Blog over de restauratie van mijn '50 Studebaker Commander


It’s been too long

OK, it really has been too long but I have an excuse. All of a sudden an other love came into my life. I found a 1941 President and I could not let it go. It took me a year and a bit to get her up and running to my standard but here she is:




I took her to the Le Mans Classic race and back without missing a beat. A wonderful 2000 miles road trip with my sons Bas and Tom

Road trip to Le Mans Classic 2014

All said and done I’m now finally back to work on the 1950 Commander. This summer I already started cleaning, straightening and preparing the fenders and the doors. The fenders are ready and the doors still need some welding. Today the body was blasted and came out pretty well. A few thin spots where I’ll have to weld her but mainly a solid body.






Bas from Automaxx

Bas Schoonhoven from AutoMax

A 1950 exhaust pipe is not readily available in the Netherlands. Fortunately there are places where I can have one custom made. Bas Schoonhoven from AutoMax in Utrecht did a perfect job copying the old pipes.

The new exhaust fitted readily and look good on the  Chassis.




I installed the gearbox and overdrive, connected the clutch mechanism and the propshaft with the universal links. This completes the drive train from the engine to the rear wheels.

DSCN9955Before we can drive away I still need to connect, adjust and test quite a few things to operate the gearbox and especially the overdrive. For the moment however I continued with the brake system. Since this is a simple single-cylinder brake system I would really like this to work properly. So when, while filling the lines, I found a dripping Tee I decided to replace it.

This means back to the internet to see if I can find a fitting Tee.




I did find the tee at Fittings And Adapters and ordered it. Not cheap for a piece of brass.

Back in place



June 7th a year and a half ago I lifted the engine off. Now, completely revised I placed it back on its foundations. A milestone.








While waiting for parts I decided to start with the gearbox. “A nice little job” that I could do at home. The workshop is a bit cold this time of the year. It turned out to be a little more work than I expected. The front bearing needed replacement. Now is finding a new quality bearing not all that easy. Internet is a great help though. In the end I found an SKF bearing of the right dimensions, even with the right groove. All the gears and shafts were still excellent, the seals and gaskets were replaced with brand new ones.

The moment I had all the parts on the workbench I wondered if I’d ever get the gearbox working again. As it looks now, I did.

Deep under the dirt, in the crevices of the cast iron case, I found the original color. To my surprise it was the same color green as the engine. Did they really spray the whole engine to gearbox assembly in one go?

Just some pics today



Olive Green (RAL 6015)

After a long process of investigation, checking and comparing it looks like the color for the 1950 Commander engine is closest to RAL 6015. Deep down, between the mud, grease and carbonised oil I found some small areas of this color. It matched reasonably with the color sample I received from Studebaker International. Also the Forum more or less supported this choice so here it is:

In the pics it shows a bit different due to the flashlight. Left you see the two valve covers, below a few more pics of the result.

And as a reference a pic of the block before I started.


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