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  • If you ever have dreams of restoring a '50....

    If you ever have dreams of restoring a '50, go to this link and save the pictures. This '50 Starlight Coupe was listed by Howden Classic Cars, Zebulon, NC on ebay and did not make reserve at $22,800.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Stude...t_32492wt_1165

  • #2
    April of 2003 I met Rusty Key and his 1950 Starlight at the Santa Barbara "Wheels and Waves" car
    show. Rusty owned the car shown above and it was unique in having an auto transmission in 1950.
    He told me that it was hard to find parts until he discovered the auto tranny was also used in Jaguars
    and they had parts. Rusty died of cancer a few years later and his widow sold the car into an auction.
    The cars left to right are: Rusty's, my 1950 Starlight, and Greg White's 50 Business coupe.
    Attached Files
    The 1950 Champion Starlight
    Santa Barbara
    CA

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    • #3
      Starlightchamp, was Rusty's car used in the movie Wanda Nevada with a young Brooke Shields a the young Fonda guy? There was a beautiful 1950 Commander Starlight in the movie that is a dead ringer for Rustys car. The movie car did not have the outside evaporator.

      Mark

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      • #4
        Originally posted by starlightchamp View Post
        April of 2003 I met Rusty Key and his 1950 Starlight at the Santa Barbara "Wheels and Waves" car
        show. Rusty owned the car shown above and it was unique in having an auto transmission in 1950.
        He told me that it was hard to find parts until he discovered the auto tranny was also used in Jaguars
        and they had parts. Rusty died of cancer a few years later and his widow sold the car into an auction.
        The cars left to right are: Rusty's, my 1950 Starlight, and Greg White's 50 Business coupe.
        But the Studebaker automatic was introduced in 1950! Was it unique in that it was an automatic in a Starlight? (like the idea of a V8 in a business coupe...)

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=Jim B PEI;577278] But the Studebaker automatic was introduced in 1950! Was it unique in that it was an automatic in a Starlight?


          #######################################################################


          No, an automatic was not unique in a Starlight Coupe (Commander or Champion) in 1950. The newly introduced automatic transmission was available in all Studebaker models across the line. I've seen them in everything from a Land Cruiser (one belongs to a member of our Greater Virginia Chapter that's been in the family since new) to a Custom Business Coupe.

          When I was 15, I well remember when a neighbor bought a used dark green 1950 Champion Starlight Coupe that had an automatic transmission. It caused quite a sensation in our neighborhood. This was in 1952 when in our little corner of rural America, automatic transmissions with a column mounted shifter was still a very rare sight- especially in low priced cars. One day, his 16 year old son, Donnie, showed up at school driving his Dad's car. He offered to drive three of us home that afternoon. Of course, that was better than waiting for the school bus!

          Now, Donnie, always tended to be a 'show-boater'. Everything he did or his family had was better than anyone else's. As soon as we jumped in the car the first thing I noted was the huge caverans under the back seat arm-rests. I'd never seen anything like that! Well, Donnie began bragging about the 'passing gear' in the transmission. Now coming from a family of Chevrolet and Ford owners with three speed manuals, this really sounded exotic. Outside town, we approached a steeper grade. Donnie says, 'Watch this'. He stomped the gas pedal. I had never heard a more distressed racket from a engine in my life. I thought the engine was coming apart and yet there was no real change in the progress of the car!! He was grinning from ear to ear, the rest of us remained impassive.

          Well, we got home OK, but I must say, I was not impressed by the 'passing gear' on an automatic. If you would have asked me at the time, I would have sworn the car slowed down in 'passing gear'. But I still thought the car was neat. Not long after this, my Dad bought his first new car, a 1952 DeSoto Custom. Of course it had a Fluid-Torque semi-automatic transmission. Same experience stomping the gas pedal to hit passing gear!!

          Frank Drumheller
          Locust Grove, VA
          60S-W6
          M16-52 Boyer-bodied Studebaker fire truck
          Last edited by studelark; 09-16-2011, 02:16 PM. Reason: formatting

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          • #6
            Re: Rusty's car in Wanda Nevada-he never mentioned it to me and I kind of doubt it.
            I mis-spelled Rusty's last name as "Key" when it should have been" Kay". He was very proud of
            his car and would be thrilled that it is now priced over $21,000.
            ....Dick
            The 1950 Champion Starlight
            Santa Barbara
            CA

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