SEMA Spotlight: A Copper-Plated Stude

The SEMA Show is an assault on the senses. The long hours, bright lights and endless walking wear you down and make it tough to appreciate the thousands of cars on an individual level. For this reason I’ve learned to follow this one tactic when looking for the cars that really count: instead of trying to analyze each and every one of them, I try to take a broader view and see what calls out to me.

It’s the car that makes you take a hard right turn and skip a couple of rows because you must see it now. This time it was a slammed bullet nose Studebaker with some surprising choices of finish.


I want to start by pointing out that this car was in the Kicker Audio booth. This is noteworthy because typically car audio demo vehicles feature over the top, bragging rights-style installations, but not this time. Even while showcasing Kicker’s latest hardware, the Studebaker can (and likely will) hold its own on a show circuit.


A slammed stance goes a long way towards making anything look good, and the Raymond Loewy-designed sheetmetal was begging for it in this case. The choice of car was bold to start with, and the outside the box thinking continued with big-inch wires, painted bumpers and copper instead of chrome. This is the kind of build that can start a trend or two.


Of course the copper theme continues inside along with a blend of modern and traditional. I’ve seen diamond stitching in everything from Ferraris to Scions this week and here it is again, working quite well. The steering wheel is a classic ’40 Ford, but the center console holds audio and air ride controls.


Some interesting finish choices can be seen at the front too. I thought painted headlight rings and bumpers were only trendy in the ’80s but they really work here. Copper plating the bullet nose grille was an absolute must since it’s the most defining feature of a ’50-51 Studebaker.

Apparently Suzy also took a liking to the Studebaker and has already scheduled a full feature in the next couple of months, so stay tuned as we learn the rest of the details and plan a photoshoot for this amazing build.



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HOLY SH*T!!!!!!!!!!! It looks like a jet fighter, and the black!!!!!!!! That paint job is just gorgeous!!!!!! Amazing car!!!!!!


The hint of burgundy in the paint is gorgeous, and those wheels are just stunning !!


Keith, if you manage to snag a photoshot of the car make sure to take a picture of the same spot from different angles.  I would love to see how the paint color changes on this one based on viewing angles.  
I'm really loving the use of copper at SEMA this year!


That color and stance! Beautiful!

Seeking Perfection

It is awesome to know that you are going to feature this car.
Keith please apply some pressure to feature any pro touring cars and especially the Ringbrothers' creations.
I would also love to see a full feature on the Mobsteel FedEx freight delivery truck.


The rear speaker shelf's detail is incredible.  Most people would be satisfied with a simple flat panel (covered in diamond stitch of course), but they designed a piece better than most OEM's.   And I agree with you and Ezalis  that the copper really compliments the build.  Not usually my cup of tea, these kinds of builds, but I can certainly appreciate attention to detail and fine craftsmanship when I see it.


Yo wheatgod, I’m really happy for you…I’ll let you finish. But @JDMized is the best SH troll of ALL TIME!!!  The best SH TROLL OF ALL TIME!!!


That would have stopped me right in my tracks too. Can't wait for that feature.


Steampunk Stude, that's what it should be named, I absolutely love this car.


wheatgod Simply P Your opinion sucks.


Would it be better if it had some super original JDM bolt on arches?


I agree with Todd, totally outside the box


You're kidding right? This is exactly what you were doing in the GTR thread. Apparently it was fine for you then, but now we're the hypocrites? Please. It's just a case of showing you what it's like on the other side.
Besides, you made clear through *multiple* posts that you don't like hot rods. Cool, you're more than welcome to that view. But we got it the first 5 times, now you're just doing it for a reaction. Trolling =/= reasoned, constructive criticism.


Pretty much everyone on the LW GTR thread posted reasonable responses as to why they didn't like it. All you're doing is saying "oh my God another Studebaker". You're entitled to your opinion, but at least try to explain it.


This is what SEMA is all about! I love seeing cars detailed to this level. It is also nice to see that kicker is trying to step up their game. I always felt the quality was low for how popular they are. From what I can see in the picture it uses a similar material that I have found on memphis speakers that I have used. Im sure one of you could tell me what material that is. non-the-less nice car.


I'll just forget the irony in you defending the LW/TRA Kyoto-style cars from that exact same criticism. Instead I'll just say well done: that wasn't hard was it?


Neither one of you would know innovation if it came up and bit you on your behemoth rear-ends, the approach, fit and finish on the Stude is fresh and original, if it were just another "tired old stude" that's been "done a million times" it wouldn't make it inside the doors to SEMA, and any comments to the contrary just show your ignorance.


That inviting, nothing like the cars of today.


Simply P wheatgod JDMized is SH resident critic, not a troll...but wheatgod, now that's a troll.


wheatgod Hotcakes That's nowhere near constructive criticism, that's just trolling...


wheatgod Hotcakes"I did. I said its a tired old car thats been done a million times
already. And on top of that it has a giant nipple for a hood. Complete
with brass nipple cap."
How is this NOT trolling?


Simply P Ezalis Completely agreed. I love that you can isolate one part of the build (the rear speaker shelf) and study the design and craftsmanship.


Ezalis It's tough to do under bright indoor lights. I think the paint will really pop when we get it out in the sun for a proper photoshoot.


wheatgod apex_DNA Hotcakes You don't even begin to grasp the meaning of constructive criticism.


apex_DNA Simply P JDMized has broad technical knowledge, and that makes his observations enlightening and thought-provoking, but he tends to get his point across in a trollish manner.  Don't get me wrong, it's far more constructive than troll-for-the-sake-of-trolling comments of certain commenters (who shall remain unnamed but know who they are).  Or if you're into Shakespeare;   "What's in a name? That which we call a troll by any other name would start as much shit."


Whilst the copper plating is cool, I'll always associate it with PBM's products first as it is their signature colour (along with gold).


Simply P apex_DNA I might have made the mistake of feeding one...


apex_DNA wheatgod Hotcakes Wow, you guys really know how to argue. ;) As a Brit, I can count the number of Studebakers I've seen in my life on one hand. I loved this car because of its quality and choice of colours. Refusing to like something because it's a car that's been done before does seem a bit odd - if a car is good quality, it's good quality, right? Isn't it a bit like going "Oh god, it's another Skyline"?
Also, a quick check shows that we've only done one spotlight on a Studebaker before here at SH. And that was a truck. :)


todd_d Love it!


God I LOVE this car! <3


dam it so superb nice


This ever receive a full feature?