Ernie Belcher Jr.
Torrance, CA

The Studemino started life as a 1948 Champion 2 door sedan. The rear section of the car was removed and a 1964 Chevrolet El Camino bed was grafted on.  This required that the Studebaker body be widened 8 inches to match the bed. The top was chopped 3" and the cowl was sectioned and dropped 2". Extra roof sections from a donor 50 Studebaker were used to widen the roof and the donor car's rear fenders were grafted onto the stock fenders to add length. The donor also provided the front "bullet nose" clip, which was welded together and to the cowl for a smooth look. The functional air scoops at the leading edges of the rear fenders house transmission and engine oil coolers. 1972 Corvette bumpers were added below the frenched 54 Chevrolet "bubble" taillights. The Ford headlights are also frenched and a billet grille replaces the stock unit.

The Studemino is powered by a 400 hp LS2 Chevrolet driving a 4L60 automatic overdrive transmission and it has an adjustable air ride suspension system. The interior has a narrowed dash from a 1959 Chevrolet with digital gauges and a Cadillac tilt and telescoping column. The four bucket seats are covered in leather with a full length console between them.

Ernie recently redid the car and custom mixed the colors for the new paint job. During the original build, the Ernies (Jr. & Sr.) invested 2,400 spare time hours into building this car over an 18 month period. The photo below was how the car looked when it was originally finished in 1996 and the interior photo was taken when the car was pink and blue.