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Lot 108

1951 Studebaker Commander State Convertible

  • Chassis no. 8141747

Sold for $30,250

Model H. 120 bhp, 232.6 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115"

- Offered from the Estate of Don Kizziar

- Attractive older restoration

- V-8 engine with Automatic Drive

- Comprehensively accessorized

Studebaker, among the oldest of automakers, made dramatic gains after World War II. Boasting “First by Far with a Postwar Car,” the company brought out the dramatic Starlight coupe in 1947, so sleek that passers-by debated which way the car was traveling. Sales surged steadily upward to levels not seen before the war. The make achieved eighth place in the industry for 1949, before settling into a steady ninth as other automakers’ production caught up with demand.

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

Attractive in light yellow, this 1951 Studebaker is nicely complemented by a saddle tan interior and canvas top. Restored in 1987, it still presents well but with some minor chips and blemishes to the paint and discoloration of the top. The door gaps are a bit uneven but this should be quite easily rectified. The interior is very presentable and the engine compartment is nicely detailed.

Equipped with AM radio, under-seat heater and Studebaker’s automatic transmission, it has backup lamps, directional signals, chrome fender skirts, full chrome wheel covers and even a tissue dispenser. Studebaker Commanders all had the excellent V-8 engine, and the convertible was available only in upscale “State” trim. Just 3,770 were built in the 1951 model year, making it one of the rarer body styles. Eye-catching and unusual, this car is bound to please.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more