Marlon Brando, Susan Sarandon, Donald Sutherland and… the Studebaker President of 1958 appear in a timeless movie called “A dry white season.” And while it was a cameo in the movie, the 1958 Studebaker President was not a colossal success that captured audiences and the hearts of celebrities like the Almanac did or even the President’s earlier models. That doesn’t mean this iconic car didn’t have a selling point, though.
In fact, the problem with this legendary car seems to be that it was ahead of its time. Several design elements such as the tail fins were questionable indeed, but still better than the “bullet nose” style present in the 1950 model. Meanwhile, the negative reception is unjustified.
Some car enthusiasts have even gone so far as to claim that this one of the ugliest american cars of the 50s, but beauty and ugliness are subjective; so the concept is overloaded. In any case, the 1958 Studebaker President was not a hideous car, but a car with its own futuristic aesthetic and striking qualities. In fact, nowadays classic car Enthusiasts and collectors are rediscovering the unique qualities of this vehicle and are investing in major refurbishment projects. Not for nothing was a Studebaker President Sedan from 1958 auctioned for $13,857 on Bring a Trailer, though Conceptcarz sets their average resale value at $5,956 and the highest resale value at $7,750.
These are the best features of the 1958 Studebaker President:
The Studebaker President of 1958: Unique Design Elements Constantly Improved From Previous Generations
Studebaker cars are the quintessential post-war American cars. The dubious “bullet nose” design was introduced in 1950, but consumers weren’t too impressed with the aircraft look. Seeing the lukewarm reception, Studebaker dropped the aesthetic for the 1952 and 1953 models. Meanwhile, the design team continued to innovate and came up with a more contemporary look. The 1956 design came with a larger hood and grille and a more massive nose. It was a look similar to Studebaker’s rivals. As for the 1958 president, this prototype duplicated the preeminent design elements of the 1956 model, but added the controversial high tail fins and a “larger body” that gave the illusion of increased cabin space and dimensions.
The Studebaker President from 1958 was equipped with a powerful engine
Conceptcarz emphasizes that Studebaker introduced the V8 engine in 1951 with a modern overhead valve design that remained “in production for over a decade†
The 1958 model came with: a 4.7-litre eight-cylinder engine with overhead valves it delivered braking power of 210 hp (213 hp/157 kW) at 4500 rpm and maximum torque of 407 N m (300 lb ft) at 2800 rpm, according to Carfolio. A three-speed manual transmission was standard on the 1958 President model.
The 1958 Studebaker president was reasonably priced for his time
Nothing but 4,742 units were manufactured from the 1958 Studebaker President before the line was discontinued and the automaker began to focus on the Studebaker Lark line. Unfortunately, even the reasonable price couldn’t boost sales, as consumers were more interested in the Ford Thunderbird and the adorable Volkswagen Beetle, which came at an affordable price in 1958. It is worth noting that the 1958 base price for the VW Beetle sedan in the US market was $1545, while the base price for the convertible was $2045†
Meanwhile, the 1958 Studebaker President’s price was between $2,640 and $2,700, while the median household income in the US was $4,600. Apparently the 1958 president was reasonably priced, but the 1958 recession, also known as the Eisenhower recession, worked against the brand and dropped sales.
In fact, the recessionary period has changed consumer spending and behavior, pushing Americans more toward saving than spending. As such, cars that were cheaper, such as the VW Beetle, were in high demand.
The interior of the 1958 Studebaker President is spacious and good looking
The two-door hardtop sedan, four-door sedan and luxury four-door station wagon had six seats. All models had the same dimensions, with the total body length of 206.4 inches and a wheelbase of 116.6 inches† Unlike the VW Beetle, the 1958 Studebaker President offered generous cargo, cabin and trunk space. This means that the sedan was perfectly adapted for larger families, road trips and even weekend getaways, for example.
Meanwhile, the lavish interior space was also luxurious and range in unique design elements. For example, the upholstery, door panels and interior color were elegant and matched well with the exterior color of the car. As for the dashboard and related accessories, they were very stylish and very trendy. The speedometer is the standout element here, with a rotating colored dial as the speed increased†
Most of the 1958 Studebaker President models on sale now have been refurbished, but some still retain the original design elements.
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