1955 Studebaker Commander

Front Right Blue and Yellow 1955 Studebaker Commander Picture
Credit to John Evans   Visit Evans Art Studio

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The 1955 Studebaker models were, more or less, minor upgrades of the 1954 cars. The Commander was a middle-of-the-road model for Packard-Studebaker. It got a larger grill, a wrap-around windshield, and an improved automatic transmission. The car could only be purchased powered by a 224 cubic-inch V8 engine producing 140 horsepower.

1955 marked a significant year for labor relations. The company felt that in order to make a viable business, there would have to be fewer workers and more productivity. Wild cat strikes became the norm, especially at the beginning of the year when the workers were out for 36 days. Paul Hoffman tried to appeal to Nance that it was better to be "nice" with the workers and be flexible in the negotiations.

Even with restored labor contracts, the company lost over $29 million. The car models were meant to be a major upgrade to the 1953 models but the changes were not enough to keep the management happy. Some critics contended that the 1955 cars had too much added chrome taking away from the flow lines of previous cars. Others felt the chrome was acceptable and gave a sense of freshness to the newer models. The bottom line was that the company was in trouble.

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