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55 Commander Project

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  • Engine: 55 Commander Project

    Hello everyone! I am the proud new owner of this darling little sedan. It's been garaged forever, but hadn't been started in at least 3 years according to the owner.

    I am not too mechanically inclined, but hope to learn with this project. Is there any advice you can give a rookie before I try and start it?

    Thank you!!!
    Last edited by jhicban; 05-22-2016, 04:23 PM.

  • #2
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    Last edited by jhicban; 05-22-2016, 02:47 PM.


    • #3
      Nice looking car!
      Winston-Salem, NC
      Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


      • #4
        Jason, You have a super nice find - very pretty inside and out. I'm partial to 55s all Body types
        Joseph R. Zeiger


        • #5
          Looks freshly painted........ Nice !!!!!!


          • #6
            Advice? yes.
            1. Do not take it apart, even if everybody thinks you should.
            2. Do not think that it can be improved by swapping parts from other brands, even if everybody thinks you should.
            3. Buy the shop manual, the chassis parts manual, and the body parts manual. They will identify every part, tell you the correct name, tell you the part number, and show how the parts attach to one another.
            4. find the Studebaker parts vendors. They have the all the parts you need and can give good advice.
            5. spend some time researching anything you plan to do before jumping in and taking action.

            That is a very nice car and you can keep it that way by researching it, finding out what it is and what it is not. Anything that breaks on it can be fixed with Studebaker parts that will, in most cases, be readily available.
            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


            • #7
              My first piece of advice is to drain the gas tank as surely the gas is bad. Once you do that and get it started you will be able to determine what other action might be required.

              Radio Roy's advice is golden as well..


              • #8
                The above is Titled, "Things to do after you bought that Studebaker."
                That post and a great deal of other great information can be found by going to the top of this page.
                Studebaker Drivers Club Home Page
                Go to "Resources"
                "Tech Tips, Specs and Data"
                Another invaluable source of information is,
                For ALL things Studebaker.
                Studebaker Vendors can be found at,
                The vendors all go by part number when taking orders. Which is why RadioRoys advice on his point #3 is so important.
                South Lompoc Studebaker


                • #9
                  Welcome Jason, that '55 looks pretty sharp, like they must have parked it after it got back from the Paint Shop.

                  That is kinda backward to do the Paint and Interior First before the messy mechanical work, but what is done is done.
                  The good news is you don't have to pay for that expensive work yourself.
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                  • #10
                    This Sunday 5-29-2016 at LaPalma Park right there in Los Angeles.
                    It is a yearly meet of Studebakers.
                    You will find all years of Studebakers, vendors, good company, advice and information.
                    You really need to be there. It's just down the street from you.
                    South Lompoc Studebaker


                    • #11
                      I know there is a club member in Pico Rivera, but can't think of his name. Someone else may chime in.
                      (read it backwards)

                      Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln


                      • #12
                        Thank you everyone for your input and advice so far.

                        RadioRoy - I definitely intend on keeping things original, I do not want to swap parts out and go all hot rod on it (no offense to the hot rodders out there, I think that style looks cool too). I want it to be our weekend family cruiser. It is my 35th birthday present, and I envisioned this to be a father son project over the next 20 years (my son just turned 3)... The shop manual has been ordered and is on its way.

                        55 56 Prez 4d - very cool, thank you for sending these links over I am checking them out at this very moment... Coincidentally, I happened to be browsing around on this site and saw there was a meet this Sunday. I am definitely going to be there. I'll be the dude walking around like a kid in a candy store.

                        Last edited by jhicban; 05-22-2016, 09:25 PM.


                        • #13
                          3 years old. Perfect.
                          My oldest son is 39. He remembers "helping" me on projects at that age.
                          I've got pictures of him holding flashlight and tools.
                          "Painting" the garage wall. It was a bucket of water and an old paintbrush, but he didn't miss a spot.
                          South Lompoc Studebaker


                          • #14
                            Welcome to the Forum and the Wacky, Wonderful World of Studebakerdom! If you haven't yet joined the SDC and your local chapter, I invite you to do so. The "Turning Wheels" magazine/newsletter is worth the price of membership alone. We look forward to pictures of your progress here and any questions and stories you have along the way!
                            Mike Davis
                            Regional Manager, North Carolina
                            1964 Champ 8E7-122 "Stuey"


                            • #15
                              Your car is very similar to mine except mine is a President Deluxe and your appears to be a Commander with similar trim. Even the paint colours are the same and the interiors similar. You have received very good advise from everyone. Make sure you obtain all the manuals they are really helpful.

                              Good luck.
                              55 President Deluxe
                              64 Commander
                              66 Cruiser

                              37 Oldsmobile F37 4 Door