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Photograph Characteristic: 1938 Studebaker State Commander 4-Door Sedan | The Day by day Drive | Shopper Information® The Day by day Drive

Photograph Characteristic: 1938 Studebaker State Commander 4-Door Sedan | The Day by day Drive | Shopper Information® The Day by day Drive

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1938 Studebaker State Commander

Word: The next story was excerpted from the February 2016 challenge of Collectible Vehicle journal

Most individuals affiliate Studebaker with South Bend, Indiana, or perhaps even Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, however the Studebaker State Commander on these pages was inbuilt Los Angeles. In 1935, Studebaker opened a plant there for meeting of vehicles destined for the western states, Alaska, and Hawaii.

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1938 Studebaker State Commander

1938 Studebaker State Commander

The opening of a West Coast plant solely two years after Studebaker’s close to chapter in 1933 exhibits how shortly the corporate was in a position to flip itself round. Manufacturing rose from fewer than 12,000 vehicles in ’33 to nearly 98,000 in 1937. Studebaker hoped to do even higher with contemporary styling in ’38. 

The 1938 fashions have been the primary Studebakers styled by Raymond Loewy’s design agency. Loewy had made a reputation for himself in industrial design, and his agency created distinctive appears to be like for merchandise starting from duplicating machines to locomotives. For Studebaker, Loewy’s workers produced a clear design with distinctive streamlined headlights on all however the base Commander. Promotional photographs posed a Studebaker with one in every of Loewy’s futuristic locomotives. (On the time, he was making the Pennsylvania Railroad’s steam locomotives look as modern as airplanes.) 

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1938 Studebaker State Commander

1938 Studebaker State Commander

The ’38 Studebakers got here in three ranges: Commander, State Commander, and President. Each Commander strains have been powered by a 90-horsepower 226.2-cubic-inch six, whereas the top-line President had a straight eight. A novel characteristic of Studebakers of this period was a transmission turned sideways to render a flat entrance floorboard—necessary when three-abreast entrance seating was a promoting level. Overdrive was a well-liked Studebaker possibility that added a fourth gear for higher gasoline economic system and quieter cruising. Commonplace on State Commanders and Presidents was Hill Holder, which prevented a stationary automobile from rolling down inclines when the brake was launched.

All Commanders rode a 116.5-inch wheelbase. Mated to a stiffer new body was Studebaker’s uncommon, however efficient, unbiased entrance suspension that used a transverse leaf spring as an alternative of typical coil springs. 4 physique types have been out there in every collection: a enterprise coupe, a two-door “Membership Sedan,” a four-door “Cruising Sedan,” and a four-door convertible. 

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1938 Studebaker State Commander

1938 Studebaker State Commander

With Loewy styling and intelligent engineering, Studebaker ought to have had a great yr in 1938. However the economic system, which had been steadily climbing out of the Nice Despair, had a relapse that yr. Demand fell to 46,785 items, a decline of 52 p.c. Nevertheless, it was a foul yr for everybody, and Studebaker really gained market share and rose from eleventh to tenth place in new-car gross sales. The $1040 State Commander four-door sedan was the most well-liked Stude of 1938 with 18,294 constructed.

Waymon Prather of Bakersfield, California, has owned this Studebaker State Commander for 13 years. It has the extra-cost overdrive and might cruise at 65 mph. He says that when the automobile was bought it had a frozen engine and was in “truthful to middling situation,” however has now been restored to “as near the unique as we might make it.” 

At its peak, the Los Angeles plant constructed 136 Studebakers a day. The power closed in 1956. In the meantime, Loewy and firm would have an extended and productive affiliation with Studebaker that resulted in excellent designs such because the 1953 Starliner coupe and 1963 Avanti.

Photograph Characteristic: 1934 Studebaker Commander

1938 Studebaker State Commander

1938 Studebaker State Commander

1938 Studebaker State Commander 4-Door Sedan Gallery

Click on under for enlarged photographs.

1938 Studebaker State Commander

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