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Wheels in the Grass

'53 Studebaker Starliner coupe, Tonawanda, N.Y.

Some, including me, consider the ’53 Studebakers to be among the best-styled cars of the decade—or maybe even longer. This 1953 Studebaker Commander Regal Starliner hardtop coupe is sitting in the parking lot of a Tonawanda auto shop which does restoration work. It already looks to be in pretty good shape for a 58-year-old car. Styling of the ’53s is largely credited to industrial designer Raymond Lowey (who designed the famous Lucky Strike cigarette pack); the cars were actually designed by Robert E. Bourke, who was chief of Lowey Studios in South Bend, Indiana. This particular model sold for $2,374 when new. I remember being a kid and our neighbor having one of these. I was heartbroken when he told me he was trading it in—until he came home with the equally-stunning new 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk in black with a red interior. Some years later he was on the waiting list for a new Avanti but finally gave up and bought a new Impala SS. It just wasn’t the same!
—Jim Corbran, You Auto Know

1953 magazine ad art

advertising art

2005 U.S. postage stamp