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1927 to 1942 Studebaker Commanders

1927 1928GB 1928GH 1929/30GJ 1929/30FD  1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942

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Table of Specifications for Pre-War Commanders
Model Year Model No. of Cyl's Bore/Stroke Displacement Max. HP Wheel Base Serial Numbers Engine Numbers Model Production SCAC Model Production











1927 EW 6 3 7/8 x 5 353.8 75 120 4,000,001 – 4,039,800 SB EW-1 to 40,700 40,668 40,668
1,954,401 – 1,955,391 CAN
1928 GB 6 3 7/8 x 5 353.8 85 120 4,039,801 – 4,062,100 SB GB-1 to 22,900 22,848 22,848
4,955,401 – 4,956,050 CAN
1928 GH 6 3 7/8 x 5 353.8 85 121 4,062,101 – 4,070,500 SB GH-1 to 8,450 8,428 8,428
4.956,051 – 4,956,214 CAN
1929/30 GJ 6 3 3/8 x 4 5/8 248.3 75 120 4,070,501 – 4,086,041 SB GJ-1 up 15,541 16,019
4,956,301 – 4,956,904 CAN
1929/30 FD 8 3 1/16 x 4 ¼ 250.4 80 120 8,000,001 – 8,025,000 SB FD-1 up 24,331 24,639
8.950,001 – 8,950,500 CAN
1931 70 8 3 1/16 x 4 ¼ 250.4 101 124 8,025,001 – 8,036,000 SB C-101 to 12,000
10,831
8,950,501 – 8,950,700 CAN
1932 71 8 3 1/16 x 4 ¼ 250.4 101 125 8,036,001 – 8,040,000 SB C-12,001 to 16,100
3,351
8,950,701 – 8,950,800 CAN
1933 73 8 3 1/16 x 4 236 100 117 8,040,001 – 8,043,781 SB C-16101 to 19,950 3,841 3,841
8,950,801 – 8,951,000 CAN
1934 B 8 3 1/16 x 3 ¾ 221 103 119 8,045,001 – up SB C-20,001 up
10,315
8,951,001 – 8,951,200 CAN
1935 1B 8 3 1/16 x 4 ¼ 250.4 107 119 8,103,000 – up SB C-30,501 up
6,085
8,951,201 – up CAN
1938 7A 6 3 5/16 X 4 3/8 226.2 90 116 ½ 5,582,001 – up SB H-101 up
19,260
5,857,501 – up LA
1938 8A 6 3 5/16 X 4 3/8 226.2 90 116 ½ 4,090,001 – up SB
4,800,001 – up LA
1939 9A 6 3 5/16 X 4 3/8 226.2 90 116 ½ 4,110,001 – up SB H-42,501 up
43,724
4,802,301 – up LA
1940 10A 6 3 5/16 X 4 3/8 226.2 90 116 ½ 4,148,501 – up SB H-87,601 up 34,502 34,437
4,807-601 – up LA
1941 11A 6 3 5/16 X 4 3/8 226.2 94 119 4,178,801 – up SB H-122,201
41,996
4,811,901 – up LA
1942 12A 6 3 5/16 X 4 3/8 226.2 94 119 4,216,501 – up SB H-164,301 up
17,500
4,818,601 – up LA











The first nine columns are from STCS (Studbaker the Complete Story).  [Grey] Model Production is calculated from the serial number allocation (when available), however there is no guarantee that every serial number was actually produced.  [Blue] The author does not know the source of SCAC (Standard Catalog of American Cars) production numbers, but in most cases the numbers somewhat match the serial number allocation.

Prelude:

The sources used for preparing these pages for the Studebaker Per-war Commander are “Studebaker the Complete Story” (STCS) by William A. Cannon and Fred K. Fox; the online “The Classic Car Database” (TCCD); the SCAC (Standard Calalog of American Cars); and Crestline's “Studebaker Cars” (CSC) by James H. Moloney.   Also, several Turning Wheel articles written by feature writer Fred Fox.  For source references (STCS), (TCCD), (SCAC) and (CSC) will be used.

The Studebaker Pre-war Commander's, like the Dictator's, were in production during one of the most prolific changes the automobile industry would ever see. To avoid a repeat of this discussion see the Dictator page for more information. http://www.rrvcsdc.org/1927-to-1937-Dictator.php

For all the tables included at the end of each yearly model, the following conditions exist for that data.

When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used.  Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used.  →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox←   What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms.  SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada

1927 EW Commander's

The EW Big Six was released in January of 1927.   It would replace the 120 inch wheelbase ES Big Six which had been in production since mid-1926.  According to William Cannon , the Studebaker service bulletins for January, February, and March 1927, still referred to the EW as a Big Six.  There was no April service bulletin, but the May service bulletin references the Commander name for the first time.   However, the April 1927 “Studebaker Wheel” describes the “Commander” as the latest member of the famous Big Six family.  But to further complicate the issue, an ad copy issued February 16th, 1927, Studebaker announces several prices cuts, it included the “Commander Big Six Brougham”.  So, the exact time, the name changed to Commander, is unknown but did happen early in 1927, with the EW Model.

The EW is so much like the ES model, the differences are nearly indistinguishable, except for the fact all EW's used disc wheels with five stud nuts.  Neither wood wheels or wire wheels will fit, because of Studebaker's change to four wheel brakes,  this problem would be fixed in 1928 with a redesign of the front axle.  The list below outlines the improvements that came with the Model EW.

  1. Weight reduction results in better performance.

  2. Lighter front axle with plain bearings replacing the roller bearing in the knuckles.

  3. Redesigned steering gear.

  4. Wheels are changed from 22 inches to 21 inches.

  5. Oil capacity reduced to 6 and ½ quarts.

  6. Semi-automatic spark control w/lever on the instrument panel.

  7. Stromberg carburetor replaces Ball & Ball carburetor.

  8. Manifold heat control on instrument panel, rather then on the intake manifold.

  9. Transmission and rear axle lighter, but of equal strength.

  10. Smaller brakes, equally effective because of the weight reduction.

Price reduction was also a large factor in the success of the EW series.   Where a ES Brougham had been priced at $1,985, the EW started at $1,785, was reduced to $1,585 in February, and further reduced to $1,485 in September.

EW Body types were Sedan (Brougham), (Custom) Coupe, (Custom) Coupe w/rumble seat, Victoria, (Chancellor) Victoria, and Sport Roadster.  Later in the year, the Sedan and Victoria were available in Regal Trim.

Side Bar one:   It should be noted that Studebaker at this time used the term “Brougham” interchangeable with “Sedan”.  In the carriage and early horseless carriage days a “Brougham” contained a separate closed cabin for the passengers, while the driver remained outside.   But later it [Brougham] defined a model where the driver and passengers were in the same cabin, but usually denoting a higher level of luxury.

The Chancellor name however, did indicate a more luxurious interior with a vanity case and deluxe hardware.

EW running changes were many, but the major visible changes are when the radiator shell changed from nickel to chrome and from the rounded design to the flatter design.   Headlights were initially black and nickel bullet-shaped, except all nickel on the Chancellor, until the radiator shell change.   After the radiator change, the headlights were black with chrome on regular cars and all chrome on Regal trim cars.  A second type “Acorn Style” headlights may have been used on some late production cars.   All EW's used the torpedo type cowl lights except the later Regal cars, which mostly likely changed with the introduction of chrome, to

an Acorn type.   The instrument panel also changed from an oval design to the gothic design at the same time as the change from nickel to chrome.

Most of the information above was gleaned from an article written by Bill Cannon in “The Antique Studebaker Review” Vol 17 NO. 3 Names contained within the () came from Cannon and differ from the TW's articles written by Fox, and the model names in the charts below.


Tell's for 1927 EW: Double-bar fluted bumpers, Atalanta radiator mascot, and five stud disc wheels.


Side Bar Two:  The Victoria, while using two doors and looking much like a coupe, has a back seat.   Entrance is gained to the back seat, by folding the front passenger seat forward.   The rear window is much larger then the Coupes and it has a Landau bar above that window.  The Victoria had much richer appointments. The EW Victoria for some unknown reason used a different bumper (Biflex) then all the rest of the EW's which used the Eaton double-bar fluted bumpers.

Ref:  “The Prewar Commanders, 1927 – 1942 Part 1: Model; EW” [ASR, William Cannon].

During 1927 a multitude of performance and endurance records were set with the use of Studebaker Commander's. This topic is to extensive to cover here.




