Truck Thursday? 1962 Studebaker Champ

1962 Studebaker Champ Truck

So now that we are finally recovered from our amazing journey to Oregon and back, it’s time to get back to work! We have hundreds of emails to go through and many of those are great submissions. We are doing our best to get through them all and hopefully we will be able to get as many posted as possible, so if you haven’t seen your submission posted yet or haven’t heard back from us, please bear with us! We absolutely love getting submissions from you guys and it is a blast to see what type of stuff everyone is interested in. One of our most dedicated submitters, Jim S, seems to enjoy a little bit of everything and we love to see what oddball finds he digs up. Recently he sent in a number of truck submissions and in his last one he suggested we turn Thursday into Truck Thursday. We think it sounds like an interesting idea, so here is the first Truck Thursday! Check out the 1962 Studebaker Champ Truck that Jim spotted here on eBay, with a $6,500 BIN!

1962 Studebaker Champ

This Studebaker looks to be in great shape and given its story, it’s no surprise. According to the seller it has passed through a number of owner’s hands, but most of them left it parked in their garages. In total it has been in the care of six different people and at this point it has only seen 26k miles. The story goes that the first owner’s wife kept it for 10 years and then passed it on to her son, who put it in a garage and left it for another 10 years. From there it went into the care of a Mr. White, who installed an overdrive transmission and had it repainted. The seller didn’t give exactly how long it was in the original owner’s possession, but the respray doesn’t look that old. Of course this has all been passed on by word of mouth, so it’s hard to say how accurate any of this history really is.

Studekbaker Champ Interior

Studebaker built some great trucks over the years, yet the company is rarely remembered for their work vehicles. The Champ wasn’t the best truck the company ever built, but it was a great little truck for the money and offered owners a lot of nice features. When the Champ came out, the company hadn’t updated their truck lineup in a decade, so this new light duty truck was a welcome addition. Tight financial times required that it be built with existing tooling, so they took the four door Lark, cut it in half, added a back wall to create the cab, and strapped it to a truck frame. The Lark based cab offered car-like comfort and a handsome appearance, but to give it a more rugged and tough look, they designed a new grill. They also introduced a new feature for trucks at the time, a sliding rear window. This one was optioned with A/C, so the original owner must have felt the sliding rear window wasn’t necessary. Overall the interior looks to be in great shape and would be very comfortable, even for those long journeys.

Studekbaker Champ Motor

The Champ could be optioned with several engines, but the most common was the 170 cui inline-six. With 112 horsepower, this engine offered plenty of power, but it turned out to be rather problematic. Many developed cracks in the cylinder head, as a result of poorly adjusted valves. It would seem this one suffered from this design flaw and has been swapped out for a later engine. We aren’t sure if Studebaker ever fully resolved the issue, but as long as this engine is properly maintained, it should provide years of service. The seller claims it is from a 1964 and had new bearings and rings installed, so it is more or less a new engine. They don’t state how many miles it has seen since being installed, but it looks like new to us.

Studekbaker Champ Truck Bed

Overall, this truck looks to be in great shape. It has a little rust starting to form on the bottom edge of the cab and in the tailgate, but these are known to have serious rust issues, so it is rare to find one this solid. We have our questions and concerns about its story, but mostly just to have the seller clarify who did what and when. Looking at this truck, one thing keeps coming to mind. Would this truck be able to tow a car trailer with a barn find on it? It’s a light duty truck and we don’t imagine the brakes are that great, but it sure would make a great truck to pick up any finds with! What do you think? Also, let us know you think of the Truck Thursday idea.

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Comments

  1. Derek F

    Radio Flyer truck!

  2. paul

    Looks cool enough but I got to say that bed looks a little over sized for a Lark nose, something just doesn’t fit.

  3. Wayne

    I love old trucks have had lots of them myself, this one like Paul says that box looks a little odd. Studebaker has built nicer trucks than this model, But boy it sure is in nice shape. Love your truck Thursday idea

  4. Dave

    I think it’s a great looking little truck! I would love to have it. I maybe put some little more flashier wheels on it, but other than that I wouldn’t change a thing.

  5. Paul B

    Love paul’s comment that something just doesn’t fit. It’s the pickup box, which came from Dodge, as Stdebaker didn’t have the money to create a Fleetside-style box of its own. These are fine trucks, definitely cobbled together on the cheap, but with proven components and loads of character. The Lark cab is far more comfortable than cabs of the Champ’s competitors, and it’s true that Studebaker offered the first pickup truck sliding rear window. I hope someone who appreciates this rare truck for what it is gives it a good home.

  6. Dolphin Member

    It looks like that might be the looong bed model. Probably 8 ft but it might not even be that. Anyone know?

