Front Angle View

Rear Angle View

Fitted Mustang Cobra Interior

Under the Hood

The very cool Custom 1953 Studebaker Champion Starlight Coupe is owned by Ron and Gail Tesinsky of Bilings, Montana. This car first appeared in the More Cool Studes section of this page in February 2016 when it was photographed by Bill Junge at a car show in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Ron Tesinsky designed and built the car at his business Westside Kustoms in Bilings.

The roof has been chopped 4 1/2" with the windshield placed flush and tilted back 7" and custom flush three-piece back glass. All four wheel openings were flared, custom Hawk style fins were added to the rear quarters, and the trunk lid was custom fabricated with a Mustang spoiler. Power comes from a 1999 Ford Mustang Cobra 4.6 liter DOHC 32 valve engine with a Tremec 5-speed transmission and Positraction rear end. The IFS front and IRS rear suspension are from a 1986 Jaguar XJS. Stopping power is provided by four-wheel disc brakes.

The interior was transplated from the Mustang Cobra donor car. The dash, door panels, and back seat side panels required careful measuring and some modification but not as much as might be surmised. The result is nothing short of amazing the way everything fits together. Here are shots of the driver side door panel, the rear seat being fitted during construction, and the finished rear seat area. Sitting inside the car you might think you were in a Mustang Cobra.

Amenities include power steering, power windows, power seats, keyless entry, an alarm system, air conditioning, cruise control, and a modern eight speaker sound system. the door handles are Chrysler, and the exterior rear view mirrors are late model Buick Century units. The car is nosed and decked and has no exterior chrome trim. Modern pneumatic struts have been added to the nicely finished trunk. Paint is House of Kolor Tangerine Kandy over PPG Concept Gloss Black. The bumpers, front grilles, headlight rims, and taillight rims are all painted.

Tooned Metal Model

Rear Angle View

Work in Progress

Ron Tesinsky built this tooned (as in cartoon style) metal model of the Custom 1953 Starlight Coupe from scratch. It beautifully done and is painted just like its big brother.

Gail and Ron Tesinsky are both expericed salt flats racers. Here is a picture of Gail's 1953 Studebaker Salt Flats Racer parked behind the Custom 1953 Starlight Coupe. The Racer has a whole story of its own having spent time in a meseum before the Tesinskys bought it and returned it to salt flats racing. Gail is listed as the owner and driver of the Studebaker while Ron races in a 1932 Ford Roadster.

Thanks to Gail Tesinsky for sending the pictures and information about this very cool 1953 Custom Studebaker Starlight Coupe.

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