|THE DOWNFALL AND EVENTUAL DEMISE OF THE STUDEBAKER COMPANY IS WELL KNOWN IN CAR ENTHUSIAST CIRCLES. IT IS ONE OF THE SADDEST STORIES IN AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY. ONE OF THE PIONEERING AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE COMPANIES IN THE COUNTRY, STUDEBAKER ESTABLISHED AN ENVIABLE REPUTATION FOR QUALITY AND RELIABILITY. HOWEVER, VICIOUS COMPETITION FROM THE LARGER FORD AND CHEVROLET, CORPORATE MISMANAGEMENT AND POOR DECISIONS, BAD MERGERS, AND LACK OF FUNDS DETERMINED THE FINAL FATE OF THE COMPANY. THE LAST STUDEBAKER ROLLED OFF THE CANADIAN ASSEMBLY LINE ON MARCH 16,1966.
THE BAD NEWS FOR STUDEBAKER WAS GOOD NEWS FOR AUTO ENTHUSIASTS AND COLLECTORS WORLDWIDE. DUE TO QUALITY OF BUILD, LOW PRODUCTION NUMBERS, AND POPULAR STYLING, CLASSIC STUDEBAKERS HAVE BECOME SOME OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER COLLECTOR VEHICLES IN THE MARKET. ONE OF THE OFTEN OVERLOOKED MODEL LINES WERE THE STUDEBAKER TRUCKS. WITH STATE OF THE ART DESIGN, UNIQUE LOOK, AND MECHANICAL DEPENDABILITY, THE STUDEBAKER TRUCK HAS BECOME A VERY DESIRABLE CLASSIC VEHICLE. 1963 STUDEBAKER CHAMP 8E SERIES PICKUP. THIS IS AN OLDER RESTORATION THAT STILL SHOWS WELL. UNCUT, BASICALLY IN FACTORY STOCK CONDITION. RUNS AND DRIVES WELL. ONLY 5,861 OF THESE BEAUTIES WERE MANUFACTURED IN 1963. THIS IS THE CHANCE TO OWN, SHOW, AND DRIVE A VEHICLE THAT VERY FEW OWN TODAY. CHECK NADA VALUE ON THESE TRUCKS, THEN REVIEW OUR PRICE. BEST DEAL ON ONE OF THESE RARE TRUCKS THAT YOU WILL FIND ANYWHERE. OPPORTUNITIES LIKE THIS ARE RARE. ODOMETER READS 83,183 MILES, COULD VERY WELL BE ORIGINAL. ACTUAL MILEAGE UNKNOWN.
Studebaker entered the automotive business in 1902 with electric vehicles and in 1904 with gasoline vehicles, all sold under the name "Studebaker Automobile Company". Over the next 50 years, the company established an enviable reputation for quality and reliability. However, years of trouble followed. Studebaker's strong post-war management team including president Paul Hoffman and Roy Cole (vice-president, engineering) had gone by 1949 and was replaced by more cautious executives who failed to meet the competitive challenge brought on by Ford and Chevrolet. The conservative executives became obsessed with short term goals instead of long term prosperity. Massive discounting in a price war between Ford and General Motors could not be equalled by the independent carmaker, for whom the only hope was a disastrous merger of Studebaker, Packard, Hudson, and Nash into a third giant combine. By 1954, Studebaker was already in the red ink. They struggled for over a decade before the end came.
One of the success stories, and also victims, in this drama was the Studebaker truck line. Noted Studebaker historian Fred Fox stated that the company lost one of its' greatest opportunity when it didn't aggressively enter the commercial truck market after the World Wars. Studebaker had a long standing relationship with businesses and farmers, dating back to the horse wagon days. This was the exact demographic that was demanding the pickup truck. Ignoring this proved fatal.
The Studebaker Champ was the light duty truck that was manufactured from 1960-1964. The truck line hadn't undergone a significant redesign in over 10 years. Although they had to use many existing components due to cost constraints, the end result was impressive. The chassis and cargo box were very similar to the existing design. However, designers devised a creative plan to utilize the Lark sedan body as the cab section. The engineering staff took a four-door sedan, cut it in half behind the front doors and modified the front half slightly to fit the truck chassis. The only new sheet metal stamping that was required was the back wall of the new cab. With a cab based on a sedan body, the Champ was among the first pickups to offer true "car-like" comfort, with a wide, comfortable bench seat and a handsomely-styled interior. Other manufacturers took until the late 1960s and early 1970s to follow the Champ's lead. The Champ also was the first to offer state of the art options such as sliding rear window and fiberglass body and bed components. The Champ also pointed the way to a smaller yet still rugged pickup, something Dodge later claimed as a "first" with their mid-sized Dakota, which was introduced as a 1987 model, nearly 27 years after the Champ.
By December 1963, Studebaker's board of directors announced the closure of its' South Bend factory, and the trucks were among the casualties of the company's consolidation around an abbreviated family-car lineup in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada assembly plant.
When they purchased the rights and tooling to the Studebaker Avanti in 1964, Nate Altman and Leo Newman also acquired the rights and tooling to Studebaker's trucks. However, Altman and Newman, for reasons which are lost to history, never built as much as a single truck. The opportunity to continue to manufacture a vehicle that was ahead of its' time was lost.
The result is the existence of a very limited number of quality built, highly demanded Studebaker pickup trucks. Today, the Champs that still exist are highly prized for their interesting combination of passenger-car comfort and style and their rugged mechanical durability The example in this ad is one of them. don't miss this opportunity.
This is an older restoration that still presents well. There is a simple reason why there are very few of these trucks still on the road today. The majority of these have rusted away and were hauled to the junk yard. Although not still show condition, still can be rated as a nice driver quality example. Refinished many years ago in the original Apache Red. White trim on bumpers, grille, and headlight rims. White body accent stripes. White Studebaker logo on tail gate. Paint is good driver quality. There are some driving blemishes and some areas of minor bubbling, and a few minor repairs, however the paint has a glossy shine and shows well. Body and bed are solid and in overall very good condition for the age of the truck. Dual chrome mirrors. Bed rails. Finished oak bed flooring with deep grain in the wood. White wall radial tires. P215/75R15. Factory wheels with Studebaker hub caps. All glass is in very good condition. Champ emblems on the doors.
This drive train has not been altered, cut up, or modified. The 170 Cu. In. six cylinder is believed to be the original. Engine and engine bay are clean. Please view Photo Bucket video below of the engine running. The engine runs very well. All components, with the exception of maintenance and repair items, appear factory original. Factory three speed manual transmission with overdrive. Newer clutch. Transmission shifts well. Overdrive lever functions properly. Factory Dana 44 rear differential. Vehicle runs and drives well.
Interior was completely redone in red and white vinyl. Every component of the interior is in very good shape. Bench seat cushions and covers in very good condition, as well as door panels. Steering wheel in very good condition. Dash and gauges in very good condition, gauge faces are clear. Weatherstripping in very good shape. AM/FM radio. The interior is good looking, and also very comfortable. All interior trim and handles are in very good condition. Lights work, as well as horn, radio, gauges, and gauge lights. Turn signals don't work.
Search for 1963 Studebaker Champ pickup trucks for sale. If you can find one for sale, the price is between two and three times what we are asking for this one. This is a great buy on a nice driver quality example. Don't hesitate. This one won't last.
Video is Available!