In 1947 Studebaker was the first big name to introduce post-war styling. By 1950 the Champion was onto its first major revision, with a longer nose and aerodynamic lines. A dramatically restyled Studebaker hit the market for the 1950 model year. Using the basic 1947-1949 body design, the new cars sat on a chassis that was lengthened an inch for all models, with the extra stretch added to the front end to accommodate the new front end styling.
The rear end and interior treatments were also new. And if that weren't enough, Studebaker introduced a fully automatic transmission, coined Automatic Drive, which shared honors with Chevrolet as being the first in the low-price field. Studebaker's new styling was the talk of the automotive world. The "bullet-nose" design was somewhat reminiscent of the 1948 Tucker, with a center chromed "spinner" hood emblem/grille opening combination in place of a center headlight. But everything else was totally different. The front fenders were deeply cut back into the center section of the front end, which looked much like the nose area of a propeller driven aircraft. A chrome strip above a horizontal grille slot on each side of the spinner gave the appearance of a propeller. The actual body-colored, egg-crate design grille opening was set low, just above exposed front bumper brackets. The increased wheelbase length was used at the front to accommodate the longer front-end styling.
Other front-end features included new hood and fender top ornaments and new headlight bezel styles, depending upon series. Hood ornaments were standard on all but the new Champion Custom sub-series. Fender ornaments were standard on the Commander series. Champions used a simple headlight ring, with the turn signal/parking lamp set directly below. The Commanders had all lights surrounded by an oblong chrome bezel. Bodyside lines were the same as in 1947-1949, with the appropriate series designation on the upper rear edge of the front fender. Around back, the rear quarter panel ends were now more upright, and squared off on the end. This allowed for use of a vertical taillamp. Mechanically, all cars received an increase in compression ratio to 7.0:1. This change resulted in a 2-4 percent increase in horsepower. Optional for cars to be used in high-altitude areas was a 7.5:1 compression ratio. As mentioned above, the automatic transmission was introduced mid-year. New at the start of the season were selfadjusting brakes shoes on all models.
Restyled interiors included the use of new fabrics and a different instrument panel treatment for each series. While both had a flat panel with relatively flat overhanging top lip, the layouts were quite different. For the Champion, a two-tone instrument panel with a half-circle speedometer and optional clock at the center sat directly in front of the driver. A vertical rectangular gauge sat on each side of the speedometer with fuel and oil gauges. Both series had optional radio controls and speaker mounted in the center, and the ventilation, ignition key, and other controls mounted horizontally across the bottom, with plenty of chrome trim. The Commander instrument panel had a tritone paint treatment, with the radio speaker grille and glove box door area being painted in a different shade and highlighted by special trim. Three circular pods, horizontally placed in front of the driver, contained the engine related gauges, speedometer and clock. A lower-priced Custom sub-series was added to the Champion series mid-year. Its introduction, and the lower pricing of all models, put Studebaker squarely back into the low-price field. The new entry-level Custom matched the DeLuxe series model for model.