MARCH 1, 2012: 1955 STUDEBAKER PICKUP-WHAT A BIG RIG DRIVER RUNS ON THE WEEKEND

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Ted Draeger loves the big iron.

 

His full time job is pushing a big rig and on the weekends he’s still behind the wheel of a truck.

 

In most cases he’s driving a rare truck-a 1955 Studebaker pickup.

Ted spotted the old Stude in an ad for an estate auction and locked in on the sale with a grim determination to come home with a classic old truck. They aren’t easy to find because they built less than 20,000 of them in 1955.

 

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Apparently the owner had bought the Studebaker with “future project” in mind but his own future ran out-enter the estate auction.

 

The truck was almost 100% complete with the exception of a trim piece on the hood. Ted is highly connected in the Studebaker world but this piece is so rare it practically disappeared from the known universe.

 

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The truck had a few key areas where the rust worm won a battle but it’s back to the pristine factory look.

 

He had the truck completely redone to stock specs and so far the Studebaker has been a dream on the road. Ted admits, ” I’ve had it up to 60 but it was turning 7100 rpm. The rear end is a little low geared for highway driving”.

 

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Ted’s comfortable with the power under the hood because it’s the same V-8 found in the Studebaker passenger cars. He’s a big proponent of the Stude power train because “that’s why they could run with anybody”.

 

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Despite that endorsement, the Studebaker is often pulled behind in a trailer behind another one of Ted’s dream rides-a 1965 Mack R Model. Ted is connected in the Antique Truck Club so in his own way he connects with his Studebaker brothers and his classic big rig brothers.

 

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This is an outstanding example of a very rare truck and Ted is extremely proud to drive and display this venerable old-timer on the weekends.

 

Weekdays? He’s behind the wheel of his big rig work truck.

 

Jerry Sutherland

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