Stored 30 Years: 1955 Studebaker Commander

This, my friends, is a grille. I like new vehicles but the lame trend of the angry, electric razor grille can end anytime as far as I’m concerned. Give me a 1955 Studebaker Commander any day, or a 1955 anything. This teal and white beauty can be found here on craigslist in Worthington, Ohio, just north of the capital city of Columbus. The seller is asking $6,500 for this Studebaker. Thanks to Pat L. for submitting this tip!

We recently looked at a 1954 Studebaker Commander two-door hardtop a few days ago and this 1955 four-door sedan is just as beautiful of a design, in my opinion, if not more so. Gasp, I know, but it has four doors! I miss features like wing windows and those little vents in the front fenders. It’s like having a window that opens in an office building, that hardly ever happens anymore.

I can’t help myself in comparing this 1955 Studebaker Commander to a 1955 Chevrolet. I think that this Studebaker is more streamlined and more modern-looking. Although, I have to admit to liking the 1955 Chevy grille better. But as far as grilles go, this Commander has a commanding one for sure. The seller tells us that this car while looking great, does need some work. For the record, Hagerty is at $5,900 for a #2 excellent condition car.

There is a bit of rust that shows up in the photos and you can check out all of the details in the photos on the craigslist link. You can see some overspray on the door gasket in the photo above and there are some windlace issues, but the seats appear to have been reupholstered and the headliner looks great as does most of the interior. This one has a three-speed manual with a column shifter. It’s showing 41,009 miles on the odometer and the title confirms that – it was reportedly stored for 30 years by the previous owner so that could very well be the case.

The underside of the hood could use some help in treating that rust and redoing the insulation but the engine looks clean and tidy. You can see that it’s running in the photo above which is always nice to see. It should be Studebaker’s 259 cubic-inch V8 with around 160 horsepower and it runs, shifts, and stops well. It needs tires and shocks to be really roadworthy but it sure looks like a fun project to tinker with, doesn’t it?

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    It sure seems like a damn nice car for the money.

    Like 24
  2. Bob C.

    It certainly does. Now this is what I call a REAL Studey.

    Like 11
  3. Will Fox

    Being the last year of the true `53 Loewy body, it’s also my favorite. The grill looks heavy, but it was `55, and so did everyone else’s grill! The two-tone option dressed these up nicely. A neighbor in the early 60’s had a pink/black `55 President sedan I used to see in the driveway.

    Like 7
  4. Mr.BZ

    Dear old Dad owned a ’62 Lark convertible in the ’60s, and even as a kid I wondered why the 1962 Lark looked so much older than the Hawks and Commanders of the ’50s. This is the kind of Studey I have always loved, looks to be worth every penny of the ask by today’s standards.

    Like 10
  5. yes300ed

    This car is awesome and it’s the same age as me!

    Like 5
  6. Turbo

    Very pretty car. I wish cars still had this kind of wow factor.

    Like 9
  7. Charles Sawka

    Having owned several, I’m sorry that I can’t get this one before it’s snatched up. Nice car.

    Like 1
  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. IMHO, it’s the best looking Studebaker, until the 1959-61 Lark.

    Like 1
  9. Car Nut Tacoma

    If only more pics were posted of the car.

    Like 2
  10. DeeBee

    Best thing about ’50s Studebakers: Even today, those cars look GOOD! just a timeless design. My parents had a ’53 Starliner coupe when I was a kid.

    Like 10
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I regret that I’ve never driven in a 55 Studebaker, nor have I seen one in person. But having seen pics of this year Studebaker, I find it the best looking car. The only other Studebakers I find remotely attractive are the 1959-61 Studebaker Lark 4 door.

      Like 1
      • Robert Roberge

        As pretty as this 4 door is, the ’55 President was themost beautiful Loewy inspired model.

        Like 1
  11. charlie Member

    I loved the ’53 Coupe which soldiered on as the basis for the various Hawks, for many years, but found the attempt to put that design into a 4 door sedan ungainly, until they shortened it up fore and aft, and made it into a Lark ten years later, which was, to me, a design success. But, to each his own, and with the V8 this car can hold its own, and the interior build quality of Studebaker far outdid the Ford, Plymouth, and Chevy of the day. You won’t see another one at Cars and Coffee and you can dare to take this out on the road every week to get there. And 4 doors to take the kids, install seat belts, a dual master brake cylinder, and go. It probably has kid proof back door locks being a mechanical switch on the door jamb to disable the interior handles, a hill holder, and other gizmos the big three did not offer.

    Like 4
  12. Steve Clinton

    IMHO, the 4 door design can’t come close to the ’53 coupes’.

    Like 2
    • Vince H

      Steve The 4 door Lowey wanted was a beautiful car. It was lower and longer what was produced.

      Like 1
  13. Malcolm Boyes

    What a joy to see a car that looks as good if not better with 4 doors IMHO..and those colors..perfect. I would love this car and it seems a bargain to me at that price.Love to tool around Sonoma in this beaut.

    Like 3
  14. Super Glide

    Nice!

    Like 2
  15. South Bender

    I live about 3 miles from this car and am in the local Studebaker Club. Let me know if anyone wants me to contact the seller and do a walk around FaceTime inspection with you. This car was heretofore unknown to our active club members in Columbus.

    Like 1
    • South Bender

      Going to see it tonight out of curiosity. Will report back what I find.

