Rare 1937 Studebaker Coupe Express

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When one hears or reads the name “Studebaker” there is a good chance that images of the early ’50s “Bulletnose” sedan are the first thing that comes to mind. Here’s a bit of a twist on the Studebaker theme, a 1937 Coupe Express pickup truck. This partially restored example is located in Ancaster, Ontario Canada and is available here on eBay for a current bid of $10,800, reserve not yet met.

The Coupe Express was a pickup truck based on a passenger car platform (like a current CUV?) and produced between 1937 and 1939. There were about 5K examples assembled over the three-year model run so this is a pretty rare vehicle.

So what’s the word on this Coupe Express? Not enough, unfortunately, as the seller has included little to no detail with the accompanying images. And that’s unfortunate as this Studebaker has undergone quite a bit of restoration and metalwork so a complete story would not only be interesting but would certainly help with the sale. From what can be seen, the steel is very straight and in either a slight surface rust patina, primer or even paint in the case of the passenger-side door. The metalwork is pretty straight, maybe a few alignment issues but this is a work in progress. The non-chrome bumpers are in place but much of the trim isn’t and there is no word regarding its availability or whereabouts. Curiously, there are images of a Studebaker four-door sedan included too but there is nary a word regarding it in this write-up of few words listing. Is it a parts car? Included with the sale? An additional project? Don’t know, an inquiry would have to be made.

Frequently, a major obstacle to pickup truck renewal is what to do with the bed. Wooden ones can be more easily constructed if the steel runners and cross beams are intact. An all-steel bed can present another set of challenges but the bed in this Studebaker looks quite sound and the seller refers to it and the tailgate as new. The bed even has stake pockets!

Inside is a work-waiting-for-progress. It has been stripped with just the minimal components in place. The basis for a sound interior is in place but there are a lot of missing components including, at the least, the driver’s footwell but instruments, door cards, door glass, etc. are nowhere in sight either. Again, maybe the sedan plays a part? This would be of concern, if the interior bits are not available, tracking them down could be the search of the century.

Under the hood is a Studebaker 217.8 CI, inline, flathead, six-cylinder engine, developing 86 gross HP. The seller claims, “This truck has been running, working has been started,….” Certainly not very descriptive but at least the motor starts and runs. How well it runs and drives is another matter to be discovered. The view of the engine shows some obviously missing parts like the air cleaner assembly and the radiator hoses being the most noticeable.  The only mechanical enhancement that the seller mentions is the installation of a new master cylinder. There is a three-speed manual transmission backing up the engine.

This Coupe Express would make for a fantastic project – so much of the heavy lifting has already been done. And the fact that it is a rare model and not the traditional Ford or Chevrolet adds to its attraction. Yes, agreed there are many unknowns but eleven bids are willing to take a chance. How about you, have any readers ever jumped into an already started project like this, and if so, how did it turn out?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechsMember

    A lot of potential in this and restoration is the only way to go. Not enough of them around and they were class all the way. A member of our club restored one when he was in his 80s. Lucky enough he had a few years to enjoy it before he had to leave it to another caretaker, who happened to be his grandson…

    Like 49
  2. Tom Bell

    Well said, geomechs. A wonderful piece of automotive history here that deserves to be resuscitated as original.

    Like 7
  3. Bob C.

    Pre El Camino and Ranchero. Studebaker was looking ahead.

    Like 5
  4. JohnfromSC

    Very reminiscent of the late 30’s Hudson Terraplane pickups.

    I’m wondering, based on the write up, if perhaps more parts are just in boxes. And I goota believe the dash gauges standard Studie.

    Like 6
  5. Andy

    An incredible vehicle that deserves a full restotation.

    Like 3
  6. charles jacobson

    I have a friend with a barn full of Studebaker parts,is anyone interested?

    Like 2
    • Derek Carter

      I might be interested in getting touch with with your friend. Always looking for a few Stude parts!

      Like 0
  7. BR

    I want to slap the first person that says “bag & slam, rat it with a Cummins”.

    Like 2
    • Age A

      “bag & slam, rat it with a Cummins”. …You going to slap a 87 yr young Grandmother?

      Like 2
  8. Puhnto

    1937 Studebaker pickups are some of the pettiest pickups ever made!

    Like 6
  9. stillrunners

    Yes on the long list….it was said my grandpa had one for a shop truck….must have been a little after this little wrecker out side the family shop.

    Like 3
  10. stillrunners

    a guess a picture would help….

    Like 5
  11. Paul L Windish

    IMHO. one of the prettiest pick ups ever made.

    Like 4
  12. Mountainwoodie

    Stillunners: What is that? A 1913 Olds? Cut down rear deck?

    Pretty cool. Aa for the Coupe Express I suppose the seller thinks whoever wants it will know what they’re getting……………..maybe

    They”re darn pretty trucks though. Of a similar vein there used to be a ’42? Hudson Express parked outside the House of The Blues in New Orleans when it first opened up. I’m not usually envious of others, but I was of that guy!

    Like 2
  13. Claudio

    As life goes
    The old are on their way out
    And
    The young take over
    Our turn came and went
    Not too many youngsters have interest in the old jalopies
    And not too many okd timers are gamers …
    So , this truck will get an LS and all the works and it will be driven cause you cant drive with no brakes, no power and no handling …

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechsMember

      You have to give young people more credit. I’ve met lots of kids just out of high school who want nothing more than to see them original. I was once part of the hot rod crowd back when I bought my ’47 Ford pickup. I was going to pull that flathead and drop in an SBC. But an interesting thing happened that changed my life forever.

      My dad was a veterinarian and we lived in town or just outside of town. People would stop by and pick up vet supplies. One day, shortly after I brought the ’47 home, a guy stopped in for some calf medicine. He saw the old truck parked at the curb and then proceeded to tell me about it. It was the first NEW truck he and his brother owned. His brother has used it twice in the middle of the night to rush his wife to the doctor’s office to deliver his first two kids. I found that interesting as I was in 8th Grade with the oldest boy at that time. The guy (Ed) asked me what I planned to do with the old truck. I made my mind up right then and there that my ‘New’ truck was going to be restored bone stock, right down to that ugly green color that ALL trucks of that vintage were painted. I drove the wheels off that truck for a number of years before I decide to restore it. I had hoped to one day give Ed a ride in it but Ed (and his brother, Albert) passed away all too soon. But I sometimes have a strong feeling that Ed is looking over my shoulder as I work on the relic…

      Like 3
  14. charlieMember

    And, it will still look COOL! There are probably enough in museum condition sitting in some museum somewhere that this is not like sacrificing one’s only child.

    Like 0
  15. Gohbec

    Would love to hear it run! In my dad’s barn he has 2 flathead 6’s next to his ‘39 CE. He pulled the original out and put in an 8 of some sort. Don’t know why he has two. Found a spare instrument panel last weekend. Real beveled glass I think. Love the old Studes!

    Like 0

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