1955 Studebaker President Speedster
Displacement: 259 Cubic Inches
Horsepower: 175 BHP
Cost New: $3,253
The newly formed Studebaker-Packard company was looking for anything to save the brand, and this led to some very unique designs. The car you see here is one of the more eccentric. Originally designed for the car show circuit, the new look was popular enough for Studebaker to rush the car into production.
The new President Speedster sported an "Ultra-Vista" wrapped windshield, a "quilted" leather interior, full instrumentation in a tooled metal dash, and a wild two-tone paint scheme. The car came in bold colors like pink and black, and the "lemon and lime" combination, like the one on display here. This was the first year that Studebaker offered a four-barrel carburetor and power brakes.
The Speedster did not sell well, with only 2,215 units produced. In fact, the entire Studebaker like did not do so well. Most of the other makes were setting sales records in 1955, but Studebaker could only manage 133,826 vehicles sold, which was only good enough for eleventh place. By comparison, Chevrolet sold 1,704,692 cars on the way to becoming number one for 1955. Studebaker was in trouble. They needed to sell 250,000 cars just to break even.