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I am considering buying a 1925 standard six Studebaker Duplex Phaeton. I'd like some help in determining just how rare this car is or isn't. It seems Studebaker produced 133,104 autos in 1925 but I would like to find out how many were Duplex Phaetons. Any help or direction would be appreciated.

Thanks Tom in Indiana

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The Duplex Phaeton was a body style that Studebaker used on all of their model lines. The Duplex Phaeton was a term Studebaker used and was more commonly know in the automotive industry as a California top. In addition to the Standard Six, they built the Special Six, and the Big Six.

The Standard Six was built from 1925 to 1927. Prior to 1925, the Standard Six was known as the Light Six, after 1927, it was known as the Dictator.

Standard Six is known as the Model ER; serial numbers for 1925 start at: 1,202,001 to 1,284,000. Engine numbers: ER-202,501 to 350,001. The Model designation of ER was used in both 1925 and 1926.

Based on the serial number, it would appear that there were 81,999 Standard Six’s built in all body styles in 1925. How many Duplex Phaeton’s? That would require additional research in the Studebaker archives. You might want to contact the Studebaker National Museum and make a research request. They charge for this service. Prior to contacting them you should have the car’s serial number, engine number, and body number.

Web site for the Studebaker National Museum archive service:

Archive Collections | Studebaker National Museum - Official Website

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I don't know how many were made but in 1925 the touring car or phaeton body style was the most popular. Closed cars and sedans, while available, were too expensive, too heavy, and a lot of people did not like the idea of being surrounded by plate glass in case of an accident (no safety glass at that time).

The first car to really push closed car sales was the Essex coach. This was the first low priced closed car. It started a new trend in the auto industry. By 1930 sedans were the best sellers and the touring or phaeton was a back number.

This meant open cars were unpopular as used cars and many were scrapped. So, even though they were a best seller when new, they may be rarer than the closed cars today. Also everything now is vice versa, the open cars are popular with collectors and demand higher prices than sedans.

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Based on the serial number, it would appear that there were 81,999 Standard Six’s built in all body styles in 1925. How many Duplex Phaeton’s? That would require additional research in the Studebaker archives.

Thanks, thats a lot of information that I didn't know and appreciate having. I found one unsupported magazine article that puts the 1925 production number at around 200 units, but that seems pretty low even by 1925 standards.

The seller is claiming the car is rare and is offering it at a price slightly under $14k. In my opinion its certainly a very, very nice driver with show car potential. I think some minor attention to both the chrome and paint job might be required to take it to the next level. It drives quite well which is more important to me than showing the car. I just don't want to put myself into a bad investment value position from the very start. If the car isn't rare then I should probably pass on it in favor of another model. Its very hard to find any meaningful values listed for this car. I'd certainly welcome any comments or opinions.

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So, even though they were a best seller when new, they may be rarer than the closed cars today. Also everything now is vice versa, the open cars are popular with collectors and demand higher prices than sedans.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best I'd say this car is a 10 as a driver, but maybe a 7 as a show car. Does $14K sound like a high price for a very very good driver? Not to put you on the spot or anything... hehe The car drives very well, the paint job has some minor flaws (mostly orange peel) and some of the chrome shows some light pitting, but really the car seems to be in fantastic condition with a wonderful leather interior. It runs and drives quite well with no mechanical problems that I could discern.

I know price is a function of a lot of considerations but maybe I could get a few general comments from readers about their opinions on the investment potential of a 25 Duplex Phaeton, like "poor risk" "good potential" "run for cover!" "buy" "don't buy" . This is about a 10 year old restoration and the car has been very well kept. I like it, but the scarcity factor is a total unknown to me and I would think that important in making a buying decision. So, I do appreciate any information shared with me.

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akemjama,

I think your use of the word "investment potential" is the key point. You will find MOST owners buy for the enjoyment of the hobby, not to make money. I do not know Studebakers, but if this is an open car, it seems worth 14k. Ask yourself, are you going to enjoy owning and driving that car, or are you planning to just hold it for investment potential?

