Having started building farm wagons in 1852, Studebaker was celebrating its 100th year of continuous operation in 1952, when it designed a face-lifted version of its popular Commander model.
Basically, the 1952 model-year car lost its controversial bullet-nose front end in favor of a more-conventional but still unique design, which was slanted back aerodynamically. But while the front was transitioned, the unique feature of the Starlight coupe version remained: a wraparound rear window that goes all around the back of the cabin from B pillar to B pillar.
The 1952 models were an interim design that lasted just one year as the Studebaker coupes were completely redesigned for 1953, with beautiful results.
The Pick of the Day is a 1952 Studebaker Commander Starlight coupe that just came out of a large estate collection compiled by a “serious” Studebaker fanatic, according to the Maple Lake, Minnesota, dealer advertising the scarce model on ClassicCars.com.
“Rare Starlight, only 5,000 made, but maybe 20% were built as the top-of-the-line Commander model, and of that 20% even fewer were V8s,” the seller says. “Totally different dash, trim, emblems and interior and exterior trim, and V8 emblems.”
The V8 is a major plus for the Studebaker, with more power and drivability for today’s roads. This one is equipped with a 3-speed column-shifted 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive for highway travel.
“She runs, drives and performs nice (fun to drive),” the dealer notes in the ad. “Very peppy especially with factory 3-speed with gas-saving overdrive.”
The Studebaker is a totally rust- and accident-free example that is believed to have very low mileage. The car collection from which it came was overseen by a curator who kept the cars in top condition, the seller adds.
“The curator thinks the Starlight has 06,700 miles (not 106,700),” the seller explains (the odometer actually shows 6,667 miles). “Miles cannot be verified because Starlight was in the collection 10 years before he started to work for the owner, and his wife didn’t have any idea. But you can tell your friends it has very low miles because she looks the part.”
The Starlight coupe certainly appears to be in great original condition from the photos in the ad, with an interior that looks just as good as the body, which is painted in the lush factory color of Rio Green.
The unusual and rarely seen Studebaker is reasonably priced at $14,950.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.