Must See: 1948 Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe

This Champion isn’t a “must see to believe”, it’s a must see before you can buy it. The eBay posting for this Studebaker is the first time I remember seeing an ad where they will not sell you the car unless you inspect it in person first. The seller purchased it from the original owner over 40 years ago with about 31,000 miles on it and he has only driven it about 8,000 miles since then. The seller has detailed every blemish, including an egg falling from a nest in the rafters (damaging the paint on the trunk) to condensation damage to the interior. With an average retail price of $7,000 for one in good condition, the $7995 asking price seems reasonable for a survivor this nice.

The interior is a bit worn but it looks very serviceable. Those seats look comfy, if not a bit coach like.

The dash looks completely original and in great condition. If only cars had dashes like this today.

Under the hood, it looks really nice and original, especially for an engine that has not been detailed. The engine is an 80 horsepower 169 CID flathead six.

This is the view that earned these Studebakers the “which way car” nickname. You can almost see the paint damage in this photo. Except for this damage, the rest of the paint could look very nice with polishing. The chrome looks nice as well, but perhaps the hubcaps could use some attention and a respray of the wheels might be a good idea. Studebakers aren’t for everyone, but for some folks, this could be a really nice driver with a little work .

Fast Finds


  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Wow! What a time capsule. This certainly has the potential of being a good deal.

  2. Larry K

    Beautiful. First time seeing one of these.

  3. Howard A Member

    This is just a wonderful example of a car most GI’s hoped to buy once they got home. Studebaker was riding high after the war, many owed their lives to a Studebaker and this “airplane” or turret design inside made them feel right at home. Quick correction to David, yes, those painted wood like metal dashes were nice, my Packard had that, but to be clear, it’s a good thing we DON’T have dashboards like this anymore. Heads and steel don’t mix well in an accident. Not sure if it has O/D, but with a claimed 34 mpg, it must have, as non O/D cars like this do pretty poorly on the highway. I can’t think of a better car to get into the old car hobby than this car.

  4. Big Mike

    I can remember as a Kid an Elderly couple Milton and Sara Harper that lived around the corner from Mom and Dad had one of these, and a 55 Ford F100. Milton and Sara had both served in WWII and Korea,and they were one of the sweetest couples you ever wanted to know, they had no family to speak of, and never had kids, so they were always nice to us, because we were always doing things for them whenever they needed it, it was that way back then, payment for work was usually something that Sara had baked, man could she cook. I always remember they always had a huge garden, I remember plowing it for them year after year, I am talking probably an acre or bigger, and Sara would set up a Vegetable stand in front of their home, and the money she made always went to their Church.
    Well anyway about the car, sometimes in the early 70’s Milton brought the car into Dad’s shop and asked him to repair some body damaged on it, and we all loved that car, after it was done and they came and picked it up, he took us all for a drive in it, and man it rode so smooth, I remember the plastic seat covers, Milton would go around a corner and you would side into each other. Sometimes in the late 80’s Milton died suddenly and I guess nobody had ever noticed that Sara never drove because she did not know how to, well she asked Dad if he could teach her to drive well enough to pass her drivers test, but she wanted to learn in something newer, so Dad went with her to the car dealership in Farmington and she bought a new car, and like Dad always said she paid cash for it. After that she asked Dad to help her store the Studabaker and Dad did just that. For the next few years we continued to do work for Sara, including helping her put in her garden every year for the next 15 years. One day she came over to Dad’s shop and asked if he would get the Studabaker running she wanted to auction it off and donated the money from the sale to her Church, so Dad and I went up and got it running again cleaned up the interior touched up the exterior and she sold it to a local collector in Farmington, never did know what she got for it, but I will guarantee it was a good price, because Sara was no person to mess with when it came to money. Sara passed away at home in 2003 she was 91 years old, and after she died she left everything to her Church and we helped clean out the house and sell her stuff, she did leave some things for us, as she always put it we were as close as kids that her a Milton had. Wonderful how a simple picture of a car can bring back memories.

    • Bruce Fischer

      Big Mike GREAT story! Thanks.Bruce.

    • GP Member

      Great story Big Mike, Hope you have more to share. Thanks

  5. Joe Howell

    I love this car. I was born in 1951, my ride home from the hospital was in my grandfather’s green 1948 2 door Champ. If memory serves me correctly his was a darker green, like British Racing Green, but I may be mistaken. I always thought those fender mounted side opening air vents were “cool”.

  6. Gary Evans

    In response to Howard A’s comment regarding overdrive: Yes, the car does have overdrive. One of the ebay photos shows the left hand side of the dash and the steering wheel. There is a black knob with a raised circular gold region that contains the letters “OD.” This knob is located just below the leftmost “speedometer sized” circular glass covered section of the dash that contains the temp, fuel, oil and amp gauges. Since the knob is pulled out, the overdrive is not engaged. Pushing the knob in engages the overdrive. ( I have the same overdrive on my 54 Hudson Hornet and 56 Studebaker pickup.) I am guessing that the clock fits between the gauge cluster and the speedometer. Does anyone know if the factory painted the firewall tag that reads “7G-W5/20904?” In any event, if I had the garage space I would be on my way to Walnut Grove, MO with cash in hand…

  7. jimbosidecar

    I already have a 50 Coupe and a 51 Starlight coupe. I’m about Studebakered out. But thgis sure is a nice one and I very much like Big Mike’s story

  8. ArchAuto

    Memories and plenty of them.
    My uncles and my Dad all bought new 48 Studebakers after WWII after they had 47 Fords. The Lowey design was to compelling not to pass up.
    Our 48 we had was traded in on a 53 Merc Montery 2dr hardtop.
    In the late 50’s my Dad bought one of the uncles 48 Studes, same color as this one but a “Starlight” coupe for my Mom to drive. In 1960 my Dad bought a 55 Chevy Bel-aire convertible for my Mom and I by default got the Stude. My first roadable car. Burned oil so bad that we never had mosquitos at our house. I attempted to modify the Stude with crappy outcome. The car lanquished in a farm field til it was towed off to it’s ultimate doom. I still have both bumpers and the 48 grille. Loved the “Hil-holder feature” What a time warp.

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