All-Wheel-Drive And Hemi Power? 1950 Studebaker Pickup

Talk about a sleeper hot rod! This 1950 Studebaker pickup has great patina on top and a fierce drive train underneath. Found here on eBay with a current bid in five-figures, this truck is sure to impress the muscle car next to you when the light turns green. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Paul for the tip on this truck. Check out more details below.

So what powers this beast? How about a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 from a 2004 Dodge Durango. This generation of Hemi was rated at 345 horsepower and when combined with an AWD chassis, you have a stout street rod. According to the ad “The 5.7 Hemi engine and Chassis had done 130K miles before it was pulled, gone through and reconditioned with all new cooling and ignition parts, 100% new engine gaskets from the front main seal to the rear. Oil pan to the throttle body. Plugs, wires, fluids- All new and ready to go.”

Here you can see some of the Durango parts that were integrated into the Studebaker interior. If you want to see some videos of the build, you can find them here on YouTube. The plastic dash and steering wheel stick out compared to the stock dash and door panels, but from the outside you can’t tell. If it was me, I would probably find a way to convert the modern gauges and steering wheel back to a vintage look. How about you? Do you mind the interior the way it is or would you change it?

Here’s another shot of the exterior. If the new owner wants to make this truck a real sleeper, they could put some older looking wheels on it. Whoever ends up with this truck, they are bound to have fun with it. Talk about a conversation piece!

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  1. BronzeGiant Member

    “this truck is sure to impress the muscle car next to you when the light turns green”…Looking like this, this truck will impress nobody, anywhere…..What is this aversion to painting things anymore……why would one want to be seen driving a truck that looks like nobody has cared about it for the last 20 years? But then, with all of the modifications that have been leveled on this truck, who cares?

    • Paul T Root

      InI am not a patina guy; my old paint and primer MG not withstanding.

      I think the aversion is the extremely high cost of paint now, due to regulations.

      My Uncle, who was in autos all his life, painted a mountain bike for me once. Plum Crazy! We watched most of it but he showed us out for the clear coat, because the fumes are hangerous and he only had one good resperator.

      I really like the Studebaker, but I think the bed is too long. Out of perportion to the rest. I love that it isn’t jacked up as 4wd all are now.

      • Wrong Way

        Maybe just maybe he was saving that good high for himself! LOL

      • Peter

        Paul T Root,

        You must be young. That’s how real trucks USED to look–a “regular” cab and an 8′ box. While, of course, there were “shorties’ back then, people are used to seeing four-door trucks today, with 5.5′ beds. Makes the past look wrong.

        But to those familiar, the current “All Hat, No Cattle”-looking trucks look “out of proportion.”

        The times, they are a-changin’ (to paraphrase Bob Dylan).

      • Mark

        This truck definitely isn’t out of proportions because it’s the real work truck. It’s not a car that happens to have an open bed in the back. Back when this truck was new this is how all trucks were built. Almost all had 8′ beds and even a few with 10′ beds. Short beds and extended cabs were few and far between

      • Paul T Root

        Nope, not young. In fact got my first senior discount last week.

        Anyway, yes, I know it’s a real work truck. But still out of proportion. The truck is wider, and lower than other trucks from the 50s and 60s. That makes the bed look longer. I think , being a hotrod/ratrod sort of thing, it’s sitting lower as well. Bigger tires than stock, etc, all make it look a bit differrent.

  2. Red Riley

    This truck was built by Grenade Motorsports. It’s sitting on a complete Durango chassis. You can find the build on YouTube.
    Oh, yeah. I just noticed that was mentioned in the write-up. Cool build, but I’d probably get it painted.

    • nrg8

      This guy takes an AWD Durango, and ever so efficiently takes it down to the floor pan and the firewall with all needed electrical. Then the tailoring begins. Really like the whole way he does it. Too bad those Durangos are not that plentiful here.

  3. Howard A

    Should have just “dropped a Cummins in it”. Kidding, of course. I knew a guy that had a 472 Caddy engine in one of these. He admitted, it ruined a nice truck. Sorry, that steering column looks so out of place on an old truck. I don’t like anything about this conversion.

    • Dick Johnson

      I can’t….. Would somebody PLEASE put together a profile on what Howard DOES like? Then post it on BF by Labor Day?

      As Oddball said on Kelley’s Heroes, “What’s with the neg-a-tive waves already?”

      • Howard A

        Sorry man, just a crabby old trucker that bumped his head on the roof too many times. My old man was a negative Joe, his old man, and probably his before him, it’s ( sadly) hereditary. This is one persons rendition of what they like, and that’s fine. It, aside from the neat lines of the stock Stude body, which I’m sure, the builder liked as well, does nothing for me. We can still state our opinions here,,,for now. Peace.
        BTW, no need for an article on me,( crickets) classic big rigs and Cat motors still give me goosebumps. It’s who I am.

