One Year Only 1955 Studebaker President Speedster

You’ll have to bear with me on the photo quality here, I’m not quite sure what happened but they’re incredibly grainy in the Craigslist ad for this 1955 Studebaker President Speedster. Yes, this is a one-year-only 1955 Studebaker President Speedster – one rare car. It’s located just east of Portland, Oregon and the seller is asking $3,500 for this project car. Thanks to Roger for tracking down yet another rare car!

As you can see this President project is not for the faint of heart or the faint of checkbook. Absolutely every square inch of this once-beautiful car will have to be restored and it won’t be quick or cheap. But, as a one-year-only version of the Studebaker President, this Speedster would be a worthy restoration candidate for any Studebaker fan. I can’t even imagine going through a restoration this intense but I know that a lot of Barn Finds readers have done cars in this condition or maybe worse. If you’re one of them let us know what the car was and how it turned out!

You’ll have to check out the photos in the listing to see them for yourself, there wasn’t much that could be done to make them show up here and not be grainy or dark. The 1953 update that Studebaker received didn’t seem to go over well with consumers and by 1955 they had to do something, hence resurrecting the Speedster name and it was the top-line car that year. Another redesign in 1956 ensured that the President Speedster of 1955 would be the only year for that make, at least as a sub-model of the Studebaker President.

I can’t quite tell if there even are any engine photos, there may be but they’re too dark and grainy to even be shown. They say that it has Studebaker’s Passmaster 258 259 cubic-inch V8 so that’s a good sign. It would have had 185 hp but as you already know from seeing these photos, it has 0.0 hp now, it’ll need to be rebuilt as will every other square inch of this once-great car. Can this rare Speedster be saved without being too far underwater on the value, given that a restored version could probably be found in the low-$30,000 range?


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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    Your right this is not for a rookie, it looks to me that body shell is the car your restoring and the damaged one is the donor. An advanced DIY guy could do this project but don’t expect to see it on the road by spring unless it’s your full time job. As tempted as I’d be if it were mine to resto mod it I think that would be a mistake given how few of these that were made and even fewer left. I don’t know that I’d push for a concourse level resto. But I sure would push for a a high quality driver level restoration. I knew a guy back in the 80’s that hot rodded a silver hawk that had a similar engine with a three speed manual trans that had a over drive unit. He gutted that out and put in a 350 sbc and 350 trans. He gave me the engine and trans out of the car and I sold it for $100.00.back then I thought I was getting a good price now I think I should have hung onto it. The thing is I had nowhere to store it and you can’t hang on to everything. I sure hope this fall into the right hands it would be bat to see it restored.

    Like 5
  2. Ben T. Spanner

    I had a girl friend who drove one in about 1966. I remember the engine turned dash. Hers was a V8 automatic and may have been the same color. In 1965 it ;was just a 10 year old beater, although hers was nice.

    Like 4
  3. Lance

    Does the bus come with it?

    Like 2
  4. Pete Phillips

    One too many zeros in the price.

    Like 3
  5. mainlymuscle

    You would be underwater,if there was a penny under 50 grand, hidden in the glovebox.Worth saving for an ambitious do-it-yourselfer,these are one of the prettiest designs ,and make terrific restomods.

    Like 4
  6. Poppy

    If the extra body shell is rust free I can see that easily being worth half the ask. The spare frame (if it’s any good) will make the restoration go that much easier.
    Not for me, but not a bad deal for someone else with patience and access to parts.

    Like 2
  7. Jim Marston

    The Passmaster Engine Was 259cid not 258

    Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Dang, typo. Thanks for catching that, Jim!

      Like 1
    • Vince H

      Ad also says a 259 is a bored out 225. The 259 had same bore as the 224 that he calls a 225 but had a longer stroke. The 289 even had the same bore with cupped pistons and a longer stroke.

      Like 1
  8. the one

    he said 259

    Like 1
    • Jim Marston

      The one , You Need To Read What He said AGAIN 👀

  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Chased a few of these over the years as I prefer them over the 56 Golden Hawk. One in old west Dallas had all the windows cracked as well as the gauges in the dash. That guy was a nut – car was given to him but he knew it was special and just keep moving it up and down the street in his area as the city ticketed him for all the junk he had. It finally went over to Irving and was listed a time or two on CL – never getting any better looking. Think a Studie guy out west with some other Speedsters had it last. This one like was mentioned – will be a task.

  10. GP Member

    There’s a guy in my part of Wisconsin that has around 500 Studebaker’s and parts. A friend of mine, that does construction work for him, told me about 2 weeks ago he was ready to have an auction due to health reasons. I don’t know what all is there, but I don’t know what could be missing. Sounds like in the spring.

    Like 2
  11. Del


    Neither will roll again

    Like 1
  12. Doug M.(in Oregon) Member

    I am surprised to see this show up on Barn Finds, cuz its been haunting the local CL here for months and months!! Same ad, same pictures, same price. This is the only ad I ever considered emailing the guy to either change the price or just get it off CL because I am tired of seeing it every week!!! They are pretty cars, but who has the time and money for one in this condition!!???
    Please, someone buy it so I don’t have to keep looking at it!! :)

    Like 4
  13. Andre

    I wouldn’t take it if it was given to me. What a wreck.

    Like 1
  14. WayneC Member

    The $3500 price tag ain’t all that bad. Looking at the extra body shell and the lack of rust, would almost make the spare shell worth that price alone. This would be one to go back original as possible. Looking at the pictures, it’s difficult to tell what condition the leather is in, but I can’t see any rips or tears, and I have seen leather brought back to life after much hard work. Leave the Studebaker Engine in it, but I would change it to a 289 and put an Avanti R-1/R-2 cam. That would make it a strong runner. The Speedsters were top of the line and resto-modding one would just cut the value immensely.

    Like 1

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