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  • Interior: 1950 Champion Interior Query

    Hi All,

    I’m both new to this forum and new to Studebakers. I purchased a 1950 Champion 4 door late last year and have spent the winter getting it “safely” running and driving, which it now is.

    Now that the weather is warming, I’m planning on getting onto stuff such as rubber seals and interior bits.

    I’ve been doing some research, and I’m hoping folks with experience can tell me what I have going on with my interior. It looks to me like the headliner and door panels are original, and that the original cloth seat covers are covered with aftermarket vinyl seat covers. Is this correct?

    I’ve attached pictures for reference.

    I’m not yet sure what I’m going to do with the interior. Ie, leave it as is and attempt to repair, or replace with something newer and cleaner but original-ish looking. I like to keep things original looking, but I’m not a purist and will choose function over form as I drive my old vehicles. If I choose to replace, does anyone have suggestions on where to source door panels, headliners and seat covers?

    FWIW, I plan to just buff and wax the old repaint.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Tony
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    1950 Studebaker Champion
    1962 Volkswagen Single Cab Transporter
    1968 BMW R60



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  • #2
    Tony, Welcome to the Forum!

    "...have spent the winter getting it “safely” running and driving,..." Of much greater importance is getting it safely stopping, before running a driving! No go is much preferable to no whoa!

    You will be pleased to know the Studebaker Drivers Club will be holding its annual International Meet this coming September in Mansfield, Ohio. Lucky you; probably the only time it will be this close in your lifetime.

    It does appear your interior is all original, with the exception of the door window garnish molding color, which should match the color of the dash. The cloth under your seat covers looks original. The question is, were the vinyl covers added to protect the originals, or to hide something too worn to admire?

    There are a number of sources for panels, covers, headliner, etc.
    It would behoove you to join the Studebaker Drivers Club if you plan on enjoying your purchase for any length of time. You are actually on the forum that is owned and operated by our club.
    http://studebakerdriversclub.com/index.asp

    There is a company in Knoxville that most of us have used for installation ready interior kits that are factory perfect called Southeast Studebaker; Pricey but perfect and all brand new, not new old stock. But I think they are currently backed up six to eight months or more.
    http://www.alpha-omegaclothingco.com...tudebaker.html

    And, of course, you could always locate cloth that is close in appearance and hire a local upholsterer, if you are not a DIYer.
    Pre-cut door boards are available from Ernie Loga and, ... You know what, there are so many good suppliers specializing in Studebaker it would be a whole lot easier for you to just join the club and receive all that information every month in Turning Wheels magazine.
    Last edited by rockne10; 03-23-2019, 06:33 AM.
    "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


    • #3
      Curious as to why someone would paint the widow garnish red.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tim333 View Post
        Curious as to why someone would paint the widow garnish red.
        My guess is that the paint was worn off where one rests their arm and this was the paint that was available. Not that big of a deal to change it.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome aboard Tony - you have managed to buy one of the most memorable Studebaker styled cars out there - congrats. The original cloth used on vehicles of the time did not have a long shelf life. If you remove the covers, chances are the original front covers (especially the bottom) is not in good shape. However, some new car buyers would cover their seats to keep them nice - so there might be a chance they might be in good shape. Don’t know until you pull those other covers off. Good thing is the original covers are super simple to make.

          Do not know if you have seen elsewhere, but the International Meet will be held in Mansfield, Ohio, in September of 2019 - not too far up the road. Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the reply, info and insight Rockne10.

            I’ve now submitted my membership application and ordered the library as well.

            Ha! Good catch on the stopping. Rest assured stopping was considered within the “safely” runnin and driving, as well as everything related to suspension and steering and such. I even “upgraded” the wipers to electric so that I could see where I’m headed :-)

            I’ll look into all the links and such you’ve shared.

            Thanks again for everything, including the warm welcome.

            Cheers,

            Tony

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            - - - Updated - - -

            No idea Tim! The PO called it “spicy” :-)

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            • #7
              The “red” paint is peeling in some spots and I can see the original under it Gary.

              I’m hoping to remove it to expose the original paint, even if it is worn. I prefer it with some character anyway :-)

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              • #8
                Thanks for the info 62champ! I did read about the meet while joining and I’m planning on attending, in this ‘50 Champ since I’m not too far away in Cincinnati :-)

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                • #9
                  That is a beautiful car. What a way to start with Studebakers. I feel like it is Christmas morning, waiting to open the presents. I'm anxious to see what is under the seat covers.

                  Welcome to our world. I look forward to seeing you in Mansfield.

                  What town would Mansfield residents typically fly in and out of?
                  Perry
                  \'50 Business Champion
                  \'50 Starlight Champion
                  \'60 Lark Convertible,
                  \'63 GT R1,
                  \'67 Triumph TR4A

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fpstude View Post

                    What town would Mansfield residents typically fly in and out of?
                    https://www.travelmath.com/nearest-a.../Mansfield,+OH
                    "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


                    • #11
                      In case you do have to replace upholstery .... Last year I bought seat upholstery for my 1947 Studebaker Champion from SMS Upholstery in Oregon. It is a perfect match for the original. The price was a bit more than I planned on paying, however the end result has me 100% pleased. It was installed by a local auto upholsterer whose excellent work I had previously seen on friends' cars.
                      Bill Jarvis

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tony,

                        Congratulations for finding such a fine car. It's our job to help you understand what you've found, and try to help you appreciate what you have, and help with opinions, when you have questions. It sounds like you are open to keeping the car original. IMO whatever changes that you make, that will move the car away from it's present original condition, will negatively impact the car's historical value, and how it's viewed by most of the car world. Once you begin to change things there is no going back. If it was my car, I would concentrate on the mechanical issues and not worry about the cosmetics, maybe with the exception of those red window reveals. Take some time to get to know the car, and share it with the car world, they will love it the way it is!

                        In our collection we have two period cars, of like condition, a green 1951 (looks like your 50) and a 1950 Starlight coupe. Both have their original interiors intact, but the 51 has dealer installed seat covers. Sooner or later you're going to realize that finding original upholstery from this era is very rare, and special. I have resisted the urge to remove the seat covers from the 51, because of the protection that they provide, for the original interior, and because of fear of opening another can of worms. These seats are wool and can be very fragile. Try to consider the relative value of each move that you make-the car would is watching.

                        Bill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Congratulations on you purchase! My first Studebaker was a 1950 Land Cruiser with automatic drive. It was Studebaker’s deluxe model with a bigger six and longer wheelbase. That car was a dream to drive and the ride was very comfortable. It had its original interior that was in perfect original condition. One of the cars I wished I hadn’t gotten rid of.
                          sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

                          "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
                          Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
                          "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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