MAY 24, 2015 (JUNE 2015): ’50 STUDEBAKER TRUCK—THE SUM OF MANY PARTS AND A LOT OF WORK

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The 1950 Studebaker pickup was down the food chain when it came to truck buyers but they did sell a few of these old brutes.

 

 

They were known for typical Studebaker traits like affordability, economy and reliability.

 

Very few of these old trucks survived into the 21st century but the ones that did have a great history behind them.

 

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Tom Jepson was in the hunt for a project and he picked this 1950 Studebaker because he is clearly a man with no fear. You simply don’t open a catalog full of parts for this old classic so Tom had another game plan.

 

Tom’s solution took a very familiar path with his Studebaker because he admitted “there are three pickups in this one”.

 

Most car guys are familiar with the term donor vehicle because they harvest more spare parts than guys who trade in illegal kidneys.

 

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This was no basic restoration because Tom added another complication to the game when he decided to plunk his ’50 Studey on a ‘68 Corvette chassis. The first problem is obvious-’68 Vettes are considerably wider than a Studebaker truck so the body had to configured (widened) to fit the chassis.

 

Tom admitted the widening was a massive undertaking and he added another complication when he decided to lower the roof by four inches. The result was spectacular but he added, “The hardest part was getting the doors to line up”. Tom added he “almost got rid of the vent windows but he’s glad he didn’t”.

 

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Surprisingly Tom admits he’s been asked “why did you paint it yellow because Studebaker didn’t have a yellow?” but this is clearly non-stock in many ways, so he went with 87-8 Corvette yellow.

 

This is a typically tough build because it took over seven years to complete but in the car hobby, that’s a pretty standard number for a job of this size—particularly with the all-Corvette under the skin game plan.

 

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Road manners are critical with any resto-mod and Tom’s old Studebaker is light years away from factory. This truck has a 400 transmission with the 350 Vette that came with the chassis so it’s got a passing gear that a Studebaker never had in 1950. Tom called it a good, healthy sound.

 

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Tom likes another characteristic of his truck because he runs heavy equipment so likes the fact that it “rides good, it’s fairly soft so it’s nice to have”. That’s important when you spend some time behind the wheel.

 

This Studebaker hasn’t been on the road very long but it has been to a few shows already and Tom said he’s had some beautiful trips in it plus there’s an added bonus. His truck has already won several awards at various shows.

 

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There’s little doubt Tom built this truck for the fun factor more than anything else but trophies are a great reminder that he did some incredible work on this truck.

 

Tom’s last comments are the most effective description of how tough his project was over the course of seven years.

 

“I’m not sorry I did it but I wouldn’t do another one”.

 

Jerry Sutherland

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