    For me the problem would be the temptation to overload it with ‘stuff’. 112 HP is one thing, but it’s torque that turns wheels, and the only figure I could find for the 170 CI engine is 133 Lb-Ft, which could be a tad weak if you’re hauling a full load of almost anything.

    I like the simple, painted no-nonsense front end that doesn’t try to look like a small version of an 18-wheeler. It is what it is, and I like that. If all it hauled was a 24 of my favorite brew I’d be fine with it.

  7. Brian

    For decades, the T cab Studebaker trucks were sort of the “black sheep” of the Studebaker truck family, even the most enthusiastic Studebaker fans would have called these trucks their last choice, behind the classic lines of the M and R series trucks of the late forties and fifties, because of their obvious Lark based cabs and hybrid Dodge beds that just don’t quit line up with the cab. Finally, after the oldest T cabs have now turn 50, they are finding some love! I still believe that this new popularity, at least in the SDC, has less to do with a sudden appreciation for it’s Lark lines and more to do with the increasing rarity and escalating prices of the older trucks. Either way, it is good to see these trucks finally welcomed into the Studebaker collections as more than a beater work truck, not that they were bad at that job either!

  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    The models before this one (especially the M series) have got a lot more appeal than this one. Just the same this one is something worth having.

  9. Henrie

    This truck reminds me of Tupperware. Dependable , no bling , does the job it was intended to do, etc. This one is WOW. Studebaker is very underrated here in South Africa , although there are a club or two

  10. JP

    Always good to see an old truck all cleaned up and driving! LOVE the Truck Thursday idea…

  11. Scott Allison

    Keep on Truckin’ !

  12. Alan (Michigan)

    Kind of cartoonish in appearance somehow. I’d bet that different wheels and chrome (or black at least) instead of the white bumpers and grille/front trim would go a long way towards curing that.

    Basically, to me this is a vanilla bean. No real punch or personality, other than being 50+ years old…

  13. Tom S.

    It’s adorable, though rather oddly proportioned. But “a little rust starting to form”? Rust is like mice. For every one you see running around, ten more are hiding in the wall.

  14. ConservativesDefeated

    Great lttle truck.

    I love the simple red and white paint scheme. For the younger folks believe it or not, there was a time in America when useless chrome doodads and “bling” was anathema to those that bought trucks.

    You wanna be a stylin pimp, buy yourself an Escalade.

    Want to be a straight ahead kind of guy, this is the truck.

    I Wish the oem engine came with it, nonetheless with the overdrive, freeway here you come.

    If this was on the Left Coast I’d look at it

  15. TuckerTorpedo

    What a pleasant reminder of how simple American trucks once were, as others have already stated. Basic. Easy to work on yourself with basic tools. Mechanical problems can be diagnosed in your garage or by the side of the road. Not trying to look like a semi tractor coming at you in your rear view mirror. Not trying to impress as an aggressive macho statement. Honest.

    Now go look at the new 2015 $50,000 Ford F150.

  16. fred

    Already has bids up to $6000. Can’t believe someone doesn’t, for another $500, just hit the Buy it Now button and get a (purportedly) 26k mile vintage truck with air for $6500.

  17. Jesse Staff

    SOLD! It went for $6,000 with 33 bids.

  18. stanley stalvey

    I really like the red with white wheels and trim. This is exactly how I would paint this truck. Oh Boy.! Look at the size of that bed.! This would haul any kind of camper top or camping trailer. That would be ideal… Love it.. Great article, too.!

  19. Mike

    When growing up in a little farm town in Missouri, I remember a man named Bevo, yes that was his name. He owned a repair shop that made repairs to farm equipment, anyway he owned a truck just like this one, including the LOOOONNNGGG bed, and I will guarantee it was 8′ long, because I have seen him with a Massey Fergusons wheat drill in the back of it, and they were 8′ long. Bevo had this truck way up until he passed away in his 90’s. The other thing that he owned was a 1/4 scale Peerless Steam engine that he built from scrap laying around his shop and it worked. Memories from my younger days.

  20. stanley stalvey

    I travel a lot and in the past 6 months have seen 2 of these trucks in Nevada. One was in Ely and the other in Elko, Nevada. I spun around instantly and took pictures of both. I just love old Studebaker cars and trucks.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Well, share the photos then, OK? :-D

      • stanley stalvey

        Sure, I’m always delighted to share pictures. Tell me where or how or who to send them and I’ll track them down for you. It might tke some time because I have near 20,000 photos and over 100 files for them. Plus, I’m geting a little senile in my old age. hahaha..

    • Alan (Michigan)

      You can post them right here. Just use the “Browse” button just below the “Upload Image” wording underneath the sign-in slots. It is easy…

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