Sleek Prewar Sedan: 1941 Studebaker Commander

Off of the road for quite a while this ’41 Studebaker Commander appears to be a worthwhile project. Still wearing its original paint after 76 years, this sedan seems solid enough to hit the streets once again. Whether you would restore, preserve, or modify, this great looking sedan project is offered for only $2,500! Take a look at it here on craigslist out of Santa Clara, California.

Surprisingly the engine bay is fairly clean with no major dust or dirt to be seen. The old flat head 6 cylinder engine does turn over, and according to the seller appears to have been running in the last 10 years. I am guessing the water pump is a rusty lump by this point and will need a rebuild, or a replacement will need to be sourced. It would seem a new fuel line with a new filter has been run to the carb, as well as a few new wires and connectors have been added in the engine bay as well. This is a 3 speed column shift car, and the transmission appears to be “complete.”

Although the inside is a bit rough, there is something very cool I would like to point out. Check out the red and yellow paisley upholstery on the seats and the door panels. The seats are still in place, and had seat covers over the paisley upholstery which is now quite faded. If I had to guess mice may have had a “hay day” with whatever the covers may have been made out of. The dash isn’t too shabby, and has a lovely Studebaker script “S” in the lower center. The paint on the dash is weathered, but looks like it would clean up based on the photos. The only difficult part about the interior is the steering wheel, as it is starting to crumble and crack where it will need extensive work to repair. Not the worst interior, as there is still a lot to work with and the interior trim appears to be all accounted for.

If you squint your eyes just right it is possible to see what this beauty looked like so many years ago. Although the original paint is quite worn now, the body appears to wear little rust. The worst of the rust appears on the passenger rear fender, into the rear door, where I would guess there is a dent from some sort of an impact.  The remainder of the body wears surface rust in some various places, but does not appear to be anything concerning. The rockers and quarters are excellent, and there is no real evidence of rot, other than what may be obscured by the photos, or something underneath of the car. Although the bright work is in fair condition, there are a few trim pieces missing from this Commander. With a reasonable price for a solid start, this Prewar Studebaker should hits the roads again in some shape or form. What would you do with this Sleek Prewar Sedan?

Fast Finds


  1. Brad C

    Boy, for a stodgy, pre-war four door… this is just beautiful! I think what really sets it apart is that tapered stripe and trim. That helps set it apart from every other GM Ford and Dodge you see from that era.

    Really like this, but had to locate a photo of a cleaned up example; my squinting wasn’t quite getting me there.

  2. Nsuracer

    Brad, What you are showing is an early production Champion. 1941 was a pinnacle year for pre war Studebakers styling wise. I have had two and I wish I still did

    • Brad C

      Ah – thanks for clarifying!

  3. Dave Wright

    Studebaker reminds me of a Hudson…….great styling, boring mechanicals until the LA dealer started installing superchargers. Then the factory followed suit.

  4. Dogfather

    I would leave it original. Rebuild the flat 6 , do the body work and paint. New upholstery,headliner, etc.Only update I would do is maybe modern disc brakes. I bet this one would be fun to drive once restored

  5. Bruce Richard

    Beautiful when you squint, The Commander that I have is just that. I am the 2nd owner of this beauty, after a Gentleman from New Hampshire had the same idea of restoring a commander when it was deemed no longer road worthy and from records in worst condition of the one above.

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