Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1957 Studebaker President Classic Sedan

"Meet the proudest of all proud Studebaker sedans for 1957: the Classic. There's a look of importance to this car that catches and holds your eye. Even from a distance, you notice it in chrome and color and massive new beauty completely apart from the ordinary. This is the pure, special touch of FLAIR styling in steel."

This Studebaker is most likely a President, even though a self-made front bumper and -grille, doorhandles from russian Ladas of different decades, and a hand-made chrome-decor on the rear fender disguise the model. The "real" 1957 Presidents had a much bigger two-toned "arc" which covered the rear door, too.

Two years after the Studebaker-Packhard Corporation was founded so optimistically in 1954, the economic difficulties already prevented Studebaker from designing a totally new model. For the "new-for-1956" models, Studebaker had to keep the body of its 1953 models, "camouflaged" with a new and more rectangular front and rear end. 1957 models remained similar, and just sported a different chrome trim. Despite the new looks, sales were sluggish, and questionable model-politics escalated the situation and brought Studebaker close to bancruptcy.

Probably Studebaker wouldn't have seen the 60s, if the presentation of the new "compact" Lark in 1959 wouldn't have been amid of an economic recession that hit all carmakers hard. The public demand for an economic model soared, and luckily, only Studebaker had a fitting model ready to sell...

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