Rare Project: 1948 Studebaker M5 Pickup

This perfect-patina 1948 Studebaker M5 is the start of a great project.  For sale here on craigslist in Havre, Montana with an asking price of $4,900.  Studebaker trucks of this vintage are a double edged sword.  While the rarity of these trucks makes them unique, restoring one can be difficult due to availability of parts and support of the aftermarket.  If you are looking for an easy restoration, a 1948 Chevrolet or Ford is probably a better choice.  If you’re up for the challenge of restoring a rarer pickup, these old Studebakers are hard to beat.

The ad doesn’t state whether the body was placed on a later model chassis or if the modern parts have been retrofitted onto the Studebaker frame.  As you can see from the picture above, the truck features an aftermarket seat, shifter and gauges.  The engine is a 302cid Ford mated to a C4 transmission.  The ad does say that the master cylinder and brake pedal is not installed, so you’ll have to have your left foot out to stop once it’s going.

The bed has seen some use over the years, but really isn’t in bad shape.  Other than the wavy rear edge, the floor and sides don’t appear to have received any major impacts or be plagued by severe rust.  The ad does say there is a new tailgate included with the truck, but doesn’t say what “new” means.  It would be nice to have a tailgate with the same patina, but new probably means reproduction.

If you’re in the market for a cool patina shop truck or restoration project, this may be the one for you.  It may take a bit of work to get it road worthy, but there seems to be a good start.  The new owner will enjoy finishing this project and hopefully it will be a fun cruiser soon.


WANTED 1960 to 2005 Honda any Looking to buy low mileage original Japanese vehicles for my collection Duncanimports.com. gary dunc Contact

WANTED 1958,1959,1960 Chevrolet Corvette Looking for body and interior for a resto mod project 1958-1960 corvette Contact

WANTED 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne Looking for a 1961 Biscayne in decent shape for an everyday driver. Will also consider Bel-Air Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Papa Martin

    Could be nice…. minus the rust.

    • Ed

      Patina doesn’t do it for me. Just indicates there may be metal under there.

    • Danny

      I need a tailgate for that body style.

      Like 1
  2. RoKo

    There’s no such thing as perfect patina. That truck is a patchwork of different colours and shades of rust. Needs a proper paint job.
    The only thing worse is if some ‘genius’ decides to clear coat the truck as it is.

  3. glen

    Those wheels don’t look right, but I like the truck. It would help, if there were more pics.

    • Mike

      Odd proportions for sure. The tire size vs the bulk of the truck.

    • Jay

      Those are Buick wheels.

    • Bill Wilkman

      Another example of goofy aftermarket wheels on an otherwise intact vintage vehicle. Groan…..

  4. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Yes Glen….lot’s of swapping going on right there….pedals ? That’s a big clue there….love me an old Studie truck….but there is more work here to make a driver out of it.

  5. JW

    This looks like a Studebaker truck body on maybe a extended cab Ranger pickup chassis.

  6. Bill McCoskey

    Wrong bed, not tall enough. Look at the back of the cab, and you can see from the paint line how high the front panel should be. Also, the chrome trim on the side of the hood is from a shoebox Ford Deluxe front fender.

    • Bob

      You are correct about that hood trim but that bed is the correct bed

  7. Mark

    Are those Buick rally’s or Ford Torino rims

    • Jay

      Those are Buick wheels.

  8. Al

    Stick in a 440 with a 6-pack

    • Al

      What I really meant, is stand away from this thing at about 440 yards with a few six-packs or a couple of flats.
      In a couple of hours, try to determine if you really want it?
      It doesn’t look right when sober, but just maybe it might now look better.

  9. Leroy

    Looks like the front wheels aren’t quite centered in the fender openings.

  10. Steve

    I always like to mention to the people I am with at cars shows that my grandpa had one of these studie trucks. The story my dad tells was grandpa whacked a tree with a front fender. He and my dad went to a salvage yard in search of a replacement. Every truck in the yard had bad front fenders. My dad said when they went back up front, the owner told him him that the front and rears were the same. Sure enough, they were!

  11. Del

    I Love it.

  12. Tort Member

    Steve beat me to it. The front and rear fenders were the same. Saying that as stated by Bill the bed is not a Studebaker. The frame looks a little short for the body so probably an S10 or something similar and the small tires really high light that. Learned to drive in a 47 Stude growing up on the farm and think of that truck and wished it was still around. Restoring a 53 Dodge Pilot House half ton at the present and the parts are almost as tough to find as the Studebaker!

  13. Al

    I have a truck like that that I would consider selling in just a little better shape then that one and it’s in California it comes with V6 engine, disc brakes , custome guages, new glass ,custome aluminum gas tank , Genie shifter , and lots more custome work done

  14. Marauder

    Although it’s probably not the case, the top looks like it has been chopped.

  15. lynda m greenier

    if you know any one with a fender for the passinger side fender ty

  16. Bill McCoskey

    If you join the Studebaker Driver’s Club, you will find there are several members who specialize in truck parts.

  17. Fred montgomery

    Let me know if it is still available
    I know it’s an old post
    Thanks Fred

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.