EXCLUSIVE: 1951 Studebaker Commander

Some cars are worthy of being restored, due to value, or personal ambition for that vehicle. While some cars are plainly “just good enough”. This ’51 Studebaker Commander seems to fall into that category. Certainly not perfect, but a nice enough example to enjoy and tinker on to make as nice as what it can be. As the seller has mentioned, this ‘Stude starts, steers, and stops, all for the reasonable price of $3,850. It’s located near Austin, Texas and you can contact Dan via the form below if interested.

The engine has some very minor surface rust present, but would probably clean up well. Power is provided by a 232 cubic inch V8, and an automatic transmission. The drivetrain is functional, but to what extent is not described. Perhaps needing a tune up, and some system checks to be in optimal health. The tail pipe is currently off of the car, but is included in the sale. Having undergone a 12 volt conversion, the fuel system also looks to have been updated with an electric fuel pump.

Although looking rather nice from the outside, the interior is a bit rough. With mangled and torn fabric, the seats desperately need to be reupholstered.  As you can see in the photos, the door panels are removed, but the seller has those, as well as the door and window crank hardware. Although included, they are in rough condition as well. The interior looks to be the biggest fault with this Studebaker. Getting past the rough stuff, the dash is very nice, as is the steering wheel. The dash is unmolested, and the seller is including the factory radio.

Even though this is a 4-door, this Commander is still a solid looker that would be a fun and affordable classic. Shiny and green, this is not the original paint color. Looking at the door jambs and engine bay reveals a seafoam type of color. Despite being repainted  it is still a nice shade of green and fits the looks of the car nicely. The paint is in fair condition, aside from the areas of surface rust. The worst of the rust concerns look to be in the bottom edge of the trunk with some various bubbling. Peppered with surface rust in various areas, none of the rust looks to be critical, other than a small area on the trunk.

The chrome and trim is complete, but suffers from some corrosion and rust issues. Even though it would be wonderful to restore this Studebaker, it is solid enough to be enjoyed in its current condition. If this car was used as a fair weather cruiser, this condition could be maintained for a very long time. Although I would certainly do something with the mangled interior to add to the overall quality, and enjoyment, of this vehicle. Then negotiate the mechanicals and enjoy taking trips to the local ice cream place and local cruise ins. Would you pick up this bullet nose?

Thanks for listing this one with is Dan! If any of you have a clean classic driver like this that you are thinking about getting rid of, please consider listing it with us as an exclusive.

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Comments

  1. EDWIN F GIBBS

    Cannot get into the e-mail to send the seller a short note. I just wanted to tell him if that Studebaker was a Land Cruiser in stead of a Commander I would be all over it, had a new Land Cruiser way back in 1951.

  2. rdc

    I had a black bullet-nosed Studebaker back in my youth. I also owned a Triumph TR3 at the same time. :) The Studebaker was far more reliable.

    • EDWIN F. GIBBS

      i also had a 1950 champion 2 door. great car. used a little oil in it’s later days.

  3. Larry K

    Suicide doors add so much to the cool factor.

  4. CJay

    Fozzie the bear says” A bear in his natural habit. A Studebaker!”

    • Bill

      First thing that popped into my head to. A bucket list car for me.

  5. JW

    I like this old car and the suicide doors is just icing on the cake.

  6. David Frank David F Member

    If there are no serious mechanical problems, it shouldn’t take much too make this a fun driver. All the interior bits are available, from carpet kits and armrest covers to seat covers very reasonably.

    • RayT Member

      David, isn’t this photo from the ’51 Studebaker posted above?

    • Paul Pouliot

      Where can I get upholstery? I am restoring a 1951 Stude Commander. Paul

  7. jimbosidecar

    I have 2. A 1950 Coupe and a 1951 Starlight Coupe. Both Champions.

  8. jimbosidecar

    David F- I sure would like to know where I can get the fabric to re-upholster my seats, door panels, and headliner. If you know…

    • Stu

      LeBaron Bonney in Massachusetts has one of the best selections of fabric for old car upholstery. They’re usually not cheap, but they often have it.

      • jimbosidecar

        Thanks Stu

  9. Alex B

    President, Dictator, Commander, I have a weakness for these Studebakers. :)

  10. Paul B

    This thing should be kept up but not restored; full restoration is too expensive for what it will be worth, unless someone wants to go through with it as a labor of love. But as written above, it could be sheltered and kept in this condition with refreshed interior for a long time. I have huge respect for the Stude V8. Tough as nails and powerful for its day if a little heavy. The big question is the Detroit Gear “Automatic Drive” transmission. It was Studebaker’s own design and an excellent one with a lockup torque converter for economy. BUT … after foolishly refusing to license it to Ford, Studebaker could not produce it in numbers large enough for it to be really profitable. So by ’55 it was gone. And that means few people know how to rebuild it if the parts can be had. A prospective buyer would need to check that there’s hope for the transmission. If so, the rest is pretty straightforward for a fantastic survivor bulletnose cruiser. I love it. Find a set of correct hubcaps (these wheel covers are from about 1962) and a set of rear wheel skirts and you have the look! I like these 4-doors with skirts as much as I like the 2-doors. They are cool.

    • EDWIN F GIBBS

      Same color and trim as our 1950 land cruiser .3 speed with overdrive and hill hold. Love it

    • EDWIN F GIBBS

      Is this one for sale and if so now much, and where?

  11. Kyle

    Cool car! I got a line on a black 2 door thats been calling my name. Lol

  12. Howard A

    Back in the day, this was quite the car. I bet many a driver ( pick a make) got their doors blown off by some odd looking 4 door Studebaker. Like Paul sez, I’d think the automatic would hold back the potential of this car, and a stick with O/D would be more fun. Studebaker was hummin’ as many still remember their lives being saved by a Studebaker in the war.( this car still had WW2 airplane styling) It’s one of the reasons my grandfather bought a Packard after the war, because of their contributions. Great find, tons of history. Can’t go wrong here.

    • Howard A

      What, yutz, you CAN go wrong here?

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