1955 Studebaker
Commander Custom

Asking $39,500.00

Offers encouraged

Location: TX
VIN #:
Engine:383 Stroker/500
Mileage:< 5,000 since build

Henry Studebaker was a farmer, Blacksmith, and wagon-maker who lived near Gettysburg PA in the early 19th century. By 1860, he had moved to Ashland OH and taught his five sons to make wagons. They all went into that business as it grew westward with the country. Clement and Henry Studebaker Jr. became blacksmiths and foundrymen in South Bend, IN. They first made metal parts for freight wagons and later expanded into the manufacture of complete wagons. John made wheelbarrows in Placerville CA, and Peter made wagons in Saint Joseph. The site of John's business is Chinas Historic Landmark #142.The first major expansion in their business came from their being in the right place to meet the needs of the California Gold Rush in 1849. When the Rush settled down, John returned to Indiana and bought out Henry's share of the business. They brought in their youngest brother, Jacob, in 1852. Expansion continued to support westward migration, but the next major decrease came from supplying wagons for the Union Army in the Civil War. After the war, they reviewed what they had accomplished and set a direction for the company. They reorganized into the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company in 1878, built around the motto of "Always give more than you promise." By this time the railroad and steamship companies had become the big freight movers in the east. So they set their sights on supplying farmers and others with the means to move themselves and their goods. Peter's business became a branch operation.

During the height of westward migration, half of the wagons were Studebakers. They made about a quarter of them, and manufactured the metal fittings to sell to other builders in Missouri for another quarter century.

Studebaker experimented with powered vehicles as early as 1897, choosing electric over gasoline engines. While it attempted to manufacture its own electric vehicles from 1902-1912, the company entered into a distribution agreement with two manufacturers of gasoline powered vehicles: Garford of Elyria OH, and theEverett-Metzger-Flanders (E-M-F) Company of Detroit.

Under the agreement with Studebaker, Garford would receive completed chassis and drivetrains from Ohio and then mate them with Studebaker built bodies, which were sold under theStudebaker-Garford name and at a premium price.

Studebaker also began putting its name on new cars produced at the former E-M-F facilities, both as an assurance that the vehicles were well-built, and as its commitment to making automobile production and sales a success. In 1911, the company reorganized as the Studebaker Corporation.

In addition to cars, Studebaker added a truck line, which in time, replaced the horse drawn wagon business started in 1852. In 1926, Studebaker became the first automobile company in the US to open a controlled outdoor proving ground; in 1937 the company planted 5,000 pine trees in a pattern that when viewed from the air spelled "STUDEBAKER."

From the 20's to the 60's, the South Bend company originated many style and engineering milestones, including the classic 1929 -1933 President and the 1939 Champion. During WWII, Studebaker produced the US6 truck in great quantity and the unique M29 Weasel cargo and personnel carrier. After cessation of hostilities, Studebaker returned to building automobiles that appealed to average Americans and their need for mobility.

This exceptionally nice Commander has been fully updated as a Resto-Mod, still containing many original features outwardly but with a more usable modern drivetrain and creature comforts. The Drivetrain has been updated with a 383 Stroker putting out 500+ Horse Power mated to a Mad Dog Punisher 700 R4 2200 Stahl Shift Kit Stage 2 Transmission and 9" Ford Rear End, 3.75 Ratio, with Narrowed Mosior Custom Axles. MSD Pro-Billet Distributor System was installed and 4 Wheel Disc Brakes (Proportioning Valve) were added. A True Track Carrier Radiator and Griffin Electric Air Conditioning were installed. Featuring Boyd Coddington Crown Jewel Rims and Nitto Tires (Rear Drag Radials) the car has a low and mean stance. All new wiring was installed and a beautiful custom Black fade to Cherry Red Paint job really sets this car apart. Inside the orignal interior was retained but updated with new upholstery and killer CD Stereo sytem.

This is an exceptionally well built custom Studebaker that will turn heads everywhere you go and provide years of driving and showing enjoyment.

Click on any image to enlarge it.