1956 Studebaker President Two Door

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Condition: Used
  • Item location: Tallahassee, Florida, United States
  • Make: Studebaker
  • Model: President
  • Type: Coupe
  • Year: 1956
  • Mileage: 100,000
  • VIN: 7I83293
  • Color: Black
  • Engine size: 289 V8
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Black and white
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

Studebaker President 1956 Description

Up for auction is my '56 President two door sedan. I enthusiastically bought the car a couple of months ago, but a change of priorities has brought it back on the market. I purchased it from a long time Studebaker guy in Oregon, who owned it for 12 years. While the paint and interior is showing its age, the engine, transmission, brake system, front suspension, and steering have all been rebuilt.
Be sure to check out the video of the car driving around at the end of the listing.
The Prez has a neat history. Originally, the car was light yellow with a white stripe, with a black and white interior. The late Earl Drews of Indianapolis bought the car in the early 1970's, and drove it to numerous Studebaker Drivers' Club functions over the next decade or so. Earl's daughter and son in law are friends of mine, and they've been gracious enough to share some photos from 'back in the day'. Those are posted at the end of this listing.
Admittedly, the wheel and tire combo that you see on the car wasn't planned. Upon purchasing the car, the first thing I wanted to do was replace the decade old tires that it came with. Not wanting to subject the 60 year old wheels to modern radial tires, I bought new 15x6 'steelies' from US Wheel. New 215/75 Kumho tires were mounted on them. Since the factory full wheel covers will fit on the new wheels, the idea was to use the blackwall tires as placeholders until I was able to spring for wide whites. The wheels came with the chrome hubcaps and I decided to put them on just for the fun of it.. And I liked it. A lot. The factory wheelcovers will be included with the sale of the car, and I encourage the new owner to do as he/she pleases.
In the 1980's, Mr. Drews sold the car to another SDC member, George Ritenour. George painted the car black, and that's the paint job that's still on the car today. The paint looks great in photos, but there are a lot of chips, scratches, and blemishes. I'll do my best to represent the known problems as accurately as I can.
Other than the rust bubbles shown below, the car is rock solid from top to bottom, front to back. I've had the car on a lift and there's absolutely no rust issues whatsoever on the body shell, and the frame is as solid as it was 60 years ago.
The front of the hood has a fair amount of road rash. Just goes to show that the car's been driven!
Top of the right front fender has an area of paint that has flaked off.
The right side has scratches and chips, and the stainless trim has a couple of dings.
Blemish on the right rear, near the front corner of the rear window.
The trunk lid has some rust bubbles showing up on the lower edge.
"Age cracks" on the left rear, between the rear window and trunk lid.
The right front fender 'dog leg' and lower corner of the door.
Left front fender has a rust bubble coming through above the stainless trim molding.

The lower portion of the fender is solid, however.

Paint chips near the left rear quarter window, showing original yellow underneath.

The windshield has a small rock chip up high (out of the line of sight), and more paint chips above the stainless trim molding.

The trunk area has no rust whatsoever.
While the cosmetic issues are a bit of a downside, what's under the hood more than makes up for it...

About 10 years and 10,000 miles ago, a well known Studebaker mechanic in Portland, Oregon worked his magic on all of the mechanical parts of the car. The original 289 was completely rebuilt from top to bottom. New shallow dish pistons to give it a slightly higher compression ratio, rebuilt heads with new valves and seats, rebuilt carburetor with oversize jets, distributor, and starter. The radiator was re-cored.
On top of the full engine redo, the Flight-O-Matic transmission was also rebuilt. While these transmissions originally started out in Second gear when D is selected, this one has been tastefully modified to start out in First. That combined with the strong 289 V8 equates to a pretty responsive car.
The front suspension and steering was rebuilt, including the king pin assemblies and new control arm bushings.
To make it Woah with all of that Go, the brake system was all new at the same time, too.
The result? A fantastic, wonderful driving, very reliable V8 Studebaker. The car starts with a slight bump of the key and runs as well as you'd ever want. I thought about swapping the carb for a four barrel, but I can't find any reason to change it. As mentioned earlier, be sure to watch the video at the end of the listing.
The interior is very much original, and for 60 years old, I think it's held up better than it was ever intended to. The carpeting has been replaced in recent years, but otherwise the interior is the way it was in 1956.
The steering wheel might be the nicest original '56 wheel I've seen. It does have some minor hairline cracks when you look close, but it's still intact and solid.
The horn button is a newly installed NOS piece, as is the gear selector dial. All of the gauges and switches work as they should. I replaced the speedometer with a new one. The mileage on the old odometer was 98,660. The new one reads just shy of 400 miles.
The seats had old clear plastic covers on them when I bought the car. They were falling apart and crumbling, but they did an excellent job of preserving the original upholstery. There's a small 1" long tear on the driver's side cushion, but I wasn't able to get it to show in photographs. I've been putting a blanket over the seat when driving to help preserve the seats.
The radio is the only item on the car that is inoperable. I was even able to get the clock to work. It isn't accurate, but it does rewind itself and run consistently. The cardboard glovebox liner is still nice, and in the ash tray is a ticket stub from the 1975 Indiana State Fair, courtesy of the Drews family.
As you can see, the windlace needs to be replaced. Parts of it were falling down and I cut off those portions until I could get around to replacing it. The headliner isn't perfect, but not bad for 60 years old.
The one downside to those clear plastic covers, is that the top of the rear seat is "sunburnt". The covers melted and stained the factory vinyl. I've not tried to clean it for fear of making things worse, but it may be able to be improved upon.
Here's the video I made of the car running and driving. As you can see, it's strong and responsive, and goes down the road like a bat out of hell.
And some other miscellaneousphotos...
The '75 SDC International Meet in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Drews went on to be Chairman of the '76 Meet in Indianapolis.
The Charlotte, NC International Meet in '04, alongside Mr. Drews' daughter and son in law's '56 Golden Hawk.
This also gives an idea as to what the car looks like with the stock wheelcovers and whitewall tires.

In addition to the car, I also have a brand new chassis wiring harness (the car doesn't need it), a used rear bumper assembly, a used rear windshield, and all of the factory parts and shop manuals. These are all included in the auction.

Please message me with any questions. If you provide a phone number, I'll be happy to call at your convenience, and will provide any info as accurately as I can. I don't want any potential buyers to have any surprises.
Shipping/transport is 100% the buyer's responsibility, but I will be happy to help out in any way I can. I had the car transported 3000 miles from Oregon, and I'm happy to recommend a very reliable hauler if needed.
I have been a Studebaker Drivers' Club member for over 15 years, and have had nearly a dozen different Studebakers. This is the only '56 President two door I've ever seen and I had to have it, but a change of priorities has the car needing a new home.
Full payment is due within 3 days of the auction ending. I prefer a direct bank transfer, but those details can be worked out after the auction ends.
I do have a clear Florida title in my name. That along with a Bill of Sale will be overnighted to the new owner as soon as the payment clears.
The car is currently stored in a private, gated shop with an alarm system in Tallahassee, Florida 32301. The car can stay there for 2 weeks for no charge, but since the space is rented, a $100 a month fee will apply after the 2 weeks.
Thanks for lookin'! -- Matthew

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