Packard Powered: 1946 Studebaker Stock car

Stock car racing is an American heritage, and this ’46 Studebaker is one cool classic racer. Packing a punch from a 4 carb Packard V8, this Studebaker surely has to be a riot to drive. Stored for many years, but ready to drive, this antique stock car could be put to good use. For $5,800 you can experience this neat Studebaker racer. Check it out here on craigslist out of Meredith, New Hampshire. Thanks to AMXBrian for this awesome submission!

The impressive looking Packard V8 sports 4 carbs and runs, but unfortunately this is about all we know. These late 50’s Packard engines were offered in 320 cubes, 352 cubes, and a giant 374 cubic inches. Being a stock car, and featuring a lot of carburation, I would guess (and hope) that it is a 374. But with class rules and other potential aspects, it could certainly be any of the three. It would be great to see more details like the suspension, brakes, and fuel system to see where this car is exactly. Any vintage racer like this will likely need updating to “fit” into a vintage racing organization, but I have also seen cars like this with lights and a license plate as well.

Extremely simplistic, the interior could likely stand some updates to be safe. I do not see any glass in the car other than the windshields. Perhaps modern day lexan would be suitable for this classic? Although this is a stock car, I am willing to bet that this could be a fun autocross car with the necessary work to make it perform in that environment. Also you could drive it to and from autocross events, and depending on your states laws, even put antique plates on it to go to events.

With a potential racing history in Western Vermont and Upstate New York, this Studebaker shows no heavy flaws from its past. The body wears fresh paint and decals, with no apparent rust. The front end appears to be fiberglass, and has been trimmed from the factory body lines. Overall the body appears to be quite straight, so I would guess this one wasn’t balled up in its racing past. While this could be a fun vintage classic to play with, this Studebaker would need a lot of refinement and checking to be suitable for public roads. Although I pose a question, what could be more fun than driving an antique race car?! What would you do with this old racer?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    This thing is so cool. I bet it was quite a handful. I believe the Packard motor was the biggest V8 for the time, and was the basis for AMC V8’s, anyone? This was real racing, not like the crybaby’s of today. These led a rough life and I’m surprised it looks like this. Maybe built and never raced? Belongs in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

    8
    • AMXBrian

      AMC used Packard motors in their cars before they developed their own. If the AMC V8 was based on another company’s engine designed it would have been Kaiser since one of the lead engineers who developed it, David Potter, was a former Kaiser Engineer.

      3
      • Vince H

        Kaiser never had a V8

      • Rick McKee

        AMXBrian nice to see someone who knows their history as well as you do. Vince H. please read what Brian said “it WOULD have been a Kaiser engine if Kaiser had stayed in production here is the US, We all know that US models only came with a flathead six. However production continued in Brazil for a number of years and a V8 was available there as an option.

        1
  2. J.T. WILSON

    This has zero racing history Either it never raced or it has been restored enough to erase any of that history

    8
  3. Dave at OldSchool Restorations Member

    Autocross this ??? are you serious ? It is set up to turn LEFT… not run straight, and definitely not turn RIGHT.

    I went up to New Hampshire and looked this over a couple weeks ago. It is a lonnnngggg way from being able to yard drive… let alone hit the street or track. It’s not been off the lift for years. LOTS of rust on the underside.
    .
    I had to pass, it needs total restoration, other than the paint job, the interior and underside are ruffff …and he said the engine was running but had a valve that is stuck and won’t open…that sounds like a cam lobe, typical for old engines which are started cold without pre-oiling..and then run for a while..
    once you wear the tip, it’s bye-bye lobe.

    Cool project, but looks better than it is

    14
  4. Ikey Heyman Member

    Must be a tribute car or, as suggested above, totally restored. Ever spend time around small town dirt tracks? Did you see cars that looked like this?

    3
  5. Nsuracer

    I met the owner at the SDC meet in South Bend in 1988. I had driven my 46 Stude to the meet from Kansas. He was a good guy and we had lots to talk about.

    3
  6. Will Fox

    Too bd it got carved up for the dirt track. `46 Was Studebaker’s shortest model year because the all-new `47 came out mid year!! “First by far with a post war car!!” The ads claimed. And they were right!

    1
  7. Joe Haska

    I have to agree with JT. Growing up out west this form of, Stock Car Racing was also called Jalopy Racing. Allot of 37 to 40 Fords and some earlier Fords, but many of those were already used up. As Racing changed the Jalopy’s gave way to faster racers, Roadsters, Midgets and Sprint Cars along with later model Stock Cars. The big thing with the Jalopy’s were the cost, they were cheap to build and race. Maybe back east was a little different ,but out here a Jalopy would not be running with that big V-8 in that type of car, However, if it did, it had to be awesome.

    2
  8. PatrickM

    Say what you want, but, I would re-build it back to as close to stock as possible, install a newer V8, upgrade brakes and suspension, new interior. Coker tires (radials that look like bias ply), Flowmasters… and have a HUGE amount of fun.

    1
  9. Rick McKee

    This is a classic old school American stock car and I agree with Howard A. This car belongs in a museum and the NASCAR Hall of Fame museum would be a great place for it.

    2
  10. KawiVulc

    Tie it to a specific driver and/or track and the appeal is much enhanced. As it sits it’s kind of a swing & a miss by about that >< much.

    1
  11. Mike W H

    I dunno, I look at this and I think Carrera Panamerica
    With a few more mods of course
    https://lacarrerapanamericana.com.mx/the-panamerican-race-2018/

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