EXCLUSIVE: 1948 Studebaker Champion Convertible

Reader George S has decided to part ways with this rare Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe Convertible. It’s a project that needs to be finished but appears to be quite solid. We will get into what all in needs shortly, but if you’ve been on the hunt for a unique and interesting American classic, you really should give this Studebaker a closer look. George is asking $7,500 or best offer and the car is located in Ventura, California.

As you can see, the interior is in need of work. George notes that it needs a new top, but the motorized top mechanism is still with the car. It also is going to need the seats redone and new door panels. The biggest issue I see here will be finding a new convertible top, as there really aren’t too many of these out there. The seats, dash and door panels are shared with the much more common Champion Coupe, which makes finding restoration parts much simpler.

The original inline six is present and runs. This 169 cui flathead was rated at 80 horsepower, which isn’t all that much power, but these are smooth running engines and will get this convertible down the road well enough to make it a nice cruiser. I’m sure there are upgrade options out there if you need more power, but personally, I’d leave it as is. Given just how clean the engine bay looks, it really should stay original.

If you don’t know much about the Champion line of cars, these beautiful machines were designed at Raymond Loewy’s studio, with Virgil Exner handling much of the design work. In 1947, the Champion received a full redesign with the coupe receiving the highly talked about wrap-around rear window. Since this one is a convertible, you don’t get the same kind of looks as you would in a coupe, but that probably isn’t a bad thing.

George has a clean title for this Studebaker in hand. It’s ready to go to a new home, so be sure to take a closer look at the rest of George’s photo in the gallery below. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section and if you’d like to make him an offer, please use the form below!

  • Asking Price: $7,500
  • Location: Ventura, California
  • Title Status: Clean

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Comments

  1. Scot Carr

    ~ Wow, I’m not current on what they are worth but it’s a great start !

    Like 2
  2. ken tilly Member

    Why be concerned about the availability of finding a new top? Surely there are good upholsterers out there that can manufacture a new top, most likely better than the original.

    Like 5
  3. lc

    What George doesn’t mention is its running condition, a point that could have bearing on the 48’s price. Though the body looks clean it appears to have been deeply immersed in its present color at one time. Firewall and inner fender aprons are always body color on these cars, so from the photos, I’ll guess she was originally black. Has there been body work? Is there rust? Things we’d like identified in an ad. The tops were of unusual high quality and rather unique in the fabric layout and trimming so if your going original, one must get it right. The most difficult part to find is the convertible top rear window mounting and trim, hope it’s included. Top is all electric and dual cable driven. A straight forward mechanism to repair if needed… hopefully all parts are there. All over these are wonderful cars and could be a good investment especially if you’re connected with Studebaker people.

    Like 2
    • MG Steve

      Don’t let my “handle” (MG Steve) totally discredit what I’m about to say. I’ve done a car wherein the top was considered to be a real difficult thing to find. I messed about for a year with one place, trying to find it. Finally, I switched to a different upholstery operation, and without so much as batting an eye, he said “Robbins” probably has that, and they did. I selected the color I wanted, and the “kit” was delivered in about a week. They are in Oxnard, CA, and have been in business for many, many years.

      Like 1
  4. John Member

    Beware of around the vents on the front fenders, they collect sand and salt
    and rust, badly, and take the fender with them. Engineers wanted to eliminate them, but big boys didn/’t so kept them

  5. Bill Wilkman

    Looks like a very nice start to a restoration. Alternatively, one could just finish the interior, give it a good going over with light compound, polish, and wax and then just enjoy the little beauty. I think I’d do the latter. The chrome looks presentable and I don’t see any signs of rust. The paint also looks to be intact and a pleasant color. Finishing the interior should not be a big deal and as MG Steve said, tops are available from Robbins. One thing for sure, you will not likely see another one of these at a cars and coffee or car show.

    Like 1
  6. Bill Wilkman

    Meant to add: The only obvious issue I see is a poor fitting trunk lid. I’d want to investigate this to see the reason for its misalignment before proceeding with a purchase.

  7. Bill W

    Very nice car. Would be a good one to get on the road and enjoy. Colour appears to be Tulip Cream, a pale yellow that was popular in the 1940’s.

    Only problem is this car is a 1949 Champion, not 1948. The wrap around bumpers appeared for 1949 as did the grille with two bars running from side to side. The 1948 had one bar across the grille.

    Problem arises from the model number – 8G. The “8” does not stand for 1948 but the 8th year for the Champion (model G). First year was 1939.

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