Tom Bacon's 1953 Studebaker
1953 Studebaker Commander restyled by Tom Bacon of West Hartford, Connecticut. Tom bought the old Stude from Dick Spadaro. Starting in the front he peaked and shaved the hood and then had 160 louvers punched into it. The decklid was also shaved and the corners rounded and had 143 additional louvers were punched. The car was fit with a full length bellypan punched full of louvers. All of the louvers were punched by Art Johnson of Artie's Louvers. Tom chopped the top 5 1/2 inches in the front, and 3 3/4 inches in the back. The roof was also widened 1 1/4 inches in the front and 1 1/2 inches in the rear. Door handles and trim were shaved and the fender vents were filled. The gas door is also long gone.
Once the bodywork was done the car was painted in a VW Cosmic Green paint, and pinstriped by Ken Jacobs. Under the louvered hood rests a 526 CID 1975 Cadillac engine. The engine is hooked to a 1966 Pontiac TH400 tranny. Tom reinforced the original frame and built his own rails from the firewall forward, then added a Heidt's IFS with Carrera coilovers and ECI discs and a 3.00-geared, narrowed Ford 9-inch rear with Posies springs and Carrera shocks
Cast-finish American Racing Torq-Thrusts and Commander wide whites gives the car an old-time racer attitude. 15x4.5 wheels with 5.60x15 Commander tires were used in front and 15x7.5 wheels and L78x15 wide whitewalls in the rear. Inside, the car is pretty stripped down: no stereo or air conditioning and a flat custom steel dash fit with Stewart-Warner dials. In front the stock seats were replaced by cut-down Volvo bucket seats, the back seat cushion was ripped out and replaced by a roll-bar. The upholstery inside the car is done in green and white Naugahyde. The upholstery was done by Tom himself. The car took 10 years and over 12 000 hours to complete.
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