The 1953-1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight/Starliner is the V-8 version of the daring and enduring
"Loewy coupe" design, and is similar in most other respects to the
six-cylinder 1953-1954 Studebaker Champion models.
1954 Studebaker Commander Starlight coupe
The sleek European styling of the 1953-1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight/Starliner was matched by equally nice interiors trimmed mainly in vinyl or (for 1954 only) cloth, both color-keyed. There was also a slightly less posh DeLuxe-trim version of the fixed pillar Starlight offered in both years.
These could have been the cars that would have assured Studebaker's future, but, as the production figures suggest, they didn't. One reason was spotty assembly quality on the '53s, a result of the rush to get the design into production. Another was a flimsy frame on '53s, which was improved for '54. Still another reason was the company's miscalculation about the sales of the coupes versus those of other body styles.
Had Studebaker geared up to build more coupes, more would undoubtedly have been sold. As it was, the company thought the shorter wheelbase sedans and wagons, with scrunched-up lines based on the coupe styling, would sell better. Despite their greater rarity, the '54s seem to trail the '53s in value right now, but that may reverse itself in time.
Pluses of the 1953-1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight/Starliner:
- Landmark American styling
- Still very affordable considering design merit
- Strong appreciation potential
- Both coupe and hardtop are Milestone cars
Minuses of the 1953-1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight/Starliner:
- A serious ruster
- Indifferent brakes
- Only fair construction quality, mainly '53s
- More expensive than 1953-1954 Studebaker Champion models, even though more survive
of the 1953 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight/Starliner:
- 2-door hardtop: 19,326
- 2-door coupe: 20,859
- 2-door hardtop: 5,040
- 2-door coupe: 6,019
of the 1953-1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight/Starliner:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.5
Length, inches: 201.9
Weight, pounds: 3,040-3,175
Price, new: $2,213-$2,502
Engines for the 1953-1954 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight/Starliner:
|Type||Size ||Horsepower ||Years |
|ohv V-8||232.6 cid ||120 ||1953-1954 |
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