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High water mark

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  • High water mark

    What do you think is Studebakers' best model post war? and why? I'll start things off with my take....The 50 Land Cruiser. First front independent coil spring suspension, big self adjusting 11" brakes all around. Good automatic transmission available, larger and better built than the later 51 and on Champion bodied cars. Quality control was better than 53s' Nice interior luxury ride . Greasable rear spring gaitors. Cool dash . If they had kept the big body with the V8 of 51, it would have been perfect, however the 245 was no slouch and could keep up with modern freeway speeds.
    Bez Auto Alchemy

    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

  • #2
    57 Hawk Series. I love the fins,the 289,the big grille,and the fender lights. all before 57 was a work in progress, everything after was down hill.
    Neil Thornton


    • #3
      Avanti - America's most advanced automobile. Studebaker styling has always been a high point for me [1947-1953-1956 (Hawks)-1962 (GT)] and the Avanti pushes all my styling buttons inside and out! It may be a Lark in a gilded cage to some, but what a cage...


      • #4
        The C-K Bodies 1953 and forward. Styling wise, they were years ahead of anything else, and despite all the production issues in 1953, it is likely the design that influenced the future of all designs more than any other 1950's car. The 1953 Coupes later gave birth to the Speedster and Hawks. Up to the '64 Hawk, the basic body style saw an eleven year run. Pretty much unheard of unless you were Volkswagen back then. I've never owned a C or K body car, but want to at some point. Mechanicals be what they are, and many will argue these cars hastened Studebaker's demise. Few designs will ever be as "cutting edge".


        • #5
          1956. The Pinehurst station wagon and the Sky Hawk are the pinnacle of postwar South bend iron, IMO.

          Second place goes to the bullet nose Starlight coupes. 50 for styling/looking at and 51 for operating/driving/maintaining.

          Tied for second place are 53-54 C/K coupes - if you can find an unmolested one, that is.
          RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

          17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
          10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
          10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
          4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
          5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
          56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
          60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


          • #6
            Wow, that's a tough one ! We loved our 53, the Avanti, and the various 49 to 58 trucks we had, but I guess my 56 Sky Hawk seemed to have the most for the least as I bought it really cheap and drove it for nearly 12 years. Seems like it was advertised as the 1st hardtop Hawk, 1st year for the 289, the auto tranny was smooth, had the little "flippers" over the side windows, ( that never tore up ! ) and the gorgeous blue/ white two-tone scheme with the paint. It got decent gas mileage, rode great, and handled pretty good, especially after we put radials on it ! One detract though, we did help out the engine oil production companies a bit, although it got better after putting miles on it, as it had set for a few years the previous owner told me . Now, before I'm called on it, I know the 56 Golden Hawk was a hardtop too, did it come out a bit later or was the ad I had just aimed toward Sky Hawk buyers ?

            I do love most all of the post war cars though, including my parents little Lark V-8 wagon they had. The trucks before 49 ?, not so much...even though we had a fabulous 48 street rod version, we just never got used to the look.


            • #7
              '57 Packard Clipper

              For me and my opinion, it was without a doubt the '57 Packard Clipper Town Sedan.
              Now THAT is THE best Luxury and Quality Studebaker ever put into one Car, real late 50's Style with a lot of Class!

              57 Town Sedan Turquoise_White1.jpg Bells '57 Town Sedan1.jpg
              Last edited by StudeRich; 06-22-2014, 10:26 PM.
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner


              • #8
                I have had about one of each since 47 and like a lot the ones in the past and some I still have but the 52 convert. number 1 and then the 52 hardtop but only with the v-8 six's are just not me.
                Castro Valley,


                • #9
                  I have always had the hots for the '56 C/K line, and the '58 hardtops, of either marque. There's just something about that roofline that drives me nuts.
                  Clark in San Diego
                  '63 Standard (F2) "Barney"


                  • #10
                    I see the '56-'57 years mentioned several times. I thought I'd be the only one picking those years. I'm happy so many others like them also! These were terrible sales years, so why would anyone pick them? For me (a teenager at the time) it was the new styling that put them back in the 'mainstream' of design. But too many potential buyers were afraid the company was about to go under. I remember a quote or a caption that said 'GM Could Have Sold a Lot of These'. Sadly, how true that was!


                    • #11
                      1950 definitely would have been Studebaker's postwar high-water mark. Brand new front end styling which kept it up to date (and became iconic in later years), coupled with a brand new automatic transmission, 1950 turned out to be the best model year ever saleswise. And an all-new V8 in the pipeline for introduction that fall kept optimism high, and above all, the corporation was making good money at the time.



                      • #12
                        Brad you're killing me. All the fantastic work you do on Avantis and you're talking 50 Land Cruiser??? I of course would put the Avanti on the top of the list that includes the Coupe Express, Speedster, GT Hawk and 60 Lark convertible.


                        • #13
                          Best engineered - no contest, as the '64 Super Hawk, Lark, Avanti were the most advanced fastest and best handling of all Studes. Unfortunately, few-to-no-one bought them.

                          Best styling - strictly personal preference. '37-39 Coupe Express, '50-51 bullets, any C/K, Avanti.

                          Best against the competition - I'd give the '50 Land Cruiser pretty strong placement and CASOs will always vote for their Champions from '39 onward. However, the 1956 Golden Hawk was the fastest car available that year. And the nine R3 Avantis were too little, too late and are like unicorns - they're beautiful, have magical powers, we'd like to believe in them, but if you talk like they're real, people will rightly know you're nuts.

                          jack vines


                          • #14
                            I've driven several Studebakers My 55 Conestoga I love for being so handy when i didn't have a truck, Drove well except for the steering on bias ply tires, Steering wheel is just too big. Had a 62 GT Hawk 4 speed that drove pretty well, A 60 Lark 2 dr sedan that drove well, just it was a Champion and 78 MPH was tops. But nothing tops my 64 Commander 2 dr sedan for driving, will do anything i ask of it, Even nice burnouts 259 Automatic 3:73 rear end.
                            101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.