Studebaker was established as a small smith’s shop in February 1852 by Henry and Clement Studebaker in the city of South Bend in Indiana. It then becoming a coach factory, “Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company”, and produced coaches for the American Civil War and World War I. With the three younger brothers joining, the brand became the largest coach manufacturer not only in America, but the world. It started production of electric automobiles in 1902, and its first vehicles with gasoline engines emerged in 1904.

The first Champion arrived in 1940 with four models, including three and five-passenger Coupes and two and four-door Sedans.

The Starlight Coupes, like our vehicle here, have four-piece rear windows curved to sides. Known for their unusually large internal space, particularly the space between the front seat and the dashboard, Studebakers with this body offered a total of 21 different models in the 6-cylinder Champion and 8-cylinder Commander ranges. These models subdivided into three classes according to trim level, namely Custom, DeLuxe and Regal.

In 1950, the styling was transformed with the new “Bullet Nose” look, as it is commonly called. In 1951, the left and right grilles under the bullet were expanded. The 1952 edition, the last model of this style, has no bullet nose. Three teeth were placed to the left and right of the triangle under the chrome emblem in the middle of the hood. The popularity of the design, despite the common joke of  “Which is the front of this car?”. Allowed Studebaker’s sales to reach 239,000 in 1949.


  • Make Studebaker
  • Model Champion Custom
  • Model / Body Number 10 G
  • Body Style C 1, Starlight Coupe
  • Year 1951
  • Origin U.S.A.
  • Production Total 2,781
  • Passenger Capacity 5


  • Engine Champion, 6 cyl, L-Head, Gasoline, 169.6 cu. inch, 85 bhp, 4000 rpm
  • Bore x Stroke 3.0 x 4.0 inch
  • Transmission Manual, 3-speed, column shift
  • Top Speed 115 mph
  • Acceleration 0-60 mph, 16 s
  • Body / Frame Steel / Steel, box section
  • Suspension Front Wish-bones, coil springs
  • Rear Semi-elliptic leaf springs, shock absorbers
  • Electrical System 6 Volt, 100 Ampere
  • Brakes Hydraulic, 4-wheels drum
  • Wheelbase 115 inch
  • Overall Length 197.5 inch
  • Overall Width 70.6 inch
  • Overall Height 61.2 inch
  • Shipping Weight 2650 lbs
  • Front / Rear Tread 56.5 inch / 54.0 inch
  • Tires 6.40 x 15