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Christian Meillon's
1931 Commander

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Christian Meillon
1931 Commander Model 70 Sedan 

Christian is a brand new member of The Antique Studebaker Club.
He wrote a very interesting article about his Commander. Here's what he has to say:
If anyone out there can help Christian I'm sure that he would appreciate the help locating the missing parts to his car. I have left his address and phone number at the bottom of the page.

Also Christian has just sent some more pictures, see bottom of page


        Christian Meillon,         

September, 4  - 2004



 I'm the new owner of a 1930 four door and six window Studebaker Commander, serial number 70 W 21715.
Before me, this car was the property of Gerard Bonnet, who had been for a period a  French member of The Antique Studebaker Club. With his car, he gave to me some copy of your interesting review, so I wishes have a contact with you.
This model is very rare in France. And even it is not sure it had been sold new in this country. The incomplete story of this
vehicle seems to be the following : the car was probably bought by the Argentina Embassy in Paris (flags of this country were still in the car when it was found).
Later, after the II World War it was sold by "Domain's" (an official French service who sell used governmental and military furniture). In this period, just after the war, in our  country, this kind of big car was inappropriate to an usual service : it  was quite impossible to get petrol and tyre and only little and economic vehicle could be interesting for anyone. (in this period, plenty of prestigious but disabled pre-war car were destroyed to get metal, alloy and aluminium specially).
For this reason, the car was bought to install its powerful engine on a truck. But with the cost of gasoline, that was not a good idea, and the poor Commander was neglected outside for twenty years, without wheels. The rust could eat the body. Windows were broken and the inside was ruined. The engine hood was found in an other place.
In 1964, it was found and given to a young enthusiast, Serge Kutukian. The engine was still in sufficient good condition to start with the old sparkplugs, only after oil change ! In spite of missing parts like wheels and others parts, and poor  condition, the car was saved, and after months of work, it could run in several old car manifestations in France and even in England.
In 1986, Gerard Bonnet became the new owner, in Normandy. A lot of improvement to give a better look to the Commander and many mechanical reparations were undertaken during the 18 years he used it.
You can understand how it may be difficult to restore it far from its birthplace, when any other similar model can be see ! However, I had recently the surprise of meeting another French owner of a Studebaker Commander (with a nice roadster body, and in perfect condition, as I could see on photography he had in his bag! ) but he explained this car had just been imported (restored) from USA ten years ago, for a famous auction sale in Paris.
I bought mine some mounts ago and now this Studebaker left the Normandy for my garage, in South of France. The drive of this car is pleasant, and it run without problem.
I wish continue to improve what was done, but  I believe your help will be useful ! 
For instance, is it possible to get views of interior ? And can you indicate the date of issue of my car ? (official papers are with year 1930, but I suppose the real year may be 1931 or 1932.)

I wish to become a member of your association. How is it possible ?

Thank you very much and excuse me for my approximate English…

My address :





TEL : 00 33 5 61 68 62 80

Hello Rick,
Since my first letter, issued on 2004 September, I have received the information about my car from Richard Quinn, who explained several things:
First, the number I provided  (70 W2 1715) is not the serial number but only the body number, in spite of if this one is  written on legal papers. Richard had helped me to find the good serial number, on the frame : it is 8035006.
Then he explained that my car should be considered as a 1931 model, even if the engine wears a casted number with the letter K (K = 1930) which indicate than this part was made on July 27th  of 1930. This is very important to the search of parts.
In spite of lot of improvement which are to be done, I use my Commander with pleasure, and last week-end, I drove it for a trip across Pyrenees mountain, with my wife Jooselien and my son Jean-Baptiste, to a little neighbour country,
called Andorra, between France and Spain, including to climb up 2.000 meters above sea level…About 40 ancient vehicles where here.
I have attached some more pictures, with this letter.
Also, I have added a picture of the wedding of my daughter Marie, last summer, with the car …



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