The Champion wis an automobile o the Studebaker Corporation o Sooth Bend, Indiana. Production for the model began at the beginnin o the 1939 model year an continued till 1958, when the model wis phased oot in preparation for the 1959 Studebaker Lark. Prior tae that time, Studebaker haed been placed unner receivership, an the company wis tryin tae return tae a profitable position.
Success o the Champion in 1939 wis imperative tae Studebaker’s survival follaein weak sales durin the 1938 model year.
Unlike maist ither caurs, the Champion wis designed frae a "clean sheet"; that is, haein nae restrictions caused bi necessarily utilizin aulder pairts o requirin the subsequent uise o its components in hivier vehicles. Careful market research guidit the selection o features, but a key principle adhered tae wis the ingineerin watchwird "Weight is the enemy." For its size, it wis ane o the lichtest caurs o its era; its main competitor in this regard being the Willys Americar, which did no hae so thoroughgoin a design process. An the ingineerin wis guid; its compact straight-6 ingine wis maintained tae the end o the 1964 model year (wi a change tae an OHV design in 1961).
The Champion wis ane o Studebaker's best-sellin models bi virtue o its low price (US $660 for the twa-door business coupe in 1939), durable ingine an stylin. The caur's ponton stylin wis authored bi industrial designer Raymond Loewy who haed been unner contract wi Studebaker for the design o their automobiles. Champions wan Mobilgas economy runs bi postin the hichtest gas mileage tests. Durin Warld War II, Champions wur covetit for their hie mileage in a time when gas was rationed in the Unitit States. Frae 1943-1945, the Champion motor wis uised as the pouerplant for the unique Studebaker M29 Weasel personnel an cargo carrier, which an aa uised four sets o the Champion's leaf springs arranged transversely for its bogie suspension.
In 1946, Studebaker built a limited number o caurs based on their 1942 body shell in preparation o its new body an design roll oot in 1947. Aw Studebakers built in 1946 wur designatit Skyway Champion models.
In 1957, the Champion Scotsman, a stripped doun Champion, wis introduced bi Studebaker in an attempt tae compete wi the Big Three an Nash in the law price field. Shortly efter its introduction, the caur wis redesignatit the Studebaker Scotsman.
- Maloney, James H. (1994). Studebaker Cars. Crestline Books.
- Langworth, Richard (1979). Studebaker, the Postwar Years. Motorbooks International.
- Gunnell, John, Editor (1987). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. Kraus Publications.
- Reminiscence from the 1985 Interview with Audrey Moore Hodges