18k Original Miles: 1965 Studebaker Commander

When a buyer backs out on a sale, it can be a source of frustration for a seller. That is the situation that has confronted the owner of this 1965 Studebaker Commander. As a result, it is once again listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Aurora, Illinois, and with bidding now sitting at $2,340, the reserve has been met.

The owner says that the Commander is all original, and the photos that he supplies of the car’s underside shows little more than a dusting of surface corrosion. The body looks like it might have a few ripples and minor dings, but the only thing that I can spot that looks like rust is a small spot in the lower front fender on the driver’s side. The paint doesn’t have a great shine to it, but the color looks to be consistent. It would be interesting to see how it would respond to a polish.

The interior of the Studebaker is a real highlight because it does appear to be in very good condition. As with the rest of the car, it is said to be original. The owner claims that the Commander has only covered 18,000 genuine miles, but doesn’t indicate whether he holds any evidence to back this claim. If the interior is as original as stated, then its condition would seem to support the mileage claim. The carpet needs a clean, and there is some wear on the metal trim on the glove compartment door. Otherwise, the rest of the interior looks to be close to perfect. It isn’t loaded down with heaps of optional extras. In fact, I don’t see any extras at all. There isn’t even a radio, so if you are taking the family on an extended journey, then you might need to tune-up the vocal cords for a good, old-fashioned sing-along.

Under the hood of the Studebaker, you will find a 194ci 6-cylinder engine, while the transmission is a manual 3-speed with overdrive. Everything looks relatively tidy around the engine bay, although as with the underside of the car, there are a few components exhibiting some signs of surface corrosion. The engine produces 120hp, and according to the owner, those ponies are all in good health. He says that the car runs and drives perfectly, so it sounds like the next owner is not going to be spending hours under the hood getting this classic up and running.

The Studebaker isn’t the most luxurious classic on the market today, but this one appears to be a clean and honest car. If the mileage claim can be verified, then it is probably one of the lowest-mileage examples in existence today. Ignoring that claim and looking at it purely as a classic car, it would appear to be a vehicle that could be driven and enjoyed immediately. One of the greatest attractions and attributes of the Commander is its simplicity, meaning that this one could be a great, low-maintenance classic for its next owner.


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  1. Bill Pressler

    These are nice cars to drive; perfect size IMHO and not an ounce of fat in the styling–reminding me of the ’78 GM mid-size sedans of over a decade later (but the rear windows roll down in the Stude!). They are also quite rare compared to anything else similarly-sized made then. Parts availability is a lot better than most folks might think.

    I see two options–looks like an overdrive handle under the dash (besides the hood release (red) and the emergency brake release), and whitewall tires, which of course the car might not have been built with. The production order for this car is available at the Studebaker National Museum archives, which would also indicate the name and addess of the selling dealer. The museum also would have the name of the purchaser, what they did for an occupation, who the salesman was, and what they traded in.

    Those are seat covers in the pic, so I wish they were removed for the pics.

    Like 10
    • Oregon_Guy78

      My parents had a 1980 Chevy Malibu wagon and the windows did not roll down in the back as you mentioned, thank for the memories!

      Like 3
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      Lovely looking car. Assuming all the parts are there, I can imagine it can be restored to driveable condition.

      Like 1
  2. Bob S

    I live in Aurora, might have to go check this one out. Love them odd balls!! GLWA!

    Like 6
  3. Ralph

    I wonder what kind of mpg this would pull down with the 6 and the 3 speed overdrive.

    Looks like a nice preserved car.

    Like 1
  4. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Saw it listed nice car with the Chevy drive train….not sure it’s worth the high bid ?

  5. yompepper

    Pedals show a different story than 18,000 miles

    Like 3
  6. Rex Kahrs Member

    A very late Stude to be sure. I’d love to drive it, it probably drives great.

    Like 2
  7. Dougie Member

    I wish these guys would quit making mileage claims without provenance. I do not think you guys should allow those claims if they can’t be substantiated. Otherwise, you are part of the problem.

    Like 2
  8. Troy s

    Reminds me of the cars I’ve seen in movies of the Soviet Union. I had no idea that company still made cars as late as ’65! Definitely an odd ball.

    • Bill W

      The last Studebaker came off the assembly line in Hamilton, Ontario, in March 1966. The 1966 models received a new grille, revised taillights and trim, along with new, up to date, interiors. But it didn’t help.

