said here on the forum many times "just because it is rare doesn't make it valuable". So here is another link where you look at many 1952 Studebakers for sale on craigeslist so you can see what others think there are worth. Here is one that popped out right away: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/2340433946.html for example. This is not a case where "the more you spend the more it worth" it is only worth what you are willing to pay. I just found the craigslist ad ( http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/ctd/2281087649.html )for the car in your first post and it shows an in-line 6, so the car for sale is a Champion, not that there is anything wrong with that. Commanders and land Cruisers for 1951/2 had V8 engines.
        Last edited by fatboylust; 04-24-2011, 05:21 PM. Reason: Add thoughts

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        • #5
          Here's a shot of the engine bay: (hope to get bigger/better resolution pics too)

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          • #6
            I don't know much about 52's but it looks like the front end chrome parts are missing. As I recall, they are one year only and difficult to find. Hopefully, Michidan or other 52 folks will chime in. I'd be more concerned about the chrome and diecast parts missing than the engine and radiators. Engines seem to be available and, I'll guess the only problem with a radiator is cost.

            Also join the SDC and get the magazine. This month has a great article on Jon Stalnacker's 51. Different front metal but a sweet four door. Check his posts "Sdude" on the forum to see more pix.

            Welcome, we're here to help.

            Bob

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            • #7
              Ya it looks pretty picked clean of chrome...

              One other thing, he posted it a month ago as a 51, and now as a 52, so I don't know... I'm guessing a 52 and he's parted out all the hard to find stuff the more I look at it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tempusfugit View Post
                Ya it looks pretty picked clean of chrome...

                One other thing, he posted it a month ago as a 51, and now as a 52, so I don't know... I'm guessing a 52 and he's parted out all the hard to find stuff the more I look at it.
                I thought the front looked more 50-51ish but as I said, I'm no expert on them. For the right price a rust free body is a great find, so you may want to show us the front for positive ID and ask for quotes on parts. Be sure to check out the interior also and post pix. There are some here that can give you a good idea of value then.

                Bob

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                • #9
                  Best I have for now, sorry

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                  • #10
                    The hood and front fenders are definitely 52.

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                    • #11
                      Whether a '51 or '52, the Land Cruiser would have the 232 V8 and look something like this under the hood. Would have a generator rather than alternator; could have wet or dry air filter and heater hoses should be black, not red.

                      "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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tempusfugit View Post
                        Best I have for now, sorry

                        I would run, not walk, from that car unless you have much of what is needed. It is a 1952. It is not a Land Cruiser as you stated. It is not even a Commander. It is a Champion. This is just to clarify things. They are all okay, but the Champion has the small engine and falls to the bottom of the value pile. The major negative is the missing grille. That will be very difficult and expensive to replace. There are much better examples around for less than this one will be, even if you get it for free.

                        Welcome to the Forum and Studebakers. Good luck on your search. Come back and we will try to help you.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                        • #13
                          The price is all starting to make sense... The one in SF fatboy posted is looking more tempting, even with an 8 hour drive.. haha

                          Thanks for all of the info guys.. quick responses and on Easter no less !

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
                            Whether a '51 or '52, the Land Cruiser would have the 232 V8 and look something like this under the hood. Would have a generator rather than alternator; could have wet or dry air filter and heater hoses should be black, not red.

                            The above pic is of an early '51 with the choke heater tube going clear down to the exhaust manifold. The '52 engine choke tube looks like this:

                            Click image for larger version

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                            There was a recall for the choke heater tubes in '51 but many dealers didn't perform it unless asked. Late '51s had it from the factory and all '52 had it.

                            It would be interesting to know who told you it was a LC. If it was the previous owner, he obviously knows little about Studebakers. Land Cruisers have a vent window in the rear door, like this one:

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Also note the stainless 'mud-guards' on the rear fenders, the stainless strip running under the doors and tho it's hard to see 'em, the fender ornaments. LCs also say "Studebaker" on one side of the hood near the grille and "Land Cruiser" on the other side, tho I've seen many with "Commander" replacing "Land Cruiser". Dunno if the factory ran short or owners replaced them incorrectly. Plus a "Land Cruiser" emblem on the trunk lid.

                            All in all a Land Cruiser is very different-looking critter than the one in your initial picture.

                            Good luck in your quest.

                            John

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                            • #15
                              Gary's right. You can find those grills at swap meets but, ready to install re-chromes will be more than two grand.
                              "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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