Friday, February 13, 2009

1950 Studebaker Commander

"Success breeds success! The car that led in modern design now moves still more spectacularly out ahead! The new 1950 Studebaker is here - and you can see at a glance that it's America's 'next look' in cars."

It's amazing that the "bullet-nose", Studebaker's most iconic design ever, was nothing more than a facelift. Introduced in May 1946 with the catchy slogan: "First in style . . . first in vision . . . first by far with a postwar car!" and three years ahead of the competition, Studebaker's new lineup was designed with help of Raymond Loewy & Associates, who could develop the new style during the wartime, when the design departments of the "Big Three" officially were restrained from developing new automobiles. The famous 1950 Studebaker's bullet-nose design is credited to Loewy's Chief Designer Bob Bourke who finally applied the appropriate frontend to an already advanced car.

The customers went crazy for the new Studebakers, and the company from South Bend, Indiana had it's most successful year ever. The strong competition from the "Big Three" and financial restraints led to increasingly smaller steps in design and declining sales throughout the 50s. Studebaker should repeat it's success only once again with another unexpected car, the 1959 Lark, before the brand finally disappeared in 1966.

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