Junkyard Gem: 1962 Studebaker Champ Spaceside

With a wagon-making historical past stretching back again to the center 1700s, the Studebaker Company commenced developing gasoline-engine-powered shipping and delivery vans setting up in 1911. The firm thrived by Globe War II—helping to earn the war for the Allies in the process—and for a couple several years immediately after, but then struggled when GM, Ford and Chrysler started to crush lesser American brands with their increasingly subtle (however reasonably priced) products. However, the storied company from South Bend, Ind., was not giving up on the pickup market place, even as the partitions closed in, so a new generation of Studebaker pickups hit showrooms for the 1960 design calendar year. This was the Champ, and I’ve discovered a single of these vehicles in a northeastern Colorado self-support boneyard.

Studebaker pickups experienced been applying the exact same taxi style and design since the late 1940s, and that cab appeared mighty dated as the 1960s dawned, room exploration boomed, and thermonuclear weapons achieved the 50 megaton threshold. Studebaker, possessing merged with Packard in 1954, didn’t have the money to design and style a new taxi from scratch, but the front fifty percent of the Lark was the appropriate measurement to match Studebaker’s truck body. With a little bit of cutting and pasting, a Lark-based pickup cab was developed and it appeared pretty good.

In reality, the new Champs appeared each little bit as modern as their rivals from Ford, Chrysler and GM. The cheapest achievable 1960 Champ pickup commenced at $1,875 (about $19,051 in 2022 bucks). Dodge could put you in its most reasonably priced pickup for $1,812 ($18,411) that 12 months, even though a Chevy pickup begun at $1,991 ($20,230). The least high priced ’60 Ford Flareside was $1,956 ($19,875).

For 1962, the rate tag of the 50 percent-ton Champ started out at $1,870 (about $19,001 these days).

This 1 has the Spaceside bed, allegedly made using Dodge tooling purchased from Chrysler. Positive appears to be like related! Studebaker designed a very little revenue go a long way in the early 1960s, out of necessity.

Flathead engines were seriously out of date by the 1960s, and so it was excellent news when Studebaker lastly available an overhead-valve straight-six in the Champ for the 1961 product yr (Chrysler continued marketing some Dodge trucks with flatheads relatively deep into the ten years, nevertheless most of the later on kinds ended up armed forces-only).

This is a 170-cubic-inch (2.8-liter) plant based on Studebaker’s venerable flathead design, rated at 110 horsepower and 156 pound-toes. A Studebaker 289-cubic-inch V8 was out there as an choice. A variety of transmissions had been out there, which include a “Flightomatic” automated this truck came with the base a few-on-the-tree column-change handbook.

The attractive speaker grille is gone, but the first AM radio speaker stays. Consider using U.S. Route 36 from Denver all the way to Indianapolis with Hank Snow’s most current hit buzzing out of this speaker just about every half-hour!

Pickups of this era didn’t go in for extravagant switches or instrumentation.

I even now uncover the occasional discarded Studebaker all through my junkyard travels, but Studebaker was on the ropes, financially talking, by the 1960s so its automobiles from the remaining several years are uncommon. 1964 was the last calendar year for the Champ (and for all U.S.-developed Studebakers, for that make any difference). Studebaker car manufacturing continued in Canada into 1966. 

It appears that Studebaker didn’t do a large amount of Tv set advertising and marketing for the Champ, so here is a ’62 Lark commercial.