Studebaker never actually made this car…
To see someone at a meet with a car which never made it to production is usually a big deal. That’s certainly the case with this 1953 Studebaker Commander convertible at the Oregon Mountain Cruise in Joseph, Oregon. Captured on camera by MyClassicCarTV, it’s quite the sight to behold.
Watch a Studebaker Avanti throw down against a Pontiac GTO here.
Studebaker made just one concept of this convertible, which never was made into a production vehicle. How this even exists is a story of a labor of love which started with one owner and was completed by the next one. Sometimes you just can’t finish a project, maybe due to a lack of money, time, or maybe interest, but we’re sure glad the guy who ended up with this ride is letting others enjoy it while cruising around.
Instead of a 1953 Commander, this car actually started off as a 1956 Golden Hawk, which is the same body and frame as the Commander, although the sheet metal had to be added from a donor for that special look. The trim comes from a few different Studebakers, so this thing is cobbled together in a way, but is done so beautifully well, resulting in a tremendous presentation.
What’s more, this guy has a 289ci R2 V8 with a supercharger from an Avanti wedged under the hood. In other words, the build provides thrilling performance along with dramatic looks.
The really creative part came with making this build a convertible. Since there wasn’t a suitable Studebaker donor, a Dodge Dart was used for the top as well as the backseat area. However, the rest of the interior is all Studebaker. The result is something unique yet easily identifiable, a balance which is hard to strike, especially with everything so well polished.
It’s easy to see why so many designers and gearheads are fans of the Studebaker Commander. The coupes certainly are beautiful cars, but seeing what a convertible could have been is breathtaking.
Learn more about this build and see some of the details in the video.