Studebaker Motor Cars Through the Years

A Pictorial of Studebaker Motor Cars from 1852 to 1963

Studebaker started making wagons in 1852, and incorporated in 1868 using the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company name. At first the made wagons for agriculturists, excavators, and the military.

Studebaker got into the car business in 1902, at first with electric cars and in 1904 with gas powered cars, all sold using the "Studebaker Automobile Company" name. Until 1911, its car division was partners with the Garford Company in Elyria, Ohio, and in 1910 with the E-M-F Company. The first gasoline vehicles Studebaker produced on their own was in August 1912. Over the following 50 years, the organization gained a reputation for quality and reliability.

In 1954, following years of financial issues, the organization merged with luxury automobile manufacturer Packard by forming Studebaker-Packard Corporation. Although Studebaker's financial issues were in worse shape than the Packard officials thought. The Packard marque was eliminated, and in 1962, the organization readopted the Studebaker Corporation name. The South Bend plant stopped the assembly lines on December 20, 1963, and on March 16, 1966, the last Studebaker car came off the assembly line in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, assembly line.

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Studebaker President (1926-1942)

1931 Studebaker President
1931 Studebaker President
1937 Studebaker President
1937 Studebaker President
The Studebaker President was the premier automobile model manufactured by the Studebaker from 1926-1942. The nameplate was reintroduced in 1955 and used until the end of the 1958 model when the name was retired.

Studebaker Dictator (1928-1937)

1934 Studebaker Dictator
1934 Studebaker Dictator
1935 Studebaker Dictator
1935 Studebaker Dictator
1935 Studebaker Dictator Roadster
1935 Studebaker Dictator Roadster
1936 Studebaker Dictator
1936 Studebaker Dictator
The Studebaker Dictator was an automobile produced by the Studebaker from 1928-1937. Model year 1928 was the first full year of Dictator production. In the mid-1920s, Studebaker began renaming its vehicles. The model previously known as the Studebaker Standard Six became the Dictator during the 1927 model year—internally designated model GE. The name was intended to connote that the model "dictated the standard" that other automobile makes would be obliged to follow.


Studebaker Commander (1927-1964)

1941 Studebaker Commander
1941 Studebaker Commander
1942 Studebaker Commander
1942 Studebaker Commander
1950 Studebaker Commander
1950 Studebaker Commander
1952 Studebaker Commander Starliner Deluxe
1952 Studebaker Commander Starliner Deluxe
1955 Studebaker Commander
1950 Studebaker Commander
The Studebaker Commander is the model name of several automobiles produced by Studebaker. Studebaker began using the Commander name in 1927 and continued to use it until 1964, with the exception of 1936 and 1959-63. The name was applied to various products in the company's line-up from year to year.

Studebaker Champion first generation (1939-1941)

1939 Studebaker Champion
1939 Studebaker Champion
1941 Studebaker Champion
1941 Studebaker Champion
The success of the Champion in 1939 was imperative to Studebaker's survival following weak sales during the 1938 model year. Unlike most other cars, the Champion was designed from a "clean sheet", and had no restrictions caused by necessarily utilizing older parts or requiring the subsequent use of its components in heavier vehicles. Market research guided the selection of features, but a key principle adhered to was the engineering watchword "weight is the enemy." For its size, it was one of the lightest cars of its era. Its compact straight-6 engine outlasted the model itself and was produced to the end of the 1964 model year, with a change to an OHV design in 1961. It was a full-size car in its first three generations and a mid-size car in its fourth and fifth generation models.

Studebaker Champion second Generation (1942-1946)

1942 Studebaker Champion
1946 Studebaker Champion
1946 Studebaker Champion
1946 Studebaker Champion
In 1946, Studebaker built a limited number of cars based on their 1942 body shell in preparation for its new body and design roll out in 1947. All Studebakers built in 1946 were designated Skyway Champion models. Only the Champion series was produced, it being the most popular before the war.

Studebaker Champion third generation (1947-1952)

1948 Studebaker Champion
1948 Studebaker Champion
1949 Studebaker Champion
1949 Studebaker Champion
1951 Studebaker Champion
1951 Studebaker Champion
1952 Studebaker Champion
1952 Studebaker Champion
In 1947, Studebaker completely redesigned the Champion and the Commander, making them the first new cars after World War II. The styling included a new rear window, flat front fenders, as well as convenience features like back light illumination for gauges and automatic courtesy lights. The Champion made up 65.08% of the total sales for the automaker in 1947.

Studebaker prepared well ahead of time for anticipated post-war sales and created the slogan 'First by far with a post-war'. All the advertising was substantiated by Virgil Exner's designs, specifically the 1947 Studebaker Starlight coupe, which presented inventive styling highlights that were an influence on future cars, including the flat "trunk" rather than the rounded look of the time, and a wrap-around back window. Exner's ideas were spread throughout a model lineup such as the 1950 Champion Starlight coupe The new trunk outline provoked a running joke that one couldn't tell if the auto was coming or going.

