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Still Running: 1949 Studebaker 2R17

1949 Studebaker 2R17

This Studebaker has definitely been used hard, yet it’s still running and driving! It sadly is missing its original engine and is instead powered by a GM built 292 inline six. Given the good looks of the cab, I think I could overlook the incorrect engine. It currently has a David Bradley lift that doesn’t look to be that old, so I’m going to guess this truck was still working not that long ago. I’d pull the lift off and find a box or flatbed so that it could be use for more pedestrian tasks. Whether you restore it or leave it as is, I think this would be a really sweet truck with what has too be one of my all time favorite truck designs! You can find this old workhorse here on eBay in Lake City, California with an opening bid of $1,500. So what would you do with this old truck?


  1. Avatar photo Matt Tritt

    Looks like it also has a 2-speed rear end. The David Bradley hoist is undoubtedly part of a Sears and Roebuck kit that was popular in the 50’s. You could buy the whole shebang as a universal add-on, along with a great stakeside bed and headboard right out of the catalog. These trucks are STRONG, with an easy 10,000 lb payload, vacuum over hydraulic brakes and an ultra-low grannie gear; the ultimate heavy farm truck. The GM engine fits nicely!

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  2. Avatar photo Ed P

    The cab looks to be solid with only surface rust. With a 16,000 lbs gvw, this would make a great car hauler.

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  3. Avatar photo ron tyrrell

    Starting about the size and up you could buy a 671 Jimmy diesel , not a lot of info on there larger trucks but they did make all the way up to what would be today as a class 7, 12,000 of the front and 20000 on the rear .

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  4. Avatar photo Ed P

    Stude’s last heavy trucks in the 60’s were available with a 3 or 4 cylinder 53 series GMC diesel.

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  5. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    Trying to drop in a 6-71 Detroit is somewhat of a bigger job than a lot of people realize. It’s a lot bulkier and it weighs over a ton compared to an engine like the 292 that probably weighs 600 lbs. You need an SAE bellhousing and heavy duty clutch plus a transmission that will bolt up. Even a 4-71 is heavy and you still need the SAE bellhousing/clutch/tranny. A 4-53 would fit in but then you’d be lucky to have the power of the 292. If it was mine, I’d either stay with the 292 or try to find an original.

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  6. Avatar photo Russell Winje

    Well, interesting comments. As the owner of this truck, I will keep these ideas for future reference. The price is wrong though. I have it up for sale for $2250.00.

    I just drove the truck around yesterday then bled the brakes again for drill. This is about the tail end of some of my fleet of vehicles, only a 1961 Chrysler Newport left now, 383, push button torque flight, yada yada.

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  7. Avatar photo Jeff Holmes

    The original engine was a 226 ci flathead 6 rated @94 HP. The reason it worked is that it had gearing like a tractor. Also, the engine bay isn’t all that big. I fit a Ford 390 and now a 300-6 in it. The 300 is a very long engine but thanks to the dent in the firewall and being able to place the radiator in front of the brace, it works (barely).
    A nice torquey diesel would be good but with those gears, it would be a screamer.
    1 speed axle is 6.80: 1 ratio. 2 speed is 6.13 and 8.10. Trans first gear is 6.27.
    The 292 is probably the best choice.

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