Rediscovering the Patina on a 1951 Studebaker Land Cruiser Barn Find After Years of Neglect

Studebaker has been dead and buried since 1967, but it left behind a few fascinating old automobiles. The Avanti is likely the most well-known, although the Champion and Hawk series are also well-liked by aficionados of the brand. However, the company’s history goes well beyond these logos.

The Land Cruiser is one of those vehicles that doesn’t receive nearly enough attention. And, sure, Studebaker used the Land Cruiser moniker before Toyota did in 1954.

At the 1933 Chigaco World Fair, the American manufacturer debuted the Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser, a streamlined sedan inspired by the fantastic Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow idea, was in production until the early 1940s, when the United States entered World War II.

When Studebaker updated its whole range in 1947, the brand reappeared. While other automakers continued to offer pre-WWII designs, Studebaker introduced an entirely new body, which was deemed groundbreaking at the time.

Studebaker updated the Land Cruiser again in 1950, this time to meet the company’s “Next Look in Automobiles” design plan, while Detroit released all-new automobiles in 1949. The sedan received the “bullet-nose” front fascia that was also seen on the Champion and Commander, which was regarded as quite radical for the time.

The Land Cruiser was updated for the 1953 model year, only a few years before the name was dropped permanently.

The Land Cruiser is no longer as popular as the Golden Hawk, Champion, or Avanti in 2022, but that doesn’t mean devoted fans have forgotten about it. Restored Land Cruisers are sometimes available for purchase, while others emerge from long-term storage in search of new owners.

One of those automobiles is this 1951 metallic blue example. And you’ve undoubtedly seen it before since we highlighted it when it was recovered from a barn after an undefined number of years.

This Land Cruiser is one of those amazing “bullet-nose” specimens, and it also has a numbers-matching V8 under the hood. This is significant since it is one of the earliest Studebakers equipped with the company’s first V8 engine.

After seeing the 233-cubic-inch (3.8-liter) mill resurrect, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning inside and out, as well as a lengthy drive around the block. Yes, this old Studebaker is rusted and far from being a road-worthy classic, but the fading blue paint, green hood, and surface rust on the fenders create a pretty beautiful patina. That’s my sort of barn discovery.

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