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Will the front clip from a 53 Commander fit on a 55?

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  • Will the front clip from a 53 Commander fit on a 55?

    My son has not had much luck finding an Avanti, but he also likes the 1953-1954 Commanders. He knows where he might be able to get a 55 fairly cheaply, but he hates the front bumper setup. We were wondering if a 53 front clip will fit.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jeryst View Post
    My son has not had much luck finding an Avanti, but he also likes the 1953-1954 Commanders. He knows where he might be able to get a 55 fairly cheaply, but he hates the front bumper setup. We were wondering if a 53 front clip will fit.
    Yes, it will fit......

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    • #3
      What body style? If it is a C or K it will fit. If it is a sedan, it will fit if the 55 does not have a wrap around windshield.

      Terry

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jeryst View Post
        My son has not had much luck finding an Avanti, but he also likes the 1953-1954 Commanders. He knows where he might be able to get a 55 fairly cheaply, but he hates the front bumper setup. We were wondering if a 53 front clip will fit.
        It will fit if you are referring to a C/K body or early '55 sedan/wagon. If you are referring to a C/K, you better line up the '53 front clip before buying the '55 with that plan in mind. Finding a good '53 clip will not be easy/cheap.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          One thing to make note of is the apron on the front of the fender where it lays to the sides of the radiator. There is a "step" in the sheetmetal as well as the lip on the front where the 55 grill mounts. This requires a slight modification so the hood latch can be mounted and the upper grill support can match as it does on the 53 54 fenders. Don't let any of this deter you from the change. Its not as complicated as I'm making it sound. Its just some details you need to know so you are not led to believe its as simple as a "bolt on" operation.
          sals54

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          • #6
            Please, school me.
            The C and K [coupe and hardtop ] will "bolt-on"[with help] The sedans will "bolt-on" [with help]. But the C and K will NOT fit the sedans. Right ?
            South Lompoc Studebaker

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 55 56 PREZ 4D View Post
              Please, school me.
              The C and K [coupe and hardtop ] will "bolt-on"[with help] The sedans will "bolt-on" [with help]. But the C and K will NOT fit the sedans. Right ?
              That is correct, and the sedans will not fit the C and K. The exception on the sedans is the later model 55s with the wrap around windshield will not take the earlier sheet metal.
              Pat Dilling
              Olivehurst, CA
              Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


              LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

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              • #8
                Changing to a '53-'54 front clip will take lots of chrome off the front of the car. And be more in keeping with Bob Bourke's original design, tho the butter knife stainless on the sides adds a little more glitz. Here is a picture of such a conversion.

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                Plus, as you've found, it's easier to find a good '55 than a '53-'54, especially the latter. But I have always felt that the dashboard of the '55s, with less chrome than the others, looks sparse. Which might be one reason I drive a '54 instead of a '55.

                When I look at the '55 dash, to me, it looks like they forgot to mount all the chrome. They stuck shiny around the clock and some more around the radio, but, to my mind, those lumps are just not nearly as smooth as the '53-'54. And yet at one point, I owned a yellow/white Prez, like this one, and love it, lumpy dash and all.

                Click image for larger version

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                And yes, the C (coupe) & K (hardtop) models are not the same as the sedans. Few body parts interchange.

                John
                Last edited by Johnnywiffer; 05-09-2011, 12:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sals54 View Post
                  One thing to make note of is the apron on the front of the fender where it lays to the sides of the radiator. There is a "step" in the sheetmetal as well as the lip on the front where the 55 grill mounts. This requires a slight modification so the hood latch can be mounted and the upper grill support can match as it does on the 53 54 fenders. Don't let any of this deter you from the change. Its not as complicated as I'm making it sound. Its just some details you need to know so you are not led to believe its as simple as a "bolt on" operation.
                  If I had a complete 53 front clip, wouldnt that take care of any problems? Either way, it shouldnt be a big deal as a friend of mine is an excellent fabricator.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by studegary View Post
                    It will fit if you are referring to a C/K body or early '55 sedan/wagon. If you are referring to a C/K, you better line up the '53 front clip before buying the '55 with that plan in mind. Finding a good '53 clip will not be easy/cheap.
                    There's always fiberglass. I believe the all of the front sheet metal for a '53 is available in fiberglass.
                    Joe Roberts
                    '61 R1 Champ
                    '65 Cruiser
                    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                    • #11
                      I "inherited" a weird pair of cars a few years ago. Someone had swapped complete front clips (including radiators) between a '53 C and a '56 Power Hawk. I swapped them back when I sold the Power Hawk and saw no problems (or modifications had been made) when the original swap was done. Therefore, I believe if you swap the entire clip, it should "bolt right on".
                      Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                      '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                      '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                      '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

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                      • #12
                        Howard is right about the swap if you change out the fenders as well. Although the fenders can be used from 53 all the way to 64, there are changes made from model to model. As I said above, the 55 fender will fit and can be used on a 53 conversion, but they need some minor tweaking. Just some tid bits that one needs to know before hand.
                        sals54

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                        • #13
                          I dont think anyone has mentioned that the 53 54 complete nose wont be so easy to find nor will it be cheap .

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                          • #14
                            Maybe I missed it, but I'm still not clear on whether the "'55 fairly cheaply" is a sedan or a C/K?

                            John

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Johnnywiffer View Post
                              Maybe I missed it, but I'm still not clear on whether the "'55 fairly cheaply" is a sedan or a C/K?

                              John
                              2 door C/K

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