- Uncommon Australian-market Phaeton body style
- Highly optioned example
- Said to have been recently refurbished mechanically
First introduced in 1927, the Studebaker Dictator arrived at a time when the company's production and sales were booming. Initially known as the “Dictator Six,” by mid-1927 it was just the Dictator. Despite financial challenges—including the Great Depression, which put the company into receivership by early 1933—the car would be produced until 1937, with a total run of more than 350,000 Dictators. Uncommonly seen today, the remaining Dictators represent the fine styling and solid engineering that made Studebaker an early standout in the automotive world.
The 1935 Dictators were extremely stylish and capable machines for the period. New for 1935 was a longer, narrower grille set at a rakish slant and topped with a “bird in flight” mascot. Completing this stylized front end was a newly designed pair of bullet-shaped headlight buckets and a swept V-shaped bumper. The car was powered by an 88-horsepower, 205-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine backed by a three-speed, synchromesh, manual transmission. Built on a 114-inch wheelbase, Dictators had four-wheel hydraulic brakes, and an optional Planar front suspension was available to improve the ride and road handling.
The example offered here is a highly rare example of a left-hand-drive phaeton. In the United States, consumers were typically offered just a single open model, a roadster, but the Phaeton style was offered in Australia in 1935. Studebaker shipped the car’s chassis to Australia where it was fitted with a right-hand-drive Phaeton body with side curtains. The reasoning for shipping just the chassis to Australia was to reduce the weight and the freight cost and eliminate the possibility of body damage during shipping. Very few of the Phaeton bodies made it back to the United States as all of them were built in Australia. Later returned to the United States, the car was converted to left-hand drive as it is now presented.
The stunning deep red Dictator Phaeton offered here is highly comfortable and nicely optioned with bumper guards, radio, heater, cigar lighter, wheel trim rings, and the desirable Planar suspension. The car is said to have benefitted from a recent, extensive, mechanical refurbishment. Finished in a gorgeous color combination with superb Art Deco styling and a capable engine, this incredibly rare Dictator Phaeton will be supremely appealing to connoisseurs of pre-war automobiles.