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Antenna location on '54 Commander Starliner

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  • Electrical: Antenna location on '54 Commander Starliner

    This 1954 Commander Starliner does not have a hole for mounting the antenna. Since it has a radio, I assume that it once had an antenna.

    From what I can see in pictures of other cars, the antennas mounted on the driver's side front fender. Can anyone tell me if that was the only place that Studebaker put an antenna on these cars?

    Also, can someone measure their antenna location or post a template here or send one by a PM? Any help with drilling the hole in the right place is appreciated.

  • #2
    About as close as you can get to the inboard edge, and near the rear edge of the Left Front Fender, through the Cowl and into the Door Post so that it ends up where the knockout is in the inside kick panel for the wind up Antenna Crank knob, when equipped with a Internal Control Antenna, whether it had a Manual or I.C. Antenna.

    Only a special Studebaker Antenna or very similar Antenna will be deep enough to go all the way through both the Fender & Cowl to install the lower stop inside the Door Post.

    Yes that is the ONLY 1954 acceptable Location.

    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by StudeRich; 12-22-2013, 11:01 PM.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      It would be nice to have someone once again make the correct antenna for Studebakers. The common type found at most "FLAPS" cannot be properly mounted where the original was. Nothing fancy, just a regular manual antenna, although a power antenna that would fit & function in that location would be great too! A power antenna would be relatively easy to rewire to the existing radio's so to have a feature of extending when the radio turns on & retract when power is shut off.
      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
      64 Zip Van
      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
      66 Cruiser V-8 auto


      • #4
        My car has been reworked a few times, but my antenna is through the rear driver's side fender. Less metal to go through, but potential for a water leak into the trunk. Not factory but it worked.
        Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)


        • #5
          You can get a template from the person who holds all of our drawings. I forget his name, but you can order.


          • #6
            Here are the available templates and the ordering procedure...


            I would think you would want AC-2304 but call Daniel to make sure.

            The link to the templates is on the "Studebaker Tech Tips, Specs, and Data" page of the SDC site.


            Lots of good stuff here and one of the first places you can check if you need help.
            Dick Steinkamp
            Bellingham, WA


            • #7
              Thanks for the information. A template would be nice, although I was hoping not to have to wait for a template to arrive by mail. If anyone happens to have a closeup picture of that part of the driver's side front fender showing the antenna location, that would be a big help.

              Thanks also for the warning about the threaded length needed on the antenna at that point. I'll have to look it over more carefully before cutting open the antenna package. The one I bought has the antenna retract completely into the car body. Usually I like those because the antenna won't stick up and interfere with the car cover. I also will have to make sure that the holes in the body can accommodate the lower part of the antenna; it extends down ten or twelve inches.


              • #8
                Putting an antenna in the stock location is not easy. I think Rich describes it well. You have to drill the hole in the outer fender quite accurately in order to be able to drill the hole in the cowl below that hole accurately. It is possible, but not easy.

                Personally, I wouldn't take the chance of messing up a fender. I'd use one of the hidden electrically amplified antennas.


                The downsides are...they only work on 12V and they work better on FM than AM.
                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA


                • #9
                  Originally posted by northern View Post
                  /Cut/The one I bought has the antenna retract completely into the car body. Usually I like those because the antenna won't stick up and interfere with the car cover. I also will have to make sure that the holes in the body can accommodate the lower part of the antenna; it extends down ten or twelve inches.
                  That sounds like it may be a Power Antenna, is it?
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                  • #10
                    No, it's not a power antenna. A power antenna likely would be too bulky to fit in that spot. If I drill the hole in the original spot - if I can find that spot - this one just might nicely telescope down through the holes in the body, although there might not be enough of a threaded section on the antenna to do the job.


                    • #11
                      When I bought my '53 in 1975 an aftermarket antenna had been mounted in the corner of the cowl and never looked at all out of place.
                      When I restored it thirty years later, I welded the hole shut, acquired an internally controlled antenna and used the templates supplied by SDC to locate and install.
                      As Rich indicated, you will not be able to put one of those aftermarket antennas in the factory correct spot.
                      "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


                      • #12
                        I just had another look at the spot where the antenna should go, from underneath. It looks to me as if the car never had an antenna; the metal where the hole should be looks original and shows no sign of having metal welded in. Quite possibly, a former owner installed the correct radio and had an antenna somewhere else on the car. Or they installed a non-functioning radio, just for looks, without an antenna attached.

                        Has anyone had good luck with those hidden antennas? Most of the reviews are not all that good, with many saying that they don't work well at all.


                        • #13
                          My usual solution was to use a standard factory block off plate instead of the optional radio. I doubt that the car will be your regular transportation.

                          I have used the type of aftermaket antenna that has a pivot section to lock it into the fender (on cars that already had a hole). These are all top mount with no nut to put on from below. .
                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

                          SDC member since 1968
                          Studebaker enthusiast much longer


                          • #14
                            I've used them in two cars.

                            This '54 hot rod...

                            And this 63 GT...

                            An antenna would have looked out of place on the hot rod. I used a stock radio block off plate and had a stereo in the glove box. The hidden antenna picked up FM quite well. You might do this with your stock 54 since you are converting it to 12V anyway. (or just leave the stock radio in the dash, but non-op)

                            The GT did not have a radio on the build sheet, but had a stock AM one installed when I bought the car. Whoever installed the antenna put it forward of the stock location so that the wouldn't have to drill through the fender and the cowl to install it. When I painted the car I filled the antenna hole but left the stock radio. The AM reception with the hidden antenna was marginal. It needed a relatively strong station to get reception.
                            Dick Steinkamp
                            Bellingham, WA


                            • #15
                              This guy might actually have the right antenna for your Commander: Dennie Turner Belleview FL 352-245-8346
                              '63 Cruiser
                              '57 Packard wagon
                              '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
                              '50 Commander 4 dr sedan