1948 Studebaker - Master of Design
Surrounded by more than 400 employees and many reporters on August 18, 1948, the Studebaker assembly line in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada rolled off their first car, which was a blue Champion four-door sedan. Due to the large makeover in 1947, there were few changes made on the 1948 Studebaker. The vehicles were still built with the finest craftsmanship in the motor car industry by many employees who were father/son teams. In 1948, many new models were offered to the consumer with a $200 price increase, which was the most significant change.
1948 Studebaker Champion
The 1948 Studebaker Champion owner was well pleased with their new vehicle. The models featured oversize windows and windshield, an adjustable driver's seat, and a steering wheel that was big and easy to control. They could choose from many models, which included the DeLuxe Sedan two-door or four-door, DeLuxe three-passenger or five-passenger coupe, Regal DeLuxe two-door or four-door sedan, Regal Deluxe three-passenger or five-passenger coupe, and the Royal Deluxe Convertible coupe.
Studebaker Champion Specifications
The Studebaker Champion had a six-cylinder L-head engine with bore of 3 inches and a stroke of 4 inches. The maximum horsepower was 80 at 4000 RPM, and it had a taxable horsepower of 21.6. The compression ratio of the Champion was 6.5:1 (7.00 optional), and the piston displacement was 170 cubic inches. The cooling system capacity was ten quarts, and the engine oil pan capacity was five quarts. The Hotchkiss drive's gear ratio was 4.10:1 as standard with overdrive and 3.19:1 overall. The Studebaker Champion's tire size was 15 x 5.50. It had an overall height of 60 ¾ inches (loaded), overall width of 69 ¾ inches, overall length 190 5/8 inches, and a 112-inch wheelbase.
1948 Studebaker Commander
Models available in the Studebaker Commander were the DeLuxe Sedan two-door and four-door, DeLuxe three-passenger and five-passenger coupe, Regal DeLuxe two-door and four-door sedan, Regal Deluxe three-passenger and five-passenger coupe, Regal DeLuxe Convertible coupe, and the Land Cruiser four-door sedan.
1948 Studebaker Commander Specifications
Available on the Commander was a six-cylinder L-head engine with a bore of 3 5/16 inches and a stroke of 4 3/8 inches. The maximum horsepower was 94 at 3600 RPM, and the taxable horsepower was 26.35. The compression ratio was 6.5:1 (7.00 optional), and it had a 226-cubic-inch piston displacement. The engine oil capacity was six quarts, and it had a thirteen-quart cooling system capacity. The Hotchkiss drive had a gear ratio of 4.09:1 as standard and 4.55:1 with overdrive (3.18 overall). The tire size on the Commander was 15 x 6.50. The overall height was 61 ½ inches (loaded), the overall width was 69 ¾ inches, and the overall length was 204 5/16 inches. All of the Commanders had a wheelbase of 119 inches except the Land Cruiser, which had a 123-inch wheelbase.
Features of 1948 Studebakers
The 1948 Studebakers had the world's first self-adjusting brakes, anti-vibration rubber engine mountings, self-stabilizing independent front wheel suspension, wide tread tires and wide rim wheels. Other unique features included a large capacity oil cleaner, a full pressure oiling system, a vibration damper on the smooth, a short-coupled crankshaft, heat-dam aluminum alloy pistons, an automatic choke control, automatic spark and heat controls, and high capacity shock absorbers.
Even more features included a direct-action hand emergency brake, built up rear axle hypoid gears, a full power rubber mounted muffler, anti-friction needle bearings on the rubber-mounted two section drive shaft, automatic voltage control on the shunt wound generator, variable ratio steering with shockless steering linkage, and a 17-gallon gas tank.
In the spacious trunk on the 1948 Studebakers, the counterbalanced spring hinges kept luggage or other cargo firmly in place and the hinges also kept the lid securely closed. The thick weather stripping along the trunk area kept out rain and dust. Anchored firmly on the floor of the compartment was a spare tire. .
By opening either of the rear doors on the 1948 Studebaker, the interior was automatically lit with the dome light. The map light on the instrument panel lit the interior when either of the front doors was opened. When doors were closed, the lights went off automatically, but could be switched on or off from inside when needed. Featured in the Studebakers were big and easy-to-read dash dials. These dials, also called "black lights," did not cast a glare in the eyes or reflections in the windshields.
The 1948 Studebakers were made for comfort with the extra low and wide bodies that had ideal weight balance when riding. The passengers had easy access to rear seats because the front seat tilted back at an angle.
Extra Features - Some at Extra Cost
Extra cost features for all models included bright wheel trim rings and white sidewall tires. Also available was the Climatizer heating and ventilation system, which circulated air evenly and offered quick action defrosting. The automatic action overdrive was also available at extra cost. This gas-saving feature reduced the engine speed about 30% without affecting the road speed.
Available on all the Studebakers, but at extra cost on the Champion, was the automatic hill holder that allowed the driver to stop on a hill without rolling backward by keeping the clutch pedal depressed, taking the right foot off brake pedal, and holding the gas.
An added feature on the 1948 Champions was a winged hood medallion. On the Commanders was a horizontal chrome upper molding instead of the body colored on the front edge of the hood.
The Studebaker five-passenger coupe had a unique package nook at each end of the rear seat. When the nook was opened, the passenger had room for books, bottles, cosmetics, etc. When the nook was closed, it served as an arm rest.
The Land Cruiser sedan and five-passenger models and convertible Champion, Commander coupe and convertible models all had an extra wide one-piece windshield. All other models had a two-piece high and wide windshield. These windows gave the driver and passengers a clear view and extra visibility.
Special features of the Land Cruiser were the standard disappearing center arm rest and clock. The Land Cruiser also offered the owner five feet of space in the luxurious interior upholstered with a nylon fabric called Candalon, which was both washable and long-wearing.
Everything from the styling, smooth ride, spacious interior, and performance to the great gas mileage made the 1948 Studebaker a wonderful vehicle for anyone to own.