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This stunning Studebaker Champion is a 1954 example finished in a Pastel Yellow with a Blue roof. It has the optional extra wheel discs and white wall tyres with a dark brown interior and the car arrived in the UK in 2008 and comes with a comprehensive history containing various previous owner correspondence and invoices. One letter from the second owner confirms he bought the car from a Mrs Florence Grim (first owner) in 1968 and during his ownership in the US was a 100 point show car. The car was later sold to its third owner who kept the car many years. The car was advertised in the US in 2007 as a genuine 64,000 mile car, being sold by its third owner who confirmed the engine was overhauled in 2007. The car had been covering 100 miles annually for ten years and was sold to a Mayfair, London based Company Chairman and former Merchant Banker.
Expenditure since arriving in the UK from Ohio includes £1500 spent on a fabricating and fitting a bespoke stainless steel exhaust system, £500 on work to include balancing the propshaft, renewing door trims and an invoice for £2200 details stripping and cleaning brakes, renewing rear spring eye bushes, rear spring eye nuts and bolts, new differential oil seal and cover plate gasket, new fuel tank sender unit, new propshaft bearing rubbers, new gearbox seal, lubrication of all linkages and various new engine gaskets and seals. Paperwork also supports a new wiring loom and further trim carried out by its first UK owner. The Studebaker has arrived with us in strong mechanical order, driving exceptionally well and ready to use and enjoy. The car presents beautifully with lovely paintwork and has a very distinctive, stunning Coupe body. The upholstery has been beautifully kept and looks like a low mileage car and has clearly spent much of its life garaged.
Studebaker is one of the oldest names in the American automotive world with their origins in the manufacture of wagons and mining carts in the 1850s, then very forward thinking, they went into electric cars in 1902 before finally producing petrol engine cars in 1904. They went on to build a reputation of quality and reliability combined with some of the most stylish cars of their day. From the late 1940s through to 1957 they were the largest independent car manufacturer behind the giant 3 of GM, Chrysler and Ford. They merged with Packard in 1954 but financial problems plagued the joint venture and the last Studebaker rolled off the production line in 1966.
The Studebaker Champion was a fabulously styled car from the peak of the glamorous 1950s era with the design penned by the renowned Raymond Loewy. No one understood the American Dream better than the Paris born Loewy largely because he lived it. Loewy founded the world's first design consultancy in New York where he worked on various projects from designing the Lucky Strike cigarette packet (a product that he smoked through a solid gold cigarette holder), the Presidential aircraft Airforce One, Coca-Cola, Greyhound Busses and the lazy S of the Studebaker badge which was in fact his own handwriting. He was the founder of modern Industrial design and Studebaker gave Loewy full credit for styling most of its cars from 1938 through to 1956 and the two became synonymous with one another much more so than any other designer and car name.
The Studebaker Champion is pure Loewy with strong influence from aviation design and using much more glass than the competitors to give the cars light and airy interiors. Many would say it was one of the most outstanding American automotive designs of the 1950's and certainly an all time great. The engines were more conservative in design being a flathead 6 cylinder, displacing 170 cubic inches (2.7ltr) and with a compression ratio of 7.5. The gearbox is a column mounted 3-speed manual otherwise known as 3 on the tree.