Heavy Metal: 1952 Studebaker

left front

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Old army trucks look very much alike to most of us perhaps, although they were built by many different companies. This Studebaker listed on craigslist in Odell, Nebraska is in need of brake, electrical and transmission work, but it sure looks nice in the picture and it’s a lot of truck for $4,000. It would be nice to know some of the history of this truck. Is it perhaps an unfinished restoration? It looks like it would be a great toy but what could one do with this thing? A big thanks to Jim and Cindy for finding this big Studebaker!

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  1. jim s

    looks like the former BF project MGB GT in the background.

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  2. Matt Tritt

    And to the left of the deuce and a half is a 57 Stude pickup with fiberglass grille.

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  3. randy

    Not what I expected to see when I opened up this entry. I would have lost money on a bet as well. Who’da thunk. Still learning. I wonder how many were made, and if any saw action.

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    • Ed P

      Studebaker built trucks for use in WW2. The Russians used them to resupply their army. They credit Studebaker trucks as a key element to winning the war.

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      • randy

        Still learning, thanks for all of the great info.

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  4. Wayne Thomas

    This is a Stude with Tude right here.

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  5. Rick

    It would be nice for someone of means to make this 100% and donate it to the WWII museum in New Orleans.

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    • randy

      Even though it’s a ’52?

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  6. Jeff V.

    Only 4K$, my roommate got 200$ for scrap on a Kia. This has gotta b just above scrap value??? I like it!

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  7. Charles

    The gearing on these trucks are unbelievable! A house moving company in South Georgia used one of these fitted with a 5th wheel to haul their rig when moving a house or other large building. They moved a 3000 square foot farm house for me in the late 80’s and the old truck pulled the rig like it weighed nothing. We did not have to remove anything out of the inside of the house. We ran extension cords from a generator sitting on the porch to the freezer and fridge to keep everything cold. It was educational and entertaining to watch the process. The home was lifted off of its foundation, moved 0.25 miles, set on a new foundation, and we were back in the house in one week. This truck looks like a nice example!

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  8. 1969Deuce

    This really does look original. Many were upgraded to multi-fuels, but there’s no stack on the passenger side that would be tell-tale. If that’s right, this is probably a Continental gasser, which was a great over the road engine. It’ll be 4 speed instead of the newer 5 with overdrive (easy bolt-on upgrade for much better speed.). Grille is right for the early years as is the color and general markings, but I’d like the yellow bridge plate in the more customary position toward the passenger’s side of the grille. It’s meant to be read by traffic control to tell the weight before crossing a bridge and the MP would likely be on the passenger side.

    It’s not the transmission that’s the problem with the popout in high, but the transfer case. Very common worn gear problem and a $300 – $800 part, depending on whether you go take out or rebuild. Surprisingly straightforward swap with the right lifts. Passenger seat out, trans tunnel cover off, and lots of grunting and greasy golves.

    If it’s original, it’s probably a Sprag which engages the front drive automatically. That can be pain unless it’s adjusted properly. It would be worth making it an air shift that you control manually from the cab while you’re doing the transfer case, or just save a bunch of money and find another good take-out Sprag.

    Price seems fair and the fixes mentioned are just part of owning these trucks. Wheel cylinders, air packs, master cylinders, light switches. . .

    Very nice starting point. I wouldn’t butcher it or do too much fiddling if my guesses are right because nice gassers aren’t thick on the ground. I’d have to go through it to find out exactly what it needs and decide as I go. Nothing beyond motor pool field expediency or parts on hand.

    If he has the REAL canvas and end curtains in good condition (and not vinyl) for the cargo cover, that’s about $800 that isn’t showing.

    For stats like numbers made and years of service, check out Olive-Drab.com You’ll still see some in Internet snapshots in Afghanistan and Iraq that were commandeered when we left them behind. Same in recent photos of Vietnam doing logging duty along with big brother 5 tons. Poor trucks . . .

    I like it. Good for me that it’s not closer. Can you tell I love ’em?

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    • 1969Deuce

      I’ll risk being guilty of TMI and post a photo of the transfer case gear responsible for the pop-out. It’s simpler to swap the case than to source and replace the gear.

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      • John H.

        1969Deuce, please continue your TMI! I really appreciated your well written description, especially on a military vehicle. I’m surprised that in this condition that some military collector hasn’t scooped it up yet. Maybe if it were a 44 Dodge or GM?

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  9. Walter Joy

    Looks more like an AM General M35 to me

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  10. AlphaRoaming

    Quite scarce compared to other similar WW2 trucks and almost all were exported to Russia, via Iran. There was a thorough article in the Stude Club magazine a few years back

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  11. wcastorMember

    AM General bought the contract from Studebaker when they decided to divest themselves of vehicle manufacturing. Even so, this is a virtual carbon copy of the REO designed trucks, which in fact they were. Both companies had the contract at one time. The WW II M-series based Army truck model US-6 is much different to look at. It has been mentioned here that most of the M-series trucks went to Russia which in fact did copy them. Studebaker is a slang term in Russia meaning “Heavy Duty Truck”. Stalin sent to Studebaker a large leather bound book full of pictures, thanking the Studebaker Corporation.

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  12. Ric Parrish

    We have 2 Stude/Reos 1953 both gassers. Also a 1951 M135. GMC with the Hydromatic trans.

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