      Like 1
      • That AMC guy

        Nice cars, but despite efforts to make them contemporary it was hard to get away from the fact that they were still running on a 1953 chassis.

        Like 2
  9. Barney

    The car does appear to have a heater. Note the hoses in the engine compartment and the heater control switch on the right side of the instrument cluster. I too wonder about the mileage statement bit I’m not ready to question the seller’s integrity with out speaking with him. If the car was an automatic I’d be bidding on it. My wife can’t drive a stick and I’m not man enough to try to teach her.

    Like 5
  10. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Cute car in pretty good shape. I like oddballs and this one certainly qualifies. This old Stude has a lot going for it; minimal rust, economical straight six, a clean interior and apparently it won’t require a second mortgage to be the winning bidder. I’m partial to blue, I think it suits this car well and the interior is attractive especially the dash and steering wheel. This would make a great daily driver especially with it’s family-friendly four doors and bulletproof six. The dog dish hubcaps and thin line whitewalls look just right, too. I’m pretty sure this car has rubber flooring, not carpets which is OK by me.

    All in all, a nice vintage car that would be fun to drive and easy to maintain. The three-on-the-tree manual will blow a millennials mind, too.

    Like 6
  11. Howard A. Member

    I wonder if it has the “hill holder” clutch. I thought all Studebaker’s had that. Studebakers and Ramblers usually did the best on the Mobil Economy Run’s, averaging mid 20’s, without O/D, I’d have to think 30 was possible with. Trouble was, these cars were underpowered and loaded down, you might not even get to O/D. Great find, priced right, for a classic, you can’t go wrong here.

    Like 1
  12. Cadmanls Member

    These cars rust everywhere! I had a 64 Challenger, yep they used the name. The rockers no inner fenders so trunk sides rust from fender into the trunk. Floor pans and fenders behind front wheels. Studebaker was flailing by then. Plus is Chevy drivetrain, but the 283 would be so much more desirable. Oh yeah it has four doors. Oil spray it and just drive it in dry weather, can’t see this car ever holding any value.

    Like 1
  13. Doug

    The last run of the Studebakers all used Chevy engines- the US plant that made the Studebaker engines was closed by then. As mentioned above, the last Studebakers were built in Canada. One must remember, back when these cars were built, the speedometer only had 5 digits, so at passing 99,999 miles, they would roll over to 00,000 – Just sayin’……..

    Like 1
  14. Paul Reilly

    194 cu. in, 120 h.p. – same specs as a ’62 Chevy ll, could the engine be sourced from G.M. ?

    • Bob C.

      Yes indeed it is a Chevy engine. Studebaker sourced them for their final two years. Checker made an adapter kit available to them so the engines would fit their Borg Warner transmissions. Checker too, was in the same boat. I find it funny Studebaker kept to their traditional yellow valve cover as the Skybolt Six.

  15. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Back in my poverty stricken days I bought a used 64 Chevy II with this same 194 ci engine and Three speed on column. The car ran great and got about 24-25 mpg. Body size and weight were comparable to this Studebaker. Hope somebody saves this regardless of mileage.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  16. Gransedan

    Very nice example of automotive history deserving to be preserved and enjoyed.
    Interesting that the car has no driver’s side outside rear view mirror. I thought that by the 1964 model year that was a mandated safety requirement. In ’63 it was still only an option on some cars in the US.

    Like 2
  17. Paul

    My first car was a Chevy ll with “three in the tree”. The shift linkage had a nasty habit of locking up in 2cd gear and you had to go under the car to free it up.
    First car, drive home from the dealer and it happened in traffic with a bus behind me! I just revved the hell out of it and shuddered off in 2cnd.
    Shaking like a leaf, never forget it.
    A common problem I think ? Same linkage on this car ?
    I didn’t have the overdrive.

    Like 2
  18. Chris Londish Member

    I knew Stude used the Hamilton built GM V8 but this is a surprise we only got the V8 here in Australia, we also had Canadian built Chevy 2 my brother’s mates father had a Chevy 2 wagon he was a test driver for Ford this was in the mid sixties

    Like 1
  19. Alex

    Right now it’s at $2950, and the Reserve had been already met. Whether it has 18K miles or 118K miles , this Studebaker is an awesome deal at that price range. The car appears to be in excellent shape for over 50 years old. Definitely a rare vehicle, that you can be proud of.

    Like 2
  20. kevin

    Sold for $3,550.

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