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World's Best/Most Original 1953 Commander Starliner?

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  • World's Best/Most Original 1953 Commander Starliner?

    Cari and I spent Saturday, May 9 (2105) in Auburn IN at the spring AACA Meet and Auctions America collector-car auction, running concurrently.

    I had the opportunity to examine and watch the sale of what might be the nicest, most original 1953 Commander Starliner on the planet :



    (The hood is intentionally ajar in the above photo.)





    As most of you know, I've been at this a long time and have examined thousands of cars for resale, etc., in my lifetime; Studebakers and just about any make you can imagine...well, OK; I never looked at a Yugo with the intention of buying it or verifying its odometer...) It is my opinion that the above odometer reading represents the total mileage on this Commander, first time around. I don't when I've had the opportunity to examine a 62-year-old vehicle that was in better unrestored condition.

    It seems to me that this car has been discussed here before, so I asked our #1 FRS (Forum Research Sleuth) Craig Parslow to try to find it. He was unable to locate any previous threads on this car, so I will proceed as if this is new news.

    The story that went with the car, per the auctioneer, was that it was donated to the AACA National Museum about a year ago. They were rotating it out of their collection and brought it to Auburn to sell and raise money. I watched the car sell for $32,000, plus 10% Buyers Premium = $35,200 total.

    More photos:





    Ah, the correct battery hold-down! And, yes, for frosting on the cake; the car is factory stick overdrive:



    It appeared to have its original tires on it; weather-checked, to be sure, but the spare was NOS and identical. The spare did not appear to have been down, but I did not remove the hold-down bolt and washer to examine the lug nut holes in the spare wheel to see if the paint was chipped, indicating the spare might have been down for a couple miles.

    Quite frankly, the fit and finish on this car was excellent for a 1953 K-body Studebaker. That might be explained by its high body production number:



    Body Numbers began with 1 in 1953, so the above indicates it was the 17,938th 1953 K body welded up. That's within the last 10% of the total 19,236 1953 Commander Starliner production, so they were doing much better toward the end. I was as pleased as I was surprised by the car's fit and finish. They said it had not received any touch-up paint work and I can believe that; there were enough blemishes to establish a nice, "proper" level of patina. Ditto all the die-cast and the bumpers; they looked like they were 62 years old, not brand new...nor should they, of course.

    I did not follow the new owner after bidding, so do not know who bought it. If they aren't an SDC member, here's hoping they find us here! What a gorgeous car to behold. BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 05-10-2015, 06:24 PM.
    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
    Boy, the engine paint guy must have been having a pretty rough day when he tried to keep the green off the black valve covers...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 62champ View Post
      Boy, the engine paint guy must have been having a pretty rough day when he tried to keep the green off the black valve covers...
      That he was, Patrick; the other side is just as bad! Wonderful patina, however. 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
        That car is a beauty all right!

        Looking at the engine picture, do I see engine green on the front of the left black valve cover?

        I need to be quicker. Bob just answered my question.
        Last edited by TWChamp; 05-11-2015, 11:04 AM.

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        • #5
          Another car the authenticity judges should be photographing the h*ll out of, and documenting for reference!

          Craig

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          • #6
            thanks showing us this car, Lark VIII girl and I were very impressed with this Studebaker!

            Husband of Lark VIII girl

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            • #7
              What a nice car. I hope the new owner drives it until the odometer rolls over and shows the same mileage again.

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              • #8
                The car once belonged to Denton Wright from Canada.He told us the car was originally owned by a college prof.who walked to work & seldom drove it.It is indeed a lovely example & I have no doubt the nit-pickers who frequent the forum will tear it apart.I have been involved in the hobby for 40yrs. & have never seen another as nice

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                • #9
                  Bob, didn't you get any interior shots?

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                  • #10
                    Best, and original should not be used in the same description as a matter of fact. Some may say a modified is better. If you want proper semantics, then say the best original, without the slash.
                    Bez Auto Alchemy
                    573-318-8948
                    http://bezautoalchemy.com


                    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                    • #11
                      I still find it hard to believe that Studebaker used a SPRING for the throttle linkage. I know that is the way it came from the factory and saw another almost perfect example at the SDC Meet in South Bend in 2012. BEATUIFUL CAR... and I cannot figure out why Mr. Palma didn't purchase it for his daily driver.

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                      • #12
                        I am very familiar with this car. And yes, it did belong to Denton Wright of Burlington Ontario. I am very curious as to who purchased this car as there were earlier, and serious, attempts to get it to the Studebaker National Museum.

                        Several months ago AACA had this car listed on eBay and it did not sell. Afterwards, one of our SDC members contacted me for authentication and in turn contacted AACA with an offer to purchase the car and he would then donate it to the Studebaker National Museum. Our Curator and Archives Manager engaged in significant discussion with me on this car and would have been quite happy to have the car in South Bend. The information I have is that AACA failed to respond to our member's offer to obtain the car for the Museum.

                        Any other updates would be greatly appreciated.

                        Stu Chapman

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                        • #13
                          Lovely car, lovely spec.
                          Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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                          • #14
                            I believe this car was on display at the AACA museum in Hershey about fifteen years ago, along with survivor '70s Eldorado and Lincoln Continental.

                            jack vines
                            PackardV8

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                              I believe this car was on display at the AACA museum in Hershey about fifteen years ago, along with survivor '70s Eldorado and Lincoln Continental.

                              jack vines
                              Yes it was. But they apparently decided it was dispensable as I mentioned before....put on eBay. Now sold at auction. But as per my post #12, why wouldn't they talk to our member who wanted to buy it for the Museum?

                              Stu Chapman

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