I was motivated by our Stoker reunion, in August of 06, to
start working on a project again. Other than restoring my
old International, I've had little to do with cars / trucks
since I left the Strokers in the early 70s.
I did play with motorcycles in the meantime, but now decided
I should get re-introduced to hot rodding. I decided that a
pickup was the way to go and found EBAY to be a good source
for old trucks. I went to town trying to 'win' myself a
deal. I narrowed my search to Studebakers , and finally,
after many failed bids, 'won' a deal -- I lost it on the
first go-around, but was notified by the seller that the
first bidder dropped out (I think he knew something that I
didn't) and I could have the trucks.
Oh yea! my $500 purchased 3 Studey's. So now I had to
arrange payment, loading, shipping, border documents, etc.
Once the trucks arrived, I realized why the first bidder
I stripped them down, and decided to start building a truck
for my daughter, who works in landscaping. Besides giving me
a reason to build, it justified the expenses -- to who I'm
not sure. I 'bought' a Chevy 1-ton van for 2 cases of beer,
drove it home and disassembled it for the drive train.
I blasted and boxed the Studey frame, narrowed and mounted
the axles, mounted the engine / tranny and set the cab back
onto the chassis. I had to do a little body work -- replace
floor & cab corners, repair numerous dents and holes and
modify the firewall to clear the 350 small-block chevy. I
used a steering box from a Chevy pickup and reworked the
linkage to suit.
After surveying the pickup box/s) that I had, I decided to
build a new one from scratch. It was going to be a dump box
(landscape truck, remember?) so I needed to build a solid
frame to take the lifting action. I tried something
different for me, I epoxied the side panels to the
sub-structure and welded the ends and top edges -- hope it
Now I'm ready to mount the fenders. Instead of bolting, I
plan on welding them to the sides.
The hydraulic lift unit is a used one I picked up and
rebuilt. Now I need to purchase a pump to operate it.
The old van motor was in need of a rebuild, but I found a
freshly built one with aluminum heads, cam, Eldebrock
manifold and carb. Now I need to have the automatic
transmission rebuilt. I shortened the driveshaft, but it may
need to be balanced – later.
At this point, I'm almost ready to mount the headers and
start fabricating the exhaust. I've got the mufflers and
some SS tubing, now I need to figure out how and where to
The biggest challenge ahead will be the body repairs to the
fenders and doors. Again with the 3 for $500 original price
-- if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
I've started planning and gathering parts for the next
Studey pickup -- a short box, chopped roof, lowered unit
with Vette suspension and a 4.3L Chevy V6. I want to start
by next year and hope work allows me to keep at it!
After that, I've purchased a Prefect. And then who knows, I
may be retired and have lots of time to play?