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  • #16
    Thanks everyone! I’m not discouraged at all. I have literally dreamt of this day since I was a year and a half old. I grew up in south bend and my first swap meet at 18 months old in 1984... I was telling owners of 53s if they didn’t have the correct wheels on their cars.

    maybe I should have said original looking? The guy that sold me the car said he had never seen that trim around the window. Sounds like we now know why...

    my dream is actually a Starliner (which I’ve also just made a down payment on a BEAUTIFUL custom one). More to come when it’s a done deal. I do want to keep this one as original looking as possible since as some of you have said finding one even remotely original is getting so difficult.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by J_Cole View Post
      studegary where are you seeing that? Just the paint around the rear window? It may be from being a deluxe and not having the trim piece on the c pillar. I spent months trying to find the most original looking car that I could find. There are a lot of terrible custom 53s out there that finding one this nice and original looking wasn’t easy.
      No, I was referring to an under the hood shot.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by J_Cole View Post
        It is an automatic car, so is that why it feels so slow? Are there other options out there? I got the car yesterday so I’m still learning it and what it needs before I start messing with the engine
        If you replace the 1954 DG automatic with a DG250M from a 1955 President, you get first gear start (instead of second gear start). I have done several and it is a bolt in change that makes a lot of difference in driveability. Of course you can start yours in first by starting in LOW and then shifting to DRIVE at an appropriate speed/rpm.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #19
          You could also do what I did- get a kit from either Fairborn Studebaker or Myer Studebaker and put in a late ‘80’s GM 700R4 or 200-4R 4-speed overdrive automatic with available locking torque converter (making it seem almost like a 5-speed). The 700R4 in particular has a short 1st gear making it very quick off the line, and downright lazy at freeway speed (around 2000-2200 rpm) and better mileage. Plus— no one can tell it’s in there, preserving the original look of the car. That’s the way I like ‘em. If there’s any shortcoming in ‘50’s era cars, it’s gearing. They had almost no high speed highways back then, so they’re all geared poorly for today’s roads.
          Putting some Turner disc brakes on the front, and a set of radial tires, and she’s going to be a totally different driving experience, and much safer!
          1950 Commander Land Cruiser
          1951 Champion Business Coupe
          1951 Commander Starlight
          1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
          1953 Champion Starlight
          1953 Commander Starliner
          1953 2R5
          1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
          1957 Silver Hawk
          1957 3E5 Pick-Up
          1959 Silver Hawk
          1961 Hawk
          1962 Cruiser 4 speed
          1963 Daytona Convertible
          1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
          1965 Cruiser
          1970 Avanti

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          • #20
            Justin, the Fantastic, and Beautiful mostly original look of this very nice Starlight will overshadow any disappointments on the Non-Originality that are only obvious to us Owners, former Owners and knowledgeable owners of other Stude. Models.

            That said, what unknowing people Today say is "Original" can be taken to mean they THINK that it looks Original to THEM!
            Most are not lying, just do not know any better!

            Anyone who knows these Cars, would take ONE look inside, and say: "Nice Re-done, totally NOT Original Style Interior''!
            Then of course there is the Two-Tone Moulding used on Only 1955 and 1956 Models.

            I am Glad you understand that, and are Happy with it.

            Note the lack of Belt Line and wide Windshield Mouldings on the Coupe in Post #10, it is a C3 Deluxe.
            Your Starlight appears to be a Top of the Line, C5 Regal Commander Coupe.
            Last edited by StudeRich; 12-29-2019, 11:32 PM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #21
              BINGO!!!!

              Bob Miles

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              • #22
                StudeRich drrotor studegary thanks! I do like the idea of the 80s Gm transmission, I live in the DC area and traffic is a constant problem.

                I spent months trying to find an original looking Starliner or something I could build into my dream setup. But when I found this one, it was the cleanest example I’d seen. The funny thing is, I fell for the color combination despite only wanting a red/white car. And I’m green/brown colorblind. I can tell this car had a green roof and a brown interior but I have no idea if the color I’m seeing is what everyone else sees. But I love how original it looks even if the paint lines aren’t spot on! The trunk; at least to me, even looks like it did from the factory so I think whatever has been done to the car was done to a running, complete, and rust free car. The previous owner bought it from the estate of a winery owner who had a huge collection. Unfortunately their family didn’t want the cars and their kids didn’t know much about the cars or their history. But I don’t see any evidence of rust repair and the insides of the doors looks like it could be original paint to me.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post

                  Enjoy the car for what it is, and don't dwell on what it isn't.
                  Bill
                  Great advice.

