Skip to main content

1951 Studebaker Commander State news, pictures, specifications, and information
Convertible
Chassis Num: 8953565
 
Sold for $49,500 at 2006 RM Auctions.
The name Commander was used throughout most of the Studebaker Companies existence. It appeared in the 1920's and used consistently by the company with the exception of a few years, those being 1936 and 1959-1963. The Commander name had many duties during its existence with some of those denoting the companies premium model range.

The postwar Studebaker Commander had been the work of Virgil Exner and Raymon Loewy. Its bullet-nosed front end and use of chrome trim gave the vehicle a distinct appearance. Power was from a 233 cubic-inch overhead valve V8 that continued to rise in power as the years progressed. In 1952, the Commander was chose as the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.

The 1951 Studebaker Commander State Convertible Coupe finished in red with red interior was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey, CA where it was estimated to sell between $40,000-$60,000. It was offered without reserve. Since new, the vehicle has undergone a comprehensive restoration that included work being done to the chrome, paint and upholstery. On auction day the car did sell, netting $49,500.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
Convertible
Chassis Num: 8141747
 
Sold for $30,250 at 2011 RM Auctions.
In the postwar era, Studebaker claimed 'First by Far with a Postwar Car.' Their dramatic Starlight coupe was introduced in 1947 and sales were strong, seeing levels not seen before the war. Studebaker achieved eighth place in the industry for 1949, before setting into a steady ninth as other automakers' production caught up with demand.

For 1950, Studebaker introduced their automatic transmission, developed in conjunction with Borg Warner. 1950 was also the year the cars were face-lifted with the aircraft-inspired 'bullet-nose' design. The following year, a V-8 engine was offered, a first for an independent automaker. The engine was a sturdy overhead-valve design that remained in production for over a decade.

This Studebaker Commander State Convertible is finished in light yellow with a saddle tan interior and a canvas top. It was restored in 1987 and has aged rather nicely. The engine is a 232.6 cubic-inch overhead valve V-8 that offers 120 horsepower. There is a three-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. It is equipped with AM radio, under-seat heater, backup lamps, directional signals, chrome fender skirts, full chrome wheel covers and a tissue dispenser. For 1951, just 3770 'State' Line convertibles were produced.

In 2011, this Commander State Convertible was offered for sale at the St. John auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $35,000 - $45,000 and was offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $30,250 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
Convertible
 
Studebaker entered the automotive business in 1902 with electric vehicles, and began producing gasoline -powered vehicles in 1904. They began using the Commander name in 1927, it was applied to various cars in company's product line-up from year to year. Say the name 'Studebaker,' and there is a good chance that the image that springs to mind is the 1950-1951 models, a.k.a the 'bullet nose' Studebaker.

This example is a 1951 Studebaker Commander convertible in Commander Red. 1951 models differ from their 1950 predecessors with some styling refinements in the front end with flush, rather than recessed, grille work.

This example was built on November 9. 1950, at Studebaker's South Bend, Indiana facility. It spent most of its life in Tucson, Arizona, where an amateur restoration was performed on it before it was sold to a new owner in California. The car was shown and received many awards at local car meets in the Los Angeles area. In 2003, it was housed in a storage garage which caught fire, scorching the paint and damaging the top and interior.

The current owner acquired the car about ten years ago and had it shipped to Indiana where he decided to commission a full professional restoration because the car 'looked very sad' but was not permanently damaged.' The restoration was completed by Westmoreland Auto Restoration in Blairsville, Pennsylvania.
The Studebaker Commander was produced for several years, representing several bodystyle changes, and first appeared in the 1920s. The company would continue to use the name until their demise in 1966. There were only a few years where the Commander did not appear in Studebaker's line-up during that time; those were in 1936 and 1959-1963.

When the name first appeared in 1927, it was Studebaker's middle-series. As the years progress, it would move up and down market, often changing positions from year to year. The name would continue until it was dropped in 1935, only to reappear in 1937 where it served as the company's least expensive model, taking the place of the previous Studebaker Dictator. The company had decided to do away with the 'Dictator' name, due to the negative political connectors associated with the name. Mainly, Adolf Hitler in Germany had tainted the word 'dictator.'

The Commander moved up-market in 1939 when Studebaker introduced the Champion model. After the Second World War, Studebaker dropped its President moniker, and repositioned the Commander in its place. At the same time, Studebaker introduced an extended wheelbase model known as the Land Cruiser.

The President name reappeared in 1955; the President model became the premium model range and the Commander was demoted to the mid-range model. The name would continue until 1958 and reappear in 1963 for the 1964 model range. It was positioned next to the lowest-priced Lark model and above the entry-level Challenger model.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2008
For more information and related vehicles, click here

SCOTT PRUETT RECEIVES RRDC'S 2016 PHIL HILL AWARD
 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2016) – Scott Pruett, known as a savvy and disciplined racer with a record 60 victories in IMSA competition, was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club with the 2016 Phil Hill Award. RRDC president Bobby Rahal made the presentation at a dinner on Jan. 27 prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Phil Hill Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the person who the RR...[Read more...]
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2015 Season in Review
 Monterey, Calif., Oct. 8, 2015 – The final checkered flag has waved, the transporters have driven out of the paddock gate and the 2015 major event season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is now one of records and memories. Nearly a quarter-million motorsports fans attended the five major events, an increase of more than 30% over last season's 183,589 attendance mark. That meant five weekends of great racing and another great year of memories and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca history. It also ...[Read more...]
Mazda Road to Indy Set for Season Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
 MONTEREY, Calif., Sept. 4, 2015 — The season finale for the Mazda Road to Indy will take place Sept. 11-13 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and with it comes great anticipation of superb open wheel racing as well as great opportunity for drivers to take the next steps in their racing careers. The 2015 Indy Lights champion will be crowned next weekend, with the winner earning a scholarship toward a drive in three 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series races, including the 100th Indianapolis 500. Brit...[Read more...]
BMW TEAM RLL – SAHLEN'S SIX HOUR OF THE GLEN PREVIEW
2016 M6 GT3 and M235i Racing Cars to Make First North American Public Appearances. Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – June 23, 2015… Following an eight week break in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship action for teams participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, BMW Team RLL will restart their season at Watkins Glen International, in Watkins Glen, NY, on June 28th with the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen. Watkins Glen International this weekend will also be the site of the North American pub...[Read more...]
NISSAN NAMED A PRESENTING SPONSOR OF 'WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN' CHARITY SCREENING PREMIERES
◾Nissan's rich history in motorsports highlighted throughout the new documentary film focusing on the racing activities of actor/philanthropist Paul Newman ◾Many of Newman's many motorsports victories and championships came behind the wheel of Nissan and Datsun vehicles ◾Los Angeles and Indianapolis charity previews include film showing, after parties and displays of vintage motorsports vehicles; events benefit Racing for Cancer and The Indy Family Foundation ◾Also on display at the April 16 ...[Read more...]
Avanti
Champion
Commander
Coupe Express
Daytona
Dictator
Hawk
Lark
President
Six

Image Left 1950 Commander Starlight1952 Commander State Starliner Image Right
© 1998-2016. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.