When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1927 Model EW Commander
Sedan 5-Passenger (W) 4 5 $1,585.00
Regal Sedan 5-Passenger (W) 4 5 $1,785.00
Victoria 5-Passenger (C-R) 2 5 $1,575.00
Regal Victoria 5-Passenger (C-R) 2 5 $1,645.00
Coupe (Q) 2 2 $1,545.00
Coupe w/rumble seat (E) 2 4 $1,645.00
Sport Roadster w/rumble seat (J) 2 4 $1,675.00
→The EW Model started production in January of 1927 and finished production sometime in October. Studebaker assigned 39,800 SB serial numbers and 991 and CAN serial number to the Model EW. According to Fred Foxes article in TW 40,668 were manufactured, close to the 40,791 serial numbers assigned. Engine Serial Numbers EW-1 up. All the data in this chart comes from Foxes article in TW. April 2004.← In an article from “The Antique Studebaker Review” Bill Cannon names Custom Coupe, Custom Coupe w/rumble seat, and Chancellor Victoria. The term “Custom” may have been used to further denote the car was not in Regal trim, and the Chancellor Victoria and Regal Victoria most likely was the same car. The SCAC and TCCD both mentioned a 2-Door Sports Roadster Duplex and 4-Door Sports Phaeton.



1928 GB Commander's

The GB Commander started production sometime in October of 1927 and ended with the release of the GH Commander's in June of 1928.   The GB Commander was almost identical to the EW, except that as the front axle had now been redesigned, wooden spoke wheels were standard with wire wheels or disc wheels, optional at extra cost.   A number of mechanical changes were made as follows.

  1. The spark, throttle, and light switch levers were mounted in the steering wheel hub.

  2. The steering wheel lock was redesigned, so it could not be engaged when ignition was on.

  3. The intake manifold heater was controlled by a button in the dash marked “H”.

  4. The brakes were now Bendix-Perrot three-shoe expanding, both front and rear.

  5. Both the front and rear axles were redesigned,

  6. A Ross cam and lever steering gear was used.

  7. The tire size changed to 5.50 x 20 inches

  8. Adjustment and lubrication of the fan was improved.

  9. Fuses were eliminated in favor of a buzzer type alarm, mounted behind the instrument panel.


GB Commander body styles were Regular and Regal Sedans, Business Coupe, Sports Coupe w/rumble seat, Regular and Regal Victoria, and Sports Roadster.


After about 5,000 GB were produced new bodies were introduced, with longer and more sweeping, fullcrown, front fenders.  A new “World Champion” emblem was add to the headlight support cross bar, a contrasting trapezoidal belt line was added, and a new instrument panel design was introduced.  Mechanical changes were minor, but Monroe hydraulic shock absorbers replace the Wahl spring brakes.  These new GB are referred to as 2nd design in the parts books, where the first GB's are referred to as 1st design cars.  There were no Coupes or Sports Roadsters produced in this 2nd design.  But, a new Cabriolet and two door Club Sedan were introduced.

Tell's for 1928 GB: 1st design, wooden spoke wheels and screw on Atalanta radiator cap. 2nd design; new trapezoidal belt line treatment and full crowned sweeping fenders.   The “Commander World's Champion” emblem, is on the headlamp support bar, and Eaton oval bar bumper are used.

Side Bar: The Club Sedan, was essentially the same as the Victoria, in that it was a two door car. However, the rear window was much larger and the car was more stretched out. Considering it was suppose to be the lowest price ever Commander at release, we can assume it was quite spartan in comparison to the Victoria's very fine appointments.

Ref: “The Prewar Commanders, 1927 – 1942 Part 2: Model; GB/GH” [ASR, William Cannon].





 


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1928 Model GB Commander
Sedan 5-Passenger (W3) 4 5 $1,485.00
Regal Sedan 5-Passenger (W1,2) 4 5 $1,625.00
Victoria 5-Passenger (C3) 2 5 $1,495.00
Victoria Regal 5-Passenger (C1,2) 2 5 $1,625.00
Coupe (Q1) 2 2 $1,495.00
Regal Coupe w/rumble seat (Q2) 2 4 $1,625.00
Regal Roadster w/rumble seat (J) 2 4 $1,595.00
Club Sedan (F) 2 5 $1,435.00
Regal Cabriolet w/rumble seat (E) 2 4 $1,625.00
→ The GB Model started production sometime in October of 1927 and finished production in June of 1928. Studebaker assigned 22,300 SB serial numbers and 650 and CAN serial number to the Model GB. According to Fred Foxes article in TW 22,848 were manufactured, close to the 22,950 serial numbers assigned. Engine Serial Numbers GB-1 up. All the data in this chart comes from Foxes article in TW. April 2004.← In an article from “The Antique Studebaker Review” Bill Cannon names the Coupe a Business Coupe. SCAC and TCCD named the same models. Note: When two numbers are listed as for example (W1,2), they were used to differentiate trim differences, however we do not know what those may have been.
1928 GH Commander's

The GH Commander started production sometime in June of 1928 and ended in October of 1928.   The bodies were extensively redesigned, as was the entire Studebaker line, few changes were made to the chassis.  The GH Commander's ran on a 121 inch wheel base and Fafnir ball bearing spring shackles were introduced.   Newer and lighter six and eight engine designs were in the works, consequently the GH Model was only in production for about five months.

Only two body styles were produced, Sedan and Victoria, in Standard and Regal form.  With the end of GH production, the famous Big Six engine production would reach an end.

Tell's for 1928 GH: The “Commander World's Champion” emblem is relocated to the headlamp tie bar. The Atalanta is gone, in favor of a new winged-motif radiator cap, which was also extended to the tops of the headlights. The roof extension visor is replaced by a much shorter “Polo Cap”.


Ref: “The Prewar Commanders, 1927 – 1942 Part 2: Model; GB/GH” [ASR, William Cannon].











When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1928 ½ Model GH Commander
Regular Sedan (W3) 4 5 $1,495.00
Regal Sedan (W1,2) 4 5 $1,665.00
Victoria (C) 2 4 $1,545.00
Regal Victoria (C) 2 4 $1,625.00
→ The GH Model started production sometime in June of 1928 and finished production in October of 1928. Studebaker assigned 8,300 SB serial numbers and 200 and CAN serial number to the Model GH. According to Fred Foxes article in TW 8,428 were manufactured, close to the 8,500 serial numbers assigned. Engine Serial Numbers GH-1 up. All the data in this chart comes from Foxes article in TW. April 2004.← In an article from “The Antique Studebaker Review” Bill Cannon did not list the Regal Victoria. SCAC and TCCD agreed with Cannon and did not list the Regal Victoria. Note: When two numbers are listed as for example (W1,2), they were used to differentiate trim differences, however we do not know what those may have been.
1929/1930 GJ Commander's

The GJ Commander's has a new six cylinder engine, a stroked version of the Dictator Six (248.3 cu. in.).   The new motor puts out 75 HP, but is 200 pounds lighter.   Couple that with an additional 200 pounds of weight reduction in the rest of the car and the performance is equal to or better then it was with the previous 85 HP “Big Six” engine.   The styling is very similar to the GH ½ Commander's, but the bodies are slightly wider and lower, sitting on a new double-drop frame.  The belt line is changed, the “A” pillar is curved instead of vertical, and the wheel base is back to 120 inches.  The GJ Six and the FD Eight are identical, other then the motors, using the same transmission, clutch, and drive train.   The only external sign is the emblem found on the headlight cross-bar, using an “8” for the FD and a “6” for the GJ.  Otherwise you cannot tell the difference, unless you open the hood.  The windshields now have safety glass.

Body styles are Sedan, Brougham (Mohair B2 or Broadcloth B4), Victoria, Convertible Cabriolet, Business Coupe, Coupe w/rumble seat, Roadster, and Tourer.  The Brougham and Convertible were only offered in Regal trim.   The coupes were added in March 1929 in regular trim as either GJ or FD models.  Any regular Coupe, Sedan, Victoria, Roadster, or Tourer could be switched to five wire wheels for $60.00.   In April 1929 the 5 Passenger and 7 Passenger Tourer, in Regular and Regal trim, were added, very few were made.  The only GJ model to lack the polo cap style visor was the Brougham with it's “French Front”.

Tells for GJ & FD: Curved rather then straight “A” pillar, the trapezoidal belt line was gone, replaced by a belt line that was squared off in the back and finished with a point at the cowl.  New 6 & 8 emblems on the headlight bar and a much lower stance.

