Real Deal Barn Find: 1964 Studebaker Commander

Covered with dust and/or mud? Check. On a trailer? Check. Pictured being dragged out of a barn/shop/garage/storage unit? Check. It would appear that this 1964 Studebaker Commander has it all! This dusty treasure is posted here on craigslist, or here on the CL archive. It’s located in Hackettstown, New Jersey, a little over an hour west of Hoboken, and the seller is asking $1,200 or best offer. Thanks to Fred H. for tracking down this barn find Studebaker Commander!

I hope the next owner got a pressure-washer from Santa, they’ll need it. The seller calls this a “real deal barn find” and it sure looks like it is. This car looks pretty good, too, right down to the original wheel covers. This Commander was last inspected in 1974. I wonder why it was put into storage? Hagerty lists a #4 fair condition 1964 Studebaker Commander with a 6-cylinder engine as being valued at $2,080. I’m guessing that there will be several hundred dollars of maintenance work to do on this car to get it into anything close to #4 condition. Every rubber part will most likely need to be replaced – hoses, belts, tires, etc. All fluids should be flushed and filled with new fluid, the fuel system should be flushed and new filters added, new plugs, points, wires cap, rotor, coil, etc. Most likely it’ll need new shocks and brakes, and who knows what else. Their #3 good condition value is $5,100 and that may be doable if there isn’t a lot of rust to deal with.

There does appear to be some rust to deal with, unfortunately, at least in front of the rear wheels and probably the rocker panels. We all dream about finding a car, any car, just dusty but otherwise in like-new condition. And, $1,200 is even better for one that just needs to be hosed off and needs to have the fluids, hoses, and belts changed and other regular maintenance work done to it. This car doesn’t appear to be quite as ready to cruise in as that scenario would have you believe. It would be great to see some before and after photos of this 64,000-mile car after cleaning it up, though; I bet that it would look pretty nice.

The Studebaker Commander of the 1960s was produced for the 1964-1966 model years at which point Studebaker ceased to exist, unfortunately. 1964 was the last year for US Studebakers but they soldiered on in Canada until 1966. The Lark name was phased out for the 1964 model year in favor of the Challenger, Commander, Daytona, and Cruiser, but they were still basically referred to as Larks by most people. This car does look pretty good but it’s really hard to tell in its current mud-covered condition.

It appears that generations of rodents have taken up residence in this car. Check out the glove box, that had to have been a safe, cozy hiding spot for quite a while. It’s hard to tell the condition of the floor, but the dash and at least part of the passenger side door panel both look pretty decent in the above interior photo. Speaking of above-interior-photos, the headliner looks pretty good but that, too, will “need restored”, as the kids say in 2017. This listing doesn’t include any engine photos but the seller says that a “6cyl” is hiding under that dusty hood. That would be a 170 cubic-inch, OHV inline-six which would have had around 112 hp when new. If a person were looking for a four-door, automatic, actual barn find for a good price, this could be a contender.


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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Fun find Scotty! At least he claims the title is clean.

  2. JamestownMike

    FINALLY!……..a real deal BARN FIND! The glove box mice nest is a nice touch!

  3. Dusty Stalz

    Neat car but I’d wear a respirator getting that interior cleaned out. The pics alone almost gave me hantavirus lol.

    • Richard Ochoa

      Not even worthy of Putting back in the Barn. Hope the Local Landfill will accept it!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mountainwoodie

      Exactly! Chain pull into a drive through car wash ……sheesh!

  4. Nick Member

    Looks ahead of its time. Could have been a 70s toyota or nissan

    • Greg m

      In I totally agree about the 70s Nissan the Studebaker look ahead of its time

  5. Steve R

    If the seller can’t be bothered to wash it, why should someone bother to buy it? Take a picture or two in its “as found” condition, then wash it.

    I can see someone dragging a dirty exotic or muscle car to a show to highlight how it was found, but not this since hardly anyone would care.

