1953 Studebaker Champion
1953 Studebaker Champion
Studebaker's cheerful and frugal Champion has to be considered one of the great overachievers among collector cars. Distinctive styling, well-made interiors, simple maintenance and repair, an abundant parts supply and club support that's second to none make these products of South Bend easy and rewarding to live with. Though they're more affordable than their V-8-powered Commander siblings, Champions share that car's graceful styling, which many consider to be one of its greatest attributes.
For consignment, a 1953 Studebaker Champion that has been massaged into a quasi resto-mod. A chopped top, shaved doors and badges and a powerful drivetrain are just a few of the spices added to the recipe for success on this consignment.
This aqua eye catcher started out as a humble Studebaker Champion and now has been transformed into an award winning, great running, reliable and comfy inside kewl skate. A 2-inch chopping of the top, all steel which is rust free, some shaving of the trimmings for simplification and tinted windows all work together to give us a modern looking 1953 street Stude. Wonderful flowing lines courtesy Raymond Loewy show from the side that the hood and trunk deck are virtually the same length with the now lowered roof with sloped back glass. Bumpers have been painted to match the exterior and a simple but effective side trim spear is painted on in white. The back of the car has also been simplified with frenched taillights. Below dual zoom tubes in bright chrome are peeking out from the bottom. Chromed steel wheels with deep trim rings and polished dog dish caps are on all 4 corners and are wrapped with black wall rubber.
Gray burlap tweed with a peppering of a colorful pill sprinkling throughout makes up the majority of the door panels. For the door pulls and window toggles, a background of teal vinyl in padded form frames a billet style aluminum bolt on. Aqua is on top for the sill and is painted metal. Smooth sculpted late model buckets are using the smooth aqua vinyl and the burlap tweed in gray with the sprinkles. These are courtesy a 1986 Horizon. Running through them is a custom fabricated squared off center console, now fashioned with a Hurst Indy shifter. Cool blue gray carpeting floods the floors and is very clean. The original dash has been removed and now a wonderfully fashioned custom dash is presenting in aqua. It is fronted by a tilt column with a billet rallye style steering wheel. The gauge cluster is in a black field and sports all new VDO gauges. The center console rises to greet the newly fashioned dash and in this raiser is a Craig AM/FM/Cassette Player and a Craig Equalizer just above. In back is a nicely rounded bench with the teal accenting in smooth vinyl and more burlap gray tweed. This material also shows up on the side pillars and the headliner where it takes on some stitching in the seams.
Initially, with a raise of the hood, we feel like we may be peering into a black hole, but upon a little bit of further investigation, what to our wondering eyes does appear but an orange/red painted 283ci which has been bored to a 301ci. This engine is circa 1967. Our consignor states the heads are courtesy of a 1959 power pack engine, and these have small combustion chambers for higher compression. A 350hp cam and with pop up pistons our consignor states the compression ratio is 12.0-1. Ignition is a dual point system from a Corvette. The folks at Edelbrock provide the intake manifold and 4-barrel carburetor. On this mill, if it's not painted orange/red it is either cast/polished/or black and it all looks great in that black field. Headers can be seen for the exhale, and on the back a rebuilt TH350 3-speed automatic transmission complete with a shift kit. On back a Buick Regal has donated its 10-bolt 3.08 rear axle for this car's use.
These surfaces have been painstakingly sandblasted and then repainted in black. An overall great look can be seen on the floor pans rockers and suspension parts. Speaking of which a Mustang II front suspension is on, along with disc brakes, and on back are leaf springs and drum brakes. Turbo mufflers in dual form show up and pipes are snarling rearward from those headers under the hood.
This car lit right up with the simple turn of the key, and on the test track it did fab! Nice acceleration, smooth automatic shifting. good handling and looking good while doing it. I am aware the power windows are not functioning and the brake pedal is a bit soft. Also, the steering column tilt mechanism is less than desirable with some slop in the movement.
Overall, this builder has taken what was originally a fairly lunky clunky utilitarian car and turned it into an award winning show piece and eye catcher. Fab color combo, and the body work done is all tasteful and just modernizes this cat. Hold up the trophy like you are the Champion.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.
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