Ref: TW Nov. 2008 Feature Article “Studebaker's 1929-30 GJ & FD Commander's” by Fred Fox


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1929/1930 Model GJ Commander
Regular Sedan 5-Passenger (W1) 4 5 $1,375.00
Regal 5-Passenger Sedan (W2) 4 5 $1,495.00
Brougham – Mohair (B2), Broadcloth (B4) 4 5 $1,525.00
Victoria 4-Passenger (C1) 2 4 $1,375.00
Convertible Cabriolet 4-Passenger (E) 2 4 $1,495.00
Sport Roadster (R) 2 4 $1,375.00
Regal Sport Roadster (R) 2 4 $1,450.00
Coupe 2-Passenger (Q1) 2 2 $1,350.00
Coupe 4-Passenger w/rumble seat (Q3) 2 4 $1,425.00
Tourer 5-Passenger (T1) 4 5 $1,350.00
Regal Tourer 5-Passenger (T2) 4 5 $1,450.00
Tourer 7-Passenger (L1) 4 7 $1,410.00
Regal Tourer 7-Passenger (L2) 4 7 $1,510.00
→Production of the GJ Model started sometime in December of 1928 and was released to the public in January of 1929. It ended production in August of 1929, however Studebaker continued to run ad's for the GJ Model well into 1930, thus the assumption is that production stopped because the Six just was not selling that well. Studebaker assigned 15,541 SB serial numbers and 604 CAN serial numbers to the Model GJ. Fox listed total production at 16,145 an exact match (likely used the serial number to calculate production). Engine Serial Numbers GJ-1 to 16,250. Model names and prices come from this TW article. For more complete information see TW Nov. 2008← TCCD, SCAC both agree for most part with these model listing. Cannon article from “The Antique Studebaker Review” called the Roadsters “Sport” Roadsters, where Fox just called them Roadsters.
1929/1930 FD Commander's

The FD Commander's has a new eight cylinder engine with nine main bearings (250.4 cu. in.).  The new motor puts out 80 HP. The styling is very similar to the GH ½ Commander's, but the bodies are slightly wider and lower, sitting on a new double-drop frame.  The belt line is changed, the “A” pillar is curved instead of vertical, and the wheel base is back to 120 inches.  The FD Eight and GJ Six are identical, other then the motors, using the same transmission, clutch, and drive train, except the rear gear ratio.   The only external sign is the emblem found on the headlight cross-bar, using an “8” for the FD and a “6” for the GJ. Otherwise you cannot tell the difference, unless you open the hood.  The windshields now have safety glass. 

Body styles are Sedan, Brougham (Mohair B2 or Broadcloth B4), Victoria, Convertible Cabriolet, Business Coupe, Coupe w/rumble seat, Roadster, and Tourer.  The Brougham and Convertible were only offered in Regal trim.   The coupes were added in March 1929 and could be had only in regular trim.   Any regular Coupe, Sedan, Victoria, Roadster, or Tourer could be switched to five wire wheels for $60.00.  In April 1929 the 5 Passenger and 7 Passenger Tourer, in Standard and Regal trim, were added, very few were made.  In late August or early September 1929, Studebaker added a 7 Passenger Sedan to the FD series in both Standard and Regal trim.  Sales of this model must not have been great, as later in 1930 both were dropped.   Where initially the only model to lack the polo cap style visor was the Brougham, after mid 1930, all the FD closed models would adapt the “French Front” (no Polo Cap visor) style.  In January of 1930, chrome spoke wheels were added as an option ($75).   Interior seat upholstery, mohair or broadcloth on Brougham's, Mohair on all other closed models except the two-door coupe.  Genuine leather on the Coupe and all open models.  For the GJ Tourers, the leather color was Blue Bedouin Grain.  For FD regular Tourers, (?) color Bedouin Grain.  For Regal FD Tourers, Black Pinseal. (Tourer upholstery information courtesy of Richard Quinn)

Other mid 1930 FD changes are as follows:

  1. Hubcaps change from 5 inch to 8 inch.

  2. Thermostat controlled radiator shutters. [Some question if they were used on open cars.]

  3. Side window safety glass on Regal trim models.

  4. Burgess “power conserving” muffler.

  5. Valve spring dampeners (engine number FD-19,761).

  6. Fenders bead changes from flat wide to oval (Serial No 8,019,282).

  7. White instrument panel face and dials change to black face with black dials (Serial No 8,020,500).

Tells for GJ & FD: Curved rather then straight “A” pillar, the trapezoidal belt line was gone, replaced by a belt line that was squared off in the back and finished with a point at the cowl. New 6 & 8 emblems on the headlight bar and a much lower stance. After mid-year 8 inch hubcaps.

Side Bar: So whats the difference between the Brougham's and the Six Window Sedan's. Just one window each side.  The Brougham's only had four side windows.  Where the third and farthest back pair of windows on a sedan were glass the Brougham's had this same area covered with steel which wrapped around and meet the back window.  The Brougham's which were four-door, five-passenger cars, are not to be confused with the St. Regis Brougham's which would come in 1932, as those cars were close-coupled two-door sedans.

Ref: TW Nov. 2008 Feature Article “Studebaker's 1929-30 GJ & FD Commander's” by Fred Fox



 


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1029/1930 Model FD Commander
Regular Sedan 5-Passenger (W1) 4 5 $1,525.00
Regal 5-Passenger Sedan (W2) 4 5 $1,645.00
Brougham – Mohair (B2), Broadcloth (B4) 4 5 $1,675.00
Victoria 4-Passenger (C1) 2 4 $1,525.00
Convertible Cabriolet 4-Passenger (E) 2 4 $1,645.00
Regal Sport Roadster (R) 2 4 $1,595.00
Coupe 2-Passenger (Q1) 2 2 $1,495.00
Coupe 4-Passenger (Q3) 2 4 $1,550.00
Tourer 5-Passenger (T1) 4 5 $1,495.00
Regal Tourer 5-Passenger (T2) 4 5 $1,595.00
Tourer 7-Passenger (L1) 4 7 $1,545.00
Regal Tourer 7-Passenger (L2) 4 7 $1,645.00
Sedan 7-Passenger (X1) 4 7 $1,695.00
Regal Sedan 7-Passenger (X2) 4 7 $1,845.00
→Production of the FD started sometime in December of 1928 and was released to the public in January of 1929, It most likely ended production in June of 1930 (not confirmed by Fox). Studebaker assigned 24,331 SB serial numbers and 404 CAN serial numbers to the Model FD. Fox listed total production at 24,735 an exact match (likely used the serial numbers to calculate production). Engine Serial Numbers FD-1 to 24,900. For more complete information see TW Nov. 2008← TCCD, SCAC both agree for most part with these model listing. Cannon's article from “The Antique Studebaker Review” called the Roadsters “Sport” Roadsters, where Fox just called them Roadsters. Cannon also mentioned that there may have been a FD Q5 Coupe. Which makes us wonder if that could have been a FD Regal Coupe?
1931 70 Commander's

We do not have access to any TW articles for the 1931 Commander 70 series and Fox and Cannon did not elaborate much in “Studebaker the Complete Story”, so this is what little information we could scare up.

While the 1931 Commander was almost a entirely new design, the line-up was also greatly simplified.  The six cylinder models were history, only an eight being offered.  The open cars, convertible, roadster, and touring were gone.  Only the Brougham, Coupe, Victoria, Sedan, and Regal Sedan were being offered.  Most of of it's four inch added length came in front of the cowl, making the hood extremely long and very impressive.  A new V-shaped prominent grille and large oval headlights graced the front of the car.  The single bar bumper, with it's V-dip in the center, and fender mounted parking lights were distinctive features.  The polo cap visor reappeared after being absent on some 29/30 models.

Tell’s for 1931:  A new V-shaped radiator shell, flanked by large oval headlights.  Parking lights were placed on top of the front fenders.  A new single bar bumper with  V-shaped dip in the center was used.

Mechanical: A new design silent transmission with helical gears and free-wheeling; larger improved two-shoe Duo-Servo Bendix brakes; new valve spring dampeners; new carburetor air intake filter and silencer; new dual-throat carburetor; new dual intake manifold; and improved torsional vibration dampener were all improved features for 1931.   The manifold, carburetor, and compression increase to 5.2 to 1, increased valve overlap, resulted in the flat-head eight’s HP increase to 101.  The wheelbase is stretched to 124 inches and a kick shackle is added to reduce shimmy and wheel fight.  Tires are 6.00 x 19 and a finer mesh ring and pinion created a quieter rear axle.


