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Barn Find CUV: 1949 Studebaker 2R10

1949 Studebaker 2R10

There are undoubtedly a few of us here who haven’t ever heard the term “coupe utility vehicle”, but the moment I mention Ranchero or El Camino the image of a car and truck hybrid will instantly come to mind. Well this design is the coupe utility or ute as they are called in Australia. Long before these two vehicles made the CUV popular there were some rather interesting attempts at creating a practical meld of truck and car. As a matter of the fact the idea dates back to the early 1930’s. Several brands attempted to make the ute successful here in the states, but the Ranchero and Camino were the first, if not only, major success with the design here. We have seen a few of these early utes, but this 1949 Studebaker 2R10 is likely one of the more interesting and better looking ones we have seen in a while. Take a closer look at it here on eBay where it is being offered without a reserve.

Studebaker 2R10 motor

Unlike some of the very car-like utes to follow it, this Studebaker is less coupe and more miniature truck. It is styled to look like Studebaker’s full sized trucks of the era and rides on a chassis designed for truck duty. The engine and most of the drivetrain were pulled from Studebaker’s Commander and Champion lines of cars. The 2R was offered in several sizes ranging from 1/2 ton all the way up to 2 ton. The 2R10 is rated for 3/4 tons and is powered by the Champion 170 cui inline 6. The 85 hp motor offered plenty of grunt for most jobs and was quite efficient for the times. It’s not hard to see why the 2R series did so well. It was a nice balance of efficiency, looks, and practicality. Sure it wasn’t as heavily built or capable of hauling as much as some of Studebaker’s bigger trucks, but it would work great for most people’s needs!

Studebaker 2R10 cleaned up

This one was discovered in a barn in Nevada and looks to have been preserved by the dry heat of the desert. It is sun baked and windblown, with plenty of surface rust, but it looks to be solid. The seller cleaned it before pulling it out of the barn and it looks like it has some great patina. The photo above was taken right after being washed and shows what it might look like after some protector and a polishing. We aren’t normally the types to leave a vehicle covered in rust, but there is something about this one that just makes it look so cool!

Studebaker 2R10 interior

If the outside of this ute looks like a lot of work, just take a look at the inside. It is going to need lots of attention in here, but thankfully there really wasn’t much to the interior to begin with. We aren’t sure if its the photo or if someone sprayed part of the steering wheel and dash with red primer. Hopefully whatever it is will come off without damaging the original finish. We would give the entire interior a good cleaning before buying any parts, as it might just clean up enough to be saved. While the 2R used mechanical parts from its car siblings, its interior was unique to it so finding new trim pieces could be a challenge.

Studebaker 2R10

This truck isn’t exactly rare with some 60k built, but we don’t see them all that often. We love the way this one looks and the way it has aged. Sure a shiny new paint job would look great, but we would see what we could do with it first before taking it to the paint booth. That is of course assuming the seller hasn’t already messed with it. They have had it in storage for a while and have taken a few pieces off in preparation for restoring it. We can only hope that that was as far as they got. Also, it is currently in Alabama so let’s hope it was kept in proper storage and hasn’t rusted more than what’s shown in these photos from Nevada. So if this were your ute what would you do with it?


  1. DJS

    Still looks like a pick up to me!!

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  2. memikeyounot

    Why is it a ute? Is the cab bigger than normal? My parents had a 1953 Studebaker truck when I was a kid in the 50’s. They sold it for a 1955 Chevy sedan.

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  3. Tim Moore

    Is this not just a standard order stude pickup? What makes it a ute?

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  4. Dave

    It looks like a regular size truck to me. I would completely restore it to original condition except put a nicer more modern color to it.

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  5. Wayne Thomas

    Dave, don’t forget a newer engine too. The iron block LSx used in newer GM trucks seems like a perfect choice unless one went all out and put in a Ford V10.

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  6. jim s

    the great part of this listing is that there is no reserve, someone is going to be the new owner. be interesting where the price ends up. the bad is that there is no title. i would put a duel master cyl on the brakes, make the truck safe and then drive it. (driving this for a hour would be a better workout the you could get at the gym). then see which truck gets the most looks/best parking spot at the big box lumber yards. very nice find.

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  7. skloon

    This looks like a good candidate for the first hellcat swap !!

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  8. Jim

    I remember my father having one like this & riding in the back with my brother. Even back than I thought it was a Cool truck!!

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  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice truck! I want it at my place, but I’m afraid I’ve got to thin out the ranks at home before I attempt to drag something else in. Someone is going to enjoy this…

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  10. DT

    I dont understand the UTE thing either.my eye sees a regular pick up,also a popular thing was the bed that fit in the trunk area,on 40’s cars,you would remove the trunk lid and slide in a bed especialy made for the model car you had,.you dont see them anymore but at one time they werent uncomon.I love Studebakers,and this looks like a straight foward project. I love the “Bud” wheels and always liked the Studebakers like this as well as the Dodges of the same vintage

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  11. Jim-Bob

    A 1946-47 Hudson truck is more of a Ute than this Stude is. Yes, it shares some parts with it’s passenger car siblings, but then that was pretty much normal during this time period.

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  12. Vincent Habel

    The Studebaker Coupe Express made from 38 – 40 was a real ute. the bring high prices today.

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  13. Alan (Michigan)

    Cool truck. Love the windshield visor!
    But the buyer has to know there may be issues with getting it titled….
    Let’s see: No title, a bill of sale.
    Oregon Plate, Found in Nevada, now in Alabama. What could go wrong?

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  14. Paul B

    I can see how someone might see this as a coupe utility, though it isn’t. The characterization is a compliment to Studebaker, however, which engaged Raymond Loewy to design a new postwar pickup truck as advanced-looking as the ’47 Studebaker passenger car. This is what he and his designers came up with. The ads crowed about its lack of running boards, low hood height, convenience features and clean, modern good looks. Meantime, Chevy came out with a postwar truck complete with high hood, jutting front fenders, running boards, and not much new. It ate up the market with its tough construction and high reliability. The Studebaker was very tough too. But the company was really too small to compete in the evolving marketplace, and when Paul G. Hoffman left, Studebaker’s new management didn’t bother to push trucks, and sales quickly withered. One reason George Mason of Nash wanted to merge his company with Studebaker was that Studebaker produced a full line of trucks. One wonders what might have happened had Mason lived to see his plan through.

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  15. Alan (Michigan)

    Unbelievable… I saw one of these this evening, clear coated over patina at a local show in northern Indiana. Will post a photo as soon as I can. Great look!

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    • Alan (Michigan)

      With the ability to add photos, I thought I’d go back and do this. Ran across this file a few minutes ago.

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    • Alan (Michigan)

      Did it work?

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  16. fred

    I was aware of the Hudsons and the Stude coupe express, but had no idea this “ute” existed. Learn something new everyday on Barn Finds!

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  17. Brian

    There is just something about the M and R series Studebaker trucks that were somehow so different from the other makes, but I have never been able to put my finger on exactly what it is – so, I’ll just chalk it up to old childhood memories of playing behind the wheel of my uncle’s ’47 M. It’s too bad I didn’t have the forsight…and the funds… to have picked one of these up 15-20 years ago when they were still dirt cheap! Oh well, seeing them, especially one painted dark green or robin’s egg blue, still makes me feel good! Just like going home!

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  18. andy

    Title work is not too hard to do, a little creativity with the dmv can pay off by exploiting abandoned vehicle rules, gray area for sure but works. Just saying …

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