The Starlight coupe was a unique 2-door body style offered by Studebaker from 1947 to 1952 in its Champion and Commander model series. It was designed by Virgil Exner, formerly of Raymond Loewy Associates.

Studebaker Champion fourth generation (1953-1956)

1953 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe
1953 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe
1955 Studebaker Champion
1955 Studebaker Champion
1956 Studebaker Champion
1956 Studebaker Champion
In 1953, Studebaker was redesigned by Robert Bourke, from Raymond Loewy's design studio. ("the Loewy Coupe" or "Low Boy"). The 2-door coupe with a central pillar was called the Starlight while the more expensive hardtop coupe was called the Starliner. With regard to the 2-door coupe it is very important to note that there were 2 versions of it. There was the Loewy Coupe and the shortened 4 door sedan version. The back side windows in the shortened 4-door sedans are noticeably bigger than the windows in the Loewy Coupe. The Loewy Coupe is substantially more collectable than the shortened 4-door sedans. Although similar, the body pieces on the 2 cars are not interchangeable. The front end of the new Champion was lower than contemporaries. No convertible was offered in 1953. In 1954, a new 2-door station wagon called the Conestoga was added to the product line

Studebaker Champion fifth generation (1957-1958)

1957 Studebaker Champion
1957 Studebaker Champion
1958 Studebaker Scottsman
1958 Studebaker Scottsman
In 1957, the Champion Scotsman, a stripped down Champion, was introduced in an attempt to compete with the “Big Three” (i.e. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) and Nash in the low-price field. Shortly after its introduction, the model was renamed Studebaker Scotsman.

Studebaker Land Cruiser (1934-1954

1940 Studebaker 4 Door Sedan
1940 Studebaker 4 Door Sedan
1947 Studebaker Land Cruiser
1947 Studebaker Land Cruiser
1950 Studebaker Land Cruiser
1950 Studebaker Land Cruiser
1953 Studebaker Land Cruiser
1953 Studebaker Land Cruiser
The 1947 Landcruiser models were so revolutionary that it had other car builders scurrying back to their drawing boards. While other manufacturers settled for re-chroming their pre-war models, the 1947 Studebaker, touted as "First by Far with a Postwar Car", had a completely new body. And the Land Cruiser exclusively rode the company's longest wheelbase, 124 inches,  which provided additional legroom for rear seat passengers. It featured center-opening rear doors (called "suicide doors" by some) and was powered by the larger of Studebaker's two straight-6 engines. The Land Cruiser suggested price of $2043 included a one-piece curved windshield, an electric clock and carpeting front and rear. Only minor trim changes for 1948 brought a Land Cruiser price of $2265, and in 1949 it was increased to $2328.

Studebaker Hawk (1953-1962)

1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk
1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk
1962 Studebaker GT Hawk
1962 Studebaker GT Hawk
1962 Studebaker GT Hawk
1962 Studebaker GT Hawk
The last Studebaker until the Avanti to have styling influenced by industrial designer Raymond Loewy's studio, the Golden Hawk took the basic shape of the 1953–55 Champion/Commander Starliner hardtop coupe but added a large, almost vertical eggcrate grille and raised hoodline in place of the earlier car's swooping, pointed nose. At the rear, a raised, squared-off trunklid replaced the earlier sloped lid, and vertical fiberglass tailfins were added to the rear quarters. The Golden Hawk was two inches shorter than the standard Hawk at 53.6 inches. Just before the Avanti arrived, Studebaker revamped the Hawk with a more formal roof to become the Gran Turismo Hawk.


Studebaker Compact

Studebaker Lark (1959-1966)

1959 Studebaker Lark Regal
1959 Studebaker Lark
1961 Studebaker Lark
1961 Studebaker Lark
1966 Studebaker Lark
1966 Studebaker Lark
The Studebaker Lark is a compact car which was produced by Studebaker from 1959 to 1966. From its introduction in early 1959 until 1962, the Lark was a product of the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. In mid-1962, the company dropped "Packard" from its name and reverted to its pre-1954 name, the Studebaker Corporation. In addition to being built in Studebaker's South Bend, Indiana, home plant, the Lark and its descendants were also built in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, from 1959 to 1966 by Studebaker of Canada Limited. The cars were also exported to a number of countries around the world as completed units and completely knocked down (CKD) kits. Lark-based variants represented the bulk of the range produced by Studebaker after 1958 and sold in far greater volume than the contemporary Hawk and Avanti models. Beginning with the 1963 Cruiser, the Lark name was gradually phased out of the company catalog and by early 1964, Lark-based models were being marketed under Commander, Daytona and Cruiser nameplates only

Sports / Personal Luxury Cars

Studebaker Avanti (1962-1963)

1963 Studebaker Avanti
1963 Studebaker Avanti
1963 Studebaker Avanti
1963 Studebaker Avanti
The Studebaker Avanti is a personal luxury coupe manufactured and marketed by Studebaker between June 1962 and December 1963. Studebaker marketed the Avanti as "America's Only 4 Passenger High-Performance Personal Car." Described as "one of the more significant milestones of the postwar industry", the car offered combined safety and high-speed performance. The Avanti broke 29 records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Subsequent to Studebaker's discontinuation of the model, a series of five owner arrangements continued manufacture and marketing of the Avanti model.