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1931 Model 70 Commander
Regular Coupe (Q1) 2 2 $1,585.00
Regular Coupe w/rumble seat (Q3) 2 4 $1,585.00
Regal Brougham (B2, B4) 4 5 $1,685.00
Regal Sedan (W2, W4) 4 5 $1,685.00
Sedan (W1, W3) 4 5 $1,585.00
Victoria (C1, C2) 2 4 $1,585.00
Production began in July of 1930 and continue to September of 1931 (SCAC). According to STCS, the starting SB serial number was 8,025,001 and ended at 8,036,000 (11,000). CAN serial numbers started at 8,950,500 and ended at 8,950,700 (200). TCCD and SCAC both put production at 10,823 units, slightly under the total number of serial numbers assigned (11,200). Engine Numbers started at C-101 and ended at C12,000 (11,900). Some of these engines went into commercial vehicles and bare chassis. Both SCAC & TCCD agreed on the model line-up and pricing.
1932  71 Commander's

Again, we do not have access to a TW articles for the 1932 Commander 71 series.   Fox and Cannon, in “Studebaker the Complete Story” was fairly thin.  So like 1931, this is what little information we could scare up.

1932 Commander line-up was expanded.   Open cars again appeared; Convertible Sedan, Regal Convertible Sedan, Roadster, and Regal Roadster were added .   A new St. Regis Brougham and Regal St. Regis Brougham were also added, as well as a Regal Coupe.  The Regal Brougham and Victoria are gone (see side bar 2 below).  Last years Sedan, Regal Sedan, and Coupe are still in the line-up.  Regal equipment includes six, side mounted, wire or chrome platted artillery spoke wheels; duel trumpet horns; and a luggage rack.  The package could be applied to any standard model at extra cost.  Wire or steel spoke artillery wheels are also available options.  The instrument panel is redesigned with airplane-type round dials.

Tell’s for 1932: It is difficult to tell the 1932 Studebaker from the 1931, however on closed cars, the polo cap is gone and all the windshields began to slope forward.  The gages on the dash inside are round instead of square.  Parking lights still placed on top of the front fenders.  Regal’s have the new art deco “Bird”mascot radiator cap, optional on all other models.

Mechanical: A new synchromesh transmission is introduced and freewheeling is removed from the transmission, placed in a separate unit and bolted on the back of the transmission.  Houdaille automatic-ride shock absorbers replace the Delco-Lovejoy units and Startix automatic starting systems is a new standard items.   A newer style cable-controlled Bendix braking system was used.  The wheelbase increases to 125 inches.

Side Bar 1: The Startix system was an automatic engine starting mechanism.  It automatically started an engine from cold or restarted the engine if stalled.  All you had to do to activate it, was turn on the key.  It was supplied to vehicle manufacturers in the 1930s by Bendix Corporation.

Side Bar 2: The St. Regis Brougham (left) , unlike the former Studebaker Brougham, is a two door close-coupled sedan.  For Studebaker, it was said to combine the luxury features of the former Victoria's with the roominess of a sedan.   Thus, the Victoria's and Brougham's become expendable.  This car has an extremely wide doors (supposedly the longest door Studebaker ever made) which assisted rear passenger access to the back seat.





 


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1932 Model 71 Commander
Convertible Roadster (R1) 2 2-4 $1,350.00
Regal Convertible Roadster (R2) 2 2-4 $1,455.00
Convertible Sedan (S1) 4 5 $1,465.00
Regal Convertible Sedan (S2) 4 5 $1,570.00
Coupe (Q1) 2 2-4 $1,350.00
Regal Coupe (Q4) 2 4 $1,455.00
Sedan (W1) 4 5 $1,350.00
Regal Sedan(W2) 4 5 $1,455.00
St. Regis Brougham (C1) 2 5 $1,350.00
Regal St Regis Brougham (C2) 2 5 $1,455.00




Production began in November of 1931 and continue to November of 1932 (SCAC). According to STCS, the starting SB serial number was 8,036,001 and ended at 8,040,000 (4,000). CAN serial numbers started at 8,950,700 and ended at 8,950,800 (100). TCCD and SCAC both put production at 3,551 units, slightly under the total number of serial numbers assigned (4,100). Engine Numbers started at C-12,001 and ended at C16,100 (4,100). While SCAC and TCCD did agree on the 1932 Model line-up, SCAC priced all the models $95.00 more each except the Coupe's, where they were in agreement. The data shown is from TCCD,
1933 73 Commander's

So, what happened to the “72” commander?   Well as is seems, Studebaker was quite concerned about the 1932 sales results, and according to Fox, very close the start of 1933 production a major re-alignment of Studebaker's 1933 models line-up was made.  The 56 Six remained the same, however, the model 63 Dictator replaced the model 72 Commander and was designated the model 73 Commander.   The model 72 Commander became the model 82 President, and the model 92 President became the model 92 Speedway President.   This move allowed Studebaker to offer Commander 8's at Dictator prices and the smaller President 8's at Commander prices.  This apparently is a ploy that had been used often in the automotive industry.

The entire Studebaker line shared the same styling, slightly modified from 1932, with a more radically forward sloping grille.  The front fenders aprons extend further forward and have skirts that hide more of the frame and running gear.   Roof lines blend smoothly into concave rear decks.  Five painted wire wheels are standard, chromed wire wheels are optional at extra cost. Regal's ran standard on plated artillery wheels with 14 spokes.  These wheels were were available as extra cost options on regular models.  Another popular option was white wall tires.   Upholstery material was Bedford Cord (standard) on all closed models and optional on four-door convertible sedans.  Mohair was an extra cost option on all closed models.  Leather was standard on Roadsters and optional on four-door convertible sedans.

Tell’s for 1933: The hood louvers are now slanted, in line with the slanted grille.   Painted wire wheels (Standard, Chrome optional).  Fourteen spoke artillery wheels (Standard on Regals, optional on Regular models --1932's had ten spokes).   Optional chrome artillery wheels.  More slanted grille and windshield.  Front fenders skirtedfor the first time covering more of the chassis and (if equipped) side mount cavities.  No wood spoke wheels (maybe they could be special ordered?).  Mascot, still the art deco bird, now standard on all models.

Mechanical:   The model 73 Commander had a slightly larger (one year only) 236 cubic inch displacement straight eight, making 100 HP and ran on a 8 inch shorter 117 inch wheel base, formally used on the 1932 Dictator's.  The wheels changed from 18 inches to 17 inches.  Down draft carburetors were used in all Studebaker engines for the first time.   Other new innovations were automatic choke, automatic spark advance, and automatic manifold heat.  New Bendix vacuum-boosted power brakes were also standard equipment on all Studebaker's.  The Startix automatic starting system was continued from it's 1932 introduction.

However, all these new features and fanatic styling did little to improve sales.   Studebaker was forced into receivership on March 18th, 1932.  But as we all know, would rise from this low point and survive until 1966.   Exterior color offering changed almost monthly according to Fred Fox.   The cars were painted in five different areas, lower body, upper body, fenders, wheels, and stripes using all kinds of color combinations.


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1933 Model 73 Commander
Regular 4dr Sedan (W1) 4 5 $1,075.00
Regal 4dr Sedan (W2) 4 5 $1,180.00
Regular St. Regis Brougham (C1) 2 5 $1,075.00
Regal St. Regis Brougham (C2) 2 5 $1,180.00
Regular two-passenger coupe (Q1) 2 2 $1,000.00
Regal two-passenger coupe (Q2) 2 2 $1,105.00
Regular four-pass coupe w/rumble seat (Q3) 2 4 $1,050.00
Regal four-pass coupe w/rumble seat (Q4) 2 4 $1,155.00
Regular 4dr Convertible Sedan (S1) 4 5 $1,195.00
Regal 4dr Convertible Sedan (S2) 4 5 $1,300.00
Regular Roadster w/rumble seat (R1) 2 4 $1,095.00
Regal Roadster w/rumble seat (R2) 2 4 $1,200.00
 
 
 
 
Front and rear bumpers, although standard, were an extra $25.00.   They are not included in the above prices.   They were later called a delete option.