                  The interior, colors and later paint break line are attractive and look period correct. There are probably other minor things that are not exactly as the car left the factory, but that is to be expected after 65 years . 99% of the people that look at your car will not see any of these minor differences from stock, and it's fun to learn from those who do know about any differences. The production order will help YOU be one of the experts on the changes to the car since new. All part of the hobby.

                  Your car will not be a performer without fairly major changes. Lots has happened in automotive engineering between 1954 and 2019. In 1954 your car was about mid pack in terms of accelerating, handling, and braking. In 2019 not so much. . A couple more carbs and a better exhaust system will hardly be felt. Even an upgrade to a 259 or 289 will not be very impressive compared to a 10 year old Honda Civic. A built 289, a switch to a 3 speed overdrive trans, and a lower geared rear end would be noticeable, but lots of money and time to do it, and then you REALLY have a non original car (if that is one of your goals).

                  Take Bill's advice and enjoy the car for what it is. A nice, stately cruiser. If that isn't what you had in mind, maybe trade for one of the 53/54 Starlights out there that have already been built into a hot rod with a later motor, trans, rear end, brakes, suspension and steering. You can generally buy a completed car for far less money than building one yourself.
                  Dick Steinkamp
                  Bellingham, WA

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                  • #24
                    Right on Dick as always, nice to see you posting.
                    Candbstudebakers
                    Castro Valley,
                    California


                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                      Note the lack of Belt Line and wide Windshield Mouldings on the Coupe in Post #10, it is a C3 Deluxe.
                      Your Starlight appears to be a Top of the Line, C5 Regal Commander Coupe.
                      Please excuse me Rich? I'm not seeing anything, other than the incomplete set of beltline trim, that would indicate it was a (5H - C5) Regal Starlight. Maybe you didn't notice its lack of the wide windshield moulding, in the photos? It seems to me, that the beltline trim pieces, may have come from the same donner vehicle, as the paint line trim pieces? The missing rear quarter arm rests, also suggest, Deluxe Starlight to me. Checking the body tag or production order, would provide the most definitive answer. As you said, the pleated vinyle seats and door panels, are not original.

                      Mark
                      Last edited by S2Deluxe; 02-10-2020, 11:29 PM.
                      sigpic

                      S2Deluxe = (5H - C3).

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by S2Deluxe View Post

                        Please excuse me Rich? /Cut/ Checking the body tag or production order, would provide the most definitive answer. As you said, the pleated vinyl seats and door panels, are not original.Mark
                        Quote Post # 20: "Your Starlight appears to be a Top of the Line, C5 Regal Commander Coupe."

                        You are probably correct "We" do not know Yet what Trim it is, and does it really matter? Bill's Post #14 pretty much tells it all.

                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          It is just a Deluxe model. I've been trying to find information to see where the differences are between the two trims, but google hasn't provided many answers. And there are so many heavily modified cars online, it doesn't help either. I saw a 54 Facts Book on ebay a while ago and was thinking about getting something like that to help identify the differences in cars/trim levels.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by J_Cole View Post
                            It is just a Deluxe model. I've been trying to find information to see where the differences are between the two trims, but google hasn't provided many answers. And there are so many heavily modified cars online, it doesn't help either. I saw a 54 Facts Book on ebay a while ago and was thinking about getting something like that to help identify the differences in cars/trim levels.
                            For a lot less money than a '54 Facts Book, get the Turning Wheels issue with a Fred Fox feature article on the '54s.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by J_Cole View Post
                              studegary where are you seeing that? Just the paint around the rear window? It may be from being a deluxe and not having the trim piece on the c pillar. I spent months trying to find the most original looking car that I could find. There are a lot of terrible custom 53s out there that finding one this nice and original looking wasn’t easy.
                              Not that it detracts from the beautiful appearance of the car, but I have to agree with Gary. As far as originality and authenticity are concerned, the car isn't quite original. The paint break should be on the C-pillar. It would appear that a PO installed a 55, or 56 trim around the bottom of the rear window. It should be lower body color all the way to the lower rear window trim.

                              Very, very nice car

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I own one of those terrible modified 53 coupes. I started out to build an original and the old hot rodder in me took control. I think you have a very nice car. One to be proud of. Here's the "BIG THING" If you like it, that's what matters. Drive and enjoy

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