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So I finally bought it: 1955 E12

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  • So I finally bought it: 1955 E12

    Seen here: https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2019/0...comments-block

    I drove 4 1/2 hours to look at it back in January. He said I was the first one to come look at it. That surprised me, being listed on craigslist, on the Truck Forum (though I never found a thread on it), nationally on Hemming's, and being linked here. The price was more than I was comfortable with, especially after visiting it. In the main photo, if you look closely, there is a little black patch on the cowl. That was duct tape covering a rust hole. Well, on the passenger side it is even bigger. And rusted through both layers--I think you can see the glove box!
    It is a 3/4 ton, wished it was a 1/2 ton. Holes in the driver's floorboard. Tailgate and header panel pretty thrashed.

    But the seat has been recently re-upholstered. Two armrests. Two sun-visors. And a big plus: The radio plate to install a radio! He has receipts for all the stuff he purchased and had done to it. Just the 5 tires and 5 wheels made with the original centers on new rims cost over $1800.
    It has been converted to 12 volts. The gauges kinda work. But the wiring is a mess. A lot of original, with a lot bypassed with new stuff patched in. It seems to freewheel, but he said the overdrive wasn't working. He has a switch on the steering column that has something to do with the overdrive, with bare wires on it. The engine, per the stamped number is a '62. He said it uses so much oil, that they were buying 5 gallon buckets of 50w at Tractor Supply. It does smoke going down the road, but seems to be OK exhaust at idle.
    So over the course of the months I occasionally would up my offer a little. I really thought someone would buy it before me. We finally came to an agreement on price. Borrowed my Dad's baby he bought new: Dodge Ram with Cummins diesel and manual transmission. I don't know how he ever pressed the clutch on this beast! He's a little guy (he had a block cable-tied to the pedal) and it was all I could do to depress it. Borrowed a trailer (thank you Dave and Annie!), and headed to L.A. Did I say this was the first time I had trailered a vehicle? Plus going over the Grapevine Got great fuel mileage.

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    Now, see the kid in the red shirt? That's the same kid with the pink legs sticking out under the car in my signature photos. That's our son, just nine or so years later. He has taken an interest in Studebakers and cars in general. So we're going to work on this together. TOGETHER. I hope! We have our differences, hopefully we'll grow together.
    Plans are not for a restoration. Put a Larkshine on it. Looks like it was probably Bell Telephone green with black rear fenders. Fix the grille panel, re-paint it original off-white(?). Make it a reliable driver (it aint now). Keep the duct tape over the holes in the cowl (what else can you do?)
    So I'll update progress on it here, but post my technical questions in separate threads. Just checked: $48 dollars for the buildsheet! Wow! Gotta have it, though. Too much curiosity for me.

    So what about the 48 Champion Starlight (sorry, Gary) in my signature photo? Well, life happens. It was just about roadworthy nine years ago. Then life happens. We adopted our daughter 8 1/2 years ago. Etc., etc. Haven't touched it since. Here she is today:
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    So, we'll see where this goes. I am young enough, poor enough, and healthy enough that I still work full time and some Saturdays, so between family, church, and paychecks, progress will be slow. Oh, yeah, I procrastinate, too. Hopefully, we'll get far enough on this, that we can resurrect the 48 Champion sometime.
    Thanks for listening.
    Last edited by kurtruk; 05-11-2019, 10:45 PM.
    KURTRUK
    (read it backwards)




    Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

  • #2
    That's a mighty fine looking truck. I hope you and the boy enjoy the experience of working on it together. He will enjoy it more if he has a part in the "Larkshine". Maybe your daughter will want to get in on it also. Good luck with it!

    Comment


    • #3
      The 55 Studebaker is a great looking truck. We had one on the farm. It was a big Truck. A two ton. Sold at my Grandpas estate auction. Wish I would have bought it now. Back then I had very little money and I had just inherited the 51 in my signature photo so I didn’t think I wanted it or more importantly could afford it.....
      1962 Champ

      51 Commander 4 door

      Comment


      • #4
        Congratulations, Kurt; 'way cool all the way around.

        '55 V8 pickups are special indeed; 'good to see that one in comparatively good condition (it wouldn't be extant here in the rust belt!) has survived and found its way into appreciative hands. Have fun and all the best. BP
        We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

        Ayn Rand:
        "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

        G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Good story. Good luck with the truck.
          Skip Lackie

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tsenecal View Post
            That's a mighty fine looking truck. I hope you and the boy enjoy the experience of working on it together. He will enjoy it more if he has a part in the "Larkshine". Maybe your daughter will want to get in on it also. Good luck with it!
            I love it. Your chosen screen name and the truck go together in a very excellent way! From the way your interest was ignited in the truck, your negotiations, and the road-trip to retrieve it confirms that it is a journey that was meant to be! For many of us, we can only understand such road-trip tales within our own familiar environment. Which often means we don't really comprehend the true experience. California is so expansive, and I have only been there briefly and by air. My experience was from airport, taxi to hotel, taxi to military base, etc., on the way to and from Vietnam.

