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For Sale: 1953 Studebaker Commander in Charlotte, North Carolina

Vehicle Description

When you think the words "different" and "cool", what comes to mind? "Cool" is easy for many folks, because there aren't many things cooler than traditional '50s Americana. "Different"? Well, that's a little more difficult... Unless you pick up a classy and elegant cruiser like this incredible Studebaker Commander. Upgraded with a hot LT1 and a reliable 4L60E 4-speed, this cool coupe is a unique, world-class weekender!


A solid South Bend dandy that has no problem charming onlookers, this pristine Studebaker is the beneficiary of a $130K ground-up restoration that wrapped in 2012. The pros behind that professional rebuild were none other than Slatersville, Rhode Island's Xtreme Restorations. All-original sheetmetal is layered in rich Cashmere Taupe 2-stage, which reflects a bright white roof. And that quality pigment highlights distinctive, retro character that reminds us just how cool vintage metal can be!

At the front of this sophisticated classic, a split, Studebaker-branded grille hangs wide-set parking lamps between clear headlights that feature polished visors, and a polished bumper that features sculpted guards. At the sides of that grille, a modernist profile centers ornate "V8" emblems between polished door handles and subtle quarter toppers. At the top of that profile, polished frames plant factory-tint glass between opposed wipers and fast "Studebaker" scripts. And at the back of the car, fashionable tail lamps stretch a second guarded bumper between polished exhaust and a Studebaker-branded trunk.


When it comes to the perfect blend of power, reliability and fixability, nothing beats a stalwart GM small block. With that in mind, it seems perfectly logical that this Commander sports 383 cubic inches of proven LT power. Lift the car's whittled hood and you'll find a $13K Lingenfelter LT1 that, with the help of $8K of Street and Performance bolt-ons, twists 450 horsepower into 430 lb./ft. of tarmac-twisting torque. At the top of that blueprinted stroker, a bowtie-branded air box feeds a Lingenfelter-branded throttle body. That throttle weaves wind into electronically injected fuel, which combusts at the behest of loomed MSD plug wires. Above those wires, CNC-ported LT4 cylinder heads wrap polished covers and a polished breather around heavy-duty springs, titanium retainers, one-piece stainless valves and stainless Comp roller rockers. 10.8 to 1 compression is created by a computer-balanced rotating assembly, which is finished with a forged Lunati crank, billet Oliver connecting rods, forged JE pistons and Speed Pro plasma moly rings. A smooth hydraulic roller cam spins behind a polished serpentine drive, which twists an aluminum water pump between a polished alternator and a polished AC compressor. Exhaust is jettisoned through coated Hedman Hedders. A large electric puller fan cools a beefy aluminum radiator. And aesthetically, the compact mill seems right at home in the car's clean, Satin Black engine bay.


Naturally, that modernized powerplant precedes a modernized, road-ready chassis. Everything starts with a sturdy, factory-spec frame that traces solid, undercoated floors. At the center of those bones, a 4L60E 4-speed makes excellent use of a 10-bolt Trans Am axle. That road-ready pumpkin drives a fully rebuilt chassis, which mixes a Trans Am rear-clip with a massaged Camaro front-half. Turns come courtesy of lucid power steering. Solid stops are achieved with the help of four AFCO discs. Aluminized exhaust funnels spent gases through Flowtech Raptor mufflers. And all that proven hardware rolls on custom steelies, which spin 215/70R15 BF Goodrich Radial T/A whitewalls around NOS hub caps.


The car's warm and welcoming interior looks straight out of boomtown, America, complete with tight leather, tasteful fabrics and ornate telemetry. The red and taupe cockpit is centered on big bench seats that feel soft enough to take a nap on. At the front of the car, a chrome-trimmed dash centers vintage AM audio above Vintage Air climate control. The driver turns a classy steering wheel around a traditional shifter. And the passengers store essentials in a fully carpeted trunk.

If you're looking for some classic Americana that's much more exclusive than mass-market Chevys and run-of-the-mill Fords, this elegant Studebaker is a fantastic choice. Distinctive, reliable and lovingly restored, it's a lot of fun on the street OR at the show. Call, click or visit for more information!


Incredible Studebaker resto-mod that's the product of a professional, $130K build

Awarded Best in Class at the 2012 ISCA World of Wheels in Boston

Awarded Outstanding Custom at the 2012 ISCA World of Wheels in Boston

383 cubic inch Lingenfelter LT4 Corvette V8 / 450 horsepower

4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission

Modern Air conditioning

Power steering

AFCO 4-wheel disc brakes

Camaro front suspension / Trans Am rear suspension

Custom steel wheels / NOS hub caps

All-original sheetmetal / Cashmere Taupe paint

Leather interior

Build photos / Build receipts

All RK Motors vehicles receive a comprehensive, multi-point inspection

We can arrange shipment of your purchase anywhere in the world

Vehicle Details

  • 1953 Studebaker Commander
  • Listing ID: CC-1212584
  • Price: $69,900
  • Location:Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Year:1953
  • Make:Studebaker
  • Model:Commander
  • Exterior Color:Cashmere Taupe
  • Interior Color:Red
  • Transmission:Automatic
  • Odometer:24
  • Stock Number:136448
  • VIN:8344423
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