Fox did not mention the production start or end dates for the Model 73 Commanders. However, SCAC indicated production started in November of 1932 and ended in July of 1933.  →Studebaker assigned 3,781 SB serial numbers and 60 CAN serial numbers to the Model 73.  Fox reported SB production at 3,781 and CAN production at 60, most likely calculated from the serial numbers assigned.   Engine Serial Numbers are reported at 8,040,001 to 8,043,781 for SB and 8,950,801 to 8,950,860 for CAN.   For more complete information see TW Dec. 1991←   SCAC and TCCD both reported total 73 Commander production at 3,841 as did Fox.
 
1934 B Commander's

 

We were unable to find any TW articles for the 1934 Commander B series.  Fox and Cannon did not elaborate much in “Studebaker the Complete Story”, so this section has to rely on other less reliable sources once again.

The entire line of Studebaker cars are redesigned for 1934, however the actual difference is more subtle then one might think.  The general body lines and contours are altered, becoming more aerodynamic.  Thus the sales pitch for 1934 “From the Skyway Comes Their Style”.  The old box design is gone forever.  The headlights are now round bullet-shaped pods, mounted on the fenders near where the parking lights had been since 1931.  The bumpers are now two straight single bar units, mounted in a V pattern, the V-shaped dip in the center is gone.  The belt line which had been so prominent in past years is nearly invisible, simply embossed into the body lines, dropping sharply down near the rear of the cars.  From all the photo's we looked at, it appears that the front doors are now hinged at the back and open from the front, while the rear doors are hinged in the front and open from the back.  The hood louvers are even more slanted, with an embossed line around them.  The grille is deeper and more slanted.  The front fender aprons and the grille panel are significantly extended out the front of the cars.  New tail lights are built into the rear fenders.  Windwings on the front of closed cars roll up and down.  The third window on sedans open, pivoting in the middle.  The interiors are exceptional, with very fine appointments.  The fabric is broadcloth or mohair, the dash panel and steering wheel are new.  The Convertible Sedan's were eliminated this year.

However, there is some evidence that Studebaker did a “Year Ahead” style change in June of 1934 for Regal's and Custom, where the major influenced was a move from vertical to horizontal hood louvers.  Also, at about this same time the new and sensational (Right Above Photo) Land Cruiser in DeLuxe and Regal trim is introduced.

Tell’s for 1934: Thehood louvers are more slanted and have an embossed line around them.   Headlights round bullet-shaped.  Straight single barbumperBelt line nearly invisible.  Front door (Suicide).   Tail lights are integral to the rear fenders. Mascot, still the art deco bird, standard on all models.

Mechanical: The model B Commander chassis is new, running on a 119 inch wheelbase.  The engine for the Model B Commander is the same as the earlier Dictator eight with 221 cubic inch displacement.  However a higher compression ratio of 6.3 to 1 and an aluminum cylinder head, boosted the horsepower to 103.  Vacuum powered Bendix brakes were continued.   An innovation was the triple beam headlamps.  A control on the instrument panel allowed the driver to select one of three high beams.

Side Bar: On March 18, 1933 Studebaker was forced into receivership.   Vance and Hoffman of Studebaker and Bean of White Motors are appointed receivers.   By the extraordinary efforts of Vance and Hoffman, Studebaker was out of receivership on March 9th, 1935.  This action is to complicated to cover here.   It is mentioned here, because through Vance and Hoffman's effort, the Federal Court approved an expenditure of $700,000 to retool a completely new line cars for 1934.


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1934 Model B Commander
St. Regis Brougham (C1) 2 5 $915.00
Regal St. Regis Brougham (C2) 2 5 $965.00
Regular two-passenger coupe (Q1) 2 2 $895.00
Regal two-passenger coupe (Q2) 2 2 $925.00
Regular four-pass coupe w/rumble seat (Q3) 2 4 $945.00
Regal four-pass coupe w/rumble seat (Q4) 2 4 $975.00
Regular Roadster w/rumble seat (R1) 2 4 $945.00
Regal Roadster w/rumble seat (R2) 2 4 $975.00
Regular 4dr Sedan (W1) 4 5 $945.00
Regal 4dr Sedan (W2) 4 5 $995.00
DeLuxe Land Cruiser (L3) * 4 5 $1,135.00 *
Regal Land Cruiser (L2) * 4 5 $1,135.00 *
Production starts in September of 1933 and ends in October of 1934 (SACA). According to STCS, the starting SB serial number was 8,045,001 - up. CAN serial numbers started at 8,951,001 to 8,951,200 (200) . Engine Numbers started at C-20,001 – up. The next series of Commander serial numbers, assigned to 1935 Commander 1B starts at 8,103,000. So we clearly do not know the ending serial number for 1934 SB production. TCCD and SCAC both put production at 10,315 units and both list the same models, except for the DeLuxe Land Cruiser, which only Fox listed (See next section). * →In the TW Article “Studebaker's 1934 – 1954 Land Cruiser Models” by Fred Fox, it is stated that both the DeLuxe and Regal (L3 & L2) were produced in the spring or summer of 1934. However, only one price was given. Production of the 1934 Land Cruiser was 203 units. The difference between DeLuxe and Regal Land Cruiser was DeLuxe had a single spare in the trunk and Regal had dual sidemounts.←
1935 1B Commander's

The 1935 Commander was just face lifted from 1934.  The headlights are still round but much longer then they were in 1934.  The bumpers are single piece, rounded rather then slanted design.   The center vertical bar grille is way narrow, two shorter horizontal bar side grille are placed next to the main grille.  The hood louvers are horizontal bar and match the side grilles.   A new encircled bird mascot is standard on Commander's.  The interiors are even more luxurious then the 34's.  The model line-up is the same as 1934.

Tell’s for 1935: Thehood louvers are horizontal and flow into the side grilles. The grille is much narrower.   Headlights round, but longer.  Single piece rounded shaped bumperMascot, new encircled bird, standard on Commander's and Dictator's.

Mechanical: The model B1 Commander has a new independent front suspension system called “Planar” by Studebaker.   The engine for the Model B1 Commander is the same 250 cubic inch displacement engine used in the President, but with a 6.0 to 1 compression ratio cast iron head, making 107 HP.  Four wheel hydraulic brakes are used for the first time.   The 1935 Commander would be the last Eight, as the Commander line will be dropped for 1936 and 1937.  It would  return in 1938 as a replacement of the 1937 Dictator, as a Commander Six.





 


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1935 Model B1 Commander
St. Regis Brougham (C1) 2 5 $955.00
Regal St. Regis Brougham (C2) 2 5 $970.00
Regular two-passenger coupe (Q1) 2 2 $895.00
Regal two-passenger coupe (Q2) 2 2 $930.00
Regular four-pass coupe w/rumble seat (Q3) 2 4 $950.00
Regal four-pass coupe w/rumble seat (Q4) 2 4 $980.00
Regular Roadster w/rumble seat (R1) 2 4 $950.00
Regal Roadster w/rumble seat (R2) 2 4 $980.00
Regular 4dr Sedan (W1) 4 5 $985.00
Regal 4dr Sedan (W2) 4 5 $1,000.00
Land Cruiser (L3 *) 4 5 $1,115.00 *
Regal Land Cruiser (L2) * 4 5 $1,130.00 *
Limousine Cabriolet ** 4 6 $1,185.00
SCAC and TCCD put production at 6,085 units. The data in the chart is from TCCD unless otherwise specified. SCAC listed production from November of 1934 to September of 1935. SCAC listed mostly the same models, but their price was exactly $30 more for model, and they did not list a **Limousine Cabriolet, but did list the Land Cruiser (L3) not listed by TCCD. *→The (L3) & (L2) price comes from the TW Article “Studebaker's 1934 – 1954 Land Cruiser” by Fred Fox.← SCAC listed the Land Cruisers at the same price as Fox. TCCD listed the (L2) at $1,100 and did not even list the (L3). STCS lists the starting Serial Number at 8,951,201 – up for SB and 8,951,201 – up for CAN. Engine numbers started at C-30,501 – up. As 1935 would be the last year for the Commander 8's, it is impossible to know the ending serial numbers by looking at the next year serial numbers.
1938 7A & 8A Commander's

Again, we do not have access to a TW articles for the 1938 Commander 7A & 8A series.   So the information here is only what we were able to glean from the Internet and other less reliable sources.

We however do know that 1938 is an entirely new design, done for the first time by Lowey and Associates, they are now Studebaker's design department and would remain so through 1956.   The interiors design was influenced by Helen Dryden, the seats are a full five inches wider.  Broadcloth was standard, but mohair velvet and colored leather were optional.  The door handles and window cranks are newly designed and very elegant.

