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New here- Saving a 49 Champion and 63 Champ from the crusher

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  • New here- Saving a 49 Champion and 63 Champ from the crusher

    Hello from central Nebraska. I'm a car guy and in recent years have taken up saving what some call junk from going to the crusher.
    My recent find (s) came from a small farm town a couple hours from home. I found an add for a 63 Champ pickup that intrigued me. Through messages I was told the Champ was spoken form but another car, a 49 Champion 4 door was available. Pics also intrigued me so I made an appointment to inspect and negotiate for the car. A few days later I made the trip and learned that the guy after the Champ was being flaky, the guys getting rid of the contents of the abandoned building liked me and told me I could now make an offer on the Champ. I did what every red blooded American would end up doing... yup ended up with both.

    Neither are pristine by any stretch of the imagination, but worth saving. Here's some pic teasers after some cleaning up.

    Click image for larger version

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    The Champion was last registered in 2002. 6 cylinder, w OD. Not bad. I love some of the cool features of this car including the actual glass lenses on the exterior lighting, quirky side vents and wing windows, truck latch, etc. The good- I was able to get the car running and driving within a couple of days! Clutch and brakes even worked from the get go. Unfortunately, this car was INFESTED with mice. So much so that the door sills and floor pans had considerable rust from the INSIDE. Front seat shot, major damage to engine wiring, and some other nastiness. However, I am making progress. The plan for this one is to make it a neat driver, swapped ruined front bench for buckets, replace door panels and clean her up for cruising. I can't keep everything I save, but this one might stick around for a bit as a cruiser.

    Click image for larger version

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    The Champ was last registered in 1978. I actually found the paper registration in the truck. It's a one owner. 259, 4 speed, 3/4 ton long box. I was also able to get the truck running and driving in short order, but it needs a master cylinder and probably other brake work. It was definitely a farm/work truck but is in good condition for being 57 years old. The doors are off because floor is rotten (gone) at both cab mounts. Box is beat up, but rust free. I am working with the seller to get an updated title for truck. I'll probably get it mechanically sound and pass it on to someone interested in doing a restoration.

    I have to say thank you for the info I've found just lurking. I will undoubtedly have questions and info to share as I bring these back to life.

  • #2

    Welcome to the forum! Thanks for your efforts to save 2 Studebakers. Both can be made into great projects for someone either as is or with a little effort on your part to pass them on. Just be careful not to spend money and effort that you cannot retrieve.

    The only other thought is time is working against you. I have been in Arizona most my life, but I do know that soon, the snow will be flying and probably will delay selling these cars.

    Going to the home page, click on contacts drop down, and go to the local chapters option. On the left side of the page, select Nebraska from the drop down and then search. You will see 4 chapters in your area with contacts. Contact anyone listed. Maybe someone could help with advice or maybe someone would like to get the car and truck before the weather change.

    Good Luck!

    Bob Miles


    • #3
      Kudos for saving these Studebakers. I have a Champ here that could be a twin to yours, except for being green, not red. Cab floors shot, too.
      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


      • #4
        Thanks Guys. You're right, Bob. The unfortunate thing about these cars is that even done to a high standard, they just aren't valuable. I've got a 69 MGC that was my father's and has been in storage for several years for just that reason.
        I'm used to working in the cold. Neat thing... both heat cores in the car are leak free and I have one fan speed for each.


        • #5
          Both vehicles are of more value as survivors. Doing any more then is required to make each a comfortable driver is an exercise in futility. Each seem to fit nicely into that world of cars that are too nice to part out, not valuable enough to sustain a restoration, but just right as a seldom seen survivor, the story of which will lead to a real opportunity to educate those that show an interest.


          • #6
            That '49 Champion Sedan looks to be in very good shape, a SCORE!

            I guess a couple Gallons of Clorox will help that Interior.
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner


            • #7
              All right, all you Cornhuskers jump on this and save a Studebaker.

              Bob Miles


              • #8
                I had a 64 3/4 ton Champ but mine was blue and it was fun to drive and selling it was one of the dumber things I have ever done.

                BTW check your PMs


                \"I\'m getting nowhere as fast as I can\"
                The Replacements.