Champion of the 50s - The 1950 Studebaker
In 1950, Studebaker continued in its post-war reputation by offering buyers new advanced models once again. The cars were bold in design but were also safe, relaxing, and simple. They appealed to all classes of buyers, from family car owners to sports car fans. As Studebaker put it, these cars were "styled to make motoring history." Studebaker offered a variety of models this year. There were models to meet every need. If buyers needed more passenger room and four doors, they could get this and more in a Studebaker. Those who went for the sportier look could easily grab a Studebaker two-door car or convertible. The 1950 models included the Champion De Luxe three-passenger Coupe, the Commander Regal De Luxe five-passenger Starlight Coupe, the Champion Regal De Luxe four-door sedan, the Commander Regal De Luxe four-door Sedan, the Champion Regal De Luxe Convertible, the Commander De Luxe two-door Sedan, and the Regal De Luxe Land Cruiser. A Studebaker truck was also available this year.
A Smoother ride
The 1950 Studebaker offered features that gave a smoother ride and easier handling. It had a self-stabilizing suspension (coil spring type) in the front. The steering was improved symmetrically with a centered Studebaker variable ratio. The tires had extra low pressure and were well-balanced in weight to give the tires extra road-hugging properties needed to take curves or ride on the straightaway.
The Champion was very low to the road and was also compact in size for both the width and length. It had a short hood and great visibility through its windows. It handled and shifted with ease and offered quiet comfort on the inside. The Champion could be ordered with or without overdrive. In the front, the instrument panel was placed further away from the seat to improve spaciousness. The driver and passenger could gain more comfort and space by adjusting the steering column angle, cushion softness, and the front seat's height. The rear passenger area offered less room, but there was generous space for vertical headroom. The trunk had more space because the spare tire was now mounted vertically. Another welcomed featured of the Champion was its good fuel economy.
Features for the Champion and Commander
Both the Champion and Commander models came with plenty of features to make them appealing to buyers. They both had self-adjusting brakes and a hi-compression engine. The generator for both models was regulated by auto current and voltage. The anti-vibration engine mountings were made of rubber. Each had a front wheel suspension with self-stabilizing independent coil springs. They had wide rim wheels with extra low-pressure tires. The gas tank had an 18-gallon fuel capacity. Variable ratio steering made handling much easier. Other features included a direct-action parking brake (hand brake), hypoid gears on the rear axle, a full-power rubber-mounted muffler, a box-section frame that was anti-twist, valve seats that are integral with the engine block, full length water jacketing, auto choke control, high-capacity shock absorbers, and auto heat and spark controls.
There were several options that were available on all models at extra cost. These included automatic overdrive, which would save on gas, white sidewall tires, trim rings, and bright metal wheel discs. On the Champion only, extra-cost options included an auto hill holder, a large-capacity oil cleaner, and a vacuum booster for the windshield wipers.
Champion engine specifications
The Champion's engine was a six-cylinder L-head engine with a displacement of 169.6 cubic inches. Its bore and stroke was 3 inches by 4 inches, and its maximum horsepower was 85 at 4000 RPM. It had a compression ratio of 7.0:1 with an optional 7.5:1 ratio for high altitude. The oil capacity for this engine was 5 quarts. Its cooling system capacity was 10 quarts. It had a rear axle ratio of 4.10:1 standard with overdrive being 4.56:1. The tire size used was 6.40 inches by 15 inches. The Champion was built on a 113-inch wheelbase. Its measurements were as follows: height (61 ½ inches loaded), width (69 7/8 inches), and length (197 ¼ inches).
Commander engine specifications
The Commander used a 245.6-cubic-inch, six-cylinder L-head engine. The engine had a bore and stroke of 3 5/16 inches by 4 ¾ inches. Its maximum horsepower topped 102 at 3200 RPM. Its compression ratio was standard 7.0:1 with an optional ratio of 7.50:1 for high altitude. It had an engine oil capacity of 6 quarts and a cooling system capacity of 13 ½ quarts. The rear axle ratio was 4.09:1 standard with optional overdrive ratio of 4.55:1. The tires used were 7.60 inches by 15 inches. The Commander was built on a 120-inch wheelbase. Its measurements were as follows: height (62 ¼ inches loaded), width (69 9/16 inches), and length (207 7/8 inches). The Land Cruiser was 211 7/8 inches long and had a wheelbase of 124 inches.
The Land Cruiser
The Land Cruiser was the luxury car for Studebaker this year. Its interior was upholstered in long-lasting nylon cord that could easily be washed. It had a center arm rest that could fold away to create one long rear seat. The Land Cruiser's body design was low and long. It glided through traffic smoothly and gave buyers a sense of pride while riding on the highway. And best of all… all this luxury could be enjoyed at a sensible price. With great models that offered practicality, luxury, and safe travel, the 1950 Studebaker models truly were "champions" of their day. They still glow with pride by their owners at car shows around the world.