      • Peter

        Dick Johnson,

        THANK YOU! I’ve tried to write something like this in the past, and it just got moderated out of existence. (You were able to exercise more restraint that I, apparently. LOL)

        The need for some to play the “contrarian” sure gets old, doesn’t it?

        I’m convinced he also casts a long shadow over on Hemmings’ forums–that or he’s got a twin. ;-)

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      These are a nice truck bone stock. The guy did a good job on everything so far but if it was up to me, I’d have left it stock and enjoyed it. Studes are in a class all their own….

    • John

      Is this Howard from SF Bay Area..???

  4. Brian J

    If it’s not for everyone, that’s ok- it wasn’t built for everyone. Some of us think it’s crazy cool and doesn’t take itself too seriously. If it’s fast and fun, I like it. Cool stuff!

  5. pwtiger

    Howard is right about the steering wheel but it is set up for the cruise control and light switches, I’m sure that the wiring harness was used from the dodge so everything was designed by a real engineer, you could take this to the dealer for service…

    • Dick Johnson

      “Alright… pos-a-tive waves, already.”

      Now I can go out in peace and tweak the spokes on the Harley, change the oil on the BMW, and still have time to burn some meat on the fire pit. Everything’s like, copacetic now.

      • Dairyman

        You have definitely too much time.

  6. Rick Rothermel

    I LIKE it!
    I’d probably do some DynaMat to make it a little less rattly inside, and maybe even a paint job, but it looks like a fun piece…
    One of these days…

  7. Lroy

    What a great template for resotmoding old trucks, the junkyards are full of Durango’s. We will see many more like this in the near future. By all means paint this truck.

  8. Mike

    Cool truck, but come on, the dash/steering wheel?! I thought all it needed was vintage rims and an original front bumper. Oh well…..

  9. dgrass

    Looks driveable aside from having to turn right, left, or hitting ANY bumps. Not much room for the rubber underneath all four fenders.

    • ShoelessTrucker

      Have sawzall…will travel. Those fenders won’t be in the way for long! Lol

  10. Kiwi Glen

    This is a cool truck. I love my two classics in the shed, but drive a modern for work. Much has been said already about the power this truck has… but it also has the stopping power and handling as well, plus the ability to haul and tow safely on freeways and at least it is finished to the point of driving not half done or rotting in a field

  11. Grenade

    Thanks readers! It has been a pleasure building these things, we have an absolute blast. Is it perfect? No. Is it the way you’d have done it? Probably not. Is it fast? Yep. Is it fun? Oh Heck Yes. Do people love it, everywhere we go? Yes, yes they do. They’re just toys, they were rotting in a field before we rescued them. I know rust isn’t for everyone, but it’s cool to us. It tells a story. Then we write new stories along with it. Fantastic fun and laughs are shared by all. We don’t take these swaps too seriously, just safe, fun and reliable. How does it drive? Amazingly well. Do the tires rub? BARELY, when you hit a large dip in the road or go up an apron too fast. It’s far better than the lowered import cars that we sometimes drive. If I could complain about one thing? It’s that I can’t make everyone happy all the time. :)

    • theGasHole

      Very nice job on the build! This is what hot rodding is about: building a ride how YOU want it to be. Never worry about these jackwagons who don’t like how you did this and how you did that….most of these guys can’t change a headlight in their jellybean SUVs anyway. Keep up the great work and enjoy.

  12. Wrong Way

    Kinda cool, but I hate to see this has been done to such a awesome truck! I have been looking for a stude truck for awhile now! I want one stock tho! Too much young fun for me!

  13. Wayne

    I am not much of a modern Mopar guy. ( love the pre ’73 stuff) But the work quality is there for a reliable ( did I use that word for a Durango?) pleasant driving truck. I would be more impressed if it used all the running gear and floor pan from a modern Chrysler 300 AWD Hemi car. Then with full independent suspension the truck would really handle and ride nice. I love the old Studebaker trucks and this one looks well done. Paint or not, I like them both ways.

  14. Gaspumpchas

    Clever and nicely done by the looks of it. Affordable. new owner can take it to whatever level he wants. Builder used dash to maintain the integrity of the OBD system. I like the P word of this truck but also would look super painted.

    Good luck to the new owner. Turn key and have fun!!!

