This 1953 Studebaker Commander is for sale on eBay in St. George, Utah with a buy-it-now of $79,500. The car was originally built by land speed racer Richard Allen Spadaro. The car transferred ownership from Richard to Tom Bacon who built it into what you see here.
The Commander rides on a reinforced chassis with a custom front from the firewall forward. Tom changed the front suspension to a Heidt’s independent setup with Carrera coilovers and ECI disk brakes. The rear uses Posies leaf springs and Carrera shocks.
Under the hood sits a 526 ci Cadillac V8 built by Cadillac Motorsports Development. The engine features a bored 500 ci block, offset-ground crank, forged Mopar 440 rods and pistons, ported heads, Comp camshaft, Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold, and Rochester 850 cfm carburetor. The TH400 automatic transmission connects to a custom driveshaft out to a narrowed Ford 9-inch rear end with 3.00 gears.
Tom chopped the roof 5.5 inches in front and 3.75 inches in back. He also widened the body 1.25 inches in front and 1.5 inches in back. He took the body to Artie’s Louvers where they punched a total of 500 louvers into the hood, trunk lid, firewall, and bellypan. The exterior and interior was coated in VW Cosmic Green color paint and pinstriped by Ken Jacobs.
Tom sold the car to Wayne Carini where it was featured on his show Chasing Classic Cars in the episode “Monterey Week”. Wayne sold the Commander to current owner Mike Katz.