Stylish Struggle – 1955 Studebaker Champion

Studebaker’s mid-1950s sedans are really forgotten styling winners. Overshadowed as usual by the Big 3, their styling is much more understated with more tasteful use of chrome and fins than their Michigan competitors. And in fact, it would be interesting to put these side by side with a Citroen ID/DS of the period and compare similarities – a relatively unadorned design, full-wheel polished metal convex hubcaps, and similar contours in the front end come to mind. And both were created by illustrious designers. Check out this 1955 Studebaker Champion for sale for $3500 in Dallas, TX.

1955 Studebaker Champion right front

The car is said to have a clear title and is registered, inspected and driven daily. Ask about the seller’s definition of daily, since Dallas summers are notoriously hot and humid, though if he’s subjecting himself to that in the name of driving a cool car, that’s impressive – perhaps the front fender crotch coolers are really effective. A 3-speed manual controls the output of the 101hp L-head six, so you may not be fast, but you won’t be left behind either.

1955 Studebaker Champion left rear

The rear view is a little more typically American for the period, but the fins are not excessive. Bumpers are certainly not as elegant and light as the ones on a DS. With the airplane-inspired badging front and rear, it’s cool that the license plates immediately below start with FLY.

1955 Studebaker Champion interior

The interior looks decent, but it’s not clear what the box on the seat is, or whether that’s meant to go with the car. Twin round dials with little chrome speak to either the target market for this model, or the amount of money Studebaker had available for fancy-schmancy trim. Either way, the simple interior and column shifter could almost trick you into thinking you’re in something continental. The factory radio and working heater/defroster will make the drive more comfortable, and speak to the daily-driver role this car plays.

1955 Studebaker Champion engine

All the red parts on this engine mean it’s sporty, right? Well, maybe not, but it’s had recent service including a new water pump, tune-up, and auxiliary fuel pump. The car also has new front brakes and tires, as well as new tail light lenses. It sounds like a great basis for a drivable project – would you take this on?

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