Car With a Story – 1952 Studebaker Champion

One of the true holy grails as a car nut, besides finding a deal on a great car, is finding a car complete with all its historical documentation. It lends the car history and character, and the internet is a real boon since you can do fun things like look up the original owner, the original dealer or its location, see the selling price and what options were included, and more. The former RustyButTrusty Lancia Beta was such a car, so in spite of its foibles, going through the original manual, window sticker, and various receipts was a little window into the era the car evoked. You can find this 1952 Studebaker Champion for sale for $4000 in Tacoma, WA.

1952 Studebaker Champion right side

The seller is clearly interested in the historical angle on this car as well, and thanks to modern digital photography, has been able to create some period-looking pictures. No other cars in sight and an old industrial building definitely brings up memories of brochures from when the car was new. This Studebaker is said to have had 54,000 miles when it was brought out of hibernation, and was left in as-found cosmetic condition, barring an upgrade to whitewall tires and replacement of the fourth hubcap.

1952 Studebaker Champion left rear

Underneath and inside, much work has been done to the car – the trunk floor was replaced, cabin floor was patched, and fuel, brake, exhaust, and ignition systems all received the requisite attention for a car stored for 32 years in a barn. The brakes were upgraded to larger front drums from a Commander, making the car more usable as a daily driver, which was the seller’s purpose in reviving it.

1952 Studebaker Champion interior

The interior also got a lot of attention – seats and carpet were mouse-eaten, so the old carpet and seat covers were replaced, and the entire interior was lined with insulation to reduce noise and vibration. Green-tint door glass comes with the car, but is not installed. Overdrive transmission, electric wipers, and a “climatizer” all help make this car as capable a daily driver as it can be.

1952 Studebaker Champion engine

Here you can see evidence of all the work that was done. These cars were known for their fuel economy and durability, and this straight six powered Studebakers from 1939 all the way to 1964 – what basic engine lasts that long anymore? Thanks to heavy farm use (the original owner was a nut farmer), everything underneath was coated in heavy mud, and had to be cleaned off.

1952 Studebaker Champion documentation

If you’re also a car history nerd who’s looking for more detail, there’s a full description of the resurrection of the car here on the HAMB. This car is clearly the essence of what we love – a driver quality car that comes with a cool story and, while a little dog-eared, shows its age gracefully.


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