1953 Studebaker Commander

Rare V8 manual; running and riding with fresh brakes, tyres and battery; fabulous oily rag condition ; a matching numbers example

Created by two of the greatest automobile stylists of all time, Raymond Loewy and Virgil Exner, the Studebaker Commander caused a sensation when it was launched in 1947 thanks to its amazing panoramic four-pane wraparound rear window which not only made it look like an aircraft cockpit but also prompted ‘pushmi-pullyu’ wisecracks about it not knowing if it was coming or going…

For 1950 it got even more arresting with a futuristic ‘bullet nose’ front end inspired by the dawning of the Jet Age which proved so polarising that it was only retained for two years, making survivors like this Starlight two-door Coupe increasingly sought after today. It also gained all-new independent coil front suspension to replace the old transverse leaf sprung set-up which dramatically improved the road manners.

Under the bonnet lurked a lazy 3.8-litre V8 producing 120bhp and 205lb/ft which gave effortless performance. An advanced automatic transmission also became available but proper drivers will prefer the three-speed manual with overdrive top, as featured on this car.

Sold last year through Brightwells as a partly dismantled non-runner, its current owner has spent considerable time getting the car sorted, a job which included a new battery, carb and fuel system clean and the usual points etc. He also stripped and overhauled the brakes and sorted out the stainless exhaust that came with the car and put various parts back in their correct places.

Details on file show that it travelled a lot when living in the States, residing in Michigan, Connecticut and then Florida until 1990 when it moved to Holland. It appears to have then done little for many years, until it was acquired by a UK collector in 2014 and UK registered that year.

A dating certificate from the Studebaker National Museum indicates it was completed in August 1953 and confirms that it retains its original engine.

When they were launched, the distinctive ‘European’ styling caused a sensation and its not hard to see their appeal. This highly original example is now up together - running and driving and crying out to be given some regular use. It is the perfect use and improve example of a particularly rare and significant model and looks exceptional value at the catalogue estimate.

For more information - contact matthew.parkin@brighwells.com

Reg No: 781XVC
Chassis Number: 8342131
Engine Number: V269045
Engine Size: 3800

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £8,000-10,000

Lot 45

Bidding is not available on this lot

Lot not started

Bidding on this lot will be available on Sat 12 Feb @ 10:00 am

Current Bid

0 Reserve Not Met


Auction details and terms
  • Put in your highest bid you would be prepared to go to.
  • Bidding at the last moment may leave you disappointed. Any earlier bid is always taken first, so doing this may only push someone else up and prevent you from becoming the highest bidder.
  • No bids can be placed once the time remaining ends, therefore do not delay.