Alan Tudor’s Studebaker is a truck that you don’t see normally. In fact, Alan’s ’50 pickup is one of five Studebakers that I have ever laid eyes on, and when Riz handed me the contact info to this amazing truck, I jumped at the opportunity.
Alan always liked the Studebaker’s body style, so in the ’90s he found the pickup in an ad in the Studebaker driver’s club magazine. He called the owner and arranged a meeting. He was confident enough to rent a trailer to pick it up. When Alan arrived at the gentleman’s house to inspect the project he was overwhelmed by the amount of NOS parts he had collected. So on the trailer the truck went, and extra parts were secured in the bed. The Studebaker almost didn’t make it back home in one piece. Driving home with the rented trailer, one of the tires blew out and caused a violent sway back and forth, like a sailboat in a hurricane. The truck went from one side of the road to the other in the mayhem before Alan made it to the shoulder of the freeway. Alan says that luck was on his side, because the freeway cleared around him when the tire blew.
Finally home, Alan worked on the truck in his spare time. The truck came together slowly because Alan works as a general contractor, and was beat by the time he came home. The Stude was missing the drivetrain, and with the economy in a steady decline, he decided it would make a better driver with a Chevy motor than the expensive Studebaker replacement. So he looked at the local dealership for a new create motor and found a 350 powerplant within his price range. The motor was backed with a 700-R4 and followed by Ford 8.8 rearend with 3.56 gears.
At this point Alan’s wife found out she had cancer, so the truck came to a complete stop. With work, his wife’s illness, and taking care of their young daughters, the hot rodding lifestyle was no longer a thought in his head. Sadly, his wife died before the project was complete, so several years later Alan decided to continue the build in her honor. Alan credits his wife for getting him hooked on Studebakers. In fact, she let him purchase a ’39 Champion coupe and about six other Studes between then and now. Alan says she played a big part in gathering the parts; when Father’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas were getting close she would always keep an ear out for the much needed truck parts and surprise him. Alan found working on the truck to be very therapeutic, and set a goal to gather the remaining parts and tackle the Studebaker head-on.
Taking the truck from a basket case to what you see in the photos was no easy task, because there are not that many of these trucks to begin with. Alan didn’t complete this project by himself; he had the help from his son Shaun and friends who helped weld and wire (among other things) for many late nights. Alan says that his favorite thing about the truck is that it is finally done and thinks the dash turned out awesome. CT