Studebaker R-Series

1946 Studebaker Custom Truck

Did you know that the Studebaker R-Series was the company’s first post-war truck design? It arrived to replace the M-Series, which had been promoted and sold prior to World War II. It received few upgrades during its run (one of the biggest being bigger, more powerful engines installed), admired for its unique silhouette, as well as for having larger windows and a gas tank outside the cab, a feature not typically incorporated into truck design at the time. Though it isn’t as well known as other popular vehicles from that era, the Studebaker R-Series can still be seen at car shows and driven down the highways as part of the Studebakers’ Drivers Club. One of the best things about Studebaker collecting is that parts are easy to find, and customization is relatively easy. Fans who own Studebakers have re-imagined the vehicle with two-tone coloring, mashed it up with other popular collectible vehicles (as seen below), and given it a beefy hum.

While the E-Series might be more recognizable, without the R-Series, it would never have existed. The company took the R-Series, changed out the two-panel glass for a single panel in the front window, and called it good. Though there were a few other minor alterations, the E-Series has the R-Series to thank for retaining its classic look. Despite its status as a collectible, the R-Series truck was made to be a tough, hard-working hauler, and the two design elements that point to this are the lack of running boards and the double-walled sides to the pick-up bed (standard now, but rare back in the day). Luckily, however, instead of disappearing into retirement, this truck just keeps on rolling.

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