John

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akemjama,

You will find MOST owners buy for the enjoyment of the hobby, not to make money. Are you going to enjoy owning and driving that car, or are you planning to just hold it for investment potential?

John

Well John, nobody enjoys riding in old cars more than me, but all the guys I try to buy from seem to think price is pretty darn important. Banks are paying 1% right now, so buying an old car that is a good value seems to make sense to me as both an investment and entertainment. I readily admit I have limited resources so I have to spend them with care. So, I came here to get some valued opinions before I spend several thousand dollars on a car I'm really not that knowledgable about. Thanks for yours.

Edited by akejama
too wordy (see edit history)

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Akejama,

Regarding the potential investment value of a 1925 Studebaker Standard Six Duplex Phaeton, it is not an “investment” car if that is your main consideration. There are several reasons behind this. They are:

First, Studebaker, with very few exceptions does not lead the list of cars people “invest in”. The Pre-War Studebakers that hold their value are the open model Presidents, especially the 1931 President Four Season roadsters.

Second, the Duplex Phaeton is not a true open car. It was designed to give the feeling of a closed car with a solid roof and pull down shades when the weather was bad. You cannot take the top off without major permanent damage to the car. It is an early hybrid, part open car, part closed car, put not a true “open” car.

Third, the Standard Six was the low end of the Studebaker model line. It has the lowest horsepower, two wheel brakes, and will top out at about 45 mph. This is not the kind of car anyone will want to drive if you have power, speed, and performance in mind. The vintage Studebaker would only be appreciated by someone who truly loves an antique car.

Fourth, you mentioned several times the cars condition, the pitted chrome and orange peel paint. When it comes to resale, and investment, these things will matter. The cost of repainting this car to show condition and fixing the bright work will come close to the $14,000 asking price. At that point, you will have doubled your investment and the car will still be worth about what you paid for it. Also, a 1925 Studebaker did not have chrome finish any where on the car; it would have had nickel on all bright work. This is important to anyone who wants a correctly restored car and will affect its value.

If an investment value is a concern you might want to consider a true open car, specifically a roadster. They will cost more up front, but have a greater potential of retaining their value. However, there are no guarantees. The rule of thumb when buying and restoring old cars is: buy the car because you love it, the odds are you will never recoup your investment. Enjoy the hobby for the sake of the cars and the people; invest in the stock market to make money.

Edited by Mark Huston (see edit history)

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Old Cars Price Guide says #2 $16,450 #3 $10,580. #3 is a good driver, #2 is real nice capable of winning some shows but not perfect. So $14,000 is in the ballpark.

As an investment old cars are chancy but then what isn't these days. Buy it if you like it and want to enjoy it, if it makes money that is a bonus. But if you buy solely as an investment you will be much better off buying old paintings, silverware, art and antiques.

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Akejama,

The Pre-War Studebakers that hold their value are the open model Presidents, especially the 1931 President Four Season roadsters.

I notice you own the car you are extolling, so I'll accept your imput as expert.

I read carefully and appreciate all your comments, particularly the one about getting nickle plating done on the bright works. I will certainly use nickel instead of chrome. However, with 40+ years of experience, painting is something I do quite well, A couple of gallons of Lucite with my new brush and she'll look just fine.*grin*

Thanks for your time and thoughts.

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I notice you own the car you are extolling, so I'll accept your imput as expert.

I have tried to help you, and address your question pertaining to the investment potential of the car you are looking at purchasing. The investment example I gave of a 1931 President Four Seasons Roadster was just that, and example of a car that holds its value. I DO NOT OWN ONE. I HAVE NEVER OWNED ONE. I do not have not an ax to grind, nothing to gain by giving you the advice you are asking for.

<O:p</O:p

Yes, I own a Studebaker President, other than the engine; my President has nothing in common to the one I cited as an example. I own a President that is a Sedan,<ST1:p</ST1:p not a Roadster.

