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  • New member - 1953 Champion Regal Deluxe Sedan

    A brief introduction: After looking for a pre-war Buick and not finding anything I could afford I happened to run across a 1953 Champion 4 door sedan and just fell in love with the - way ahead of its time - looks. The plan is to keep it as original as possible but make any improvements to make it a car I can get in and go when the desire to take the family (all but my 3 oldest children will fit) out for ice-cream or to hit a cruise or car show. It won't be a show winner, just a nice driver. I like to drive my cars and enjoy them. Over the years I've had as my daily drivers (this one won't be a daily driver): 1962 Buick LeSabre, 1972 Chevy C-10, 1972 GMC Suburban, 1962 Nova and I briefly owned but never drove a 1928 Marmon Victoria Coupe (only one known to exist) and a 1951 Buick Special (my very first car). All of those cars are gone except for the Marmon, I sold it to a good friend of mine who's going to get it going again and enjoy her. I should also note: none of those cars except the Marmon were of any show quality, they were very much original cars with faded paint, rust, bad interiors, etc...
    I'm looking forward to getting to know the Studey better. I already started breaking things when I attempted to remove the heat riser to fix a blown gasket on it. Of course, I broke the back side bolt so I'll have to drill it out and re-tap the manifold. I have several small projects I'd like to do to her but really I just want the virus to be over with so I can put her on the road and drive her a little to see how she runs and drives. I've attached a picture, some of you may recognize the car from Ebay. I don't care if I got a great deal or a bad deal, I like the car and that's what matters to me.
    I hope to learn a lot about these cars and hopefully I can help out in the forums. I've been around antique and classic cars all of my life and owned a part-time modern vehicle repair shop, of course there's a lot that I don't know so I will be trying to soak up as much information as I can from the forums as I can already see there is a lot of knowledge here.

  • #2
    Dewayne, welcome to the SDC Forum! Looks like a nice car, let's see some more pics.

    I like the '53/'54 sedans (I have a '54 Regal 4-door sedan).
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome, Dewayne!

      It's a joy to see people giving these lesser remembered sedans their due.
      Given your background there is very little automotive advice to send your way as yet; with the exception perhaps that ALL the Studebakers before 1955 came with notoriously inadequate brakes. They work fine in a pinch but, if you get them hot you might as well be skating on ball bearings. Fortunately, the entire backing plates and assemblies can be directly swapped from the later models for the simplest major upgrade.

      Looking forward to seeing it on the road. For the past several years an all-Studebaker swap meet has been growing just 35 miles north of you at Dunkirk. Given current conditions, I don't know if it's been cancelled for this year or not. But keep an eye out for its return.
      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10,
      '51 Commander Starlight,
      '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
      '56 Sky Hawk

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the welcome. Here are some more pictures. Sorry they're in my shop, I got distracted by my new shop cabinets coming in so I had to prepare to install them. My shop is an absolute mess right now!

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        • #5
          Thanks Rockne10. I hope at least a few swap meets still take place this year! I do plan to at least swap to a dual master cylinder.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DewayneP View Post
            Thanks Rockne10. I hope at least a few swap meets still take place this year! I do plan to at least swap to a dual master cylinder.
            That's always a desirable upgrade; though I will contend the danger in these single cylinder system is not the master cylinder, but old brake lines; first things to be addressed.
            Also note the 85hp 169.7cid Champion engine is never going to be a jackrabbit. But don't expect it to be and it's a car one can have a lot of fun with.
            "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

            Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
            '33 Rockne 10,
            '51 Commander Starlight,
            '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
            '56 Sky Hawk

            Comment


            • #7
              New hoses and brake lines is on the list too. Where I live there are a lot of hills and the last thing I need is the brakes giving out with my family in the car. The "parking" brake does seem to work good and the cables are in great shape so that's a good thing.

              Comment


              • #8
                My wife's first car, in 1960, was a 1953 Champion four door sedan.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice Champion Sedan!

                  I take it you HAVE the Radiator Surround Panel, and just have it off for freshening it up.

                  Glad to see you came over to the "Other Side" and left the "General" behind in the Dark Side.
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi StudeRich. I don't think I'm missing a radiator surround, can you elaborate? I know I don't have it off for freshening. It doesn't look like i'm missing anything, but I may be wrong. I even have the heat shield over the fuel pump to shield it from the hot exhaust manifold.
                    As for leaving the General behind, my dad worked for Chevy at the Tonawanda engine plant for 38 years before they forced him to retire so I can't fully leave them behind... but I certainly do like the Studebaker styling of the 50's.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nice one, & Cragar S/S too, tasty!
                      I've had my -55 sedan Josephine for 9 years now & she still look horrible in most peoples eyes, I never knew I wanted a sedan before I got her & now 53-55 sedans my fav Studebakers.

                      sigpic

                      Josephine
                      -55
                      Champion V8
                      4d sedan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DewayneP View Post
                        Hi StudeRich. I don't think I'm missing a radiator surround, can you elaborate? /Cut/
                        OK, I see it now I had to enlarge it 3 times to understand what all the Wiring and Tools and stuff was hiding there. Also the Brown reflection on the shroud.
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	53Champion Sedan Engine.jpg Views:	0 Size:	102.1 KB ID:	1837581It looks like it just needs the Climatizer Control Valve and possibly the under seat Heater Core hooked up.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the clarification Rich. Yes, none of the climatizer or defroster is hooked up. I need to find a diagram to see exactly how the hoses route. Is there one available somewhere on the site? I have the service manual but I don't see any hose routing diagrams. Thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DewayneP View Post
                            Is there one available somewhere on the site?
                            Dewayne,
                            A quick search of the site pulls up several threads dealing with this.

                            https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....+routing%22%7D

                            "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                            Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                            '33 Rockne 10,
                            '51 Commander Starlight,
                            '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                            '56 Sky Hawk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DewayneP View Post
                              Thanks for the clarification Rich. Yes, none of the climatizer or defroster is hooked up. I need to find a diagram to see exactly how the hoses route. Is there one available somewhere on the site? I have the service manual but I don't see any hose routing diagrams. Thanks.
                              You should get the chassis parts catalog and the body parts catalog. They fill in a lot of the blanks missing in the shop manual.
                              Last edited by RadioRoy; 05-26-2020, 02:24 PM.
                              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

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