The Roadkill Customs 1949 Studebaker Shop Truck

S#!t – Starting Over

This is where this build story really begins – everything to this point resulted in a driver that was never completed due to “circumstances“. Those same “circumstances” included a cross-country move from Louisville, KY to Mesa, AZ. The logistics of this move (were nightmarish and) forced me to scarafice the chassis – I was saving the entire body. No – in the end, only the cab, doors, front fenders, hood and (3) tailgates came with me to Arizona. I was sick and was forced to start over.

Day One: The 1977 Camaro Sport Coupe (drive-train donor) as purchased and as loaded to head to the shop…

 

Day One: Feared the Sport Coupe had the 305, but it’s a 350 by casting numbers.

 

Day One: The Rochester QuadraJet was found in the trunk…along with some other booty: sander, grinder, computer speakers, engraver, welding gloves, welding sleeves, misc tools, misc supplies, one vinyl car seat cover and one roller blade (right foot).

 

Day One: Hurst shifter on top of a 4 speed manual transmission…

 

Day One: The exhaust was worth the price of the car – Flowmaster – I can make that work in it’s new home…

 

Day One: The 1987 Chevy S10 chassis, as purchased and dropped outside the shop. The S10 had been set up for a late 40’s early 50’s Chevy long-bed – 123″ wheelbase – too long. Will shorten to 108″.

 

Day Two: The ’49 Studebaker pick-up cab and the boy in tow and on the way to the shop. Beautiful day to work on cars…

Rolled up to the shop and starting the work to separate the Camaro front sub-frame. Thomas selecting tools and my buddy Philip (first rate dude) pulling the pedals…

 

Day Two: Out of the gravel and into the shop…

 

Day Two: The engine and harness – the Camaro harness won’t be used, although many of the connectors will be. Going with a retail wiring harness kit that will help school my son Thomas on the basics of a simple (12 circuit) automotive wiring system…

 

Day Two: Goodies pulled from the Camaro that may be used: steering column, master cylinder and brake booster, pedal hanger and pedals (clutch and brake) – will retain throttle pedal already in Studebaker, fabricated a number of years ago by yours truly…

 

Day Three: Plasma cutting off the sub-frame mount, due to a very stubborn bolt.




Day Three: Rolling out the Camaro front sub-frame. The power-plant is free, ready to be mated with the frame rails from the S-10 chassis. Rear end comes out next, then we start putting things back together.

Day Four: Dropped the rear end and pulled the exhaust…

Rear-end out of the Camaro and out of the way so we can move the body out of the shop…

 

Day Five: This is me making the initial frame cuts on the S10 frame. A plasma cutter is a wonderful thing…

 

Day Five: Thomas, after some watching and coaching, gets busy on the other frame rail with the plasma cutter…

 

Day Five: The rear of the S10 frame was rolled out of the way to roll out the front clip. This is me rolling the rear back in to meet up with the Camaro front sub-frame…

 

Day Five: Loosely setting things in place. The S10 and Camaro frame rail widths are 4 1/8 inches different. We’ll be removing the S10 cross-members to narrow the frame rails so it matches up to the Camaro frame rail width. Once narrowed, and with the rails attached, we’ll square the frame and re-weld in shortened cross-members…

The results of our first five days of work. This represents roughly 15 hours of actual labor.




Day Five: Fruits of our labor from the front. I left the front bumper on for the time being as it serves as both a “handle / push bar” as well as counter balances the sub-frame so it moves around easily. All of this will be stripped away, leaving just the radiator and new supports will be fabricated once the Studebaker cab is in place. It also makes a good drive-shaft shelf. Next, narrow the frame rails and swap rear ends – S10 for Camaro…

 

Day Six: The S10 frame rails mostly stripped, ready for fitting…

 

Day Six: Mock-up – the rails clamped to the sub-frame in roughly the right spot and the drive shaft in place so the location front-to-rear of the rear axle assembly from the Camaro can be determined…

 

 

Day Six: Many measurements and adjustments later, the axle is roughly in the right spot – the frame rails will still need to be shifted forward approximately four inches from this photo.

 

Day Six: End of the evening and this is what we have. I am pretty happy with the way things are going, but still have some thinking to do and challenges to solve (primarily springs, pinion angle, etc.) before we weld. Much of the rail behind the rear axle will eventually be lopped off. These rails were extended for a 1950ish Chevy long bed truck, under which this frame once lived…

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