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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56
--24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

The Liverpool factory produced the Studebaker Land Cruiser in 1954, the French followed in 1955 with the new Commander, a famous design by Virgil Exner from the studio of Raymond Loewy. Scales of both are approximately 1/48 (the Commander possibly slightly larger, 1/46, at an actual length of 504 cm and a model length of 10.9 cm). Before that, in 1949, the French branch had already re-issued the originally pre-war British no. 39f Studebaker State Commander, nr. 24o, and, in the same year, it started the 25 series Studebaker trucks.

The model is in fact a hybrid, since the first Studebaker of this type, introduced in 1953, had a different grille (a pair of ‘flat triangles’). Compared with the surviving mock-up it appears to have been adjusted to the 1954 full-width version.

Initially, a crescent cut-out in the rear of the base plate for hooking up a caravan was wanting, but the second variant is provided with such a recess. The inside of the roof has always been chequered. The first variant was available in the basic colours of light green/dark green roof and orange/cream roof only. The second one also came in a new colour scheme, the flanks in the same color as the roof. This only applies to the orange with cream version, not the green one, and there was a cream version with dark red, in the two colour schemes. The third variant was issued as both no. 24y and 540. Roulet (2nd ed.) shows all kinds of colours and schemes, some of which are unique prototypes. The fourth version was issued as number 540 only and has concave wheel hubs.

The second colour scheme has never been shown in the catalogues. The 1959 catalogue shows a dual numbered model, exceptionally in blue with a white or cream roof. Such a copy has never showed up as far as known.

The box was initially without illustrations. Shortly thereafter it showed the two basic models, finished in green and orange. Initially it was numbered 24y, subsequently dual numbered 24y / 540. The boxed models were delivered in a trade pack of six.

This kind of Studebaker was available in real life as Commander, President or Champion. The V8 engine had a maximum power of 164 hp and attained a top speed of 170 km/h. For 100 km it consumed 19 liters of fuel, so about 1:5. Additions and corrections welcome! Kind regards, Jan 


dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Jan W

The light blue model with cream roof as shown in the 1959 catalogue does exist as a single colour sample.


Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

For addition to the color variations, I add this photo of the 24y in red with cream roof, 24y in base, no towing eye and also with grid pattern inside roof. Together with UK Studebaker in light green, mid-green hubs with number 172 in base, with towing eye and Land Cruiser embossed inside roof.

Jan O.


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janwerner
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Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Thanks for these additions! By the way, did you notice (on both photos with the French and British Studebakers together) that the French were much earlier (c. 1955) with the adoption of the more realistic recessed lines for the contours of the doors, boots etc., whereas the Liverpool Dinky Toys still had the lines in relief until the early 1960s? Kind regards, Jan W


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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Jan---Thanks for your always nice writeup and history of both the real car, and also the very nice Dinky model.  I think that the French Meccano factory did a pretty nice job of replicating the model, as it is close to being accurate to the real car.  I do believe that the roofline is slightly too low compare to the real car, but still very handsome.  You mentioned that the Dinky model is kind of a hybrid, and I agree.  After looking at some images online, it appears that the basic body style and detail is from the 1953-1954 Commander, but then married with a 1955 front end grill, which I happen to like better than those small triangle pieces.  The French Dinky factory also did something similar with the Buick Roadmaster model...which seems to combine styling and detail elements from both 1952 and 1953.  I have attached a photo of a 1955 Commander, so you can clearly see this later style grill.

     Best regards, Terry


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dinkyfan
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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Jan---I also enjoyed your comments about the door lines...whether they be raised, as was the practice early on and for a long time, or recessed, which gives a more realistic look.  I have discussed this before, can't remember with who, but it is a mystery to me, as there does not seem to be a real defiinte time period for this happening or changing.  Even the French, who used it earlier, only seemed to use is sporadically.  The early 1950's Buick Roadmaster uses the recessed lines, to very good effect, as does the Studebaker Commander.  But the Ford Vedette, 24X, the later Vedette model, still has raised lines, as do the other French models from that era...such as the Simca Aronde, the Citroen 11BL. the Citroen 2CV.  But, by  the later 1950's, the French have switched over to the recessed lines....the Peugeot 403's, the Maserati, the Chrysler New Yorker, etc.

