Closing In On A Century: 1924 Studebaker Light-Six

I get a laugh sometimes when reviewing postings of cars that are for sale. It can be something as simple as just the plain, unvarnished truth or the turn of a word and how it is used. For example, take this 1924 Studebaker Light-Six Coupe-Roadster, located in Peoria Arizona. The seller refers to as a “bustle-back” as the rear portion resembles a lady’s bustle. I’m not sure if it’s OK to say that today but that’s how the seller is describing it. Anyway, this Studebaker is available here on eBay for a current bid of $7,499 with 27 bids tendered.

The story of Studebaker is an oft-told tale so I won’t rehash it here but that said, I always find it interesting to stumble across a dead brand and think back about 100 years ago to a time when there were so many independent auto manufactures in existence. It was a wide-open time when regulations weren’t an issue but it was the dog-eat-dog world of competition and the continual search for capital that decided who survived and who didn’t.

Speaking of 100 years old, this Studebaker is just about there and it is a magnificent looking car, bustle-back and all. The seller says that the literature of the time refers to this Studebaker as a Coupe-Roadster but it looks more like a two-door sedan to me. Regardless, it has great lines and appears to be in very good condition. The finish is described as a 10-footer which is amazing as it is also referred to as original. That’s some old paint! No dents, scrapes or rust noted. An important to know improvement is that the wooden wheels are new.

The interior of this coupe is fashioned in original 96-year-old black leather. While it has survived pretty well, it is definitely creased and cracked but it lends very well to the authenticity of this car’s age. This look is that of an English Smoking Room motif but this example may want to consider some renovation in the future. No word regarding dash instrumentation and whether any of it works or not.

Now for the elephant in the room, this Studebaker does not run; the original engine is blown with pistons that protrude through the block (that mishap would have been something to witness!). No worries however as the seller has a 1923 vintage crated engine that comes with the sale so there is a way to put the hustle back in the bustle. No word on whether or how the replacement engine works but it is a start and will obviously require installation. The Light-Six engine that resides under the hood of this coupe would be a 207 CI, in-line, L-head, six-cylinder motor squeaking out 40 HP. Gear changing is facilitated via a three-speed manual gearbox.

The seller tells us that this vintage Studebaker is rare (and cute – his own description), I could not ascertain production volumes but perhaps one of our readers can chime in on the rareness of this model. It will be a project to get this Studebaker running but the new owner will end up with a very interesting car, one where you probably won’t encounter another at a car show. I think this antique should be preserved as an important piece of American automobile history but everyone has their own thoughts on what they would do with a particular car if the opportunity presented itself. How about you? What would you do with this Studebaker?

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  1. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    That has so much style… we dare to compare ?

  2. matthew B steele

    Don’t put a hemi in it

  3. F Again

    Looks like around 73,000 Studebaker Light Sixes were sold in 1924.

  4. grant

    I’ve heard the term “bustleback” used to refer to old cars like this one before. Love this, hope someone puts it right.

  5. Johnny

    Beautiful and WISHED It was mine. I,d have fun working on it and driving it in the summer months. People need to slow down and realize the best time in their life–they are in a hurry to realize what they don,t see. Star slowing down and start noticeing the old buildings and ask the owner. If they have a old car or truck in side.. You,d be surprised their might be one of these inside.

  6. Comet

    Nice car, and I’m not calling out the seller, but original paint? These cars were painted with nitrocellulose lacquer. I don’t believe that finish was known for long term durability, 96 years seems like a stretch.

  7. dogwater

    We see these cars come up for sale I think they should be in museums.they can’t be fun to drive.

    • Burger

      They are a ball to drive ! So much so, my post-war fleet is being sold off and replaced with pre-1930 cars. They are fun to work on, and just be around. I get so much more out of my early cars than I do my 50’s-60’s stuff. Wish I had taken to them earlier in life.

  8. That Guy

    A “bustle” is an undergarment, not a body part:

    And the back of this car definitely does look like a Victorian lady’s rear view. But in a good way.

  9. SDJames

    Comes with a crate engine!?!? Oh, a “crated” engine… Still a gorgeous car.

    • Danyul

      A crate engine is simply an engine that comes in a crate, just like you see.

  10. Bill Hall

    My Grandmother had a Studebaker of this vintage new and was the only car she had. She said she wasn’t a good driver and got rid of it.

  11. Bob McK Member

    Wish I knew how to get this running again. It is really unusual. I have never seen one in person before.

  12. Clayton Bryant

    Been called bustle backs for 60+ years in magazines that I can remember.

  13. Del

    Nice car but another non runner.

    Auction ended at 13,800. Do not think it sold.

    Guess owner does not want to get it running because he will not recover any money.

    This will be hard to sell as is. He should have taken last offer.

    • Gordon D.

      Ebay says “sold” $13,877.00. Neat car, shouldn’t cost too much to rebuild the crate engine and get it back on the road.

  14. Jim Benjaminson

    Not a coupe-roadster and not a two door sedan either – its a coupe, pure and simple. Studebaker did have a model known as the Duplex Roadster (not sure if it was available in 1924 but definitely was in 1925 — I have one) but it is completely different than this – the roof structure and door window panels are fabric covered and the top CAN be removed if you have the time, inclination and are crazy enough to do so! The door window panels are just that – panels that can be removed from the door to give the effect of a two door hardtop (a quarter moon shaped panel aft of the door can also be removed). This car has an all steel top and isn’t removable. There was also a Duplex Phaeton which was a two-seat, 5-passenger affair that the window panels and top could be removed if desired.

    • Gordon D.

      Had to google that one as your discerption left me a little confused. I also had side curtains in my 57 TR-3, dissimilar to the Studebaker but just as ugly. :-)

      • Jim Benjaminson

        These are not side curtains but panels with real glass (the glass slides in a channel to provide an opening) and a rear quarter window filler with fixed glass. Both panels are removable.

  15. Jim Benjaminson

    Did a google search myself and discovered that none of the cars pictured had the hard glass door inserts and quarter window panels. The baby blue car (I’ve corresponded with its owner) has side curtains fitted. If I remember that car is out of the USA.

  16. Gordon D.

    Yes, the baby blue one is the one I’ve been looking at. I’m still wondering what the purpose of the fabric is, is it just to block unwanted sunlight?

  17. Gray Wolf

    It needs an L98 with a 15-71 blower! Oh yeah, disc brakes and hard wood spoke wheels for safety!!! LOL!

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