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Thread: Potato Truck tailgate

  1. #1
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
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    Potato Truck tailgate

    I've seen the Idaho Potato commercial a few times, but this morning I noticed something for the first time, the bed is designed so the tailgate rests flat and flush against the back.

    For the oldtimers, this is a dumb question, but I didn't realize I'm used to seeing tailgates only held flat by chains or hinges, not ones that are designed to rest flat towards the ground.

    I haven't seen if the truck has a rear bumper or if the flush rear tailgate is only because it doesn't have a rear bumper.

    Anyone wish to fill me in on this idea of a tailgate laying completely flat against the bed?

  2. #2
    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
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    Normally the bumper prevents the tailgate from dropping all the way down. I have seen the commercial myself and noticed that. I think the bumper has been removed.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

  3. #3
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Rear bumpers were optional on the trucks. Without the bumper, the tail gate will pivot straight down if you don't hook the chains on. That feature was not unique to Studebaker of the era.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

  4. #4
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
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    I was looking at pics, and I could see that there were trucks w/o the rear bumper and that was how the tailgate would lay flat, it's just one of those interesting things to notice about 'how it was done' back then. Like the optional side view mirrors 'n such.
    With the tailgate flat like that, looking at that makes me think, 'fold out step' from the inside of the tailgate like the Wagonaire had.

  5. #5
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    My Champ has a rear bumper that's designed to let the tail gate drop all the way down. DCP03737.JPG
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeoH View Post
    I was looking at pics, and I could see that there were trucks w/o the rear bumper and that was how the tailgate would lay flat, it's just one of those interesting things to notice about 'how it was done' back then. Like the optional side view mirrors 'n such.
    With the tailgate flat like that, looking at that makes me think, 'fold out step' from the inside of the tailgate like the Wagonaire had.
    Such a fold-out step was available for R and E series pickups as AC-1869. It could also be mounted on the outside of the bed, in front of the rear fender. I have one around here somewhere.

  7. #7
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    My Champ has a rear bumper that's designed to let the tail gate drop all the way down. DCP03737.JPG
    Nice. Any idea if these are still being made? Just curious.

  8. #8
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    They actually had a fold down step shown in some of the accessory manuals for the trucks - was shown on the inside of a straight folded down tailgate.

  9. #9
    Golden Hawk Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    My Champ has a rear bumper that's designed to let the tail gate drop all the way down. DCP03737.JPG
    Interesting, as many of that type as I have seen on Champs, and always wondered why you would not want the traditional STEP Bumper and the full width extended protection, but I never thought of the rare case where you are hauling sand or gravel and want to just dump it with the tail Gate down, that bumper is handy for that.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner



  10. #10
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    Yup,and would allow you too back up tight to a loading platform without the length of the gate in the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    Interesting, as many of that type as I have seen on Champs, and always wondered why you would not want the traditional STEP Bumper and the full width extended protection, but I never thought of the rare case where you are hauling sand or gravel and want to just dump it with the tail Gate down, that bumper is handy for that.
    Joseph R. Zeiger

  11. #11
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
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    I watched the commercial closely this time and I noticed the covered tailgate chains secured on the bedsides when he and the dog were a settin' on the truck bed.

  12. #12
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    The only problem with that on the P2 box is that the gate is only a couple of inches from the ground. If you are backing up and pass a high spot, you'll fold the tailgate up. Likewise with the bed empty and loading something heavy, you might have the load partially supported by the tailgate. Just be careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    Interesting, as many of that type as I have seen on Champs, and always wondered why you would not want the traditional STEP Bumper and the full width extended protection, but I never thought of the rare case where you are hauling sand or gravel and want to just dump it with the tail Gate down, that bumper is handy for that.
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

  13. #13
    President Member LeoH's Avatar
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    ooooch, that sounds like the voice of experience recollecting there Ron.

    I can see what you're describing for sure.

  14. #14
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    So far, only loading an engine and trans with the gate down. Do damage beyond some scratched paint.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeoH View Post
    ooooch, that sounds like the voice of experience recollecting there Ron.

    I can see what you're describing for sure.
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

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