  15. Falstaff TR

    I like it. The wheels have a artillery look to them. I’d paint them body color and try and find a retro center cap to fit. The doors almost look like they had Falstaff beer crests on them. I’d go with a Falstaff truck theme. I have panoramic photo of the Falstaff distributor in Breckenridge Texas dated April 14th 1940. In the picture is M. T. Johnson, his crew and his fleet of vehicles which include a LaSalle car, Ford, and Hudson pickups, along with 2 larger trucks. This Stude could fit in to that look. I ‘d paint the dash and fit an old steering wheel and go with a distressed leather on the seat. This would be fun. A ton of hard work is done. Drive it like you stole it

  16. Bruce

    I have owned two of this series of Studebaker trucks and the dash is one of the first things that need changing. The workmanship is terrible on the instruments. Looks like they were painted by children, and not very accurate children. These trucks are amazing fun. One I had was used for most of it’s life to move slate out of the Snake River Cannon in Idaho, was totally rust free and had the original chassis but the largest motor Buick made a 400 of some sort with a automatic transmission out of the floor. Cost me $200 dollars and was also a two tone of gray primer and rust. Got the same mileage loaded or empty of 13 MPG and had a top speed of about 60MPH. Had over load springs and the bed looked like the waves of an ocean due to the loads it had carried in the past. Got me back from U of Idaho with all my stuff. As I had left my Alfa at home that year. Sold it to pay for fixing my 3000 MKIII Healey after I got home.

    These are great sized trucks and when painted look far more modern then you would think until you get to the interior especially the dash. There is a center mounted light on the top of the dash that is very useful for map reading or drilling a 2″ x 2″ square hole in your skull if you have an accident.

    Strangely both of the ones I had were equipped with Rail Road Rails for bumpers. Heavy but useful for the two times it as hit by the foolish as I sat at lights or stop signs it did terrible damage to the other cars and both times pinned them to a stop until a wrecker arrived to part us. Think heavy duty can opener. The second one had a tornado drop a 4′ diameter oak tree lengthwise on it before I had a chance to restore it. Nothing left to restore sadly.

    Fixed up stock or rodded as shown these can be very fun and very useful trucks. There is a surprising support from other owners and parts are more plentiful then you might expect, both mechanical and body. For any body looking for a first restoration project, especially to do body work on this is a great one to look at. Most of the complex mechanical work has been done and the rest of the body is made of thick steel that is very easy to work with. l have a 98 Dodge Ram 2500 now but I do look back on that one and smile every time I do. Part of my miss spent youth I guess.

    If you do purchase it or another like it go thru the interior and rust proof the interior of the cab especially at the rear. That is where they like to rust and fixing that can be a real pain. Good luck.

  17. Troy s

    It’s what hot rodders have been doing to old pick ups for years, much more involved here though than just swapping engines and transmissions. Hate the steering wheel, looks so out of place in that cab. The dash and gauges don’t stick out nearly as bad as that wheel.

  18. Steve D

    I absolutely appreciate the work that went into integrating the Durango everything into the Stude. Saying that the steering column is just dog butt ugly. I know of no other way to get all those functions and the theft system into a period correct column so I guess it just is what it is.

  19. Joe Haska

    I have seen some of their other conversions (probably on Barn Finds) they are very creative ,and make allot of sense ,for drivability and dollars spent. I drive a “Patina” 53 Ford P/U, and I love it, but it may loose some of the Patina soon. Once everything becomes too popular it is time to do something else. I think it would be fun to see this Studebaker, taken to another level with paint, interior and detailing!

  20. Mark

    Just wondering, is for registration when licensing a vehicle like this? Do you use information from the chassis, and etc. or the one from the body? I’m guessing it could get quite involved depending on what state you are registering it in.

  21. Johnmloghry Member

    Well, I don’t know, I posted my 61 Studebaker Champ on Barn Finds awhile back, didn’t get much interest, I thought somebody might be wanting to do something like this to it, but I guess not.Perhaps someday I’ll try it but I’m getting up there in years now, besides being obese. Well anyway I’ve still got “Sexual Battery” my 64 Buick Riviera that I love so much.

  22. Lee Yusten

    Popular Mechanics mag in the cab….nice touch!

  23. Wrong Way

    Lol, Paul T Root! First senior discount? You are young, enjoy it while you can before you know it you will be a real senior!

  24. Doug

    Paul T – Actually, the truck looks about stock height for a 2 wd Studie – my stock ’57 wears 235/70 15s, and sits about the same as this one. I wonder if Ididit or
    Flaming River make a column that would work to allow a more period correct steering wheel ? ( I know their columns are GM based and use GM wiring
    connectors. )

  25. chad

    wondered on da spelling a few wks now~

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