Buried In The Barn: 1940 Studebaker President

The President was Studebaker’s top-of-the line car between 1926-42 and again from 1955-58. It was their version of the Cadillac, but like most Studebaker products, it didn’t sell in similar numbers. This 1940 edition has been camped out in a barn in Sacramento, California for quite some time, having become a storage shelf for other items. We don’t know what it will take to bring this one back from the brink, but some Studebaker fan might go for the $4,850 asking price here on Facebook Marketplace, where it was listed some time ago.

Second-generation Presidents were built between 1934 and 1940. It was available as a roadster or a 2 and 4-door sedan of which we think the former could be the seller’s car. Only a couple of photos of the car are provided and we can’t tell what the interior may look like. Under the hood should be a 251 cubic inch flat-head eight-cylinder engine matched to a 3-speed manual transmission. There can’t be too many of these left as only 6,444 of them were ever build in the first place.

The stated mileage on this stalwart old car is 4,850, which is the same number as the asking price, so no doubt that’s an error. Close your eyes and try to visualize what this car would look like fully restored. If you can’t, perhaps the image may look something like the last photo here, from a 2018 Mecum auction.


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  1. Terry

    Looks like he’s throwing in a piano on the deal judging by the photos.

    Like 3
    • Al

      Personally I like the Piano.
      As a piano, the square ones are useless as a piano because the sound board is usually wood and therefore they do not remain in tune, but they are easily converted into a desk. Mind you the desk is quite huge.
      I’ve seen a few of these conversions and they are different!

      The Stude, no I don’t want it too much work to get it going.

      Like 5
  2. Steve Clinton

    This 1940 edition has been camped out in by rodents.

  3. Robert L Roberge

    Bought the exact car in ’69 for $75. Drove it for a week and sold it for $250 and thought I had done well. Had hill holder, radio and free wheeling. It was a solid old car.

    Like 2
  4. John Klintz

    Didn’t sell in the “same numbers” as Cadillac? Really? Perhaps that’s because they weren’t in the same league, which in fact they were NOT. This is about the time Studebaker started “transitioning” to producing crappy cars, but this one is likely decent if you can tolerate the pseudo-Lincolnesque grille.

    • Al

      I like the term pseudo-Lincolnesque.
      Only a pneumatic-cephalic, would visualized their dreams with this one.

      Like 4
      • John Klintz

        Excellent use of words and reply, Al! You are a fellow etymologist and we love it!

    • Kenny

      John— Not sure where you got your info… Studebaker never did build “crappy” cars, especially not in 1940. There is no real difference in features or quality between a ‘40 Cadillac and a ‘40 President. Studebaker’s position in the marketplace was generally hovering in the Oldsmobile Buick level, although in the late ‘50’s they certainly did offer base-model price leaders, as did most manufacturers. Their eventual failure (they outlasted almost all the other independents) was caused by poor management decisions and strong-arm unions, not from crappy products. I own 12 Studebakers and can personally vouch for their quality.

      Like 1
  5. John Klintz

    Kenny: my info comes from over 40 years in the car business (retail and wholesale) as well as growing up around relatives who were always working on cars and doing so myself. Admittedly I was a little premature; an uncle had a ’47 Studebaker Land Cruiser that was an excellent car. They started building pretty, though not-so-good cars in the early ’50s. Great engines, poor underpinnings. The Lark sold well until people figured out that they were a POS. By the time the Lark was “bettered,” it was too late for the company. So, yes, my opinion, but based on a lot of experience.

  6. theGasHole

    I always thought they should have made a smaller version of this car and named it the “Vice-President”.
    Thank you I’ll be here all week, try the fish.

    Like 1
    • John Klintz

      Good one, theGasHole! I hear that the prime rib is great too!

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