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  • 1950-51 Convertible

    I am negotiating for the purchase of a 1951 convertible. It is a well restored car with a GM engine and transmission. Not knowing the original engine are there any clues as to whether it is a Champion or Commander? As yet I do not have the ID numbers to check production records.

    I would like to talk directly with anyone who has the same year convertible so that I know the due diligence issues. Feel free to call or email me. I'm in Houston. Dave Pyle dap8@comcast.net or 713 464 6717.

  • #2
    You don't need the Production Build Order, Dave. Just ask the seller for the car's Serial Number.

    If it starts with the letter G, it's a Champion.

    If it is all numbers (no letters), it's a Commander.

    Simple. 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.

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    • #3
      The dash is vastly different between the two. Champions have all the gages clustered under one glass whereas Commanders have three round gage glasses - one for speedo, one for the four smaller gages and one for a clock. Under the hood, the tag on the firewall (to the passengers side of the wiper motor) would have "10G - S2" as it's top line if it had been a Champion. A Commander would read "H - S2". Also, the serial tag on the drivgers door jamb would start with a G if it had been a Champion to start with.

      BP - IF it had been registered by it's engine #, that G might not be relevant, no?
      Last edited by Roscomacaw; 10-06-2012, 10:50 AM.
      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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      • #4
        Bob,

        It probably doesn't make a difference in the price but I thought there might be other external clues. I would really like to hear from owners who might guide me through this. I have photos, and a test drive, but no documentation. Of course somewhere there is a title.

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        • #5
          It makes a difference whether it's a 50 or 51. The 51's look basically the same other than badging. If it's a 50, the Champion and Commanders look completely different. The Commander noses are longer and the headlight assemblies are completely different.
          Jon Stalnaker
          Karel Staple Chapter SDC

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          • #6
            OK guys...here is what I know. It is a 1951 convertible with round dash instruments and chrome surround headlights. However it may have started as a Champ and been modified during restoration. A Chevy 350 and auto trans was part of the restoration. Next question...Would changes in authenticity affect current price and future sales interest? I know the '50-'51 nose difference. My first new car was a 1950 Champ.

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            • #7
              Is this the car? http://studebakersite.com/studebaker_1951.html

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              • #8
                I'd say - in a word - no. Of course, condition is paramount - that and what YOU'LL be handing over for it.

                Chrome HL bezels mean nothing. THE best indicators are the serial# and the body tag I talked about on the firewall. For '51 (as opposed to '50) ALL body sheet metal would interchange - Champion to Commander. There would be a "Champion" or "Commader" script on the left front hood edge.
                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                Comment


                • #9
                  MAtthew, any idea who's site that is?
                  No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
                    The dash is vastly different between the two. Champions have all the gages clustered under one glass whereas Commanders have three round gage glasses - one for speedo, one for the four smaller gages and one for a clock. Under the hood, the tag on the firewall (to the passengers side of the wiper motor) would have "10G - S2" as it's top line if it had been a Champion. A Commander would read "H - S2". Also, the serial tag on the drivgers door jamb would start with a G if it had been a Champion to start with.

                    BP - IF it had been registered by it's engine #, that G might not be relevant, no?
                    Good point, Bob. I overlooked the possibility that he said it might be a '51 when I went to my library for the 1950 Shop Manual:

                    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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
                      MAtthew, any idea who's site that is?
                      Barry Hackney.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mbstude View Post
                        If that is the car, First off WOW!! Nice car!!!!

                        By looking at the pictures it would seem that there is a lot less Stude that original. It also has dual master cylinder and a GM tilt column which could suggest a sub-framed chassis and/or a disk brake setup on the original. I'll bet subframed.

                        That said, it really devalues it for the Stude collector but increases the value to the Vox Populi that just want a great looking/driving classic car.

                        After all that, I can't set a price but if it runs and drives great and is a nice as it looks, it's probably pushing 20K or so.

                        I'd love to have it.

                        Bob

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
                          There would be a "Champion" or "Commader" script on the left front hood edge.
                          Bob, I think they had a Commader in the first CARS movie...you know, right next to Tow-Mader the tow truck, right?

                          (Sorry; I just watched CARS -again- with my grandson yesterday and couldn't resist.) 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


                          • #14
                            Still like to talk to someone who owns one. August TW had a silver 1950 on the cover. Anyone have contact info for the owner. (I no longer have that copy.)

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                            • #15
                              My sister lives in Houston and recently sent me a newspaper article about a highly customized Bullet nose. It was a lady reporter who wrote the article. I can't remember who owned the car and I didn't keep the paper. You might check the newspaper archives and find who's it is.
                              Neil Thornton

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