The Commander is replacing the Dictator, who's name has fallen out of favor.   Studebaker starts the production year with the “Studebaker Six 7A” and the “Commander 8A”.  Early in 1937 Studebaker changed the name of “Studebaker Six 7A” to “Commander 7A” and the “Commander 8A” became the “State Commander 8A”.   This change over was announced by Studebaker in a letter to it's dealers dated December 3rd, 1937 (STCS).  There were no actual changes to either of the series.  So, what is the difference between a Commander and a State Commander?   There are few, but the most noticeable is that Commanders have bullet style headlights, mounted on the catwalks and State Commanders have the President style (Cathedral) faired in headlights, which makes each series easy to identify.   Other equipment standard on State Commanders and optional on Commanders was deluxe steering wheel, twin horns, and Hill-Holder.   State Commanders also have better appointments in the interior.

Tell’s for 1938: The new design for this year is much smoother, much lower, and six inches wider.  The hood louvers are eliminated and the cars are nearly void of trim.  A simple chrome bead molding stretches from the grille to the rear deck.  Series 7A have bullet-shaped headlights mounted on the catwalks and 8A series have Cathedral headlights.   A newinstrument panel has square gauge clusters.  The grille seems taller and narrower.  It has five distinct sections, separated by wider horizontal bands.  The vertical center bar from last year is gone.

Mechanical: The engine, used on both series, formally used on the Dictator, is bored out 1/16th of an inch to 226.2 cubic inches, but makes the same 90 HP.  The the engine and seats are moved forward, the distance varies from 3 ½ to 5 ½ depending on which source you believe.  The front seat is at least five inches wider, Studebaker claimed six.  The tunnel is nearly eliminated by turning the transmission on it's side.  The wheel base is 116 ½ inches, ½ inch longer then the 1937 Dictator it replaced.  Planer suspension, safety glass, dual tail lights, dual wipers and divided windshields are standard equipment.  Also included at regular price was a speedometer, engine thermometer, Autolite ignition, Borg clock, Casco cigar lighter, two-way Houdaille shock absorbers, spring covers and Bud steel disc wheels.

Optional Equipment: Most of the options are not mentioned.  However, two items which seemed to get a lot of play are the free-wheeling overdrive transmission and the the vacuum actuated Evans “Miracle Shift.”  The control for this unit was mounted in the center of the lower part of the dash, which left the floor clear for easier seating of three front seat passengers.  It operated on the standard “H” shift pattern.  It was often troublesome and when “three on the tree” came out in 1939, became obsolete.


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1938 Model 7A Commander
Business Coupe 2 3 $875.00
Custom Coupe 2 5 $900.00
Club Sedan 2 5 $995.00
Cruising Sedan 4 6 $965.00
Convertible Sedan 4 6 $1,315.00
SCAC indicated the production started September of 1937 and ended July of 1938, they put production at 19,260 units. TCCD listed models and prices exactly the same as SCAC for 7A models, but under “Six Series” with no production data. They then listed the same 7A production number as SCAC did, under the caption “Commander Series 7A” with “price and model” information which matched SCAC's 8A information. Then under “Commander Series 8A” no data is available for “model, price or production”. STCS lists the starting Serial Number at 5,582,001 for SB and 5,857,501 for LA. Engine numbers started at H-101, 1939 Commander engines start at H42,501, so we know that 42, 400 1938 engine number were assigned.


Model Doors Passenger Price
1938 Model 8A Commander
State Custom Coupe 2 5 $995.00
State Club Sedan 2 0 $1,030.00
State Cruising Sedan 4 6 $1,040.00
State Convertible Sedan 4 6 $1,365.00
SCAC indicated the production started August of 1937 and ended July of 1938, they put production at 22,053 units. TCCD has no data, in the “Commander Series 8A” link. However, under “Commander Series 7A”, they listed production that agreed with SCAC for 7A, but listed “model and price” information that agreed with SCAC's 8A information (exception TCCD listed the Convertible Sedan at $1,390). The information on TCCD is clearly confusion created by Studebaker changing the “Six 7A “ to “Commander 7A” and “Commander 8A” to “State Commander 8A”. STCS lists the starting 8A serial number at 4,090,001 for SB and 4,800,001 for LA. The 1939 9A serial numbers start at 4,110,001 for SB and 4,802,301 for LA, that would appear then that 20,000 SB and 2,300 LA serial numbers were assigned to 1938 8A production. (See 7A Chart above for engine serial number information).
1939 9A Commander's

With 1938 being a new design, the 1939 Commander is simply a face lift from the cowl forward, but the change to the grille is different then anything we have seen before.  The tall vertical grille from the past is gone.  It is replaced by two separate grilles on either side of the now bare nose, inserted into the front fenders just inside the new headlights which are completely faired into the fenders.  The grille section are roughly one half as high and twice as wide, covering two thirds of the front of the car. This shorter wider grille pattern would remain with Studebaker until the end.  We also see new tail lights built into the rear fenders.  The new headlights are slightly oval and not as yet seal beams, although after 1940 there would be a kit available to change the 39 headlights to sealed beams.  Another distinction of 1939 Commander's is the two chrome trim strips on the side panels, below the hood and just below the belt line trim that extends from near the front of the hood to near the back of the car. Note, that the 1940 Commander would have only one strip, while the 1938 had none.

The interior has a new instrument panel and the panel and window moldings are painted in a wood burl pattern.  The interior hardware was finished in plastic, harmonizing with the interior color.  This was an extension of the Lucite speedometer and clock facings used in 1938 Commander's.

Tell’s for 1939: Newtaillights built into the rear-fender.  New ovalheadlights faired into the front fenders.  New lower, wider grille. Two chrome strips under the hood.

Mechanical: The first for Studebaker, steering column three-speed gear shift lever, seen on some GM cars in 1938, it is adopted by nearly all American manufactures this year.  Die-hards, at least early in the year could order cars with floor shift.  The overdrive transmission is modified with a switch under the accelerator petal.  When pushed all the way to the floor, is allowed you to move out of overdrive without slowing down.  When the switch is made, a solenoid shuts off the engine for 1/5 of a second,relieving the torque on the transmission, which allowed the overdrive pawl to disengage the sun gear.  This is a big advancement over earlier systems.  Also, the overdrive cut-in speed is reduced from 40 to 30 mph.  All Studebaker overdrive systems would remain this way until the end of production.  Note: overdrives were first introduced in 1935 Presidents.  1939 would also see the introduction of the famous Studebaker Climatizer heating and ventilating system.  To began with the unit was under the drivers side seat, later it would move the under the passenger side seat.  While the name would continue to the end of production, the last year it was placed under the passenger side seat would be 1959 for sedans and 1963 for Hawks.   The wheel base remains at 116 ½ inches.

 
 
 
 
 
 

When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
 
Model Doors Passenger Price
1939 Model 9A Commander
Four-door Cruising Sedan w/ trunk spare (W3) 4 5 $965.00
Two-door Club Sedan w/ trunk spare (F3) 2 6 $955.00
Four-door Convertible Sedan w/ trunk spare (S3) 4 6 $1,290.00
Three Passenger Custom Coupe w/ interior spare (Q1) 2 3 $900.00
Three Passenger Business Coupe w/ interior spare (Q1) 2 3 $875.00
Four-door Station Wagon * 4 ? ?
Studebaker parts books listed a (W7), (F7), and (Q7) Deluxe Models. What constitutes “Deluxe” is not well defined. 1939 price lists show a “Deluxe Equipment Package” at an additional $30.00. This package included a Phantom Steering Wheel, Horn Ring, Electric Clock, Cigar Lighter, and extra Horn.
Fox indicated that production started in August of 1938 and ended August of 1939 for Commanders. SCAC indicated production started in September of 1938 and ended in August of 1939. →Studebaker assigned 38,500 SB serial numbers and 5,300 LA serial numbers to the Model 9A. Fox reported two sources for 1939 production, the first reports 43,724 for SB and LA combined, the second lists SB at 38,493 and LA at 5,260, 29 more units. The second sources may have included bare chassis sales. Engine Serial Numbers are reported at H-42,501 to H-87,600. For more complete information see TW Oct. 1990← * SCAC listed a Station Wagon (No Price), TCCD did not list the Convertible Sedan or the Station Wagon. They both reported total Commander production at 43,724 as did Fox in source one.
1940 10A Commander's

Often the 1940 Commander's are seen as, just a 1939 with Seal Beam headlights.  Actually Studebaker has quite a few changes for 1940 as listed below:

  1. New headlights (sealed Beam design).

  2. Total glass was increased by 241 square inches, including the windshields.

  3. Rear quarter windows, slide instead of swinging out.

  4. Door hinges, except the front lower ones are hidden.

  5. New gas tank filler door, hides the gas cap and filler tube.

  6. Safety glass in all windows.

  7. Inside hood release.

  8. Rear seating room expanded.

  9. Door handles faired into the side trim.

  10. Grille changed from vertical bars to mesh.

  11. New brushed stainless panels for interior door handles and window regulators, and recessed portions of the instrument panel.

