1951 Studebaker Champion Regal Convertible
Engine: Inline 6
Displacement: 169.6 Cubic Inches
Horsepower: 85 BHP
Cost New: $2,157
The Studebaker Company had been in business for over ninety nine years when the 1951 models were released. This year was the first time the company offered a V-8 engine. The company used the same shorter chassis for both the inline-6 cylinder Champions and the V-8 Commanders. This gave Studebaker considerable cost savings on tooling and production. It helped to close the price gap between the two series, and customers could upgrade to the V-8 for less than before.
The most distinctive feature of this automobile was the "bullet nose," first used by Studebaker in 1950. While several makes, including the 1948 Tucker and 1949-50 Fords had also used the same theme, the style became to define the Studebaker. Ordered by Ray Loewry to look like an airplane, designer Bob Bourke came up with this unique look. The new style was well received and sales kept climbing, reaching 343,164 cars sold in 1950.
There were only 4,742 Champion convertibles made in 1951. This great example has the extremely reliable Borg-Wagner automatic transmission.