Monday, November 27, 2017

Lowered Have Mercy - 1956 Studebaker Champion

We all love a good bargain around here and most of us probably adore orphan American cars. Luckily, those two paths cross quite frequently but rarely with something that oozes so much cool. Yes, the final iteration of the Champion was mind-numbingly conventional for Studebaker in the day but today it's a different story. Find this 1956 Studebaker Champion for sale in Portland, OR for $3,500 via craigslist.

The final generation of the Studebaker Champion, debuting in '56, was a bit of a letdown stylistically when compared to its sleek and innovated forebears. Studebaker had gone a much more ho-hum route when penning the lines, giving the car a much more traditional American 50's look. On another note, the seller is clearly one of our people. Look at that W124 and notch 'Stang in the background, as well as the Audi Allroad parked behind the Stude. And he's moved into a neighborhood surrounded by his own tribe. Truly a man of taste and character.

Though there are no motor pics, the car is equipped with the 185 cubic inch flathead six making only around 100hp. No matter, the flathead six would continue to run (and make very little power or noise) no matter what you threw at it or how hard you drove it. The mild drop on the Champ looks stellar and the long ownership history makes this car even more attractive.

See a lower price on a lower oddball? email us here:

Matt is currently 'that neighbor' with a yard full of early Broncos, Toyotas, Lexi, Holdens, and Falcons in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.


  1. Minor title correction, this is a 56. The biggest mistake Studebaker made was to build the 53-54 sedans on a different frame than the long low coupes. This is based on the sedan's shorter wheelbase and taller profile. Poor sales of the sedans forced them to change the sheetmetal on the front and rear to mimic Chevy and Ford. The 56 sedans look better than the 57 or 58's IMO. There are new patch panels available for the typical Studebaker rust behind the front fender on both sides. The inline six will get you 30-40HP extra with a few improvements, at best. A V-8 is the way to go, and true old school would be a Studebaker V-8. There are lots of parts and kits still available, and it can be installed with a few minor modifications to this car.

    1. Ah! You are right. Not sure what was going on in my brain there.

      Though I love the Stude sixes (except maybe the OHV), the 289 is the way to go. That's what my old GT Hawk had and I loved that motor.

  2. Nice find, the white walls look great on this car!

  3. I just came back from a 3 week visit with my daughters who live in Portland. As many already know it is a Mecca for very cool cars and motorcycles. This car was parked 3 houses down from the airbnb I was staying at. It looks even much cooler in person. It is hard to walk even a couple of blocks without seeing cars I have not seen back east in decades. Like the Toyota Land Cruiser only repair shop with over 35 vehicles parked around the place awaiting repair. I have not seen 35 Land Cruisers with current registrations in 10 years in VT. PNW rocks with old crocks.

    1. Just gives me yet another reason to escape West after retirement. ;)


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