  12. Wider rear tread.

  13. 6.25 x 16 tires.

  14. New shockless steering.  Longer steering Knuckle arms.

  15. Rubber mounted rear spring shackles.

  16. New transmission design (on the side 1938-39 discontinued).

Models for 1940 Commander's are, four-door Cruising Sedan, two-door Club Sedan, and a Coupe in Regular and DeLuxe trim.  DeLuxe models had upgraded trim and extra items like duel horns.  Regular Commander's came with wool cloth upholstery.   Leather upholstery was an extra cost option offered in several colors.  Many of the Commander paint colors came with a complementary accent color around the side windows.

However, the big news for 1940 was Studebaker's April 1940 release of an all new trim series called the Delux-tone.  These models featured colorful two-tone interiors, standard whitewall tires, Burnt Orange or Maroon wheels, deluxe steering wheels, tenite gear shift knobs, and five different two-tone exterior paint combinations or four solid colors, all for $40 dollars more then regulator models.  The two-toned upholstery used in these models was either two colors of broadcloth or on green models, light green broadcloth and dark green leather.  The following is a listing of colors available on Commander's and Presidents.

Regular Models Exterior Colors

Body Color

Window Reveal Accent Color

Colleen Green Light Metallic

Colleen Green Dark Metallic

Birchleaf Light Metallic

Birchleaf Dark Metallic

Clipper Grey Light Metallic

Clipper Grey Dark Metallic

Santa Anita Beigh Light Metallic

Santa Anita Beigh Dark Metallic

Riviera Blue Metallic

Riviera Blue Grey Metallic

Riviera Blue Metallic

Riviera Blue Metallic

Velvet Black

Velvet Black

California Grapetone Maroon

California Grapetone Maroon

Beverly Blue (1)

Beverly Blue

Studebaker Cream (2)

Studebaker Cream

Delux-Tone Models Exterior Colors

Lower Color

Upper Color

Riviera Blue Metallic (M)

Riviera Blue Grey Metallic

Clipper Grey Dark Metallic (O)

Clipper Grey Light Metallic

Paddock Green Dark (M)

Paddock Green Light

Birchleaf Dark Metallic (O)

Birchleaf Light Metallic

Santa Anita Beigh Dark Metallic (O)

Santa Anita Beigh Light Metallic

Velvet Black

Velvet Black

Tulip Cream

Tulip Cream

California Grapetone Maroon

California Grapetone Maroon

Ruby Red

Ruby Red

(1) Not available LA Plant, (2) Only available LA Plant, (M) Maroon wheels, (O) Burnt Orange wheels. Painted with 12 coats of lacquer.

Upholstery Materials

Regular Models, wool cloth, optional extra cost colored leather.

Delux-Tone

Blue & Grey broadcloth

Riviera Blue, Clipper Grey, and Velvet Black

Light Green broadcloth & dark Green Leather

Paddock Green, Birchleaf

Brown & beige broadcloth

Santa Anita Beige, Tulip Cream, California Grapetone Maroon, Ruby Red

Seat upholstery was pleated on Delux-tone Commander's


Tell’s for 1940: Seal beam headlights.  New meshgrille. A single chrome strip under the hood.  Concealedhinges on all doors.


Mechanical: The Commander's continue with the 90 HP 116.2 cubic inches Six.  Wheel base is 116 ½ inches. Hill-Holder is standard equipment.


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada
Model Doors Passenger Price
1940 Model 10A Commander
Regular four-door Cruising Sedan (W3) 4 6 $965.00
Delux-tone four-door Cruising Sedan (W5) 4 6 $1,005.00
DeLuxe four-door Cruising Sedan (W7) +++ 4 6 $965.00
Regular four-door Club Sedan (F3) 2 6 $925.00
Delux-tone four-door Club Sedan (F5) 2 6 $965.00
DeLuxe four-door Club Sedan (F7) +++ 2 6 $925.00
Regular Coupe (Q1) 2 3 $895.00
Delux-tone Coupe (Q5) 2 3 $935.00
DeLuxe Coupe (Q7) +++ 2 3 $895.00
+++ The DeLuxe line was actually the Regular line with DeLuxe trim and equipment. There was most likely no standard pricing, so the $965, $925, & $895 numbers are just the base price.
Fox did not mention the production start or end dates for the 10A Commander. However, SCAC indicated production started in September of 1939 and ended in June of 1940. →Studebaker assigned 33,300 SB serial numbers and 4,300 LA serial numbers to the Model 10A. Fox reported actual production at 33,247 for SB and 4,255 for LA, close to the number of serial numbers assigned. Engine Serial Numbers are reported at H-87,601 to H-122,200. For more complete information see TW Aug. 1987← Neither TCCD, SCAC mention the DeLuxe models, but do recognize all three body styles in the Regular and Delux-tone lines. They both reported total Commander production at 34,477 as Fox mentioned as “Another Source”.
1941 11A Commander's

All the Studebaker lines came with the new twin belt moldings, unique to all early 1941 Studebaker's (Left Photo, 1941 Commander Land Cruiser).  Only the later Commander and President Skyway (Right Photo below) would not have this bright-work.  The bodies for all the Studebaker lines were new for 1941, sharing tail light design, headlight rings, and a new dash design.  Styled by Raymond Loewy’s associates, they were longer and lower, and had a wider grille.  Presidents and Commanders has a new semi-circle bump in the rear fenders. Running boards were eliminated.

Initially, in the senior series, neither a Coupe or Club Sedan were offered.  The Commander 11A came only in two 4-door body styles, the Cruising Sedan and the Land Cruiser.  The Cruising Sedan had rear-hinged “suicide” rear doors, with the rear vent windows in the body.  The Land Cruiser had front hinged rear doors with the vent windows in the rear door.  Land Cruisers also had special front and rear fender trim strips, more bright trim around the window, and a rear seat folding center arm rest.  The Cruising Sedan did not have these features.  Early Commanders came in two trim levels, Custom and Deluxe-tone.  The Custom trim was the basic trim, the Deluxe-tone trim option included two tone paint with color-keyed interiors, standard white wall tires, DeLuxe steering wheel, and more interior bright-work.  The Deluxe-tone trim option was first introduced in mid 1940.  The accent color on 41 Deluxe-tone model two-tones was on the top and between the belt moldings.  The ladder was called a “color belt.”  A contrasting color belt on Custom models was available for an extra $5.  This year the air intake, for the optional Climatizer was moved to a vent door on the left side of the cowl.  A matching fresh air vent door was added on the right side.  In 1947 the purpose of the two vent doors were switched.  These vent doors were used on all Studebaker cars to 1957 and on Hawks to 1964.  Also new for 1941 was a separate heater core for the Climatizer windshield defroster system.

In the spring of 1941 Studebaker introduced a new trim series called the Skyway.  The exterior Skyway trim is considerably different then Custom and Delux-tone models.  Obvious difference was the lack of the dual side moldings.  Other features included, rear fender skirts, front fender top lamps, bright metal trim around the windows, trimmed rear fender stone shields, and rocker panel trim, extending onto the fenders.  The Skyway models were mainly painted two-tone.  The other new introduction for the spring was the Sedan-Coupe ( F body), a delayed replacement for the 1940 Club sedan.  The Sedan-Coupe featured a forward slanting B-pillar and a curved one-piece windshield, the first of its kind for a mass production car.  It was offered in Custom (F3) and and Skyway (F7) trim.

