Bullet-nose droptop 1951 Studebaker Champion convertible

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Studebaker
The 1951 Studebaker has an absolutely unique appearance

The Pick of the Day is a rarely seen 1951 Studebaker Champion Regal convertible, a distinctive car from that conservative era with its dramatic bullet-nose styling.

While some other brands added central “bullets” to their grilles, Studebaker’s was without doubt the most extreme example.  As the story goes, these cars were designed to have a central headlight in the middle that swiveled with the steering, ala Tucker, but management found that such a complex embellishment was too expensive for their modestly priced cars.

Studebaker
The convertible looks to be in stock condition

So that idea was axed in favor of the chrome central ring and pointed nose.  Not sure about how totally accurate that is, but it makes for a good tale.

Whatever, the aircraft styling of those 1950-51 Studebakers remains controversial even today as collector cars, although customizers sometimes latch onto them to create some wild builds.  Especially memorable from this era were the two-door Starlight Coupe models with wrap-around rear glass that makes them look something like the PushMePullYou from Dr. Dolittle.

Studebaker
The interior is said to have been redone

They were cool, though, but not as much so as the scant number of Champion convertibles that were produced, which gave the Studebaker a sporty vibe perhaps lacking in the other models.

The Staunton, Illinois, dealers advertising the Stude on ClassicCars.com describes it this way in the brief description: “rare car, good solid body, nice slick paint, new Stayfast canvas top with matching boot, nice redone interior, new tires.”

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The convertible is powered by its correct 85-horsepower flathead 6-cylinder engine with 3-speed manual transmission.  The electrical system has been converted from 6 to 12 volt, the dealer notes.

Studebaker
The flathead 6-cylinder engine is as it left the factory

“Great-looking bullet-nose body style, runs and drives good,” the seller adds.

The Champion Regal convertible seems like a good deal at the asking price of $17,850.  One of the nice things about owning a Studebaker collector car is the large and active support from the national Studebaker Driver’s Club.

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

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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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I was sorry to see Studebaker go. They were quality cars at a fair price. The 1963 Golden Hawk would have been welcome in our garage. Good to know there a few remaining "Studes" to be found.

  2. My first car was a 1950 Studebaker Champion and I loved it. I would love to buy one and I can afford it, but as I reach 90 I am getting to old. In my younger years I beat the hell our of my Studebaker and it just kept running.

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