(Found In) Fall River Mills (Shasta County, California): 1952 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight Coupe

img_2793There’s a price to pay for being independent. Possibly no manufacturer continually learned that lesson better/worse than Studebaker. With big ambitions yet more often than not modest budgets, the sensations of South Bend often shot for the stars but found little oxygen to continue their journeys beyond the stratosphere.

Where larger manufacturers could find cash to carry them into modest restyles and updates, smaller brands had to stick to guns they fired. This is where the story of the “first by far with a Postwar Car” 1947 Studebaker found itself 6 seasons later in 1952.

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(Found In) The Bayview (San Francisco, California): 1948 Studebaker Commander Regal Starlight Coupe

23758564803_445b4417d2_k Studebaker, independent manufacturer always willing to take a risk, was no stranger to creating stylish coupe models during the post war era. Had it not been for the advanced styling that Studebaker took in the personalization of the average automobile, many mainstream manufacturers may have not taken heed and offered their own wares.

Had it not been for the unique Starlight Coupes, General Motors perhaps wouldn’t have retaliated with their “Hardtop Convertibles” in the guise of “Coupe DeVille” “Riviera” and “Holiday at Cadillac, Buick and Oldsmobile in 1949. Perhaps the world would have continued appreciating the divide between carefree convertibles and stoic sedans.

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(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe and 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk

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There can be an amazing price paid for beauty. Studebaker found out far too well when it decided to put a stunning coupe on the market in 1953. Giving the general buying public access to a international flavored fantasy at a fraction of bespoke prices lead to many a headache. Unfortunately, Studebaker didn’t have any expectation of overwhelming success for their new star.

What we behold here are perhaps the most fatal beauties in the history of the American Automotive Industry. In that failure, however, they created an automotive segment that would come to dominate the American Automotive landscape in just over a generation.

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