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Time to settle this: 2R or Champ?

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  • Time to settle this: 2R or Champ?

    I think that this is an important question that should be answered. Which Studebaker that was most beloved of farmers, carpenters, and other tradesmen was better at its job? Would it be the roly-poly 2R or the suspiciously Larkalike Champ. Nothing about aesthetics here. Just pure, honest, practicality.

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    Last edited by Stude Shoo-wop!; 05-06-2019, 05:21 PM.
    Jake Robinson Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - "Daisy-Mae" - she came dressed to kill in etherial green with a charming turquoise inside. I'm hopelessly in love!

  • #2
    I would say the Champ

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    • #3
      Due to the shear Very Large NUMBER of Farmers and Tradesmen that owned "R" Series Trucks, and the very small number of Champs Produced, it is not even a close contest!

      Are the 1955 and later V8 Powered Trucks & Champs a stronger, more powerful Truck, yes but they do not fit your criteria.

      During the heyday for Studebaker Cars, in '49 to 52 and slightly into '53 but much less, the Trucks sold about as fast as they could be built! Maybe they had to put on a 2nd. Shift at the Truck Plant.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 05-06-2019, 06:03 PM.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

      Comment


      • #4
        Tough call, BUT if you're asking, and I think you are, "Which was better at its job?", then the answer would be the Champ. The Champ, equipped with either V8, was a much stronger hauler than the 2R. But beyond that, the underpinnings of both trucks were remarkably similar.
        Mike Davis
        Regional Manager, North Carolina
        1964 Champ 8E7-122 "Stuey"

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        • #5
          Sorry to hijack the thread but are the rear mudguards on the 2R the same as those used on the Champ? I'm looking at getting some spares.
          I love my Champ but I must say for a bulky/rugged looking pick up they can't carry much weight. Helper springs would help a lot. They sure look like they could carry a house.
          Champ for me.
          pb
          Last edited by 63r2; 05-06-2019, 07:33 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 63r2 View Post
            Sorry to hijack the thread but are the rear mudguards on the 2R they same as those used on the Champ? I'm looking at getting some spares.
            I love my Champ but I must say for a bulky/rugged looking pick up they couldn't carry much weight. Helper springs would help a lot. They sure look like they could carry a house.
            Champ for me.
            pb
            Yep, they are the same - and Champ for me as well...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              Due to the shear Very Large NUMBER of Farmers and Tradesmen that owned "R" Series Trucks, and the very small number of Champs Produced, it is not even a close contest!
              I agree. The sales figures for each state it well.

              Craig

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              • #8
                I live in a rural area and have found several people whose dads and granddads had Studebaker trucks back in the day. All were 2R trucks with nobody having a Champ. My neighbor across the road has told me about the 2R his dad had and never knew about Champ trucks until he saw mine.
                Last edited by JRoberts; 05-07-2019, 04:28 AM.
                Joe Roberts
                '61 R1 Champ
                '65 Cruiser
                Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                • #9
                  2R ! Even though I don't have one anymore. (Don't tell my Champ )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is not a good answer to this. It is kind of like the question: Have you stopped beating your wife? If you say no, then it is said, oh you are still beating her. If you say yes, then it is said how long had you been beating her. Or to put it another way, which is your favorite relative? You are behind the 8 ball either way.

                    Having never owned either truck not going to venture in either way.

                    One of my favorite sayings when there is no way to answer something is to quit while you are behind, because you will never get ahead in a discussion like this.

                    Bob Miles
                    Pacific Southwest Zone Coordinator

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                      Due to the shear Very Large NUMBER of Farmers and Tradesmen that owned "R" Series Trucks, and the very small number of Champs Produced, it is not even a close contest!
                      Hold on a second there StudeRich! Those low Champ sales numbers could have been influenced by any number of factors including Studebaker's relatively weak position on the market. To say that the 2R is better on that basis would be a fallacy. I was only making this comparison based upon practicality, remember?
                      Jake Robinson Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

                      1962 GT Hawk - "Daisy-Mae" - she came dressed to kill in etherial green with a charming turquoise inside. I'm hopelessly in love!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stude Shoo-wop! View Post
                        I was only making this comparison based upon practicality, remember?
                        The 2R cab stood up a LOT better. It was designed and engineered to be a truck; not a modified passenger car. For example, the door panels were all metal in a 2R, a opposed to vinyl-covered cardboard in a Champ, and the 2R cab never rusted as bad as a Champ, especially at critical body mounts and support points causing it to sag after a few years. Don't get me wrong, I like the Champs, but if I was an owner-operator back in the day with a fleet of trucks, for sheer longevity, a 2R5 would have been my truck-of-choice when they were new. Proof of that, is look how many 2R's have survived, versus Champs.

                        Craig

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                        • #13
                          The wide body Champ made it easier to install a Cap or a Camper. You could even get a factory "Conestoga Camper" cap!

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                          • #14
                            Craig does bring up a good point: the mounting points on the Champ from the modified Lark cab were a weak spot. I heard this from many folks like Bruce Sandburg. Rust in not a problem usually in Arizona, but after a few years of work the mounting points on the Champ would "oil can" and the cab would sink down. The 2R rust point I have seen is usually at the back of the cab corner.

                            One way the Bruce said to tell if the Champ cab had drop was to check door fit. A Champ with a few miles you would have to lift the door to close it

                            I did say
                            Having never owned either truck not going to venture in either way.
                            But since the post Craig made that point I remembered that weak point on Champ Trucks.

                            Now, to give equal view on the 2R; unless you had the 245 Commander six, the little 170 would get tired with some miles. Granted, most 2R's probably didn't travel the miles 70 years ago and mostly stayed within 10 miles of the home, but the 170 had to work to move all that metal.

                            One nice feature of the 2R was the ease of instrument repair. Instead of laying on your back against a seat, on the 2R all you had to do was open the hood and there you go to fix any instrument.

                            Our chapter has both Champ and 2R's enjoying a easy retirement so they are great for people to see. At a recent gathering showing the cars and trucks, people said they did not know Studebaker made trucks. As things changed, most rural dealers were Studebaker but as urbanization has occurred, most slowly went out of business.

                            2 cents worth, no change given

                            Bob Miles
                            Pacific Southwest Zone Coordinator

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                            • #15
                              FWIW, in a 1983 Turning Wheels article containing a long interview with a former Studebaker dealer in Norton, KS (Norman Walter, I think), the interviewer asked him about Studebaker truck sales. Mr. Walter had high praise for the R and early E series, but said the cab wasn't strong enough on the Champs.

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