Loewy 4-Door – 1955 Studebaker Commander

In the early to mid-1950s, few automakers were building anything as low and aerodynamic-looking as Studebaker, with their line of Commanders designed by Bob Bourke, who was working for Raymond Loewy’s studio. From some angles, one could arguably say the Commander (and its brother, the Hawk line of cars) might have influenced the Citroen DS, with its pointy, low nose and headlights mounted in pods (as seen on the earlier Citroens), and even the sloping roofline. Sure, in other ways they’re vastly different, so maybe that’s just a way of pointing out how very unique these cars were. Find our accessible example of unusual 1950s design work in this 1955 Studebaker Commander 4-door, available for $3200 in Selma, OR, just north of the California border.

1955 Studebaker Commander right front

Okay, so it requires a bit of squinting to blur your vision, but can you see a bit of early DS in this angle? It’s a struggle to think of anything else that resembles this car. This particular car is mostly original and is in decent condition, considering the price and age. It comes with a new 6 volt battery, tires, and master cylinder. The right rear window is said to have a crack, but it’s not clear whether this impacts its functionality.

1955 Studebaker Commander left side

The car does a good job of looking ready to go for some fun as a rolling restoration. The suspension is not sagging, tires and wheels look clean, and it’s on a dirt road (or the seller’s long driveway?) without all kinds of stuff piled around it. The original 259-cid, Passmaster V8 engine and automatic transmission are said to run and drive well, so you could maybe do a little exploration of Oregon’s natural beauty on your way home.

1955 Studebaker Commander left rear

The rear end is really interesting too. For 1955, they received a larger chrome grill, and it appears the tail light chrome might have been bolstered too – it looks a little inelegant and clunky. The body looks pretty straight with all chrome apparently present, although you’ll find some rust on the right hand side of the floor.

1955 Studebaker Commander interior

There’s not much to be seen of the interior, but since the carpet is absent, you should also assume th eseats are torn up as they often are in 1950s cars in original condition. The steering wheel shows its age without being ruined – it’s nice to see the wear from years of use, kind of like your grandfather’s hand tools. Carpet is also missing, and it looks like there’s a hole from a floor shifter, which seems unlikely. On the whole, if you’ve been looking to get into a starter classic you won’t see at every 1950s car show, this is worth a look.


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