At $13,999, Is This 1950 Studebaker Champion a Winning Deal?

Nice Price or No Dice 1950 Studebaker Champion

Aside from its gauge cluster being a total cluster-you-know-what, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Studebaker is claimed to be ready for the road. Let’s see if this old-school hot rod is also readily priced.

While the market for BMW E30s has risen steadily over the last decade, especially the M3 edition, not all of you are ready to board that crazy plane. That was evident in both the comments and 70 percent No Dice vote yesterday’s $11,500 1992 325i convertible suffered. According to you, it just wasn’t nice enough — and had the wrong transmission — to ask that much.

To be fully transparent, today’s 1950 Studebaker Champion has an automatic just like yesterday’s E30. It’s a red convertible too. That, however, is where the similarities end.

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Studebaker built the Champion from 1939 through the ‘58 model year, with the car serving as the brand’s entrant into the value-priced family car category. The initial edition was a clean-sheet design for what was at the time, modern streamlined bodywork and an economical flathead six under the hood. The second generation had a bit of a truncated model run owing to a little thing called WWII, but its successor, introduced in 1947, was notable for being the first fully-redesigned post-war American car out of the gate.

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That third edition is best remembered for two styling features; a wrap-around rear window on the five-passenger coupes, and a bulbous spinner nose. Interestingly, that iconic nose only lasted two model years (1950 – 1951) with a more traditional grille treatment bookending those years.

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Being a 1950 model, this Champion has the spinner nose. Being a convertible, however, it trades the wrap-around rear window for all-around open air. The removal of the front bumper makes the nose on this car even more prominent. That change is just one of many that has turned this Champion into a restomod hot rod.

Another big change lies behind that nose. There, the 80-horsepower flathead six has been replaced by a small block Chevy V8 of indeterminate origin. Behind that sits what’s most likely a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic. According to the seller, both the engine and transmission run smoothly. The power steering and brakes are likewise claimed to be doing their respective jobs without issue.

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There are a few issues with the car otherwise. The seller notes an older respray and says it does suffer some chips and whatnot. There is the issue of some missing trim, as well, notably the trunk trim and license mount. The spinner and headlamp bezels have also been painted silver, which indicates the chrome beneath might not be up to snuff.

The real issues are apparent in the interior. There, a bench seat from a more modern car awaits butts while the dashboard ahead awaits a gauge cluster of some (any) sort. The rest of the interior is extremely rough, needing flooring, something to dress up the bare shifter, and…well, pretty much everything else.

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On the plus side, the car runs and drives and looks about as simple as a pimple to wrench on. The top seems to be working and the car comes with all its glass and a clean title. No word is given in the ad as to whether it carries current registration, however. More parts (hopefully including that license plate mount) are included in the trunk. Mileage is given as 11,200 but the odometer is listed as broken (i.e. missing) so that’s not a particularly practical measure.

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That all makes this a work-in-progress Studebaker and one that the present owner is apparently unable or unwilling to proceed with any further. However, one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure, which means a fresh set of wrenches and maybe a visit to a tuck-and-roll upholstery shop under the auspices of a new owner. To that end, it will cost $13,999.

What’s your take on this resto-mod Studebaker and that $13,999 asking? Does that seem like a fair deal for a mostly sorted hot rod of an appreciably rare and interesting model? Or, for that much, would this project need to be a lot closer to the finish line?

You decide!

Phoenix, Arizona, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don R. for the hookup!

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