1954 Studebaker Champion
1954 Studebaker Champion
- Raymond Loewy Designed
- Pillarless coupe
- 2.7 ltr, straight 6
- Manual gearbox
“The first day you drive your own excitingly different Champion, the admiring comments of your friends and neighbors tell you what a smart buy you have made.” Studebaker Original Sales Brochure. – And who could argue!!
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. 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”.
This particular car is a 1954 example finished in a pale yellow with a blue roof. It has the optional extra wheel discs and white wall tyres with a dark brown interior. The car drives well and the gearbox and brakes all function exactly as they should. It comes with a nice history file and is on the button ready to be enjoyed.