I have decided to sell this 1955 Studebaker Speedster due to age and health problems since I am now 80. I purchased the car in Nov. 2014 from an estate dealer in PA. It was identical to the Speedster I owned as a young man in 1960 - 62. This car had sat in a garage in NJ for 30 + years and was a one owner and I have the original 1955 NJ title with the car. I have restored or rebuilt approximately 27 cars since I retired in 1990. Over the years I had looked for a Speedster with no success so I was happy to find this one.
This car, although shabby and neglected was basically very sound. The only rust was in the front rocker panels and torque boxes under the floor. There was very slight rust around the vents in the fenders and one small spot in the drivers side floor next to the rocker panel. I stripped this car to basically the frame and body shell. I elected not to remove the body from the frame as I could see no reason to do so. It was put on a tilter and each of the rocker panels and torque boxes were replaced and mig welded in. The bottom was thoroughly scraped and cleaned and repainted using Eastwood products. The doors, fenders, hood, trunk and quarters were all delivered to be media blasted. Inside of the body was all cleaned, painted and completely insulated with Eastwood products. Over 2 1/2 Mega boxes of insulation were used ( approx. $600 worth). I hate noisy, rattling cars. Outer body sheet metal was prepped and painted in PPG products to stock colors of Hialeah Green and Sun Valley Yellow. I have noticed that the pictures taken with our little camera and downloaded to the computer don't show the true shade of green. It appears not to show the gold that is in the green. Most of the chrome was replated including the bumpers and guards. The only items not replated at this time are the grill, parking light housings and the fog lights that hang off the front bumper. I have the fog lights with the car but did not replate them since I think they are ugly when mounted and I remember taking them off my original Speedster.
When I first got the car home I started looking for a grill and parking lights as the originals were cracked and unusable. At the time I had no idea if these items were scarce or not. I found a grill and lights on e-bay for $700 with shipping. They were not perfect but very usable. Later after I joined the Studebaker Drivers Club I learned that cores were available. I decided to live with these for the time being as I had much more money to spend on the restoration. Stainless was dent free except I replaced the side fender trim with NOS pieces.
Glass in this car is all original. All new rubber seals and rubber products from Valerie Hansen were used. Most of the other restoration parts were obtained from Studebaker International in South Bend, IN. The interior kit is from Studebaker Southeast (Rene Harger), the only place to get the exact reproduction leather seats with vinyl side panels. All seats were rebuilt and the headliner thru the carpet replaced. Dash board was restored and a new stainless overlay was obtained for $400. Radio and clock are in the dash but do not work. Nothing on AM anyway.
For my own use I replaced the wheels and tires with 6 Ford wheels and Diamond Back radial wide white tires. I refuse to drive on bias ply tires. The original 5 wheels and tires are with the car. I also found and installed a Hawk ant-sway bar in the rear and Avanti (shorter) steering arms which make the car handling much improved over stock. These parts are bolt on and can be removed if wanted. Everything that needed replacing was replaced including springs, shocks, gas tank, etc. As for the driveline sometime in its earlier life the original engine was replaced with a 289 cu. in. heavy duty (clover leaf) unit. According to an article in an SDC publication, when the engines were replaced back in the day the number was supposed to be stamped on the new block but for the most part it was never done. I removed and detached the engine from the 250 D G automatic drive transmission. I mounted the engine to an engine stand and removed the pan. I was very happy to find a very clean condition inside. I pulled some rod bearings and checked crank surface for clearance and also 2 main bearing caps. Everything checked out and engine appeared to be almost new. Transmission pan was removed and everything looked excellent inside. Bands were adjusted to spec and engine and trans were painted and reinstalled in the car. Radiator and heater core were checked out by a local shop and found to be in excellent condition.
A new turn signal switch was installed in the column and the shift indicator was replaced with a new one. The steering wheel was restored with a a new horn ring and cover. While installing the seats and interior I found I could not fit in the car with the 17 steering wheel. I sourced another wheel with a good center and spokes and built a 15 wheel using a smaller rim from another wheel. It looks original and can be replaced with the original which is included with the car. I had no choice since I am 6' 4 tall. Turns out that with the power steering the 15 wheel works better anyway.
The usual countless hours were spent on reassembly of this car. I do all of my own work that I can possibly do. I can't sew upholstery, cut glass or do machining. Everything else I have pretty much learned over the years to do myself. It's been a labor of love as they say and kept me going thru my retirement years.
Anyone who bids on this car probably knows what it is but for those that don't it is No. 463 of 2215 Speedsters built for 1955 which is the only year it was available. If you want to sit and look at it, fine, but if you want to drive it this car is probably one of the best basically stock '50's cars I have owned and driven. I don't drive it as much as my others because of its rarity. I wanted to keep it fresh and clean underneath. Car was finished in spring of 2016 and driven approx. 3,000 mile, never even in wet or rain and stored all winter. Speedometer read about 78,000 when I got it the car. I can't verify it but I think it is the actual mileage on the car. Certain wear items can tell you sometimes. Mileage is now 81,780 miles.
Delivery or pick-up is responsibility of buyer. Non-refundable payment of $500 must be received within 48 hours per Pay-Pal or electronic transfer. Remainder of payment and arrangement for pick-up or shipping made with-in 7 days of sale. All payments must be cash or electronic transfer that clears the bank prior to pick-up.
|“Fresh restoration #2” |
| Year: || 1955 || VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): || 7154862 |
| Mileage: || 81,600 || Number of Cylinders: || 8 |
| Make: || Studebaker || Transmission: || Automatic |
| Model: || President || Body Type: || 2 Door Hardtop |
| Trim: || Speedster || Warranty: || Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty |
| Engine: || 289 cu. in. || Vehicle Title: || Clear |
| Drive Type: || RWD || Options: || Leather Seats |
| Fuel Type: || Gasoline || Sub Model: || Speedster |
| For Sale By: || Private Seller || Exterior Color: || Green/Yellow |
| Disability Equipped: || No || Interior Color: || Yellow |
| Drive Side: || Left-hand drive |