Studebaker Car Club Of New South Wales


1952 Commander Starlight Coupe

Owner: Ray Henman


Story of a Starlight …….

She was born in March 1952 on the South Bend Production Line at 09:00 weighing in at 3,230 lbs. After nursery and quality control she was delivered to her first parents in Syracuse NYS with an oil bath air cleaner, climatizer, overdrive and hill holder ….. (State version) not much parental detail there but her second owner Jim (also from Syracuse) nursed her back from Pneumonia etc. as a result of quite a few extreme winters spending about $20,000 on restoration in 1998. (see pics.)

She was then adopted by Terry in Green Lake who looked after her in a cosy garage tending to her every need with the help of the local Stude clinic who added a Pertronix distributor mod. etc. Terry ran up 5,000 miles to her now totalling 107,000 and talked of many trouble free trips down the Wisconsin freeways at 70mph plus.

Later I said ‘will you miss her’ ? he said he was already having withdrawal symptoms as he loaded her on the car carrier. Terry & Jim are still ‘Stude’ people with pics of their cars to follow.

Going back a little …..I spied her on eBay in October 2009 and proceeded to successfully bid up to close of auction.


Not having imported a car from the ‘States I then contacted the Newcastle Club where Mike gave me an Australian in LA as a contact. Al Montana (22 years in the export/import business) arranged transport aboard a car carrier from Green Lake to Los Angeles across seven states, two drivers taking eight days to deliver to his warehouse in Gardena near LAX.  I must say I was very happy with his and Tamden’s service with emailed photos along the way.


She was consigned to Alexandria (Sydney) with two Fords in the same container. Al prefers container over roll on roll off adding the sea voyage would have normally taken 3 weeks but PM Rudd had booked all the ‘fast’ ships for delivery of insulation bats associated with Govt. roll out.


Five weeks later on Dec 20 she arrived at Botany where clearance was delayed due to Xmas and New Year. We finally went to Botany to take delivery having cleared Customs and Quarantine on the same site……. There she sat having survived the journey across the world looking a lot more distinguished than the ’64 Ford Galaxie out of the same container.

Her updated original Concord Blue (mostly seen on the Cruisers of the same year) did her justice. Doctor Scott primed her hit the button and her 8 cylinders sprung to life in effortless co-ordination …… it is well known the 232 V8 is one of the best and my memories from Dad’s Palm Beach Shell Garage (25 years) bares this out.


I drove her to her new garage at Ingleside where she shares residence with 20 other collectable makes. (I rent car space alongside my line up of three 50’s Mercedes)


The count down is now on for Feb 14 (Brooklyn run ) & 28 Feb. where old friend Bob Radnidge will continue his 20 year pursuit in raising money for the Westmead Children’s Hospital via his American Car Day at Narrabeen, this is a great day where he expects 500 cars to help his charity and beat the $16,000 he raised last year….. how many Studes can make it? We are guaranteed a prime spot with breakfast thrown in……….. hope to see you all there.

Please call or email me for contact numbers etc……… Ray Henman ACS (m) 041 999 7775



Under restoration in 1998.


Photo's from previous owner in USA.





















Last stop in USA before going Down Under.


On the way home in Australia.


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