Studebaker, which had faced receivership in 1933, underwent a remarkable transformation by 1939. In May 1946, they achieved a milestone by becoming the first major American manufacturer to unveil an entirely new design for their 1947 lineup. This impressive transformation was orchestrated by two legendary automobile stylists, Raymond Loewy and Virgil Exner.
The fresh Studebaker models featured a streamlined front wing line, lowered hoods, and, in the case of the Starlight coupe, a remarkable wrap-around rear window. By 1950, Studebaker once again made waves in the automotive world with the introduction of the ‘Bullet Nose’ design, clearly influenced by the emerging ‘Jet Age.’
In 1953, Studebaker introduced entirely new body styles that endured until the 1956 range. The standout designs included the Starliner hardtop and Starlight coupe, both masterpieces by Robert E Bourke, the head of the Loewy studio. Powering the 1953 Champions was a 169.6ci (2.8-liter) inline six-cylinder engine. While it delivered less power than the V8 engines in the Commander series, it contributed to a better-balanced car. Studebaker offered three Champion series in 1953: Custom, Deluxe, and Regal, each progressively equipped and priced, with the Starlight coupe available in the latter two series only.