Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

OMG: Another 1955 Studebaker Oddity!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OMG: Another 1955 Studebaker Oddity!

    'Just when you thought you might have figured out what Studebaker was doing with the sedan line all during 1955, along comes this.

    First, we have the "original" 1955 full-line brochure; D-217, dated 9/54. Understandably, it illustrates a President State Sedan with the early, non-wraparound windshield:



    Then, we have the second-series brochure, in which the President has been updated to an Ultra-Vista model with wrap-around windshield; D-221, dated 1/55. So far, so good:



    I've had that D-217 most of my life; I think I got it when I was a teen-ager. I've always wanted a D-221 to complement it. I found a nice D-221 yesterday at a literature vendor selling his wares at The Mecum 2013 Indianapolis Collector-Car auction, so I bought it.

    Hence, for the first time in my life, I actually perused the interior of a D-221. And look what I found! The President and Commander sedans are illustrated with wrap-around windshields and identified as Ultra-Vista models. But all the Champion sedans and wagons, even the Champion DeLuxe 2-door sedan, are still "flat" windshield, non-Ultra Vista models!

    Here's the later, D-221 station wagon page to illustrate:



    So this begs the question: Why did Studebaker do this?

    Could they have actually been so silly as to think they were going to make the lesser Champions soldier on with earlier cowls and windshields and allow only Presidents and Commanders to be Ultra-Vistas?

    Did they think they were going to "use up" the earlier-style cowls and windshields on post-January 1, 1955 Champion sedans and wagons and phase in Champion Ultra-Vistas later? That would have been monumentally stupid, to have three distinct cowls (C/K, Ultra-Vista, and pre-Ultra-Vista) in production at the same time, as complicated and different as are cowl sections and related parts.

    A contribution to the answer might be if anyone owns a non-Ultra-Vista 1955 Champion sedan or wagon documented to have been built (not just sold) after January 1, 1955, that date which has been generally accepted as the day production of all sedans and wagons became Ultra-Vistas, including Champions.

    This is a legitimate curiosity I've never before seen mentioned in all my Studebaker years on the planet. Comments welcome. Never assume you've seen everything! 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.

  • #2
    That is odd.....could they have somehow overlooked changing the Champ illustration?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
      That is odd.....could they have somehow overlooked changing the Champ illustration?
      I thought of that, Ed, but they would have had to overlook it on three separate pages. The previous page shows a Champion Custom 4-door with flat windshield, and the page before that shows a Champion DeLuxe 2-door sedan with flat windshield. Earlier in that catalog, all the pages of Commanders and Presidents show all the sedans (and that Commander wagon) with Ultra-Vista windshields.

      In other words, they were consistent throughout the catalog; all the Presidents and all the Commanders except C/K are Ultra-Vista and all the non C/K Champions are flat windshield. Odd, but probably not an oversight since it is consistent over so many pages.

      I'm still wondering! 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


      • #4
        Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
        ....That would have been monumentally stupid....... Never assume you've seen everything! BP

        Let's step back and reflect about the time...1955. Tremendous upheaval in the automotive world! Struggling independents were falling (failing) left and right. Monumental decisions were facing those who found themselves at the helm of once traditional titans of industry gasping for survival. I have witnessed the turmoil that can result when two corporations combine as the Studebaker/Packard folks merged (collided) in the mid '50's. Until things settle out from the top down...no one is secure in their jobs, various department heads get distracted, and things fall through the cracks.

        Whether by mistake, oversight, or purpose...not really surprising. When combined...Two poorly managed and failing entities are as likely to compound their problems as they are to correct them.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

        Comment


        • #5
          Surely a search of production records could answer this pretty quick, No?
          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
            Surely a search of production records could answer this pretty quick, No?
            A good idea, Bob...of course, I never had reason to question any of this until last Saturday!

            Per the production records, let's say you were looking at an early 1955 Champion Regal 4-door, which would have W5 on the body tag. Then, allegedly, if it was built after January 1, 1955, it would have W6, to denote Ultra-Vista.

            What you'd want to find in the production records, assuming any such thing exists, would be a body tag with an early odd number suffix for sedan or wagon built after January 1, 1955. If you found, say, a 1955 Champion Regal 4-door with a tag W5 built in late January 1955, you'd want to see the car to verify it didn't have an Ultra-Vista cowl.

            Strange stuff, eh? 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


            • #7
              What is the date on D-221? I assume that it is between 9/54 and 1/55. Perhaps there were a lot of earlier ("flat" windshield) models built and still in stock at Studebaker and the dealerships. This would be a way of making them look like they are not obsolete and assist in the sale of the "left-over" models.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by studegary View Post
                What is the date on D-221? I assume that it is between 9/54 and 1/55. Perhaps there were a lot of earlier ("flat" windshield) models built and still in stock at Studebaker and the dealerships. This would be a way of making them look like they are not obsolete and assist in the sale of the "left-over" models.
                D-221 is dated 1/55, as in the OP, Gary. It's between Photos 1 and 2. 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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                  D-221 is dated 1/55, as in the OP, Gary. It's between Photos 1 and 2. BP

                  Thanks! For some reason, I was thinking that that date was for a later, all Vista model, brochure.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    '55 was really a screwy year as for as models and designations of models. I've long marveled that a '55 Commander was a 16G8 and a Champion was a 16G6. Wonder WHO called the shot on that and what their reasoning was. Next year, Commanders would get their own designator (a "B"), and that would only last thru '58.
                    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by studegary View Post
                      Thanks! For some reason, I was thinking that that date was for a later, all Vista model, brochure.
                      I'm not aware of a later, "all-Ultra-Vista" brochure, Gary. Not that there isn't one; I'm just not aware of it.

                      I'd like to know if anyone has a 1955 brochure later than D-221, dated 1/55. 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


                      • #12
                        I still have a 55 Ultra-vista Commander Conestoga, I had a 55 Commander Conestoga with the flat windshield, (sold it to a guy in Minnesota). The Ultra-Vista was an LA built car, and the Flat windshield car was a South Bend car. Studebaker must have spent millions on 55 cars with all the paint schemes windshield changes, 6's and V-8s, C-K,s, Sedans etc. ect.
                        101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                          What you'd want to find in the production records, assuming any such thing exists, would be a body tag with an early odd number suffix for sedan or wagon built after January 1, 1955. If you found, say, a 1955 Champion Regal 4-door with a tag W5 built in late January 1955, you'd want to see the car to verify it didn't have an Ultra-Vista cowl.
                          I would think some of the 'AC' numbers are different for some of the dashboard options, including the radio and clock as they vary between the Ultra-Vista and earlier models. The build sheets would show the new AC numbers for these items if it has an Ultra-Vista cowl.

                          Craig

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                            I would think some of the 'AC' numbers are different for some of the dashboard options, including the radio and clock as they vary between the Ultra-Vista and earlier models. The build sheets would show the new AC numbers for these items if it has an Ultra-Vista cowl. Craig
                            Thanks, Craig; that's an excellent point. (They sure aren't about the scribble "Ultra Vista Cowl" on a Production Order! ) 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


                            • #15
                              This sounds like fodder for Andy Beckman's TW spot. Something he could delve into when he's not polishing the cars.
                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X