Pick of the Day: 1965 Studebaker Commander Wagonaire

The Studebaker Commander Wagonaire looks to be in good condition
The Studebaker Commander Wagonaire looks to be in good condition

Interest has been growing in vintage station wagons as fun collector cars, mainly focused on the Detroit behemoths of the 1950s through the ’70s, although smaller, quirkier wagons have their fans, too.

Take, for instance, the Pick of the Day, a 1965 Studebaker Commander Wagonaire, which might seem small compared with the domestic wagons of the period. But typical for Studebaker, the Wagonaire offered more for less. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2016: 1947 ‘Black Bart’ Studebaker Starlight coupe

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1947 “Black Bart” Studebaker Starlight coupe | Barrett-Jackson photos

Editor’s note: This is the 2nd in a 30-day series featuring cars from the Tammy Allen Collection to be sold October 13-15 at Barrett-Jacksons 2016 Las Vegas Auction. 

Offered without reserve from the Tammy Allen collection to cross the Las Vegas Barrett-Jackson block October 13-15 is a 1947 Studebaker Starlight coupe dubbed “Black Bart.” Built by award-winning builder Tony Carlini. “Black Bart” is the 4-wheel version of the late builder’s one-time line of custom show motorcycles.

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Pick of the Day: 1964 Studebaker Avanti

Styled under the direction of the great Raymond Lowey, the Studebaker Avanti was a unique looking car
Styled under the direction of the great Raymond Lowey, the Studebaker Avanti is a unique-looking car

The 1960s were a tough time for the smaller American auto manufacturers. The Big 3 had all but cornered the market in just about every category, leaving such companies as AMC and Studebaker to basically pick up the scraps with low-cost economy cars. Studebaker did not see much growth potential in this and despite an ever-shrinking bank account, decided to create a halo car in the form of a top-tier personal-luxury/GT coupe, the Studebaker Avanti, which debuted in 1963. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1947 Studebaker M5 pickup truck

The Studebaker pickup looks factory fresh
The Studebaker pickup looks factory fresh

Pickup trucks once were merely working vehicles appreciated for nothing more than getting the job done. But vintage pickups have risen in popularity among those who appreciate their classic style and who enjoy the simple pleasure of driving a basic truck.

Just about all the attention among collectors is on Ford, Chevy and Dodge trucks, but there is much to be said for the pickups from lesser brands, such as International, Hudson, even the highly collectible Diamond T. Studebaker holds a special place in the hearts of many hobbyists, and the pickups from the late, lamented brand have a unique style that sets them apart.

The pickup is a half-ton short-bed model
The pickup is a half-ton short-bed model

The Pick of the Day is a 1947 Studebaker M5 pickup, an attractive short-bed stepside model that has been restored to original, the seller says. The half-ton truck is located in Maple Lake, Minnesota, which sounds like the kind of place where you’d find a 69-year-old Studebaker pickup truck. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1963 Studebaker Lark custom sedan

The little Studebaker Lark looks very clean with a nicely aggressive stance
The little Studebaker Lark looks very clean with a nicely aggressive stance

I’ve always liked the idea of a sleeper, a plain-Jane car with hidden hot rod performance designed to surprise the muscle-car guys when the light turns green. A street-rod-building buddy of mine once took a ’65 Rambler American and tuned it with a 500-horsepower V8, race-spec drivetrain, disc brakes and suspension mods, while keeping it essentially bone stock on the outside.

The Pick of the Day is something along the same lines, a 1963 Studebaker Lark VI two-door sedan that packs a 350 cid Chevrolet V8 under its hood. Although the Lark has been slightly lowered, has a louvered hood and wears a set of American Racing wheels — plus those little Moon eyes behind the front wheels – it stills look stock enough to fool the locals. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1949 Studebaker Champion coupe

The 1949 Studebaker Champion wears the distinctive wraparound rear window
The 1949 Studebaker Champion wears the distinctive wraparound rear window

The original “push-me-pull-you” Studebaker coupe had car buyers scratching their heads when the wraparound rear window appeared in 1947 as a styling option. The common observation: you couldn’t tell whether it was going forward or backward.

By the time the Pick of the Day, a 1949 Studebaker Champion, came along, folks were accustomed to the unique backlight, and rear-seat riders appreciated the light and airy effect. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1952 Studebaker S2

Truck still bears door logos from its role in 2001 movie
Truck still bears door logos from its role in 2001 movie

What do Johnny Depp, Ray Liotta and a 1952 Studebaker S2 pickup truck have in common? According to the person selling this particular ’52 Studie, it was driven by Liotta when he played Depp’s father in the 2001 movie, Blow. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk

This gem of a Studebaker Golden Hawk makes the 1950s look alive
This gem of a Studebaker Golden Hawk makes the 1950s look alive

The Studebaker Golden Hawk was the original performance car for the South Bend, Indiana, automaker, the most muscular version of the regular hardtop that was developed from the sleek 1953 Starliner coupe created by the great industrial designer Raymond Loewy. Continue reading

Pick of the Week: 1963 Studebaker Avanti R1

 The styling for the 1963 Studebaker Avanti was striking but controversial

The styling for the 1963 Studebaker Avanti was striking but controversial

One of the most unusual standout designs during the early 1960s was that of the Studebaker Avanti, a “personal luxury” coupe that debuted in April 1962. Created by a team assembled by famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy, the fiberglass-bodied Avanti was true to its name as an avant garde original.

As usual, Studebaker was ahead of the styling curve and the Avanti became something of a “love it or loathe it” piece of automotive quirkiness. The timing was not great, as the Avanti appeared on the scene at the same time as another fiberglass original, the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, which stole much of the popular thunder.

Today’s Pick of the Week is an apparently restored 1963 Studebaker Avanti R1 being sold by a private owner in San Diego. Although appreciated as collector cars, Avantis have never commanded big-dollar sales, and this one is offered at what seems like a bargain price of $25,000 or best offer.

The Avanti’s interior looks immaculate
The Avanti’s interior looks immaculate

The seller’s description is brief and lacking in details, but the car is described as Avanti Red in color with a black vinyl interior, air conditioning, electric windows and other convenience features.

The photos show what appears to be an original Studebaker 289 V8 engine, coupled with an automatic transmission and Twin Traction limited-slip rear. The photos of the interior are very impressive.

This was the original year of the Avanti, when they really looked their best. I particularly like the piece of mid-century chrome flair on the hood, which became a signature styling cue.

Although a handsome Studebaker Avanti would make a good Pick of the Week any time, it’s also a nod to this week’s ClassicCars.com poll results, which found that most people would choose Studebaker as the defunct automaker they would most like to see come back to life.

My Classic Car: Jonathan’s 1951 Studebaker

Childhood memories led to buying this car | Jonathan Cox photo
Childhood memories led to buying this car | Jonathan Cox photo

I was 9 years old in 1951. My aunt and uncle owned a new ’51 Studebaker and they reluctantly let me drive it on the farm. I promptly drove it into the creek and it had to be pulled out with the tractor.

It was 8 years later before my folks let me drive again.

A while ago, I saw this ’51 Studebaker Champion Deluxe Starlight coupe and it brought back all those memories.

I bought the car on the spot.

— Jonathan Cox, Ocean Park WA