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The building (saga) of my 12E7-0127 S100 truck (July 1 update)

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  • The building (saga) of my 12E7-0127 S100 truck (July 1 update)

    The Premise: If Studebaker had continued producing cars past the ’66 model year and somehow managed to increase profits to satisfy the shareholders/Board of Directors, perhaps the company would have elected to offer a line of light-duty pickup trucks to its customers. To this point I’m willing to bet they would only have been able to offer a badge-engineered version of another manufacturer’s truck. With the already established link between Studebaker and GM with the McKinnon engines, and with the remarkably coincidental styling of the ’66 Studebaker car and ’67 Chevy pickup grills, I think the ’67 Chevy pickups would have been the ‘new’ Studebaker pickup.
    I’m thinking that if Studebaker actually did badge engineer a Chevy truck they would have followed the trend of manufacturers naming their trucks by number to differentiate the payload ratings such as C10, C20, C30 for Chevrolet, and D100, D200, D300 for Dodge. So the ‘S100’ would signify that the truck was a Studebaker ½ ton.

    The Build Objectives: this whole build started out as a whim on my part to depart the rat-race once I retired. Growing weary of keeping my fleet of 3 vehicles clean, and in tip top shape, plus maintaining my daughter’s cars I wanted to build something cool that I could drive in all weather, something that I didn’t have to keep clean, and something that I didn’t care if I got a scratch or two on…in other words something I could have fun with all the time, any time. Anything I do with this truck is done with the following objectives in mind:
    -it has to look like a ‘farm’ truck that’s been worked hard its whole life.
    -it has to be safe, reliable, and a daily driver.
    -it has to a Studebaker.
    -it has to be low budget
    -it has to be fun, as in fun to build and fun to drive.

    Removing the Roadblocks: So far (in the last 4 years) there have only been two real roadblocks, one expected, the other one rather unexpected. The expected one was Mrs. Junior. Usually she does not put up much resistance with my car shenanigans, but this one was a bit of a struggle. It went something like “Let me get this straight. You have a perfectly good new truck that you bought and said would be good for your retirement years and now you want to sell it, buy a beater, fix that up and call it a Studebaker? Are you CRAZY??” Somehow with a lot of ‘discussion’ I got my way, with one provision, the same one that I’ve had placed on my last few builds…whatever I bought had to be a running/driving vehicle, it wasn’t allowed to be towed home.
    The unexpected roadblock was finding a truck to buy. My list of ‘has to haves’ was not too extensive: 67 to 72 Chevy/GMC truck, long wheelbase, fleetside box, manual transmission. Most candidates were too good, too expensive, too rusty, automatics or not running. It’s not like there were hundreds to choose from in my area and since the demand for these trucks is fairly high most of the jokers selling them, especially the ‘needs some TLC’ ones figured their trucks were worth way more than I was willing to pay. It took about six months of looking, but I found a suitable one at a price I was willing to pay in August of 2016.

    The Successful Candidate: The truck is a 1971 GMC. From the factory it was equipped with a 350 4bbl engine, 4 speed, heavy duty springs and shocks, leaf spring rear suspension, wood box floor. Not much else on the option side of things. Taylor, the guy I bought it from, told me the truck was originally purchased by the Alberta Linseed Oil Company from Medicine Hat Alberta. It served as their shop truck, and judging the ‘custom’ body work by ‘Dent’ I figure it led a hard life indeed. At some point it was stolen, and Taylor bought it as a ‘theft recovery’ unit from an auction. He had put some money and effort into ‘rat rodding’ the truck which included making it LOUD and rolling on coat of black paint…nice and thick…over the factory turquoise paint. New clutch, carb, headers, sparkplugs and wires, aluminum intake, rad, fuel tank, mild cam, rear tires, aluminum wheels, and half-assed exhaust system were the mechanical updates. Cowl induction hood, rolled rear pan, and peep mirrors were the extent of body mods. The interior ‘up grades’ were limited to no-name monster tach and cheesy radio/cd changer bouncing around in the glove compartment.
    A quick spin down the nearby freeway confirmed all systems were intact…well, sort of… and the truck was capable of being driven home. An exchange of cash, paperwork, and licence plates and down the road I went in my new-to-me Studebaker truck.

    Just About 4 Years Later Report: So two months short of 4 years into the project and I’m happy to report that the project is progressing, just not at the rate I had thought. Seems in retirement, just as in the working world, life gets in the way of my car builds. At first, most of the time and money was spent on making the truck safe and a fairly reasonable daily driver. After getting that done most of the effort was spent on turning the truck from a rat rod into a stock looking ’68 Chevy truck. It gets driven all year round…hot, extreme cold, rain, hail, snow, salt… hardly gets washed, and never gets pampered. The engine runs strong, the transmission is worn out but hanging in there. I get all kinds of ‘thumbs-up’ and ‘cool’ comments from all kinds of folks, just about as many as I do with my modified ’54 Stude coupe…go figure. The best part though is I that I love this truck and have a lot of fun driving and working on it. My present focus is keeping it running and transforming it into a Studebaker. At the pace I’m going it may actually be fully converted in the next decade. From time to time I will update this post with what I’ve done to the truck in the last 4 years, and progress on how it’s becoming a Studebaker.

    Cheers, Junior

    The attached photos are the truck as I bought it in 2016
    Attached Files
    sigpic
    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

  • #2
    Looking forward to the next chapter.
    Skip Lackie

    Comment


    • #3
      Very cool, Junior! I love how you are taking a dream and turning it into a reality. I look forward to following your adventures with the S100.
      Mike Davis
      Regional Manager, North Carolina
      1964 Champ 8E7-122 "Stuey"

      Comment


      • #4
        Really cool ol truck !! You done done a lot of writing ( Interesting writing) but near the end you said "the best part is I love this ol truck and have a lot of fun driving and working on it" Bottom Line, that's what it's all about

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. Even though this truck is not a true Studebaker I figured I would create a thread about it because many of you can relate having fun with junk. I find it highly entertaining reading about progress made on other member's builds, both the high $ and low $ ones and many times just reading about their work motivates me to get off my butt and do something on mine. Tasked with modest tools and garage, a short build season, and a CASO mentality adds even more spice to the build.

          Today's chapter (sorry, no photos) documents the first repair I had to make to the truck. As I said in the first post the PO made the truck loud, as in not just loud but LOUD! He said he usually ran around with the headers uncorked and I have no doubt about that. The collector flange to exhaust pipe flange (new-age gasket-less ball and bell ones!) bolts were only hand tight. Once I tightened those properly that led the exhaust noise to be quiet enough for me to hear the next loudest exhaust leak which was the exhaust pipes into the muffler inlets...there was about a 1/16" difference in pipe size and the shop that built the system tried to take up the gap with u-bolt style clamps! So, out comes the welder, drop the pipes and mufflers, weld them together, reinstall and go for a test spin. Well, no more exhaust leaks, the truck is somewhat quieter but wait a minute, what's that terrible squeaking noise?? Back to the garage, back up on stands, and back underneath the truck...to discover the rear u-joint is about ready to fall apart. The needle bearings were either MIA or turned to dust...the cross was so worn and shiny that you couldn't see a defined edge where the trunnions were machined. Ok...new joint installed...so far so good. Sure happy that joint didn't break when I was testing the trucks 'burn-out' ability.

          cheers, junior
          sigpic
          1954 C5 Hamilton car.

          Comment

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