1958 Studebaker President Starlight hardtop coupe, part of the 1958 Studebaker President/Commander Starlight line of collectible cars.
1958 Studebaker President Starlight hardtop coupe

The 1958 Studebaker President/Commander Starlight was a one-year anomaly from South Bend. The models were hardtop coupes with a thin-section roofline and compound-curve backlight a la contemporary Chrysler products, but built from Studebaker's standard "non-Hawk" bodyshell.

The Starlight name recalled Studebaker's first 1952 hardtop (and postwar "three-window" coupes), but 1958's lower-body facelift was clumsy and overdone. The new design featured quad headlamps in grafted-on pods, equally inept tacked-on tailfins, along with bumps and bulges in random places. It made a compelling argument for trimming down and cleaning up -- as Studebaker would do for the compact '59 Lark.

The '58 Starlight came as both a top-line President with a 289 V-8 and as an only slightly less garish Commander with the smaller 259 engine. Both are equally collectible today: rare oddities from South Bend's last big crisis before it finally teetered over the brink eight years later.

Pluses of the 1958 Studebaker President/Commander Starlight:
  • Unusual even for Studebakers
  • Hardtop appeal
  • Fine small-block V-8s

Minuses of the 1958 Studebaker President/Commander Starlight:

  • Rust-prone
  • Styling certainly debatable
  • Not likely to yield strong dollar returns

Specifications of the 1958 Studebaker President/Commander Starlight:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.5
Length, inches:
206.5
Weight, pounds: 3,355
Price, new:
$2,695

Engines for the 1958 Studebaker President/Commander Starlight:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv V-8 289 cid
225 1958
ohv V-8259 cid 1801958

Want more information about classic cars? See: