Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club

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The 1939 Champion:

As the Champions arrived in numbers, Studebaker's advertising department, under vice president George Keller, had turned out thousands of press kits, news releases, photographs, film-strips, and banners.  Time, Business Week, Popular Mechanics, and Fortune magazines gave the newcomer an unusual amount of ink.  In the meantime, Studebaker commissioned a professional film titled "Ahead of the Parade" to be shown at theaters across the country as a short subject.  On the airwaves, Richard Himber and his "Studebaker Champions Orchestra" trumpeted the new model on 96 radio stations three nights a week.  All in all, nearly 1.5 million dollars were spent on Champion advertising and promotions.   Not since the Ford Model A had a new car received so much publicity.  But it had the desired effect, and Studebaker dealers soon had more floor traffic than they'd seen in years.

1939 Champion's came in three body styles: four-door Cruising Sedan, two-door Club Sedan, and three-passenger Coupe (W, F, and Q), in Custom or DeLuxe trim.  Custom has a single windshield wiper, sun visor, and taillight.   Deluxe trim, has two windshield wipers, sun visors, and taillights. Deluxe trim also has a wood grain instrument panel, Phantom steering wheel, pile carpeting, broadcloth holstered door kick pads, door armrests, assist cords, opening rear-quarter windows (four-door), front spring covers, chrome appointments on dash and door panels, and stainless rocker panel moldings.  Options are overdrive transmission and Hill Holder, the only low-priced car to offer these features in 1939.   The OD, is a real gas and engine saver at $45.  The Hill Holder, keeps you from rolling down inclines while the clutch is depressed, at $8.50.   Accessories are, Climatizer ($28.70), Philco in-dash radio ($37.50), and clock (by New Haven, $9.75) and more.  The 1939 Champ has a short run, with production ending on July 28, 1939. The Champ accounted for about 60 percent of Studebaker's model-year sales, making total sales about 87 percent above 1938.  In addition, Studebaker added 1,506 new dealers and about 2,000 new workers.  Net sales is around $82 million, a 87% increase over 1938.  The Champion is an unequivocal success.

Note: Ref. Material from “HowStuffWorks” and “Turning Wheels February & March 2015” is used to create the above information.   A lot of the original information is shortened and summered.  Any errors in translation are the solely the responsibility of the authors.

Tells:  Note the (2) chrome strip on the hood and then the (1) additional strip on the hood skirt.  On the 1940 cars there will only be two, the middle one will be removed.  There is a thin full length chrome side molding that passes just above the door handles, this trim would become much larger and the door handles would become part of the side trim on the 1940 models.   Note the oval headlights, they will become seal beam in 1940.  The wider spacing of the grille teeth, both vertically and horizontally, will become much finer in 1940.  The bumper will become larger and rounder next year.

 

1939 Studebaker Champion Series G

Model
No. Doors 
Passengers 
Original Price
No. Produced
Weight Lbs.
Coupe (Q1)
2
3
$660.00
4,097
 2,260
Coupe DeLuxe (Q7) 2 3 $720.00 1,949 2,275
Club Sedan (F3) 2 5 $700.00 9,578 2,330
Club Sedan DeLuxe (F7) 2 5 $760.00 2,649 2,345
Cruising Sedan (W3) 4 5 $740.00 6,775 2,360
Cruising Sedan DeLuxe (W7)
 4
5
$800.00
8,560
2,375
Chassis Only

297

????

Total Production
33,905


Production South Bend – 30,305. Production Los Angles 3,599 - Total (33,904)  — The production numbers  (South Bend & Los Angeles) come from TW February 2015 (Fred Fox Article), individual model production numbers courtesy of Richard Quinn, same source.  Chart Source: TW February 2015.

1939 Champion Specifications
Engine
164.3 CU IN, Bore 3”, Stroke 3 7/8”, HP 78 at 4,000 rpm
Carburetor
Carter Model WO one-barrel
Compression
6.5 to 1
Wheelbase
110 Inches
Tires
5.50 x 16
Fuel Tank
15 Gal.

 Restoration Information
Interior Fabric
Custom Models, Bedford Cord – Deluxe Models, Broadcloth.
Deluxe Trim Additional Interior Appointments
Wood grain instrument panel and garnish moldings, Phantom steering wheel, pile carpeting, a strip of carpet at the door bottom that matched the floor carpeting, broadcloth holstered door kick pads, door armrests covered with leatherettte ,chrome appointments on dash and door panels, and assist cords.
Deluxe Trim Additional Exterior Appointments
Two windshield wipers, two taillights, opening rear-quarter windows (four-door), front spring covers, stainless rocker panel moldings, and rubber gravel shields.
Engine Colors
Olive green with black air cleaner canister and electrical components. Natural metal carburetor and fuel pump. Some fans may have been painted black.
SB Exterior Colors
Velvet Black, Victorian Blue, Praline Beige, Morocco Grey, Laurel Green. (Mid-Year) Champion Maroon and Tulip Cream.
LA Exterior Colors
Velvet Black, Victorian Blue, Praline Beige, Morocco Grey, Laurel Green. (Mid-Year) Champion Maroon and Tulip Cream. LA Only Colors Grapetone Maroon, Sun Valley Tan Metallic, Riviera Blue Metallic, Deauville Grey Metallic, French Grey Metallic, Balsam Green, Clay Rust, Delphinium Blue and Studebaker Cream
SB Serial No.
G-00,001 to G-30,500
LA Serial No.
G-800,001 to 803,700

Deluxe Style Equipment for Custom Champions
Extra windshield wiper – (AC-854)
$5.00
Front door arm rest (2) - (AC-858)
$3.50
Robe cord - (AC-859)
$2.25
Extra interior sun visor – (AC-848)
$1.65
Assist cords (2) - (AC-860)
$1.75
Chrome door sill panels (2) - (AC-856)
$5.00
Extra tail lamp – (AC-850)
$3.50
Phantom steering wheel - (AC-857)
$10.50
Accessories & Options  for 1939 Champions:  For a detailed listing with photographs, see TW – February 2015 page 29. Article by Fred Fox.  Else click on this link to see a listing 1939 Accessories & Options
The three Charts above, are Sourced from information taken from TW February 2015.

The 1940 Champion:

Tells:  Changes for 1940 are mostly cosmetic, sealed-beam headlights appear (seen on most American cars.)   The four-piece grille is resumed, but with more vertical and horizontal "teeth," door handles are integrated with the belt moldings, and bumpers are larger and rounder.  One of the three trim stripes seen on the 1939 model hood is removed and the "Studebaker" badge is placed between the remaining two instead of below the lower strip.  The hood release is moved inside the car under the instrument panel.  The "S" badge is now fixed and in a lower position just above the grille, instead of being the hood release, as seen on 1939 models.

Spring covers are included on Custom models at no additional cost.  The "opera" seats for late 1939 coupes, returned for 1940 as a $35 "opera coupe" option, supplied by Edwards Iron Works of South Bend.









Additional Edwards Iron Works offerings:

Edwards also provided "Ambulance Coupe" and "Slumber Coupe" packages.  However, the most unique 1940 Champion Edward's offering was the "Coupe Delivery," or "Pick-up Coupe ," a cargo box measuring 31 inches wide and 18 inches high that slid into the trunk (the trunk lid was furnished loose).  A tailgate with stamped-in "Studebaker" lettering was an option.  The box cost $25 in black, $26.50 if painted another color.  (Left below Photo from HowStuffWorks.com)

Edwards also did "Sedan Delivery" conversions (Photo Right)The Custom 2dr Sedan Delivery used the 1940 Champ Custom Club Sedan two-door, fitted with coupe floor pans and no rear seats.  Painted metal blanks were used instead of glass on the rear side windows.   Fiberboard was used on the rear inner sidewalls from floor to ceiling.  All for $36.50 added to the cost of the regular two-door.  Another $28 gets a partition with a sliding door and a drawer.

The 1940 Studebaker Champion was initially delivered in three body styles (Coupe, Club Sedan, and Cruising Sedan).  It came in two trim levels (Custom and Deluxe).

The Custom line was very "Plain Jane" with painted headlight rims, single tail light, one horn, one windshield wiper, fixed rear quarter window (Cruising Sedan)no arm rests, and single interior sun visor, and plain paint on the instrument panel and garnish molding.

Deluxe line was then of course upscale, with two of everything the Custom line had one of.  Added items were chrome headlight rims, ventilating rear quarter window (Cruising Sedan), Robe Cord (Cruising  Sedan), upgraded fabric (Broadcloth), interior door panel chrome strips with carpet kick pads on the lower part of the doors, wood grained instrument panel and garnish moldings, front arm rests, Phantom steering wheel & horn ring, rear seat ash tray, Tenite gear shift lever knob, and Stainless steel rocker panel molding.

In the spring of 1940 Studebaker added two additional trim levels, "Custom Deluxe", between "Custom" and "Deluxe" existing trims.  They also added "Delux-tone" as the top trim level.  Custom Deluxe only came in solid external colors, but featured two-tone interiors, two-tone instrument panel, and four bumper guards.  Delux-tone had all the Deluxe features, but came in a choice of five different color combinations with color matching two-tone interiors.


In the 1940 Gilmore Yosemite Economy Run, Champion produced the best mileage results at 29.19 mpg.  In recognition of its popularity and economy, the Champion is selected to pace the 1940 Indianapolis 500, a DeLuxe two-door, earned the distinction of being the first closed car picked to pace the 500.  The Champion nearly doubled its 1939 volume, ending the 1940 model year (June) at 66,624 cars (including 7,000 + assembled at the LA plant).   That would be over 100,000 sales in less then two years.

Note: Ref. Material from “HowStuffWorks” and TW April 1996 was used to create the above information.   A lot of the original information is shortened and summered.  Any errors in translation are the solely the responsibility of the authors.

Restoration Information:

Engine color is olive green, with black air cleaner and electrical components (generator, starter, etc).  Natural metal parts are carburetor and fuel pump.  Fans would normally be engine color, but some were black.
 

1940 Champion Exterior Paint Colors
Custom, Custom DeLuxe and DeLuxe Models South Bend production
Color
Wheel Color
Velvet Black 
Velvet Black 
Tulip Cream 
Tulip Cream 
Laurel Green 
Laurel Green 
Champion Maroon
Champion Maroon
Belmont Tan
Belmont Tan
Pilgrim Gray
Pilgrim Gray
Belvedere Blue
Belvedere Blue
Ruby Red
Ruby Red
Custom, Custom DeLuxe and DeLuxe Models Los Angeles (Vernon) production
 Color
Riviera Blue Metallic
California Grapetone Maroon
Clipper Gray Light Metallic 
Colleen Green Light Metallic 
Birchleaf Light Metallic
Santa Anita Beige Light Metallic
Clipper Gray Dark Metallic 
Colleen Green Dark Metallic 
Birchleaf Dark Metallic 
Studebaker Cream 
Some of the light or dark colors (Los Angeles) may not have been available on Champions as they may have just been accent colors for Commanders & Presidents.  Wheel colors were likely body color, but there may have been exceptions.

Most models came with two wheel stripes, thick on the inner, and thin on the outer.  While the colors are unknown, we do know that both stripes were the same color and that they were in contrast to the wheel color.

 
1940 Champion DeLux-tone Exterior Colors
Upper Body Color
Lower Body Color
Wheel Color 
Riviera Blue-Gray
Riviera Blue
Maroon 
Clipper Light Grey
Clipper Dark Grey
Burnt Orange 
Paddock Green Light
Paddock Green Dark
Maroon 
Birchleaf Light
Birchleaf Dark
Burnt Orange 
Santa Anita Beige Light
Santa Anita Beige Dark
Burnt Orange 
Most, if not all, of the above Delux-tone body colors were metallic's. 

