HomePick of the Day1949 Studebaker Champion coupe

1949 Studebaker Champion coupe


The 1949 Studebaker Champion wears the distinctive wraparound rear window
The 1949 Studebaker Champion wears the distinctive wraparound rear window

The original “push-me-pull-you” Studebaker coupe had car buyers scratching their heads when the wraparound rear window appeared in 1947 as a styling option. The common observation: you couldn’t tell whether it was going forward or backward.

By the time the Pick of the Day, a 1949 Studebaker Champion, came along, folks were accustomed to the unique backlight, and rear-seat riders appreciated the light and airy effect.

The 1949 Studebaker had a modest front-end design
The 1949 Studebaker had a modest front-end design

In 1950, the roofline styling received a name of its own, the Starlight coupe. That was also the year that the Champion received its flamboyant bullet-nose front that made it look jet propelled. But for 1949, the coupe still had the more-modest front-end styling, which some collectors find preferable.

The Gladstone, Oregon, classic car dealer advertising the Studebaker on ClassicCars.com says the car has been completely redone and is ready to enjoy.

“This beauty has had a good quality restoration done with lots of upgrades,” the seller says. “The paint is in great condition. The original engine has dual carburetors with a 3-speed transmission with overdrive. All the exterior chrome and stainless are like new.

“The cloth upholstery and carpet (have) been recently done and look great. The weather stripping has also been replaced including the window rubber. All the glass is in great condition without any cracks or stars.”

The engine is the car’s original 170cid inline-6 flathead that generated 80 horsepower, although the dual carbs could give it a slight boost in performance. With the overdrive, it should cruise easily at highway speeds, although the funky drum brakes of that era will require some restraint.

In light of the seller’s description, the $19,500 asking price sounds like a fair deal for what should be a fun attention getter.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. What new car can you buy for $19,500? Maybe a Chevy Sonic and that will depreciate 20% a year. This Studebaker will always be worth $19,500 or more and would make a great cruiser. I don’t understand the fuss over drum brakes, just drive like a sane person and watch out for the other guy.
    Studebaker, like many independents, opted for rural, one car showroom dealers that were not aggressive in their sales approach. You can’t support a brand that way.

  2. Please note that the one millionth Studebaker rolled off the South Bend Indiana assembly line in 1950.
    Also note that those Studes from the 1940s and early ’50s burned lots of oil. Lots of blue smoke trailed those beauties!

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts