View Full Version : Homemade bumper hitch

05-09-2008, 11:25 PM
I was replacing the rear wire harness in my 1950 Champion recently, so I had to take off the rear bumper. When I got it off, I found this handplaned wooden block, shaped to fit the inside of the bumper. It was held in by the carriage bolt in the photo. He made a hole, apparently with a cutting torch, not quite in the middle of the bumper, to run the bolt through (thanks for ruining the bumper, P.O.!) This car was owned by a farmer for many years, and he cobbled quite a few things together on it. I'm pretty sure that this is some sort of backing plate for a trailer hitch. The part I don't understand is the metal bar. It was mounted horizontally across the top of the wood block. I'm not sure if it was intended as a stiffener, or some sort of spring. The old farmer seems to have been more familiar with Studebaker wagon technology than he was with horseless carriages.


1950 Champion 4 Dr.
Holdrege NE

05-10-2008, 06:00 AM
People used to tow things with WAY less hitch, and tow vehicle, and on worse roads, than we do today. Ever see the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz movie "The Long, Long Trailer"? He bought a HUGE "camper" and traded UP to a '54 Merc convertible to tow it with!

We had a friend that had one of those huge trailers he bought in 1961. He and his wife used to haul it around with a 67 Chrysler Newport. After that got rusty he moved the hitch to a 73 Merc 2dr. The hitch had the arms that clamped to the rear axle and was supported by two pieces of chain and flat hooks on the upper edge of the bumper!! Even I thought that was unsafe, but he insisted no, the trailer dealer said it was fine, so it must be! He never did have a problem with it.

I sometimes chuckle when I see what people tow with today- usually WAY overbuilt[|)] Not a bad thing, except when people are over-cautious and scare people into thinking they need to spend way more than they actually have to[V] Case in point, the "never use a dolly" crowd[:o)]

My Park Ave has a neat Class I hitch. The receiver is basically a 1" flat plate. The hitch is totally hidden when the receiver's out. I'm thinking about adapting it to my Daytona just in case I want to haul a Jet-Ski or something.... maybe even a long, long trailer!:D

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"

05-10-2008, 07:26 AM
BTW- Here's the hitch on my Daytona parts car... looks safe to me!


And here's one from York this year:


Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"With your Lark you're on your own, free as a bird, alive as a Lark. You've suddenly discovered that happiness is a thing called Larking!"

05-10-2008, 11:37 AM
Back in the early '80's I had an '81 Ford Mustang (4 cylinder, 4 speed). I had a 15' fiberglass boat with a 50HP engine and decided I wanted to tow it with the Mustang. I found a heavy big truck spring, cut it off, welded it to a piece of angle iron I bolted to the inside of the bumper (which had that rubber covering), drilled a hole for the ball and I was done. Even hauled my CJ-5 to Nags Head and back with it.

http://thumb14.webshots.net/t/63/663/9/36/86/2567936860097493054TXiheL_th.jpgGuido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful" and real Studebaker horsepower lives

See pictures here: http://community.webshots.com/user/GuidoSalvage

Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

05-10-2008, 11:58 AM
My parents used to have a dolly that they used with an Airstream Sovereign. It attached to the bumper of the car and the trailer was hitched to the dolly. I don't ever recall that they had any trouble with it. Thier '56 Chevy wagon was able to handle the weight of that huge trailer with aplomb. I've found several bumper hitches on my Larks and there's even a home-made one on the '52.

We have come a long way in hitch technology. Sadly, the intellegence of the average driver hasn't improved. In fact, as technology has progressed it seems the intellegence of the drivers has eroded. Whitness the number of idiots who are in the fast lane towing an enormous trailer on a step-bumper at eighty miles an hour![:0] Pick a freeway, they're everywhere.[}:)]

Here's a hitch that came off of my '64 Wagonaire:


It attached where the arrows are. The right and left attached to the bumper mounts. The top, attached to an s-shaped piece that in turn attached to the rear frame cross-member. I've been thinking of using it, though making another cross-piece for it that attaches to the frame on either side.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/december%2006/HPIM0234.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/56%20Parkview%20Wagon/56wagonleftfrontclipped-1.jpg
Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

Dwain G.
05-10-2008, 01:46 PM
I suspect that wooden bumper reinforcement is a part from an old farm wagon. It sort of resembles a cross tree or a spring bar.

Dwain G.

05-10-2008, 11:03 PM
I made a 1 1/2 receiver hitch for my 51 Commander that we pull a tent camper with and it works real well. Of course I bolted it to the frame. We will be pulling it to the nationals this year.

05-12-2008, 11:58 AM
I love it! This is something I have been pondering since ressurecting the Lark. I want to use the Lark as a tow vehicle(once my clutch woes are addressed) for my 13' 1952 Rod And Reel travel trialer. What Ron has is exactly what I need! Anyone, including you Ron, have one they want to let go?