Friday, February 10, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1954 Studebaker Commander

One of my favorite 1950s car designs is the 1953-54 Studebaker coupe penned by the Raymond Loewy studio. The '53 Studebakers appeared almost completely new, replacing a body that dated back to 1947. That body reached its design pinnacle in 1950 with a bulletnose motif which lasted for two years. An unfortunately awkward restyle for 1952 introduced a split grille which was translated far more successfully onto the 1953 body. These new cars had low-slung bodies with light ornamentation that made them look remarkably sleek and modern for their time.

This car is a 1954 Commander, the fanciest model offered that year. It packs a 232 cubic inch V8 engine making 127 horsepower. It's what one might call a 20-footer or even a 10-footer, because it looks fantastic when viewed from across the street. Up close the car appears a little rough in places, namely the trunk lid and one spot under the left headlight where the paint is coming off. Apart from those details, the body and trim seem to be in good order and the interior looks mint.

It's another fine member of Stude Guy's fleet and I can't wait to see more specimens of South Bend's best in San Francisco.

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