1950 Studebaker Champion 2 Door Sedan

Trev & Dianne Halstead
Rukuhia, New Zealand

Trev's Champion started life as a left hand drive American import. He added a 1/8" steel plate to the original chassis for strength. The frame was Z cut at the front and a modified GM Holden HT front suspension was added. It was converted to right hand drive using a Holden Commodore rack and custom made sway bar. At the rear, the frame was C notched to accommodate the narrowed 1964 Studebaker Cruiser 3.31:1 rear end with 10" drums. It has air shocks on the rear and gas shocks on the front. The front disc brakes are from a HQ Holden.

Under the hood is a rebuilt 1963 Studebaker 259 bored .060" and running a R1 cam. The 4 speed transmission is from a Ford MK4 Zephyr with a custom built shifter and it has a raised tunnel for the one piece drive shaft. The firewall was smoothed and the block was shaved smooth for the clean look it has. Trev made custom headers to feed the exhaust to hidden lake pipes under the car. The new radiator is cooled by a 16" electric fan.

The major modification on this car is the 3" chopped top. The rear windows were replaced with acrylic panels. Trev removed the bumpers, rain gutters, door handles and all chrome trim. The doors and trunk are opened with electric solenoids. He removed the fresh air doors and stretched the hood over the "eyebrow" openings. The front and rear fenders were welded to the body to eliminate the seams. The rear bumper was replaced by a custom made panel that houses the license plate. The gas filler door was also removed and under the 51 taillight a hinged bracket provides access to the hidden gas filler. Before paint, the body was media blasted to bare metal. It was then primed with DuPont 2k, followed by a color coat of gloss Purple DuPont Centari 2k on the interior, trunk, engine bay surfaces as well as the chassis parts. The exterior was painted with DuPont Lucite L.400 acrylic lacquer with a 12.5% satin finish.  

Inside the original dash was modified for the right hand drive and aftermarket instruments. The steering column is a modified Torana with a HQ Holden steering wheel and custom center with a 1956 Studebaker horn button. A center console was made to house a radio, electrical switches and gauges. The bucket seats are from a Honda Prelude and the custom white & purple vinyl upholstery and black nylon carpet was the finishing touch preformed by Greg Mather at Midnight Upholstery in Hamilton, New Zealand. Greg also trimed the trunk to match the interior of the car. Windshield wipers are from a Ford Escort and a Hilux heater is mounted between the dash and firewall. The battery is under the rear package tray speaker system. Wheels are 15 x 6 Ford Falcon with full smoothie caps.

Trev is known as Mr. Studebaker in New Zealand and you can click on the links below to see the other cars he has built.

Chopped 4 door sedan           Phantom sedan delivery