            So, I had to google the grapevine...beautiful topography but great potential for "white-knuckle" driving. Especially, when inexperienced towing a trailer loaded with your newly acquired precious treasure.

            To me, the '55s with their bold hood badges are the most attractive of the lot. But, for the most part, all years of the "C" cabs are truly "honest" vehicles. I use the term honest because they are simple, rugged, vehicles with no pretense of being anything other than a truck. No fragile parts ('cept for maybe the somewhat flimsy, easy to abuse, tailgates). No sissy suspension ride/comfort compromises, nor excessive noise insulation, lumbar supports, or soft components. Just a basic rugged vehicle very suited for calloused hands.

            So, take your time, work at your leisure, enjoy the journey. Mine began in 1975 and continues. Hope yours is as rewarding.

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            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              A friend took a 3/4 ton, changed the axles and springs to those fronm a 1/2 ton, and he had a very nice riding truck when done
              Milt

              1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
              1961 Hawk 4-speed
              1967 Avanti
              1961 Lark 2 door
              1988 Avanti Convertible

              Member of SDC since 1973

              Comment


              • #8
                Overall, looks very solid and a great way to keep the youngin's involved. Nicely done. Bob

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great story, Kurt!

                  I'm a wheel and tire "snob", and those wheels and tires are just right on the truck. They fill the wheel wells properly and define the truck as a truck.

                  I personally wouldn't even consider Larkshine. Patina is in. That truck has all original, well earned, good looking patina. It will get more attention at a car show than the shiny ones (especially if you throw a couple of bales of hay in the bed and show up in your best coveralls and straw hat ).

                  The oil burning could be something as simple as valve stem seals. In any case, mechanical parts for virtually any post war Studebaker are available and inexpensive. You and the kids will have fun finding and fixing any mechanical problems it has or develops.

                  Thanks for posting the story, and the link to the Hemmings article. Pretty special to own a "Find of the Day"!
                  Dick Steinkamp
                  Bellingham, WA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Congrats on owning the ne plus ultra of Studebaker pickups. The 1955 retains the best of the original Bourke C-cab styling, but adds the one piece windshield, large rear window and most important, the unbreakable 224" V8.

                    As has been mentioned, a good tuneup, including new spark plugs, plug wires, cap, rotor, points and condensor, will let you know what's there. While the spark plugs are out, do a compression test. Replacing valve stem seals is next on the agenda.

                    The spring eye bushings are usually pounded out, but an easy, inexpensive fix.

                    Before deciding power steering is a must, practice the habit of always getting some forward or rearward motion before trying to turn the steering wheel.

                    jack vines, who's driven a '55 E12 for almost forty years.
                    PackardV8

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good luck with it. You don't find them in that condition around here (even 30 years ago). Your towing pickup also appears to be an antique without rust.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        After studying your pictures closely it looks like your rust problems are minor. I was lucky that my truck came from further south in California (by way of Mississippi), but I would have bought one like that. I think you will find that the original color was a bit less gray than Bell Telephone green.
                        "In the heart of Arkansas."
                        Searcy, Arkansas
                        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                        1952 2R pickup

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by unclemiltie View Post
                          A friend took a 3/4 ton, changed the axles and springs to those fronm a 1/2 ton, and he had a very nice riding truck when done

                          I like this! we'll see...
                          KURTRUK
                          (read it backwards)




                          Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp View Post
                            Great story, Kurt!

                            I'm a wheel and tire "snob", and those wheels and tires are just right on the truck. They fill the wheel wells properly and define the truck as a truck.

                            I have mixed feelings on them. But they're staying. The tires are nearly new.

                            I personally wouldn't even consider Larkshine. Patina is in. That truck has all original, well earned, good looking patina.

                            Just want to take the light colored oxidation off.

                            The oil burning could be something as simple as valve stem seals.

                            That would be nice!

                            Thanks for posting the story, and the link to the Hemmings article. Pretty special to own a "Find of the Day"!
                            Just puzzling why, with nationwide exposure, and being located in the car-crazy mecca of Southern California, that no one moved on it.
                            Last edited by kurtruk; 05-12-2019, 10:37 PM.
                            KURTRUK
                            (read it backwards)




                            Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                              Congrats on owning the ne plus ultra of Studebaker pickups. The 1955 retains the best of the original Bourke C-cab styling, but adds the one piece windshield, large rear window and most important, the unbreakable 224" V8.

                              As has been mentioned, a good tuneup, including new spark plugs, plug wires, cap, rotor, points and condensor, will let you know what's there. While the spark plugs are out, do a compression test. Replacing valve stem seals is next on the agenda.

                              The spring eye bushings are usually pounded out, but an easy, inexpensive fix.

                              Before deciding power steering is a must, practice the habit of always getting some forward or rearward motion before trying to turn the steering wheel.
                              Yes, you mentioned this issue in the original Forum thread on this truck. Don't want to strain or flex anything on the front end. I have found it necessary to have the truck moving to turn the steering wheel. I AM using the "necker-knob" the previous owner(s) installed. It helps.

                              BTW: In case you missed it, it has a '62 289 in it.
                              KURTRUK
                              (read it backwards)




                              Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

                              Comment

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