RARE STUDEBAKER CHAMP, REVOLUTIONARY POST-WAR DESIGN, 169 CI FLAT-6, OVERDRIVE!!
Following the war, all the automakers were scrambling to get new hardware out the door, but Studebaker was one of the first to offer a truly new design with the 1947 Champion and Commander. With its distinctive and striking wrap-around rear window, this 1948 Champion coupe offers ground-breaking styling that still looks great today combined with durable, thrifty performance that made them a very popular choice back in the day.
The neat little Champion was the right car at the right time and maybe that time has come again. The size and proportions are just about perfect and it has a slick 1940s look that makes folks smile everywhere it goes. The green paint wasn't available on coupes, only convertibles, but it obviously looks right on the Stude's sleek bodywork. Restored quite some time ago, the paint is showing some signs of age, but then again, it has an honest appeal and I don't know that I'd worry about the little scratches and nicks that are only visible up close. The doors fit well, the cowl vents work properly, and that dramatic 4-piece rear window never fails to get people talking. Plenty of bright trim is standard fare for the era, and it's all in decent condition that would perk up a bit with a good polishing.
The interior is quite a surprise and looks remarkably fresh and bright. The tan upholstery uses a period-correct striped broadcloth with beautifully simple door panels and one of the most inviting back seats we've ever seen. Dark brown carpets provide a wonderful contrast and the dashboard looks quite updated compared to what everyone else was building in 1948. The burled walnut is rather convincing, and strangely puts the clock front and center, with auxiliary gauges on the left and the speedometer on the right. The row of switches and knobs underneath control things like the windshield wipers, headlights, and overdrive for the 3-speed manual transmission. The original AM radio is fitted in the center, right above the heater controls and you'll dig the dashboard-mounted rear-view mirror that gives it a sporty European flair. There's also a reasonably-sized trunk that includes a full-sized spare with matching whitewall tire that's never been used.
Studebaker's reliable 169 cubic inch flathead six seems modest on paper, but in the lightweight Champion, particularly when paired with overdrive, it's a fun little engine. The engine bay is very nicely finished with olive green paint on the block, a correct downdraft carburetor, and correct hoses and clamps. The wiring was replaced during the restoration years ago and it still uses its original 6-volt generator to make electricity. It has been recently fitted with a new exhaust system that gives it a great 6-cylinder grumble and the chassis is in good condition without being so over-detailed that you're afraid to drive it. That box on the passenger's side of the undercarriage is for the heater and even without power assist, the steering is light and easy. 4.10 gears out back give it plenty of zip around town, but with the overdrive system operating, it'll cruise on the highway at 65 MPH without complaints. Contrasting yellow wheels are fitted with really nice hubcaps and trim rings, as well as a set of 6.00-15 wide whites that give it a flashy look.
This is a neat little car with a lot of appealing features for not a lot of money. Studebaker was on a roll following the war and even today there's a big group of guys who think they're the best thing going. Call today!
- AM Radio
- Cloth Interior
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