   But, on the other hand, the English factory made the Austin Atlantic convertible with recessed lines....the only English car of that early era to do so.  Even all those new cars, introduced around 1957-1958, all have raised line, although it appears they finally adopted thinner, less prominent lines on those later versions.  I don't ever remember hearing any discussion about this on any of the postings....perhaps Jacques has some comment.  Someone commented to me, that it would have been more difficult and time consuming to make the dies with recessed lines....which might be true.

  As a side note, even the recessed lines can be done less correctly.  My Simca Versailles has recessed lines, and I feel that on this model, they recessed them too deeply, which if the lighting is just right, makes them look pretty harsh and not nice.

   And, another comment on Studebaker:  I think the design and style of the Studebaker Commander, from 1953 on, reflects just how far ahead Raymond Loewy's Design Studio was compared to the rest of the US auto industry.  When you look at that Studebaker and then compare it to a 1953-1954 Chevrolet or Ford, it is amazing how advanced that look was, and how stodgy those other cars looks.  Today, these older Studebaker's command a lot of respect from knowledgable car guys, who appreciate their style.  Unfortunately, Studebaker suffered somewhat on quality control and reliability, so that, plus being so much smaller than GM, Ford, or Chrysler, doomed them to ultimately fail.  Interestingly, Studebaker had long been a maker of horse drawn wagons, in the late 1800's and into the early years of the twentieth century, and they survivied as a car maker much longer than most.  Here are a few photos of my Studebaker Commander....also an earlier version without the towing eye....

                     Best regards,  Terry

 

 


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janwerner
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Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Hi Terry, the Austin Atlantic was a remarkable British exception indeed.

Even the later 'Vedette', with raised lines, was pre-1955.

I agree, these recessed lines were not always a success in the early years. They were often partly filled with spilled paint here and there. Kind regards, Jan 


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dinkycollect
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Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Yes indeed, the subject  of raised v. recessed lines has been discussed already somewhere.

The change from raised to recessed is due to the invention of spark erosion. Making a die with recedded lines is quite difficult with a milling machine. For raised lines, the die was fist made without any lines, the grove to make the raised lines was added later. With the spark erosion technique it did not matter wether the lines were raised or recessed.

I hope that you understand this, otherwise let me know.

The fact that the change did not happen from a certain model is probably due to the fact that Meccano did not make their own dies and that some of their tool makers sub contractors did or did not have a spark erosion machine.


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Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Jacques—-Thanks for your explanation! Many of us are not very well versed in the design and use of the dies, and I can only imagine that today they have entirely different techniques. That would tend to explain why some models got the recessed lines and others did not. The Austin Atlantic was first introduced quite early, so interesting that it happened to get that so early.
Thanks again!
Best regards, Terry


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Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 01:44

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

If I am not mistaken, there is a casting variation on the Studebaker Commander involving the "Airplane" hood emblem, two distinctly different sizes being found. I noticed this at last year's AGM at Derby.

Kevin.


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Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Kevin——I have not heard that before, but will have to look at some of my reference material and see if it is mentioned. Possibly Jacques can add something....
Best regards, Terry


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dinkycollect
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Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

The different in size of the emblem is probably due to a dirty painting mask which makes a smaller emblem. I am not aware of any casting variation on this model.

Jacques.


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Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Thank you for your comments gentlemen, i may be mistakenly thinking that the differences were in the Atlas reproductions that I saw at Derby, but worth checking both varieties anyway,

Kevin.


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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

I followed with great interest the discussion about the recessed lines. I had never looked at my models in this way and am really happy with this information. After research of my collection, I noticed that the later models DT 147 Cadillac 62 and 148 Ford Fairlane from 1962 were made with recessed lines again (see photos), in contrast to the British 50's models with raised lines (except the 140a Austin Atlantic). The 263 and 277 Superior Criterion Ambulances and the 146 Daimler V8 2,5 Litre also got the recessed lines. Remarkable that this was made again from 1962. If this has been discussed before, I would be very happy with a link to this discussion.

Jan Oldenhuis, 20 April 2018.


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dinkyfan
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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Jan—-I agree....if this has been discussed before, I somehow missed it. It is little details such as this that make our wonderful hobby so interesting!
Best regards, Terry


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dinkycollect
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Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Jan O.

This discussion could be anywhere but try a search with "spark erosion" on TMT..


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Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Thanks Jacques. Unfortunately, the search function does not work at TMT. I will have to do it with Google.

Jan O.


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Richard
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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 14:56

Re : --24y and 540 Studebaker 'Commander' (1955-1960)

Dear friends.

Here under are two photos :

My variations colours and both base plate with and without the open rear for towing.

Kinds regards.

Richard