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1947 Commander Transmission Question


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Hello,

There is a 1947 Commander Sedan with 46k miles for sale near me which the seller claims has an automatic transmission.

It belonged to his father for 20 + year before the father passed away.  I am not a Studebaker owner, yet, so know very little about them.  From the research I did, Studebaker did not offer an autotranny until 1950.

I am wondering if the seller has mistaken the year or he is correct.  I have attached a few photos.

I have not seen that car yet.

Thank you all in advance,

Dan

1947 studebaker commander 3.jpg

1947 studebaker commander 2.jpg

1947 studebaker commander.jpg

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Your research is correct, 1950 was the first year automatic transmissions were offered in Studebakers. Pictures clearly show a 1947 Commander with a 3-speed stick & a clutch pedal on the floor. The incorrect type of transmission in the listing was probably just an error or an oversight by the seller, minor errors like this are not uncommon by people listing vehicles for sale. 

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Thank you.  I see the three pedals now.

It is a very handsome automobile.  How available are routine service parts for the brakes, cooling, fuel, and ignition systems?

What should I be aware of if I decide to look at it?

Dan

Edited by STuTZ693 (see edit history)
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Studebaker did introduce an 'automatic' transmission in the 1942 model year, but only a handful were installed and those that were installed were 'recalled' and replaced with 3-speed/overdrive transmissions. I  believe Studebaker called this transmission Turbo-matic Drive. None are known to survive. Back in the 1980s Clell Ballard wrote a great article in Turning Wheels about the Turbo-matic Drive.

 

Perhaps the owner of this '47 Commander heard his father talk about it having "automatic overdrive"??

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Most parts for my 38 Studebaker are available. Some take a little more searching for than others. It looks like the same engine in the picture that I have in the 38 but I am far from being an expert like some of the people on the site. Sheet metal is hard to come by as I found out after a minor wreck. I was able to get all my engine, trans, differential, brake and electrical wiring to rebuild it all. It cost $$ but was easy to find. My hardest parts were the rubber for around the rear wing windows, almost impossible but I think I may have found the last set available. They are well made cars that just want to keep running. Go for it you will enjoy it on the road. 
dave s 

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On 1/23/2023 at 6:59 PM, STuTZ693 said:

Thank you.  I see the three pedals now.

It is a very handsome automobile.  How available are routine service parts for the brakes, cooling, fuel, and ignition systems?

What should I be aware of if I decide to look at it?

Dan

You could have all those parts delivered to your house in 2 days after ordering from any of several major Studebaker vendors.  Probably easier than for your Fiat. 🙂

I believe I see the knob on the dash for the Borg Warner overdrive.  An excellent feature.

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Hi Kurtruk,

Thanks for the parts info.  Actually the Fiat parts are super easy for me to get because there is vintage Fiat only parts and service vendor here in town with every parts and a talented mechanic to provide free technical info.  I can stop in and pick up parts and advise as needed.  Fortunately, the Fiat has 22K original miles and only needed only fluid, brake, and rubber parts replaced to get it back on the road after 10 years in storage.

Thanks for the good catch on the overdrive knob.  How well would this car keep up with traffic with the overdrive?

 

Dan

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10 hours ago, fh4ever said:

SC38dls.....ever get your '38 back on the road after the collision?  speaking of '39 rear vent window rubber....I am still searching.  

I do have it back on the road. Fixed it myself with the help of 50 - 60 advisors from the forums help. Not sure if that qualifies as fixing it myself LOL. 
Before, during & after pics 
Sorry for temporary hijack. 
dave s 

 

34099E81-3F5B-4CFA-A447-DD566552AA5C.jpeg

AFCE10C8-C822-4CA3-B79A-ADC6A6FF328A.jpeg

FA98BB71-3438-4BEF-BDF5-634EF355CE3C.jpeg

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2 hours ago, STuTZ693 said:

Hi Kurtruk,

Thanks for the parts info.  Actually the Fiat parts are super easy for me to get because there is vintage Fiat only parts and service vendor here in town with every parts and a talented mechanic to provide free technical info.  I can stop in and pick up parts and advise as needed.  Fortunately, the Fiat has 22K original miles and only needed only fluid, brake, and rubber parts replaced to get it back on the road after 10 years in storage.

Thanks for the good catch on the overdrive knob.  How well would this car keep up with traffic with the overdrive?

 

Dan

I had an X1/9 in the late Eighties when the dealers were going away. Bayless was about the only resource, before the internet.

 

Yes, 65 all day long with the Overdrive.

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My brakes work well when I remember to use them. Using the back end of a Mercedes Benz is not recommended like I did!  Seriously they are fine you just have to leave more room between cars. Any older car is the same way. I had a 49 Ford truck and I put disk on it. It still needed more room than a modern car but was better than drums. Honestly not enough better that I even thought of it for the 38. My accident was due to the lady slamming on her brakes because she thought the light turned red. 
dave s 

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