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Rear-Mounted 454 V8! 1950 Studebaker Champion

This 1950 Studebaker Champion is running and driving with a rear-mounted big-block V-8 and abundant patina. The rat rod of your dreams is available for a Buy it Now price of $9,995 here on eBay near Indianapolis, Indiana. It will be a big loss for the seller.

The miracle of this car is that somebody put in the hundreds of hours necessary to make a front-engined car work with rear-mounted power. The job was apparently done well enough (with $180,000 spent, via a California hot rodder) that it drives quite well. The emphasis was on getting it to go, and some aspects of the vehicle – such as the gigantic rear wheel cutouts and the commercial rear bumper – are pretty ugly. The specs indicate rapid transit were the main goal. The engine is a big-block 454 Chevy with a 475 turbo automatic, connected to a Dana rear and independent rear suspension. This Studebaker originally came with a 2.8-liter straight-six producing all of 85 horsepower, so talk about an upgrade. The engine and some of the mounting components are reportedly from a 1979 Revcon motorhome, which also gave up some huge rear disc brakes. Instead of a proper exhaust system, there are Bassett BBC boat headers with four-inch pipes. This Studebaker is going to be loud!

The cooling system alone must have been a giant headache, but the owner – a retired oral surgeon – says it never gets hot. The radiator is from a one-ton Chevrolet crew cab truck, and the vehicle gets additional cool air from a big duct that runs all the way back from the front grille. As the good doctor says, “Look at it. Ever seen anything crazier??? If you don’t want attention, don’t buy this.” Needless to say, it’s one of a kind. The photographs are, frankly, awful. It’s hard to see either the engine or the minimal interior clearly. A pity that so much money was spent, with no additional investment in good visuals. The bucket seats and carpets are said to be new.

The doctor is colorful, and he’s got a point when he says, “If you don’t buy this one, try to build one. Good luck.” He adds, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with this car that I’m aware of.”

So what would you do with this beast? Paint it up pretty? Drive it as is? Enter it at Pebble Beach? There are videos that show the beast running here and here. They were taken before the rear bumper was in place.


  1. Big_Fun Member

    This….this is the original “Dr. Frankestude’s Monster”. I’m sure the neighborhood is all in an uproar over this monstrosity.
    A lot of money went into making this look so bad…
    And many root canals were performed to make this happen….

    Like 9
  2. Jeff D.

    Where is the Roadkill gang when you need them?

    Like 10
  3. Air Boss

    Ought to do well at the 24 Hours of LeMons

    Like 5
  4. Allen Hallman

    18,000.00 not 180,000.00 Jeez

    Like 14
    • bry593

      1,800 not 18,000…. Geez!

      Like 4
  5. Classic Steel

    Okay the money is placed in a bag in the middle.
    Then in true road warrior style seller and. buyer vie for the middle with no rules 😂
    Winner or survivor take all 😉😜🤔🥺

    Kidding of course and my local blue and
    Neighbors aint gonna dig the LOUD exhaust 😂

    Like 2
  6. Justin

    I dont see much more than the asking price and a lot of beer. It’s very cool but no way its very $$$$.

    Like 5
  7. Ikey Heyman

    This is something I’d rather borrow for a weekend than own – I’m thinking the fun factor might wear off pretty quickly.

    Like 12
  8. Brad

    Interesting build, but if the owner put $18k into this, he would have been better off to put it into something else. Looks like a hack job – have a look at the photos on the auction, and answer me this – what’s with the quality pop can strapped close to the alternator with a hose going into the can? Couldn’t have been hard to find a proper container from a donor vehicle. I can appreciate custom builds, but it is sketchy stuff like this that makes me wonder where else corners were cut?

    Like 2
    • Big_Fun Member

      No no, – that’s something mimicked from the 60’s. “Kool Fuel” “Cool Fuel” are some of the names I’ve seen on the side of these radiator overflow “Cans”. That is done on purpose.
      I’ll try and find a picture or a link.

      Like 1
    • Glenn Schwass Member

      If you waych the video, you see there is no firewall behind the seats. I don’t think I could get that road legal here in PA.

      Like 0
  9. Chebby Member

    …aaaaand these days it would be worth more as a suicide-door survivor.

    Like 1
  10. Neil G

    Obviously inspired by his Hot Wheels car collection.

    Like 2
  11. Scott 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    You say patina , I say rust

    Like 6
  12. Solosolo UK ken tilly UK Member

    I hope it was a piece of scrap before he converted it into a piece of junk! $18k down the toilet would have been a much less arduous task.

    Like 2
  13. Arby

    Gives patina a bad name.

    Like 1
  14. Barry Traylor

    I have said this before, but I will say it again. YUCK.

    Like 2
  15. Barney

    You say rat rod of my dreams, I say nightmare

    Like 0
  16. Solosolo UK ken tilly Member

    Absolute desecration of a once fine motor car and the person that did it should be shot with a ball of his own you know what.

    Like 3
  17. The Chucker

    12 pack + plasma cutter = this.

    Like 3
    • Brent

      Took a heck of a lot more than a 12 pack to create something like that. A sh*t load of drugs were involved too no doubt.

