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Studebaker in South America

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  • Studebaker in South America

  • #2
    Mike, I don't know anything about Studebaker dealerships in Brazil in the 1940s but I am sure Fred Fox would know, or know who to ask. I have a question for you. I worked three dry seasons in the lower Amazon Basin in the early 1990s (I am an archaeologist, NOT a missionary or timber broker). While passing through Belem for the trip upriver, I noted that certain models of trucks with the Ford logo had what looked like a slightly modified Champ pickup cab, while trucks labeled Chevrolet were obviously 67-72 Ford cabs and beds. I mentioned this to several people I worked with but none of them knew the origin of the truck bodies, and mostly they didn't care. My question is did Ford of Brazil buy the Studebaker tooling or did Studebaker make the cabs for Brazilian trucks. I've wondered about this for fifteen years.



    • #3
      Studebaker didn't have any "plants" per se, outside of North America. However, they did have a network of "assemblers" that they collaborated with in various locations around the globe. South America was no exception. These assemblers would get semi-assembled Studes and then do the final assembly at their facility.
      Heck, Studebaker had a network of dealers around the globe before the first automobiles of any sort sputtered down the streets![:0]

      As to those "Champ-lookin' trucks" you saw. Studebaker DID build an order of trucks for shipment to South America that were really not Champ trucks, by definition. They had Champ cabs fitted to a Lark frame and were fitted with an odd bed that wasn't of Studebaker origin, to my understanding. But I'm certain they wouldn't have sported a Ford name UNLESS, maybe the beds came from some sort of Ford product![:0][}][:I]

      Miscreant at large.

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      1957 President 2-dr
      1955 President State
      1951 Champion Biz cpe
      1963 Daytona project FS
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


      • #4
        These Studebaker-looking Ford trucks definately said Ford on both ends, and on the steering wheel. They also were probably late 1970s or early 1980s models. I suspect Ford of Brazil bought Studebaker tooling from someplace, but really don't know. I do know that they are common around Belem. The ones labeled Chevy were obviously Ford bodies. All (Ford and Chevy) had Brazilian diesel engines.

        I have wondered about these trucks for 15 years. Are they products of Studebaker tooling or just someones design that thought the Champ truck looked good. Either could be true.



        • #5
          Fred Fox can correct me but, I believe, most, if not all, export Studebakers were fully assembled in North America and then "knocked down" for shipment to assembly plants around the world. Production order would indicate "FKD" for "fully knocked down".

          Trucks may have been shipped without beds and some auto chassis shipped without coachworks for custom export bodies.
          "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

          Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
          sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"