    Steve R

  6. packrat

    Hmmm…A Studebaker in the North. Down South in the humidity and the calcium chloride they used for the snows, Stuudies that weren’t Ziebarted fizzed like alka-seltzers at about the eight year mark. Parts are plentiful. Personal inspection warranted. Probably worth it.

  7. jw454

    Can’t open the hood? Can’t use a water hose? Getting to wash the dirt off an old car you just bought isn’t the same as opening your own Christmas present.
    Washing an old car also doesn’t ruin the value of it like refinishing a table from the Abraham Lincoln white house.

  8. Cadmanls Member

    These were very solid cars unfortunately they do rust. There are no wheel wells and the dirt water and salt eat the cars. The six cylinder was about 170 ci as I recall. One of my first cars was a 1964 Challenger 3 on the tree with the six and drivetrain put up with a 16 year old.

  9. Craig

    That’s not dust, it’s patina.

    • Mike

      Never clean it to preserve the barn find appearance. Once you wash it and clean out the interior, buyers will think you’re up to something shady.


    The guy probably should have at least given it a good wash job before posting all the pix….before and after would have been a much better idea

  11. Had Two

    Mud and Snow tires on the rear. Headlights broken with what? A jack handle?
    What else might be broken?
    Judging by the mud, it was last used as a Winter runner around and around a mud patch home-made race course. The trunk likely contains a couple cases worth of empty PBR cans.
    Parked when the transmission gave out, or the motor froze from lack of oil, or both.

  12. Eric

    I have seen way rougher Studes brought back to life, everything for that car is still available New old stock, except the trunk lid. The quarter panels bolt on, which most people don’t believe, but I own a 1966, and helped a buddy fix his 1965 Commander, we had the quater panels off and replaced lots of rotten sheet metal in behind. A place in Indiana, called Studebaker International has a huge stock pile of New Old Stock parts, rows of hoods, doors, fenders, quarter panels, crossmembers, trim, glass,they even had at least three full frames. I have bpught many bits from them. Great place to ger parts…. a quater panel is 125 bucks US… how can you go wrong? Love these cars. Oh and another company called Classic enterprises makes repo floor and trunk pans along with rocker panels, which fit perfect, installed them in my 66.

  13. AF

    One word…scrap

  14. slickb

    Just clear coat over the dust. that will keep it an original barn find forever. :)

  15. Adam T45 Staff

    Great find and great write-up Scotty. This is getting back to the roots of what a Barn Finds is all about. I do feel for all of you at Barn Finds however, You guys seem to be in a “no win” situation. If you feature a true barn find, there seem to be people more than ready to either criticise you for featuring something dirty and grotty, or they criticise the seller for not cleaning the car before advertising it (in spite of the fact that cleaning it will drive away those who want to buy it in “as found” condition). But then if you feature something rare or unusual (even if the rarity is only due to the fact that it is something like an Alfa Romeo that hasn’t dissolved) you are criticised because the car isn’t a “true” barn find.

    For those being critical of cars like this, try being realistic. The car is what it is. The price is not outrageous, and buying it as it stands means that you can be pretty certain that no one has done a dodgy patch up job on this car in the last six months. Stop taking yourself or these cars quite so seriously.

    • Had Two

      The write up was good! However, potential buyers…take off your mud
      covered glasses before bidding.

    • Steve R

      Any seller that can’t even wash a car that is covered with mud to the point you can’t tell its color should be called out. Doing so is not by any means a criticism of this site or its authors, it’s a shot at lazy sellers.

      I come to this site to see cool and unusual cars, plus learn about their backstory whenever possible. I don’t care if the car was found in a barn, field, backyard, garage or storage unit. Where it was found is irrelevent and shouldn’t be thrown back at the writers unless they only want to see a handful of cars posted here per week.

      Steve R

      • Adam T45 Staff

        That’s what I was trying to say Steve R. It doesn’t matter what these guys put on the site, there will always be someone willing to say that it doesn’t belong because it isn’t a true barn find, or it isn’t rare, or it isn’t unusual or (and this is my favourite) it’s foreign junk (and I’m an Aussie which might explain some of the strange ways that I have with spelling and why the “foreign junk” comments tend to get on my nerve).

