Studebaker President Speedster

Studebaker, among the world’s oldest automakers, made dramatic gains after World War II. Boasting that it was “First by Far with a Postwar Car,” the company introduced the dramatic Starlight coupe in 1947. Styled by Virgil Exner while he was at Raymond Loewy Studios, the cars were remarkably sleek and featured a new slab-sided styling theme. Sales surged steadily upward to levels not seen before the war. The make achieved eighth place in the industry for 1949, before settling into a steady ninth as the other automakers’ production caught up with demand and new designs were introduced.

Alone among the independent manufacturers, Studebaker introduced its own automatic transmission for 1950, which was developed in conjunction with Borg-Warner. That same year, the cars were face-lifted with an aircraft-inspired “bullet nose” design. For 1951, Studebaker introduced a modern V-8 engine, with a sturdy overhead-valve design that would remain in production for more than a decade.

For 1955, a special one-year-only model, the President Speedster, debuted. Featuring sophisticated and aerodynamic styling, as well as a standard 260-cubic inch V-8, automatic transmission, unique diamond-pleated upholstery and many deluxe amenities, just 2,215 President Speedsters were built, making them a very rare find.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

175 bhp, 260 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine, Carter four-barrel carburetor, Automatic Drive transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120.5".

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Studebaker President Speedster