Avanti II (1965-2007)

2007 Avanti II based on a Mustang
2007 Avanti II based on a Mustang
2007 Avanti II based on a Mustang
2007 Avanti II based on a Mustang
After Studebaker ended production at South Bend, the "Avanti" model name, tooling, Studebaker truck production rights and parts and plant space were bought by local Studebaker dealers, Nate and Arnold Altman and Leo Newman, who incorporated as Avanti Motor Corporation and hand-built a small number of cars

Studebake Woodies

Studebaker Woodies

1946 Studebaker Pickup Woodie
1946 Studebaker Pickup Woodie
1947 Studebaker Champion Woodie
1947 Studebaker Champion Woodie
1950 Studebaker Woodie based on a 1950s Ford
1950 Studebaker Woodie based on a 1950s Ford
For 1947, Studebaker featured a new look from the Raymond Loewy Studios that included a wood-bodied station wagon. A prototype was built and was displayed at several automobile shows - then pulled from production. A wood-bodied station wagon was included in the initial model lineup for Studebaker in 1947. However, it was dropped just before production began. This prototype station wagon was kept by the engineering department as a run-around vehicle until around 1955 when the body was removed and left to the elements. The body was discarded in the infield of the companies test track, a usual procedure in those days. More Woodies

Coupe Utility
1937 Studebaker Express Coupe
1937 Studebaker Express Coupe
1953 Studebaker Utility Coupe
1953 Studebaker Utility Coupe

Studebaker Pickups

Studebaker M Series (1942-1948)

1938 Studebaker K Series Pickup
1938 Studebaker K10 Pickup
1946 Studebaker M40 Pickup
1946 Studebaker M40 Pickup
1950 Studebaker Pickup
1950 Studebaker 2R Pickup
The M-series Studebaker trucks came in several versions both pre and post WW II. The M-5 was a 1/2 ton PU. The M15 was the 3/4 ton version. The M15A was the one & 1-1/2 ton version. The M5, M15, and M15A all came with the Champion 169 ci. engine, only. The M16 1-1/2 & 2 ton versions came with the more powerful Commander 226 ci. engine. The Studebaker US6 version was produced during the war to government specifications; using a different nose and engine configuration, in both a 4x6 & 6x6 versions of a 2-1/2 ton truck. In early 1945, Studebaker was given permission to produce some M Series trucks for civilian use. These early post war civilian trucks used the Studebaker US6 cab with the government style swing out windshield.
Studebaker GN Series (1929-1930), Studebaker S Series (1930-1934), Studebaker T Series (1934-1936), Studebaker W Series (1934-1936) Studebaker J Series (1937), Studebaker K Series (1938-1940), Studebaker 2R series (1949-1953), Studebaker 2r Series (1954), Studebaker E Series (1955-1964)

Studebaker Transtar (1956-1963)

1956 Studebaker Transtar
1956 Studebaker Transtar
Transtar was the model name given to the line of trucks produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, from 1956-1958 and 1960-1963 (although the last vehicles were sold as 1964 models). The name was used on most trucks in the Studebaker E-series, but not all. The Transtar name was first introduced for the 1956 (2E series) model year in 1/2-ton, 3/4-ton, 1-ton, 2-ton, and 2-ton heavy duty capacities. The three smaller models were available with factory-built pick-up bodies. The basic styling of these trucks dated back to the 1949 models, though they had received some styling and engineering changes in 1954 and 55.

Studebaker Champ (1960-1963)

1960 Studebaker Champ
1960 Studebaker Champ
1962 Studebaker Champ
1962 Studebaker Champ
For 1960, Studebaker introduced a new line of 1/2-ton and 3/4-ton trucks under the name Studebaker Champ. The Champs used front-end and cab sheetmetal from the 1959-60 Lark passenger cars, mated to their existing light-duty truck chassis and drive trains. The Champs were created in response to the Ford Ranchero (introduced in 1957) and Chevrolet El Camino (introduced in 1959), which used passenger car styling and features in a light-duty pickup truck. The Transtar name reappeared on Studebaker's medium- and heavy-duty trucks (1- and 2-ton) for 1960, and continued to be used on these trucks up through its 1964 models. Studebaker suspended production of all of its truck models when it closed its United States factory in December 1963.

Get Your Very Own Studebaker Scale Models
1950 Studebaker Champion Scale Model Shown
1950 Studebaker Champion Scale Model Shown
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    Studebaker Motor Cars Through the Years Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5