      Like 2
      • South Bender

        This is a really solid original car. Paint is dull but looks like it should buff out. Rust starting at some panel edges and the trunk lip. Hood catches as the cowl when opening it, corner of the hood damaged the RH fender top when someone opened the hood too far before setting the prop rod. Didn’t have a magnet with me, but fenders and rear quarters felt and sounded free of significant putty. Interior appears to be mostly original. The replacement seat upholstery felt like it may be just fitted covers over the original worn seat material. Headliner and door panels and front rubber floor mat appear original. Rear carpet is not. Did not look underneath the rear carpet. Front kick panels are missing. Shift knob is not original and turn signal lever end is missing. Passenger front door glass is cracked. Tinted windshield and backlight. Side windows I couldn’t tell and forgot to look for the SOLEX markings. Chrome is original and moderately pitted with some minor dings here and there. Stainless looks good with a minor ding in the LH “butter knife” trim on the rear quarter. RH rear quarter has a dent in the top of it from something falling on/against it at some point. Front bumper has shifted to the left from a light front end t-bone that just caught the end of the bumper and pushed it into the side grille a little, damaging the lower front rt. fender. I didn’t drive it but it started right up and idled quietly. He backed it in and out of the garage. All lights and turn signals work. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any oil drips under the car when he backed it out. No rust in trunk floor, looks like frame and undercarriage is nearly perfect (rust wise) with just a uniform coating of surface rust and some flaking original undercoating with solid steel underneath. Tires aren’t as ancient as the ad intimated. I think they are just Coker BF Goodrich Silvertown bias plies but may be flat spotted from sitting. Seller recently bought this as a non-runner and has sorted out most of the mechanicals. Brakes are the main remaining mechanical issue to address.They leak down a little over a few days and take a pedal pump to get them back up. This is a great driver as is and could be greatly improved for not a lot of money. Many NOS and used parts are still available for 53-55 sedans.

        Like 5
  16. Allen Member

    When I was a kid, a neighbor bought a ’54 Bill Frick Studelac. Advertised 0-60 time was 8.6 seconds. Pretty fast in those days. Beautiful cars – back then, and even now. ‘ Surprised nobody has included earlier Studeys among their favorite designs. ‘ Confess I’m not a huge fan of the bullet-nose era, but all the other postwar designs (also by Raymond Loewy!) are really high on my “favorites” list. Actually, at least some of the pre-war Studebakers were Loewy creations also. Having recently learned that, some of the 40-41 models are starting to grow on me.

    ‘ Never was much of a Lark fan – that is until the 2nd generation (1962+) with it’s revised window line – really graceful instead of stubby. But that’s just me…

    Like 1
  17. bob

    someone asked why the aircleaner sat off to one side of the motor that was so they could have clearance for the hood to slope off the radiator was at a slant for the same reason very nice cars

  18. Gerard Frederick

    When I arrived in the US way back in 1956 as a kid, I expected everybody in South Bend to be driving one of ¨their¨ cars. Boy, was I shocked when I found out my new High School buddies actually disdained the make. One hardly saw a Stude on the road. To this day I am dumbfounded about this. Incidentally, South Bend was a beautiful place in the day.

    Like 1
  19. charlie Member

    I was 15 in 1956. My father’s first car was a ’37 Studebaker Commander with a straight 8. Compared to Fords and Chevy’s of the day, it was big. I was sure it was pink to start with (it was black) but my father insisted it was just the undercoat. It broke down often. His next car was a ’50 Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe. No oil cleaner, so at 40,000 miles it was an oil burner. 2nd gear, according to him, was almost useless, it was so low. It overheated even when new on long hills in the summer. None of my friends’ families had Studebakers and it was viewed as an embarrassment. When he started looking for a car in 1955 and 1956, and actually asked my opinion, I lobbied for a Chevy Bel Air with a V8, since I was about to begin to drive, and there was no way I wanted another Studebaker. He did buy a Chevy, but a 210, with a 6, which I inherited, and drove off and on until it was toast in 1968. It was a great car and it still appears in my dreams at times. A lot of firsts happened in that car.

    Like 2
    • David

      When I was a teenager my dad had a 1965 Olds Jetstar 88. If I could find that car, I’d have the back seat bronzed.

  20. Bob Stephens

    This is an awesome car that shows the imagination that was the Hallmark be of the independents. Gotta love an orphan!

    Like 1
  21. Thomas J Bradish

    In 1964 and 65 I worked at Smyder Motors in Greensburg Pa. There was one Avanti in Greensburg, purchased at Smyder Motors. The trade in was a 55 coupe that I bought for $500. Yellow and white, V8, 3 speed with OD, hill holder. In 55 Studebaker put the 224ci truck engine in a number of these cars. Mine had the 224. This one could be a 224.
    I agree that the Lowey coupes are better looking. While this one is nice it needs some TLC. I think the price is a little high for a 4 door.

    • Vince H

      Tom No 224 in this. It has the vista windsheild. By this time they quit using the 224.

      Like 1
  22. Stan Marks

    My first reaction was a ’55/’56 Chevy BelAir. Probably the most popular two tone colors made for those years. A friend of mine, has a ’56 sitting in his garage.
    Back in the 50s, Studebaker was an acquired taste. Not very popular, compared to the big three automakers. IMHO, GM had the most stylish cars of that period.

  23. jeffrey swiger

    did you sell the 1955 studebaker?

    • South Bender

      Yes, the CL ad is pulled so it’s sold. May reach back out to the seller to see if the car was sold locally.

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