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Meet Kat Jones & Stew—Her 1954 Studebaker Commander

Kat in her natural habitat: grinding away at the Studebaker’s retrofitted Mustang II subframe. (Image/Summit Racing)

Kasia “Kat” Jones loves hot rods. Always has. But she didn’t start building them herself until a mere three years ago.

“When I started my first project, I had no experience working on cars, nor did I have a fancy shop to work in,” Kat says. “But if I can build a cool car in my 1-½ car garage in the frozen tundra of Buffalo, New York, you can too.”

Kat’s first build was an LS-swapped 1950 Chevy Fleetline. (Image/Summit Racing)

That initial foray gave Kat the confidence and experience to tackle her next build, a 1954 Studebaker Commander she’s affectionately dubbed “Stew.”

Kat’s story is proof that anyone with the spirit and will to learn can build a nice hot rod on a budget.

We spoke with Kat about her experiences as a new builder. She answered some questions, gave us some insight and offered advice to folks looking to take that first step towards their own hot rod project. Check out the video below.

Kat also took some video to document her progress. As of now, she’s putting the finishing touches on her paint and body work, and hopes to have Stew on the road by Summer 2021.

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  1. Outstanding!!

  2. Great build!

  3. Great job Kat! I rebuilt my first truck (1978 GMC K35) in the machine shed on our northwest Ohio family farm during the winter of 1983. I bought it wrecked for $300. Over the past 30+ years, I’ve been blessed to build a very well equipped shop and spent a lot of quality time in it with my wife, friends, kids and now grand children working on various projects. That old GMC is still around and is being gone through for the 4th time now.

  4. MarcyZaehringer says:

    Amazingly outstanding!!

  5. Great job. Very cool car!

  6. That was an awesome read! Great jon on the car!

  7. I love it. My first Studebaker project was a 1950 Studebaker 2 door sedan. Me and my husband took the car to the city college and did the body work. There was prior door damage and minor dents in it. We repaired it and we put primer and wet sanded it several times. We picked out a beautiful maroon color and he did a base coat/clear coat on it. It was beautiful. We bought 17 Studebakers from 1947-1964. Repaired and detailed and sold them. Some we used as parts cars. I loved it.

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