Revisiting the Studebaker pickup
America has had an obsession with cars even before they began rolling off assembly lines, but decades later, it seems that no car is as central to the country's identity as the pickup truck. That's why when I saw this week's issue of Old Cars Weekly – and its profile on a 1947 Studebaker pickup – I felt compelled to write about the car, even though there are many flashy convertibles and classics that I've yet to discuss in this forum.
Introduced along with the ad campaign bearing the slogan "first by far with the post-war car," the line of Studebakers from the late 1940s, for the most, part did its best to appeal to the burgeoning urban set.
But, the Studebaker pickups were no city slickers. In particular, the 1951 2R5 featured a 226-cid engine with 94 horsepower, optional overdrive and a two-speed rear axle. Still, the model distinguished itself by applying style elements such as clean lines and added glass and removing the running boards.
With this design, the Studebaker pickups of this era may have been more urban than country, no doubt in an attempt to appeal to the country's visions of a promising future. And along with the classic design, it's this sentiment that makes many car owners romantic about the Studebaker pickups of the time.
In Old Cars Weekly, Terry Frye talks about how he just couldn't part with the model, even though it was originally picked up as a donor truck.
"I think this will be a lifetime [keeper] for me," Frye told the magazine. "It took me four years of nights and weekends to do. I wouldn’t even know how many hours I put into it, and the group of people that helped me out with parts and everything, I'd just be afraid to turn around and sell it, because they helped me out so much."
For a closer look at a '47 model, check out this picture spread of a Studebaker formally owned by "Eastbound and Down" star Don Johnson.