Cars called “Commander”, on behalf of the Studebaker factory, were first released in 1920 and produced until 1935. Later, in 1937, manufacturers again pulled this name in the light of day, renaming produced Studebaker Dictator model into Commander. That was forced by political situation and public hostility to the German dictator A.Hitler. Another time period when the Commander’s name was removed from the production was 1959 – 1963 year.
So, with short breaks, the Commandercars were produced from 1920 until 1966, i.e. to the Studebaker factory closure. Throughout that time, Commander was made in various body types. Models have evolved, almost every year their design and styling has been updated, improved body and engine power. 1955 edition Studebaker Commander was a middle-class car and, it can be said, that Regal Coupe was the most interesting and beautiful of all Commander models. So, how did it start?
In 1953, in Raymond Loewy manufactory, designer and constructor Bob Bourke originated an elegant and sleek new coupe bodywork design and Studebaker engineers quickly adapted this new look not only to the coupe, but to all 1953 Commander body types.
Due to designer B. Bourke efforts, factory engineers provided this European elegant look to the Commander edition – lowered chassis, put a powerful 3802 cm3 V8 OHV engine with two-barrel Stromberg carburettor and at that time the best automatic transmission with three speeds forward and a lock-up torque converter. A year later, in 1954, the Commander vehicles were introduced and differed from their prior model only for having a small change in the front grille. And already 1955 Commander had to show substantial changes. Large chrome front grille gave the car a unique external, and by 4244 cm3 engine displacement increased to 185 hp and four-barrel Carter carburettor and dual exhausts – racing car image. And frankly, this car was impossible to mistake with the other on the American highways. Low, small, impressive! Designers and constructors by creating an exceptional car, for sure, outran time, because even now their work is surprising with gracefulness, dynamism and elegant.
In 1955, Commander Regal Coupe was available in three types – Regal, State, Starliner body and interior trim levels. For the next 1956, two-door Coupe Commander and Commander Hardtop models were renamed into Commander Hawk.
Model – Commander Regal Coupe
No. of doors – 2
No. of seats – 5
Weight – 1390 kg
Lenght – 517 cm
Width – 179 cm
Hight – 143 cm
Engine – V8 – 4244 cm3 / 195 AG
Cylinders – 8
Transmission – automatic, three speeds forward and a lock-up torque converter
Carburetor– Carter, four-barrel
Brakes – 4 wheel hydraulic drum
Tire size – 6.7 x 15
Original base price – $2094
No. produced – 4639
The owner – Gediminas Aleksandravičius
Photos of Gediminas Aleksandravičius and Dainius Nagelė