The Pick of the Day is an elegant example of one of the most-beautiful automotive designs of the 1950s, a 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner coupe in what looks to be nicely restored condition.
Legendary industrial designer Raymond Loewy often gets the credit for the svelte lines of Studebaker’s landmark coupe, with the car sometimes called the Loewy coupe. But it was Robert Bourke, a designer at Loewy’s studio, who penned the low, lean styling for what originally was to be a Studebaker show car.
Studebaker boss Harold Vance was greatly impressed and gave the go ahead for production, which started with the 1953 model. With its proto-European styling, the Starliner was like nothing ever seen in the showrooms of US automakers, and the buying public quickly lined up for a taste.
But alas, the unexpected enthusiasm for the coupe caught the South Bend, Indiana, automaker flat-footed with inadequate production, and assembly line problems added to delivery delays. Momentum was lost and the lovely coupe never became the top seller that it should have been, contributing to Studebaker’s decline.
The aerodynamic shape has been perennially appreciated by speed-record racers, however, with countless performance-tweaked Commander coupes showing up at such venues as the Bonneville Salt Flats even today.
This Starliner looks to be authentically restored to original, although the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the coupe on ClassicCars.com is light on information about its history.
The seller does say that the Studebaker is “finished in an eye-catching color scheme and very well-detailed throughout with high-quality finishing. Nicely equipped with V8 power, factory radio, four-passenger seating and a manual gearbox.
“This is a wonderful and highly appealing example of the revolutionary Commander that is sure to delight its next caretaker.”
The photos with the ad show the Studebaker looking crisp in an attractive shade of blue with a red interior, factory equipped with the 120-horsepower V8 engine. And the absolute artistry of that body design is hard to beat.
The asking price for this uncommonly handsome Starliner is $48,500.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.