1940 Champion Upholstery Fabrics
Custom Models
Custom DeLuxe Models
DeLuxe Models
DeLux-Tone Models 
Standard: Wool fabrics
Standard: Two-tone Wool fabric
Standard: Broadcloth
1 Standard: Broadcloth in the following colors:
Optional: Mohair ($5.00 extra)
Optional: Mohair ($5.00 extra)
Optional: Mohair ($5.00 extra) 
Exterior Color
 
Upholstery Colors 
Optional: Light tan leather with leatherette trim ($14.00 on coupes; $24 on sedans)
Optional: Light tan leather with leatherette trim ($14.00 on coupes; $24 on sedans
Optional: Light tan leather with leatherette trim ($14.00 on coupes; $24 on sedans 
Two-tone Riviera Blue
Blue & Grey Broadcloth
Optional: Blue-Gray, black, medium maroon, medium green or light red leather ($25 on coupes; $34 on sedans)
Optional: Blue-Gray, black, medium maroon, medium green or light red leather ($25 on coupes; $34 on sedans)
Optional: Blue-Gray, black, medium maroon, medium green or light red leather ($25 on coupes; $34 on sedans)
Two-tone Clipper Gray 
Blue & Grey Broadcloth 
1 Part leather on green cars



Custom Interior
Club
Sedan




Deluxe
Interior
Cruising
Sedan
Two-tone Paddock Green
Light Green Broadcloth & Dark Green Leather 
Two-tone Birchleaf
Light Green Broadcloth &  Dark Green leather
Two-tone 
Santa Anita  Beige
 
Brown & Beige broadcloth 


1939 Champion Specifications
Engine
164.3 CU IN, Bore 3”, Stroke 3 7/8”, HP 78 at 4,000 rpm
Carburetor
Carter Model WO one-barrel
Compression
6.5 to 1
Wheelbase
110 Inches
Tires
5.50 x 16
Fuel Tank
15 Gal.

1940 Studebaker Champion Series 2G, 110  In. wheelbase
 
Model
No. Doors 2
Passengers 2
TW Price
CCD Price 2
No. Produced
Custom Coupe Q1
2
3
 $660.00
$660.00
8,127
Custom Deluxe Coupe Q2
2
3
$690.00
 Not Listed
665
Custom Coupe w/Opera Seats Q3
2
3/5 1
 $695.00
$695.00
2,559
Custom Deluxe Coupe w/Opera Seats Q4
2
3/5 1
 $725.00
 Not Listed
220
Deluxe Coupe Q7
2
3
 $705.00
$705.00
1,642
Delux-tone Coupe Q8
2
3
 $720.00
$720.00
380
Deluxe Coupe w/Opera Seats Q9
2
3/5 1
 $740.00
 $740.00
1,069 
Delux-tone Coupe w/Opera Seats Q10
2
3/5 1
$755.00
 $755.00
118 
Custom Cruising Sedan W3
4
5
 $740.00
$700.00
11,470
Custom Deluxe Cruising Sedan W5
4
5
 $770.00
Not Listed
1,357
Deluxe Cruising Sedan W7
4
5
 $785.00
$785.00
7,516
DeLux-tone Cruising Sedan W9
4
5
 $800.00
$800.00
1,594
Custom Club Sedan F3
2
5
 $700.00
$700.00
22,574
Custom Deluxe Club Sedan F5 
2
5
 $730.00
 Not Listed
2,561 
Deluxe Club Sedan F7 
2
5
 $745.00
 $745.00
4,124 
Delux-tone Club Sedan F9 
2
5
 $760.00
$760.00
1,280 
Chassis Z1
 
 
 
 
unknown
Total
67,256 
Serial Number SB G-30,501 – 90,069  Serial Number LA G-803,701 – 811,191 Engine Number 34,101 – 101,169
1 The Opera Coupe had two fold-up jump seats in the rear (no seat).
2 Classic Car Database
Source: CCD & TW April 1996