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50 Studebaker Starlite Coupe

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  • 50 Studebaker Starlite Coupe

    Howdy everyone...I'm a new member and new to the Studebaker world. I've always admired them but a few years ago I 'bit' on one I couldn't resist. Everytime I drove by it it made me laugh.

    Three elderly farm brothers (the Hansen brothers) from Boelus, Nebraska modified it heavily and basically turned it into a clown car. It has not been destroyed but some fresh sheet metal would replace what they have done. I don't think this is probably the proper forum for the complete story so email me if you want to hear about the history of this interesting vehicle.

    Anyway, it hasn't been running for about 15 years but the motor isn't stuck and still has compression. All the normal things need to be gone through (brakes, carburetor, etc). What I want to do is convert it from 4-hole to 5-hole wheels so I have better wheel selection and can use my Mopar/Ford stuff on it. I have some long distance driving I'd like to do with it and don't want the trunk full of extra wheels 'just in case'.

    I was told by someone that wasn't absolutely sure but they said they thought the 50 was unique to itself as far as suspension, brakes and rear end went so basically I'm hoping someone out there within a reasonable distance from Nebraska has the necessary parts to help me unbolt one thing and add something else and start the rebuilding process so I can take it out in the open.

    The car might scare some people because it doesn't resemble a proper Starlite coupe. My 'odd' brother wants to turn it into a pickup but I don't think I want to go that far and totally ruin a neat car. I do however want to continue the theme of the Hansen brothers and keep the public guessing about what exactly the car is.

    Any help is appreciated. The car is just too neat to be sitting in storage so please help me get this thing on the road so I can go to a few Studebaker events.


  • #2
    Hi Rocky! Welcome to the center of the Studebaker world! I have a '50 and yes it IS a one year kinda car, but just the front frame crossmember and steering, everything else is pretty close.

    As far as the brakes, they aren't very "stout", and 4 hole wheels can be a pain, although I have to say that when the system is in good shape the brakes seem to be at least adequate for the car, (IF you have the 6 cylinder in it). I had a '49 and '50, 4 door daily drivers, 3 speed with OD transmissions, and they had perfect road manners, including brakes, (that were carefully, totally rebuilt). On the other hand, I have a V8 in my '50 Starlight with the small brakes up front, (late model big brakes in rear), and you have to anticipate where you wanna stop! I'm going with disc brakes on all four corners.

    Anyway, the bad news is, to upgrade the brakes you'll have to install late model spindles, backer plates and brakes in front, plus change out that model 27 rear end to a late model rear end to get the best deal. The late model Stude bolt pattern is 41/2 on 5. You can interchange a Stude wheel with Ford ranger wheels or some Mopar offerings when you get the upgrades done. IF/when you do the upgrade, then you would even be able to put discs on it easily.

    Late model 27 rear ends are a dime a dozen, the spindles and big brake setups can be expensive unless you get them at a swap meet or from another Stude guy.

    Hope this helps at least a little, or will give you something more to think about. We'll be right here if you have any more questions. Once again, WELCOME and glad that you decided to join us here.



    • #3
      Hi Rockey, Let me second Sonny's welcome. This is the place for the information you want.

      I don't know about geography, but E & V Motors (316.830.2271) in Halstead KS should have everything you need. Vern specializes in 47 to 52 Studebakers and they seem to have everything.

      They worked with me until I got my problem solved.

      Good luck with your project.

      Tom Bredehoft
      '53 Commander Coupe
      '60 Lark VI


      • #4
        Hey, thanks for the responses from both of you. I'm a pesky peddler (salesman) and spend more time somewhere else than near the computer so should always warn people that responses only come on the weekends...and only if I remember to turn on the computer. Anyway, thanks again.

        I was afraid that this thing was a bit unique. I will probably get in the mood this spring when Nebraska thaws out but I will say we've had a relatively mile last 5 years. Hasn't been over 105 or below -25 for a while and only a few major blizzards in that stretch. Anyhow, I think being a 'hands on' guy, I might pay a visit to the Kansas guy and bring my ugly truck (Datsun) in case any iron needs to come home.

        Welp, I've had an intense couple of weeks lately and I feel a major nap coming on so thanks again to both of you and glad to be driving one of these 'critters' soon.

        Central City, NE