        As for this car, I can definitely see your point of view about cleaning it. That makes perfect sense to me. However, there are plenty of people out there who want to purchase a “real” barn find. To them this means a car that’s covered in dust, dirt, cobwebs, etc. that they can take home and start their restoration by simply cleaning it. The moment the seller does this before advertising the car, they’ve just lost a potential market. It really comes down to that old saying: Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

  16. Bill Manzke

    Mice!!! Check out the glove box in that one photo!

  17. Chris Londish Member

    Boy Scotty you’ve got a really tough crowd l reckon they have missed the point barn finds doh!

  18. Tony

    Could be a decent car for the money, solid Commanders are hard to find around here, but it is on the wrong coast.

  19. RicK

    Old Studes just aren’t worth much, you have to like the brand, but really that’s the way it should be with car collecting in general, at least that’s what purists like me think. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve done more that my fair share of flipping during the last 45 years of my 60+ years of dwelling on this planet. IMHO it’s really a shame the hobby has gotten so crazily mercenary (wasn’t that way in the 70s & early 80s, at least in my neck of the woods) anyhow once us Boomers (and Gen Xers) get too old, lots more than nice restorable old Studes will go begging, look what’s happened to Model A & T prices (and is finally starting to happen to 60s muscle cars and I am so glad to finally see it)

  20. Gay Car Nut

    Sweet looking Studebaker. I’ve always liked the 1964-66 Studebaker. I also like 1959-61 Studebaker Lark. This one looks like a candidate for a good restoration.

  21. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I like to live life on the happy side. Most of the negative comments I get a laugh out of. I do enjoy the negative comments concerning perhaps the use of bad photos and short descriptions of a vehicle. They do deserve it. The negative comments on original cars when they are not is also appreciated. Kind of offended by the PBR remark but I get it. Might have used the same response myself as a redneck old hippie. I really enjoy this site and am happy to see Scotty getting more posts here lately. One guy we can count on for cool stuff. Ahhh, one more thing, I like four doors, but no one has kicked this thing down for that. Please put a smile on my face. Take care, Mike.

    • Had Two

      You won’t find Coors cans, or Budweiser cans, in the beater car trunk in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Boys likely had a good time finishing that Studie off
      years ago before abandoning it in a friends garage. Shame, because Studebakers were great cars. Looks like it needed a winch to pull it out of the storage area backwards and on to that tilted flat bed, where it was immediately put up for sale.

  22. Neil Nagle

    Not surprising the guy is wearing a mask in the photo.

  23. glenn

    i see buick real tail lights and the rest valient am i wrong or right

  24. Classix Steel

    The poop color looks good on the stude !
    Now quickly take all the glass out and prepare for the next smash up derby ! :-)

  25. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Dang….ruff arm chair crowd….

  26. Vince H

    I would bet it wAs parked because of a cracked head.

  27. Rube Goldberg Member

    I know I bashed some of the writers because their submissions didn’t seem to fit the original BF’s concept ( apologies to Garr about the 10 mile Lexus, I think) but this brings it back full circle. This, I feel, is what the creators of the site had in mind. This car, folks, if you’re looking for a real barn find, is what you are going to get. If it’s cleaned, that’s the next step, and will cost you accordingly. Besides, sometimes, cleaning it is half the fun. Ok, not the mouse turds so much, but old tools, oil cans, who knows? Among Stude fans, you’d have the last car ( in the US) from probably the most important car ( and buggy and truck) maker EVER. We may not have won WW2 without them.This car should be in South Bend at the museum ( great place) it’s that important of a car.

  28. Fred H

    In case you nay sayers did not notice the name of the site it is “Barn Finds ” this means cars found in barns and other buildings . Now go out and wash you car.

  29. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    As I told my better half, “no more fumigation rituals” on as-found barn cars for me after completing my 74 Midget. Then I see the BF Stude and think, all it needs is a wash, fresh tires and fluids, and a lighter for all the soft parts and interior. Grrr…I hate mice!

  30. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    After restoration for the little lady.

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