Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner


1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner hardtop coupe, part of the Studebaker Commander line of collectible cars.
1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner hardtop coupe

The 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner was a new addition to Studebaker's upper series in the last year of the 1947 body design. The bullet nose was eliminated in favor of a "shovel" snout -- sometimes dubbed a "clam digger" -- which some designers found less appealing. (The bullet nose has received a lot of flak over the years, but somehow looks less bizarre now than it did then -- could it be because of the many blunt fronts we've seen since?)

The 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner is significant in that it was Studebaker's first hardtop convertible, with a top-quality interior and pillarless roof. A companion Regal Starliner was offered in the six-cylinder Champion line as well, which had been moved up to the Commander's 115-inch wheelbase the previous year.

South Bend was the last major auto manufacturer to introduce a hardtop, but in the following year would carry this body type to its ultimate.

Pluses of the 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner:

  • Historical interest
  • Good performance from a small-block V-8

Minuses of the 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner:

  • Underwhelming looks
  • Rust susceptibility
  • Poor-quality chrome (an industry-wide problem during the Korean conflict)

Production of the 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner:
14,548

Specifications of the 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner:
Wheelbase, inches: 115.0
Length, inches: 197.5
Weight, pounds: 3,220
Price, new: $2,488

Engines for the 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv V-8232.6 cid
120
1952

Want more information about classic cars? See: