1950 Studebaker Champion 2 Door Sedan

Lon Miller

Lon's 1950 2 door sedan was in a river for a extended time and in his opinion was "unrestorable". Now it sets on a 1983 Chevy S-10 truck chassis and it's powered by a 350 Vortec engine mated to a Saginaw 4 speed transmission. The "3 on the tree" is now a "4 on the tree" with a reverse lever on the floor. Lon has decided that he will not change the 'patina' paint.

Lon provided the following information about transplanting the Studebaker body onto the S-10 frame and it may be of help to someone looking to do the same. Lon wrote .....

The width of the Chevy frame is within 1/2" of the Studebaker frame, but the front and rear 'arches' are different. Up front isn't a problem if the inner fenders are cut, which you would have to do anyway if a 350 is going to be installed. At the rear, the forward part of the arch will be going through the floor pan; not a problem .... plate over it. It does not interfere with the back seat fitting. The front and rear of the S-10 frame will have to be 'bobbed'.

It will be necessary to move the V-8 engine back so it will clear the radiator and the firewall will have to be cut back at least 4" because the distributor on a Chevy motor is at the rear. This will preclude using the stock radio as there will be no room for it. The distributor will then have to come out through the firewall under the dash (I made a trap door) or you can figure on pulling the engine if the distributor ever needs replacing. The other option would be to use a Ford V8 or the stock S-10 V-6 engine. I used the V-8 because blowing the doors off Rice Grinders is fun.

The S-10s come in two lengths. The one I picked up was 3-1/4" too long so I cut that much out of the center.  The next to last cross member had to be cut out (it stood above the frame) and a lower cross member was installed.  The support for the rear of the transmission will have to go back a little if a V-8 is used. After chopping off the front horns, the power steering box was right at the end of the frame and sitting on top of it. That meant that the stock radiator would not sit low enough to clear the hood.  I used an aftermarket aluminum radiator from Jeg's and tilted it back so it would clear the hood.

In short, it was easy to do and I now have a car that will run freeway speeds all day long.