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1951 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser V8 found in barn...literally!

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  • 1951 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser V8 found in barn...literally!

    We found this 1951 Studebaker Commander 4-Door Land Cruiser among 28 old cars in 3 barns in the Sacramento, CA area. Having owned a 1950 Champion 6 and a 1932 Studebaker Model 55 Pickup (the only one) I can really appreciate this California car that appears rust-free. We charged up the battery and it fired right up! It runs and drives pretty good! It has a V8 and automatic transmission. The body is straight and not rusty but needs paint. It's white now but looks to have been a China Blue originally. It looks to be all there even down to the oil bath air cleaner but in need of restoration. We're trying to help out the elderly gentleman owner who has health issues by finding a new home for his treasured car. We can send pictures to anyone interested in this car, or you can view it at our website www.autogator.com. We are pricing it at $4800. for a quick sale. Please respond to Doug at Autogator at (916) 960-1511 between 8:00am-5:30pm Pacific time. Thank you.

    Gary Wingert
    Autogator
    1950 Studebaker Champion 6
    1932 Studebaker Model 55 Pickup

  • #2
    One of my favorite Studebaker years and models, but one I've never owned.
    1951 Studebaker Commander 4-Door Land Cruiser.
    Help me sort out the '51 nomenclature. Was there also a President Land Cruiser?
    jack vines
    Last edited by PackardV8; 10-14-2011, 09:54 AM.
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      There were no Presidents in 1951. Just Champions and Commanders.
      Gary Sanders
      Nixa, MO

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      • #4
        This car looks pretty sweet and complete!

        http://www.autogator.com/details.php...mplate=builder

        Pretty impressive that it fired right up after all that time. I think I'd polish it up, check out the mechanicals and drive it as is.

        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          That looks like the one one of our club members had for sale earlier this year. He was willing to let it go for two grand. He told us it was a V8 out of a 60s Studebaker. I'm pretty sure it's the same one. The bumper overrides on the front are missing because he put them on his M series Studellac. I also recognize the dual exhaust.





          Now that you know about how much he paid for it, you know how much negotiating room you have. Steve started it up for us and it ran smooth. There were some significant rust issues to deal with though.

          I thought it was a great buy at two grand but $4300 may be a stretch IMHO.
          Last edited by Sdude; 10-14-2011, 10:59 AM.
          Jon Stalnaker
          Karel Staple Chapter SDC

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          • #6
            There were no Presidents in 1951. Just Champions and Commanders.
            Thanks for the clarification. So was there a standard Commander 4-dr and if so, what differentiated the Land Cruiser?

            We're trying to help out the elderly gentleman owner who has health issues by finding a new home for his treasured car. . . . We are pricing it at $4800. for a quick sale.
            That looks like the one one of our club members had for sale earlier this year. He was willing to let it go for two grand.
            I'd think a '51 Land Cruiser with a later big V8 and transmission would be worth $2k to many Stude enthusiasts as a driver. Any ideas why it didn't sell for that?

            jack vines
            PackardV8

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            • #7
              It does have a newer engine, at least the fuel pump isn't on the oil filler pipe...
              64 GT Hawk (K7)
              1970 Avanti (R3)

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              • #8
                Right down to the scratch below the left headlight and the rusty plate mount on the front bumper. Couldn't have been in that barn for very long!
                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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                • #9
                  Jack, there were Commander 4-doors and the main difference was 4 inches less length to the rear seating area. There WERE President Land Cruisers, but they were from prewar years.
                  No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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                  • #10
                    The Land Cruisers had a slightly longer wheelbase and longer body, the rear doors are longer by the length of the vent windows in them. That's where the xtra length comes from. I think the difference in wheelbase is 115" vs 119". Someone please jump in here and correct me if I'm wrong.

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                    • #11
                      I own a nice Maui Blue '51 Land Cruiser and think that they are one of the most undervalued cars in the vintage car world. Few cars (of any make) compare more favorably with them in interior elegance, ride, and performance. They make the six cylinder champions feel like little bumpity bump tin cans in comparison. In good mechanical condition, they will keep pace with interstate traffic all day long.

                      However, seems like as soon as you cross to the west of the Mississippi river, things get much higher in price. Even a seemingly solid and complete Land Cruiser in need of restoration, as this one, is risky at this price. Looking at the pictures, it seems to be missing the stainless windshield trim front and back. I can't tell, but if the stainless rocker trim and gravel guards are missing, that is quite an expense to locate and replace. A new Schrock steering wheel is around $1,600 to $1,800. If you have ever painted one of these big sedans, you'll know that a decent paint job is not going to be cheap.

                      To install a new headliner, requires removing the front and rear glass, that means new gaskets and the risk of breaking the windshields. I have not mentioned the mechanics. The chances of finding one of these with good bushings, lubricated king pins, tight tie rod ends, good seals, etc., is about like winning the lottery.

                      If you have the skills to do the work yourself, it may be a reasonable project. If you have to pay others for the work, you could be upside down in value in short order.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

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                      • #12
                        John, would you agree that this era Land Cruiser is one sweet-riding car???
                        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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                        • #13
                          Wish I had the money and the 2k offer earlier on that car. My daughter is 17 and loves vintage style. She loves wearing old clothes and old looking clothes. She has a very cool flare for her age. She loves the early commander especially any Bullet Nose. She also really like the Early '60s larks. I feel like after my truck I am gonna be building her a vintage Stude. She is really into this stuff, make a nice daddy daughter project. She is a bit busy to actually do much in a build since she is what we call a pioneer, that is a commitment to preach a Bible ministry for 70 hours a month. She also tutors 2 kids a week, she is in college, and teaches dance. Not sure where she will squeeze in a car build. But even if I just have to build on for her, I see her loving driving a vintage car.

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                          • #14
                            Are those fender skirts in the salvage website photos? They look like they could be the stainless steel ones but I can't tell for sure from those photos.

                            Shrock steering wheels are nowhere near $1600. I have a decent used original '51 Land Cruiser steering wheel that I'd sell for $400, with a rechromed horn bar and a new center button.

                            And hey, '51 Champions in good condition aren't "tin cans".

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                            • #15
                              Yeah! Matthew - you having driven Tom's Biz coop quite a bit - what's YOUR impression of the ride of it? Is it pretty comfy or a butt buster?
                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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