<O:p</O:p

Returning to your original question, No, I do not think 1925 Standard Six Duplex Phaeton is an investment car. However, buy it if it makes you happy to own it, show it, and drive it. If not pass on it.

I wish you the best of success in your search for an antique car that you can enjoy for years to come.

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Old Cars Price Guide says #2 $16,450 #3 $10,580. #3 is a good driver, #2 is real nice capable of winning some shows but not perfect. So $14,000 is in the ballpark.

Thanks Rusty I appreciate the effort you made to find me some kind of useful evaluation...I could not get the on-line guides to work. Most on-line guides I've found don't go back to the 1920's and I really wanted to avoid making a huge buying mistake. I obviously like this car or I wouldn't be asking about it. It's just a cool look and the nostalgia of driving it should be a real hoot. Please remind me never to use the word, "investment" on this site again.. LOL... I has been schooled.

My mother and this car are the same age, so I think it should be a great lark having them get together for a trip to the DQ on Sunday afternoons.

Again, thanks for giving me some numbers to hang my hat on. Muscle cars I know, but Grandpa's cars are out of my comfort zone. I have never seen another one of these around this part of the country, so I think it will be fun to drive to the fairs, drive-ins, etc. I can't sit still long enough to go to a car show as a participant, but maybe my son or grandsons will enjoy doing that. I'm really not a trophy kind of guy. Thanks for helping me out. I feel better.

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Thanks Rusty I appreciate the effort you made to find me some kind of useful evaluation...I could not get the on-line guides to work. Most on-line guides I've found don't go back to the 1920's and I really wanted to avoid making a huge buying mistake. I obviously like this car or I wouldn't be asking about it. It's just a cool look and the nostalgia of driving it should be a real hoot. Please remind me never to use the word, "investment" on this site again.. LOL... I has been schooled.

My mother and this car are the same age, so I think it should be a great lark having them get together for a trip to the DQ on Sunday afternoons.

Again, thanks for giving me some numbers to hang my hat on. Muscle cars I know, but Grandpa's cars are out of my comfort zone. I have never seen another one of these around this part of the country, so I think it will be fun to drive to the fairs, drive-ins, etc. I can't sit still long enough to go to a car show as a participant, but maybe my son or grandsons will enjoy doing that. I'm really not a trophy kind of guy. Thanks for helping me out. I feel better.

The prices are not from an on line guide. They are from a paper magazine bought in a store for $6.99. Available wherever fine car magazines are sold.

By the way if the plated trim is worn or pitted, the paint not too good etc. then it is not a #2 and probably not a #3 so the prices I quoted are too high.

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The prices are not from an on line guide. They are from a paper magazine bought in a store for $6.99. Available wherever fine car magazines are sold.

By the way if the plated trim is worn or pitted, the paint not too good etc. then it is not a #2 and probably not a #3 so the prices I quoted are too high.

I WANT TO THANK EVERY ONE FOR THEIR IMPUT ON THIS THREAD. Having listened to all of you and argued with some of you .....in the end I heard you well and decided to pass on the car we were considering to buy. Some have said that scarcity isn't important that its just demand, but to my experience short supply coupled with demand is what drives price. In this case, we learned there were several tens of thousands more units manufactured than we had been given initial reason to believe. The car itself is fine, it's not a show car, but it wasn't represented to be one. It could be elevated to show car status with attention to details, but that was never my interest. I prefer to own a car, enjoy it, perhaps improve it a bit, and then pass it along to the next custodian. If any profit at all is realized then I consider the car to have been a good investment. I will not use the word "investment" on this site again. LOL Again I thank you each and every one for all your imput. Your thoughtful participation made our final decision to pass on this vehicle a bit less traumatic.

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Glad to be of help. Some members are a little gun shy because of the sharpies that come around looking to make a fast buck. You do not fall in that category but it is not easy to tell that at first.

It is best to buy the car you love, and find the best example you can find even if it costs a little more. You will end up OK in the long run. But do not put too much stress on the investment angle, cars are not an investment in the usual sense as I am sure you know.

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