      Like 2

    I like this thing don’t get me wrong, however there are a few things that need to be addressed. First there is no speedo on this car. Then what is up with that hideous rear bumper? looks like the rear is heavy and it would lift at speed?
    Looks unfinished with no sheet metal separating the driver from the engine compartment. So its an unfinished project that still needs a lot of work.

    Like 2
  19. John

    OMG. Lidocaine or laughing gas?

    Like 1
  20. Chillywind

    No problems? Hell the alternator is putting out 16 volts! Another one of those ideas that was (seemed) good on paper but just didn’t turn out.
    Cant wait to see where this one ends.

    Like 0
  21. John b

    Looks like the rear end was grafted from a Ford Fairmont?

    Like 0
  22. Jack Quantrill

    An excellent parade car! You can hear it coming a mile away! So ugly, it’s cute.

    Like 0
  23. Philip Bregar

    Mom always said that if you can’t say anything nice about someone/something, don’t say anything at all.

    Like 0
  24. James Martin

    180000? I am in the wrong business. If you can make even 18000 making this pos, you are a talented man. Just to sell the idea to some one.

    Like 0
    • Neil G

      Actually asking $9,995.

      Like 0
  25. canadainmarkseh

    Bahahaha…..!!! No seriously Bahahaha. I think the good doctor should stick to what he knows. And maybe he should stop sniffing so much knock out gas. This is a ruined Studebaker now death trap. Did he at least leave the old engine in it or a big cement block to keep the front wheels on the ground? How does a person get this past a safety inspection. To get insurance and plates. Maybe the good doctor should have given his patience a bit of a discount instead of making this abomination. I say part it out and take the doc’s tools away from him before he hurts or kills someone.

    Like 1
  26. Little_Cars

    Ugh. Looks like parts of a second Stude were used to create the “engine cover.” My guess is rust was used to finish the exterior to cover up the hideous patchwork throughout. Not sure where the Ford Fairmont comment came from…rear looks like Studebaker with a big cow catcher mounted.

    Like 0
  27. Mark M.

    180,000 grand, rather buy a small home, an investment, not that thing.

    Like 1
  28. Ray B.

    Hello.6 months ago I saw the same car on San Diego craigslist for 5500 hundred.Made a 4500 hundred offer but no response then the listing was taken down.

    Like 1
  29. John B.

    Ruined a Studebaker, wasted a perfectly good engine, and spent $180,000. Was this a government sponsored endeavor?

    Like 2
  30. John Mc

    Ruined a Studebaker, wasted a perfectly good engine, and spent $180,000. Was this a government sponsored endeavor?

    Like 0
  31. John

    Nowhere I saw does it say $180,000. The ad says $18,000. You used to be on the radio in CT, right?
    This thing is frightening as well as grotesque!

    Like 0
    • Solosolo UK ken tilly UK Member

      @John. The write up says that he has spent $180.000 on the car.

      Like 0
      • John

        My point is Jim’s writeup says $180,000 was spent. The eBay ad says $18,000.
        I’ll go with the source-

        Like 0
  32. TimM

    I say this all the time!! Someone’s idea of what cool is!! Well it’s not my idea!! I say pull the motor and scrape the rest!! No firewall behind the driver and passenger is unsafe!! Therefore the best thing to do is recycle it!!!

    Like 0
  33. That Guy

    The ebay ad says: “I have over $18,000 invested.” Maybe it was a typo before and he fixed it. But it doesn’t say $180,000 now.

    $18,000 I can believe, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable given the extensive reworking of the car. Now whether it was money well spent is another thing entirely…

    It still needs a lot of work but I think it’s pretty cool so far.

    Like 0
  34. Del

    Turbo jun???k for 10 grand.

    My girl friend would not even get in it.

    Is there only one seat……..???

    Like 0
  35. Dave

    Oh, come on and admit that you’d all love to take this thing to Bonneville and stand on it. Don’t think it’ll do well on the Tail of the Dragon, but it IS a mid-engined engineering exercise.

    Like 0
  36. P Wentzell

    Gee, where to start….”The photographs are frankly, awful.” The subject matter, is frankly, awful. I could go on but it would be pointless, like this unfortunate Studebaker. Sad.

    Like 0
  37. Paul L Windish

    The car is a result of working near and around laughing gas for too long. Just because you could doesn’t mean you should.

    Like 0
  38. Danny W. Casler

    I would love to drive it once in a big empty parking lot! Flat out and sideways like I learned to drive when I was 11 years old in my sister’s rusty old 63 Studebaker Grand Turismo coupe with the 289 4 BBL. V8 with dual exhaust and posi. track, We lived on 300 acres of farm land with 10 to 30 acre fields with nothing on them to run into! Just floor it and start turning the wheel! You can’t roll it on damp grass and flat ground! It sure will beat the body of a rusty car apart though!


    Like 0
  39. V8roller

    Really, one has to admire a chap who can actually get this as far as running & driving.
    Why doesn’t he finish off the little details?
    Maybe he had a fat girlfriend who made the front/rear weight distribution work.
    And now he doesn’t.
    Life getting in the way of a good idea.

    Like 0
  40. chrlsful

    1st they appreciated patina
    next they went for the rat rods
    now its come ta this (U guys don’t get irony?)
    C’mon over my house ta see what’s next !
    8^ 0

    Like 0

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