Rare Wagon: 1955 Studebaker Champion Conestoga

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We recently featured a very nice looking 1957 Studebaker station wagon that was offered on eBay with a rather lofty BIN price of $4,995. That one was claimed to be low miles and looked like it had been pretty well kept in storage for many years. Today, we are showing you another Studebaker wagon, this one from 1955, much more the worse for wear, here on eBay, and located in Springfield, South Dakota (thanks to reader Peter R for pointing this one out to us).

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1955 Studebaker wagons came with only two doors, using the same Raymond Loewy designed body shell that originated in 1953 (though Studebaker only added station wagons to this design in 1954). Studebaker used the Conestoga name for these two years for its wagons to honor its history as a builder of horse drawn wagons in the 19th century. The Champion came with Studebaker’s trusty flathead six cylinder engine and Commander with the new Studebaker V8. Both came in two trim levels, Deluxe as the base model and Regal the more upscale line.

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The seller of this car, points out that since this is a Champion Regal model, it is the rarest of Studebaker wagons for this year, with only 1,372 made out of a total of 11,685 station wagons manufactured by the company in the 1955 model year. It’s hard to tell anything about the condition of the interior from this one photo. The glass is said to be very good all around except for the cracked driver’s door window and the windshield will need to be replaced. According to the seller, the car was in a shed for over 40 years and was last licensed in the 1960s; its actual mileage is unknown.

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Rare and complete as it is, this car will require a ton of work to be driveable again. The hood and front fender don’t look right to me, but maybe I am being too critical. While mechanical parts are certainly available for this year Stude, the station wagon specific interior, body and trim parts are relatively scarce. So the rarity of this car may work against the restorer, ironically. The seller does say that the car is complete, untouched and relatively rust free, though it sure looks like it has more than superficial rust to me.  The chrome is said to be “very good original” and all present, but the right rear lower taillight is broken.

 

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The seller rightly invites potential buyers to inspect the car carefully as it has been sitting in storage for so long. I think you have to assume that it will be a major project, not for the meek or budget minded. As of this writing, bidding has reached only $782 with eight days to go, but the reserve is unmet, and based on the seller’s description, you have to wonder if the reserve is realistic. What is it worth in this condition anyway?

08 1955 Studebaker
Photos courtesy of studebakerdriversclub.com

Nonetheless, for Studebaker fans, this is a very desirable car and when restored will be incredibly cool looking. How often will you ever find one like it?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Ed P

    The bidding is now up to $1525 with 7 days left and the reserve is not met. The few pictures of this car leave me with more questions than answers.

  2. RON

    Would love to have it. Prefer the commanders wth v/8. I am a Stude guy so I probably tend to over evaluate its worth. They are not as rare as one might think. Not being able to evaluate the rust which all Studes were very rust prone, I would be comfortable at no more than 1500 if solid and it not running. However as with all old cars sellers are tring to play the rare card as unless you are a Stude person and know they aren’t. If it were a good running driveable car in the SDC club publications it might hae an asking price up to 3500. Like everything else it is in the eye of the buyer I personally think all old cars are over priced today, but I am a hobbyist and not a collector or business owner

  3. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Agree on the price a little high – it’s been listed before – although rare by numbers and also because we crushed non-popular cars like these – these Stude wagons are still sought after. Most would change the 1955 grille out for a 53 or 54.

  4. Keith

    I consider myself a wagon aficionado, and I didn’t know these existed. Damn awesome ride IMHO

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