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1953 Studebaker Commander La Carrera RacerPosted by WindingRoad about 4 months ago
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Freshly-Built 302ci V8
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
Built in 2012
Multiple LCP & Chi-X Podiums
This 1953 Studebaker Commander racer was built in 2012 and as has since taken multiple podiums at both the La Carrera Panamericana and the Chihuahua Express. Designed and built by the team responsible for the 1940 LaSalle LCP racer that was previously sold on BaT, this car is based on a heavily modified Studebaker chassis outfitted with racing suspension and brakes. The 302ci Chevrolet V8 is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and was recently built by Bonefied Customs of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Reportedly ready to race in the Turismo Production class in both the LCP and Chi-X, this Studebaker is sold with some records, spares, and a clean Oklahoma title in the seller’s name.
The low-slung body of the Raymond Lowey-styled Commander created less drag than other American cars of the era, making it a favorite for racers in pre-1955 LCP classes. Still wearing 2015 race livery, the silver exterior has some has some scars from past events. Working headlights, taillights, and turn signals have been retained along with everything else required for the car to be road legal.
The front section of the body can be easily removed and incorporates custom fiberglass fenders and grill filler-panel, along with an aluminum lower front valance. The original steel Studebaker hood has been modified with vents for cooling.
Aside from the rear quarter windows made from Lexan, the original Studebaker glass has been retained. A roof-mounted intake has been added to help keep the cabin cool, and dry weight is said to come in just a bit over the 3,200 pound minimum regulated by the LCP rulebook.
Little remains inside from the original interior apart from the door handles and window cranks. Features include a full roll cage and two fixed-back aluminum racing seats with 5-point harnesses. A custom-fabricated dash panel includes gauges to monitor engine vitals, while MSD ignition and an adjustable rev-limiter can be seen in the passenger’s footwell. Brake bias is adjusted with the Tilton floor-mounted pedal box or the proportioning-valve on the center console, which is also fitted with a speedometer and reverse lockout switch.
Much of the LCP route is between 6,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level, and the engine has been designed to handle the extended high speeds and fuel encountered along the race. The Chevy V8 is mated to 5-speed manual and has been positioned as far back in the chassis as permitted by the firewall. Cooling is handled by a tig-welded aluminum radiator, and the oiling system features dual coolers and an Accusump accumulator. Engine accessories are driven with a serpentine belt, and a cooler for the power steering fluid can be seen mounted above the radiator shroud. As a Chi-X and LCP veteran, many refinements and improvements have been performed over the years.
Seen above is the spec sheet for the 302 cubic inch small block Chevy V8, which utilizes iron block and heads. The freshly built engine was broken in with Joe Gibbs oil and has been driven just 25 miles since being installed. With over 400 horsepower on tap, this Commander should be able to hit the 144 mph speed limit imposed by La Carrera rules.
Power is delivered through a Winters Quick-Change rear axle, and Wilwood disc brakes are used at all four corners. Differential fluid is fed to a rear-mounted remote cooler with an electric pump, and the side-exit exhaust has been tucked up close to the frame rails wherever possible to increase ground clearance.
Turismo Production rules state that part of the original chassis must be retained, and the original center section has been reinforced with cross-bracing, while new tubular front and rear sections have been added. A custom front-end utilizes many NASCAR components and features adjustable linkage and Heim-joints throughout. Large diameter sway-bars and adjustable coilovers are used in the front and rear.
LCP regulations require that a spare tire be carried in the race vehicle, and a custom compartment was made in place of the original backseat. Adjustable NASCAR-style rear coilover mounts can be seen on either side of the main roll-cage and enable the rear ride-height to be adjusted from the trunk. The fuel system has been plumbed with stainless braided lines and AN fittings throughout, and a spare fuel pump is mounted next the installed unit. A brief video has been provided below.Contact Seller »