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1955 Studebaker President State Sedan - Information needed!

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  • 1955 Studebaker President State Sedan - Information needed!

    Hi Forum Members,

    I have been a member of the SDC since 2000. At 15, I bought my first Stude - a 1965 Commander, which I still own.

    I am currently looking for another Studebaker - preferably one that I can do a frame-off restoration on. I'd like a good solid body and frame to start with.

    Anyhow, before I go ahead and buy, I'd like to read up on them - what year Turning Wheels ran articles on this year and model? Hopefully, there are some articles written over the last 12 years so I can read up on them this weekend.

    Also, was the President State Sedan the top of the line sedan for 1955?

    What price range would I expect to pay for a President State Sedan? I recently found one that is a good rust free California car, but needs interior, paint, a new rear bumper. They are asking 6500 but say that price is very negotiable. I know this is too high to pay for a car that needs restoration.

    Thanks guys.

    God Bless,
    Nate

  • #2
    Nate: Congrats on tackling a 1955 President State Sedan, a nice Studebaker model and indeed "top-of-the-line," unless you want to argue with the Speedster contingent. <GGG>.

    The most recent, comprehensive history and data on 1955 non-C/K models is a two-part Fred Fox series within the February and March 1994 editions of Turning Wheels. I don't believe Fred has ever done anything 1955 President-exclusive. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

    Comment


    • #3
      To: Studebaker1965,------- Yes, it would be the top of line sedan. You have choice of early, (pre Jan. '55) flat windscreen, or late, (Advanced Series) curved windscreen. Tough to find, but a 3-spd. o/d model would be the easiest to live with.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
        To: Studebaker1965,------- Yes, it would be the top of line sedan. You have choice of early, (pre Jan. '55) flat windscreen, or late, (Advanced Series) curved windscreen. Tough to find, but a 3-spd. o/d model would be the easiest to live with.
        I would be partial to the automatic transmission version that will probably be easier to find. They used the B-W DG250M with first gear start. It is a good transmission if maintained and has a lock-up torque convertor.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome back!!

          I thought you were looking for a '53 as per your thread here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ighlight=nikon

          Craig

          Comment


          • #6
            There is a pretty nice one for sale in Georgia at a Chevy dealer. Call Woody Folsom Chevrolet at 912 375 2503 $6500. Obo.
            Neil Thornton

            Comment


            • #7
              Nathan, I sent you a pm.
              Joseph R. Zeiger

              Comment


              • #8
                To: studegary,------- In a vehicle such as a '55 President State Sedan, I'd also be partial to an automatic version. Trouble is, that transmission was problematical when it was new, and I'm sure You can see that fifty-five
                years later, well, the situation hasn't improved. An old Friend of Mine, (older than Me!), used to say---"If You have a good one, go easy with it and You'll probably be OK-- If You have one that's not operating properly--Good Luck!"
                Besides being an expensive to manufacture transmission, I think Studebaker saw the ongoing problems, phasing it out after the '55 model year. (except for a small run of '56 champs)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a second generation (wrap around windshield) '55 President State Sedan with a DG250M transmission. I bought it in the winter of 08-09, got it running in 2010 and have put 6,000 miles on it. I drained the transmission and torque converter and put new fluid in it, dropped the pan and cleaned the screen and replaced the gasket. I also replaced the tired 259 with a '63 289. I put about a cup of Dextron III in it every 800 miles or so. The transmission hasn't missed a lick, or slipped a shift in that time, and it had sat for 29 years before I bought it. I don't work it hard, but expect it will out last me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
                    To: studegary,------- In a vehicle such as a '55 President State Sedan, I'd also be partial to an automatic version. Trouble is, that transmission was problematical when it was new, and I'm sure You can see that fifty-five
                    years later, well, the situation hasn't improved. An old Friend of Mine, (older than Me!), used to say---"If You have a good one, go easy with it and You'll probably be OK-- If You have one that's not operating properly--Good Luck!"
                    Besides being an expensive to manufacture transmission, I think Studebaker saw the ongoing problems, phasing it out after the '55 model year. (except for a small run of '56 champs)
                    More expensive to manufacture, yes, but problematic? no. Those transmissions are bulletproof. The expense of manufacture drove Studebaker away from them in 56, but Borg-Warner licensed Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar to use them up into the mid 60's..
                    64 GT Hawk (K7)
                    1970 Avanti (R3)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      May I suggest to the OP that he (she) would be better off looking for a 1955 President with a decent body..........even if the mechanicals are thrashed. It's a whole lot easier to repower a car than it is fixing up a rustbucket, especially one with a rotted out frame. Note that since all Presidents were V8 only; swapping in a late 258/289 with a 700R4 conversion may be worthwhile and almost plug 'n' play.
                      --------------------------------------

                      Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                      Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                      "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
                        To: studegary,------- In a vehicle such as a '55 President State Sedan, I'd also be partial to an automatic version. Trouble is, that transmission was problematical when it was new, and I'm sure You can see that fifty-five
                        years later, well, the situation hasn't improved. An old Friend of Mine, (older than Me!), used to say---"If You have a good one, go easy with it and You'll probably be OK-- If You have one that's not operating properly--Good Luck!"
                        Besides being an expensive to manufacture transmission, I think Studebaker saw the ongoing problems, phasing it out after the '55 model year. (except for a small run of '56 champs)
                        I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this. I have driven many thousands of miles with DG250Ms and never had a problem with one. I do believe in changing the transmssion and convertor fluid every year.
                        Studebaker dropped this transmission to go with a cheaper one, not due to problems.
                        Jaguar, and others, used this transmission for many years after Studebaker.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To: Tom B,-------Best of luck with Your '55 President, My Dad bought a second generation '55 President State brand new, and it's always been one of My favorite Studebaker models!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To: 64V-K7 and studegary,------- This is a tough one Guys! I respect both of Your opinions, but I can think of five examples of '55 President owners who have agonized over that transmission, not to mention spending LARGE sums

                            of $$$$$$ on it. The Jaguar example is not a good one. Those cars were never mainstream, and their owners generally 'fussed' over them. Cars (and transmissions) that need to be 'fussed' over to operate properly are

                            inherent failures in My opinion. The Packard Twin Ultramatic is in that class. And 64V-K7--- as far as the DG250M being 'Bulletproof' I think that You are probably right, because I know a fellow that shot bullets at one and they

                            didn't penetrate the case!

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