Upholstery Materials for 1941 Commander's

Custom Models

Standard

One-tone beige medium bedford cord

Optional

Brown Canda cloth

Early Delux-tone Models (color-keyed)

Seats (narrow pleats)

Bolster

Bolster Optional

Dark green broadcloth

grey cloth

leather

Light green broadcloth

dark green leather

cloth

Dark brown broadcloth

beige cloth

leather

Late Delux-tone Models (color-keyed)

Seats (wide pleats)

Bolster

Bolster Optional

Grey broadcloth

dark blue leather

cloth

Light green broadcloth

dark green leather

cloth

Beige broadcloth

brown leather

cloth

Skyway Models

Color keyed one-tone (fawn or blue-grey) wide pleated broadcloth


The many exterior paint combinations and colors are more then the author wants to commit to listing here. The following is a list of at least the names of the colors available for the various combinations.

Fall Colors

Spring Colors

Velvet Black

Velvet Black

Tulip Cream

Tulip Cream

Winestone Maroon

Winestone Maroon

Ruby Red

Ruby Red

Beverly Blue

Cloud Grey

Cloud Grey

Alpine Blue

Fern Leaf Green (Dark & Light)

Mountain Green (Dark & Light)

Dawn Grey (Dark & Light)

Sunstar Beige (Dark & Light)

Palm Green (Dark & Light)

Dawn Grey (Dark & Light)

Malibu Beige (Dark & Light)

Panama Blue (Dark & Light)

Sunstar Beige (Dark & Light)

Mountain Green (Dark & Light)


Tell’s for 1941:
Twin belt moldings (except Skyway). Wider grille with vertical bars, 1940 had been a mesh pattern. A upper bar is added to the bumper with a center and two side bumper guards standard, end tips are optional extra cost items. Cowl side vent doors.

Mechanical: The compression ratio of the Commander Six is increased from 6.0:1 to 6.5:1, which increases the horsepower from 90 to 94. The wheel-base is increased to 119 inches and additional spring leaves are added to the Planar front suspension. The Hill-Holder is standard equipment on Senior cars. Overdrive is optional and the Commander now has the starter button under the clutch pedal.


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada

Model Doors Passenger Price
1941 Model 11A Commander
Custom four-door Cruising Sedan (W3) 4 6 $985.00
Delux-tone four-door Cruising Sedan (W5) 4 6 $1,050.00
Skyway four-door Cruising Sedan (W7) 4 6 $1,075.00
Custom Land Cruiser (B3) 4 6 $1,030.00
Delux-tone Land Cruiser (B5) 4 6 $1,095.00
Skyway Land Cruiser (B7) 4 6 $1,105.00
Custom Sedan-Coupe (F3) 2 6 $965.00
Skyway Sedan-Coupe (F7) 2 6 $1,055.00
Fox did not mention the production start or end dates for the 11A Commander. However, SCAC indicated production started in August of 1940 and ended in July of 1941. →Studebaker assigned 37,380 SB serial numbers and 4,618 LA serial numbers to the Model 11A. Fox reported actual production at 37,380 for SB and 4,618 for LA, likely calculated from the serial numbers assigned. Engine Serial Numbers are reported at H-122,201 to H-164,222. For more complete information see TW April 1993← Both TCCD & SCAC listed the same body styles as Fox and listed production at 41,996, two units from exactly the same as Fox.
1942 12A Commander's

As in 1941, there were three trim levels, Custom, Deluxestyle (replacing Delux-tone), and Skyway.   Each series had a Cruising Sedan, a Sedan Coupe, and a Land Cruiser.

The major trim differences are; Skyways have two-toned paint, rear fender skirts, stainless moldings around the windows, and chrome rear-fender gravel shields.  They also sport a “Skyway Commander” badge on the rear lower side of the hood, but do not have the full length belt line molding found on the Deluxestyle and Custom lines,.  Deluxstyle cars have wide stainless moldings below the side windows and black rubber gravel shields.  Custom have no window bright trim and rubber gravel shields.  Both Custom and Deluxestyle belt moldings have “Commander” stamped in the front.

Tells for 1942: 1942 Commanders have a new stainless grille that covered the entire front of the car, with horizontal bars emphasized and the vertical bars as background.  The grill had two round blank spots, below and slightly inboard from the headlights, used for optional fog lights.  Massive new bumpers and bumper guards with built in licence plate holder front and back.  Large new horizontal tail lights, wrapping around the rear fenders, inside large chrome housings, with dual lamps, one for flashing indicators and the other for tail light/brake light.  New hood ornaments, trunk and hood badges, and trunk handle were in place.  Parking lights were found on top of the front fenders in long chromed housings’.  The only bright work, not new for 1942, was the headlight rings.

Instrument panels were redesigned and very attractive.  The finish of the radio grille was clear lucite.  Seat bottoms were wider; upholstery and door panels more luxurious.  Dual sun visors, windshield wipers, and horns were standard on all models. Deluxestyle models had a front seat back garnish trim panel with ashtray and two courtesy lights, as well as three chrome moldings on the inside door panels, and two-tone exterior and interior colors and trim.  Skyway models had bolster type pleated upholstery and Lucite door hardware panels.

Accessories: Directional signals $19.25, radio and steering-wheel radio remote control $70.25, rear-seat radio remote control (foot-activated button mounted on the floor) $5.25.  Just a few of the accessories offered in 1942.

Mechanical: Few changes were made, however Commanders were equipped with Autolite ignition, and the starter button moved from the dash, too under the clutch pedal, like the 1941 Champions.

Side Bar: 1942 Turbo-matic Drive.  This innovation consisted of a fluid coupling, an automatic vacuum-operated clutch, and a conventional three-speed transmission with kickdown overdrive.  The clutch pedal was eliminated, and gear shifting was reduced to a minimum.  Only six cars were actually equipped with a Turbo-matic, three were Presi­dents and three Commanders.  It is not known whether any were ever released to the public.  By the time World War II was over, real fully automatic transmission technology was available and this transmission design never used.

BlackOut Cars: All Studebaker cars built on or after January 16, 1942, were considerably altered in appearance.  This was the result of the government attempt to con­serve certain critical metals like chrom­ium, nickel, and stainless steel by requiring most brightwork to be eliminated on all American cars.  Stude­baker referred to these cars as "series 90".  In order to provide vehicles that would ap­proximate their glittery predecessors, Studebaker used noncritical metals like Indium silver, and utilized baked-enamel finishes in colors that would offer pleasing contrast to that of the body.  Production of the series 90 Commanders, during the last two weeks of January 1942 was 1,688.  Sur­viving examples are quite rare.


When data was available from TW or STCS (Studebaker the Complete Story) it is used. Else, TCCD (The Classic Car Database) & SCAC (The Standard Catalog of American Cars) is used. →Information found between the arrows is from Turning Wheel feature articles written by Fred Fox← What we can be fairly sure of is that the same body styles, depending on the source, were sometimes listed in different terms. SB= South Bend, LA= Los Angles, and CAN= Canada

Model
Doors Passenger Price
1942 Model 12A Commander
Custom four-door Cruising Sedan (W3) 4 6 $1,045.00
Deluxestyle four-door Cruising Sedan (W5) 4 6 $1,090.00
Skyway four-door Cruising Sedan (W7) 4 6 $1,125.00
Custom Land Cruiser (B1) 4 6 $1,080.00
Deluxestyle Land Cruiser (B3) 4 6 $1,125.00
Skyway Land Cruiser (B7) 4 6 $1,160.00
Custom Sedan-Coupe (F3) 2 6 $1,025.00
Deluxestyle Sedan-Coupe (F5) 2 6 $1,070.00
Skyway Sedan-Coupe (F7) 2 6 $1,105.00
As we were unable to find a TW article for 1942 Commanders, the data show above was taken from SCAC which indicated that production started in August of 1941 and ended in January of 1942. They fixed production at 17,500 units. According to STCS the starting serial numbers for 1942 Commanders is 4,216,501 for SD and 4,816,601 for LA. No ending serial numbers are listed, so production cannot be calculated from the serial numbers. However, if you look at the starting serial numbers for 1947 Commanders for SB and LA, 4,232,501 & 4,818, 501 respectively, it would appear that 17,900 1942 serial numbers were assigned, slightly more then the 17,500 production number reported by SCAC. The starting Engine Number is H-164,301, the ending number is not listed. However, 1947 Commander Engine Numbers start at H-182,001 so most likely 17,700 Engine Numbers were assigned to 1942 Commanders. Interestingly TCCD, while listing the exact same model line-up, also listed each models price at exactly $83.00 more, leading us to wonder if a price increase was initiated some time during production.