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FOR SALE: 1947 Commander Convertible

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I don't know a lot about Studebakers, but this tidy little convertible seems like a nice alternative to the recent group of Mopars and Fords we've had in stock. Studebaker seems to have beaten everyone else to the punch by introducing the modern-looking Champion right after the war, and its sleek profile looks downright sporty parked next to, say, Leroy the 1949 Plymouth in our showroom.

This car hails from sunny California and shows signs of conscientious ownership. It was surely restored some years ago, but there's still a lot of originality here, too. The paint is called Gala Brown, and it has a bit of metallic in it to make things interesting, and I kind of like the subtle combination. There's no rust or signs of patches anywhere on the car, reinforcing its California history, and the chrome is excellent throughout. It is fitted with accessory fog and back-up lights, all of which work properly, and details like the nose emblem and hood ornament are very good. The tan canvas convertible top is showing some age, but the power mechanism works properly and it seals up about as well as you would expect for a mid-40s ragtop.

The interior is brown vinyl doing a reasonable impersonation of leather, and shows virtually no wear. Probably restored with the rest of the car, perhaps in the '90s, the seats remain firm and comfortable (I hate it when you sit in an old car and feel like you're in a hole), and the door panels are excellent. I'm guessing the gauges are original and fully functional, although the fuel gauge seems a little sluggish. Studebaker gave us a big clock right in the middle, but sadly, it is not working. But on the upside, the radio does work as does the factory-installed overdrive, controlled by a knob to the left of the steering column. Seat belts were added front and rear, and there are still remnants of the original service guide inside the glovebox door.

Studebaker gave the Champion a peppy 170 cubic inch inline-six which moves the little ragtop easily. It has a nice grumble from the single exhaust, and with the overdrive engaged, it's happy to cruise at modern highway speeds. Clutch and shift action are light, and braking is firm without any tugging. The engine bay isn't detailed for show, but it is clean and functional with no signs of trouble and evidence of recent maintenance, and the fuel system was recently overhauled, including a rebuilt carburetor. It's solid and clean underneath, as you'd expect from a California car. I don't know how old the tires are, but they show plenty of tread and no cracking or other warning signs.

A nice little convertible that's a bit out-of-the-ordinary. Asking $29,900, but offers are always invited. Thanks for looking!













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