Classified Find: 1951 Studebaker 2R6-12 Pickup

When it was launched, the Studebaker “2R” Series Pickup broke new ground in styling. This was one of the first pickups that didn’t include running boards and was also one of the first with a double-skinned bed. This 1951 2R6-12 was found hiding in a barn in Wyoming, and it is a complete and original classic just begging to be restored. It is located in Billings, Montana, and has been listed for sale here on Barn Finds classifieds. The owner has set the asking price for the Studebaker at $4,500.

There is no denying that the Pickup carries plenty of surface corrosion, but the only rust of any note is in the floors themselves. There is no getting around the fact that they will require replacement. The aluminum camper shell on the back might not be to everyone’s taste, but it has served a very important purpose. Thanks to its presence, the floor in the bed remains nice and solid, with no rust issues. The panels also appear to be free of any significant rust, apart from the surface corrosion. I guess that the next owner could choose to strip the panels and undertake a complete repaint, although I wouldn’t be surprised if someone decided to apply a coat of satin clear, and leave it essentially as it is. All of the glass is present, and while I think that the driver’s quarter-vent window might be cracked, the rest of it appears to be in good condition. If you compare the styling of the 1951 2R6 with its competitors, you will find that the vast majority still sport running boards. The Studebaker was definitely sleek and advanced for its time, and the double-walled bed meant that if any heavy objects managed to slam around during transit, they couldn’t inflict damage on the outer panels.

The interior of the 2R6 continued the theme of sleek styling, and the only item that carried over from elsewhere in the Studebaker product range was the gauges. The rest of the interior was unique to the Pickup range when it was introduced in April of 1948. The interior of this Studebaker is quite a pleasant surprise because if the next owner chose, they could utilize it largely untouched. The seat does have a tear in the back, but a blanket would cover this quite easily. The wheel has some cracks, but not only is it still in a restorable state, but the decorative horn button hasn’t managed to “disappear” over the years. What remains of the floors are bare, so maybe a rubber mat would be a nice addition to make things just that bit more comfortable and refined. As I have said in the past, one of the great attractions of these interiors is just how easy they are to restore. With little in the way of upholstery and complicated electricals to tackle, any person with a reasonable working knowledge of hand-tools and painting equipment can make a huge difference inside one of these old classics. Not only is this type of work pretty easy, but the end results can be enormously satisfying.

The 2R6 Pickup was powered by Studebaker’s 6-cylinder flathead engine, and in this case, it is 245ci version. This produced 102hp, and a very impressive, and useful, 201lbs/ft of torque. All of these horses found their way to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission, although an overdrive was available as an optional extra. It was all of that torque that was the Studebaker’s true strength, and this allowed it to cart its designated ½-ton payload with relative ease. This Studebaker has been sitting for an extended period. Unfortunately, that does mean that the motor is locked. However, the owner has filled the cylinders with WD40, and there is every chance that given some time, it will allow the engine to turn freely once again. One thing that I find really encouraging is that although the carburetor has been removed at some point, someone has had the good sense to place a blanking plate across the opening in the intake. That massively reduces the chances of any foreign bodies from finding their way into the flathead.

Classic pickups continue to grow in strength and popularity, and this is a trend that I don’t see changing at any time in the near future. I like this one a lot, and I think that part of its attraction is the fact that this is so different from the majority of classic pickups that you see both on the road and in the market today. If the prospect of owning that type of vehicle sounds appealing to you, then maybe it would be worthwhile making some inquiries about this one.


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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I think the first picture is awesome, and the second picture is A-OK!

    Like 2
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    A truck like this gets restored. So few of them left now, it’s time they got the dignity they deserved. Studebaker did everything it could to shed the bad rap that plagued it all the way through the thirties and to the end of its days. Stude did build a nice truck, from the M-series and beyond. That 245 engine is kind of a surprise. I would’ve expected to see that 169. Shouldn’t have any shortage of power for sure there. I sure wouldn’t want to see this one hot-rodded…

    Like 17
    • Howard A Member

      I wholeheartily agree. Studebakers had a brief fling after the war. Probably because many returning GI’s owed their life to one. That faded fast in the 50’s, when Ford or Chevy became the better deal. I would re-power it with something more capable, no fire-breathers, tho. Even thought they weren’t available, maybe a Stude 289 V8 and a 4 ( or 5) speed, give this old gal some life! Great find.

      Like 2
  3. Tempo Matador Ray

    The price is right for this cool find…That flat-head 6 is definitely worth reviving. The interior dash in its original state certainly is inviting. Overall, a straight forward approach to freshening up the systems and the satisfaction of having her back on the road would prove to be priceless…

    Like 2
  4. John S.

    This truck looks like a good start and is not over priced. These aren’t really rare, though not as common as Fords & Chevys. I have two; a ’52 and a ’56. Mine gets use as a daily driver and sees loads of dirt, gravel and hay on a regular basis, not to mention a lot of “thumbs up”. These things are sturdy like little tanks.

    Like 1
  5. Vince H

    The 245 is plenty of power. I would add overdrive to keep the rpms down. With a lot of love this could be a nice truck. I think the price is a little high.

    Like 1
  6. Shane

    The topper is more rare & better than the truck ;)

  7. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    What a great truck!!! Make it safe, paint it, clean up the interior and drive.

    Have to say however that yes the Studebaker 289 would be great tho with a Paxton pushing it using a 5speed box it could be re fun-with all the necessary upgrades of course….

    Like 2
  8. RTS

    By far the best looking truck of this era. Don’t like the floor rust, which makes you wonder if there is more that is not being shown. Must be something as this truck has been for sale for a long time at a much lower price and is still available.

    Like 1
  9. B. Rabe

    Another innovative safety feature on these trucks is that the starter switch is under the clutch pedal. You have to fully depress the clutch to start the engine.

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