The Roadkill Customs 1949 Studebaker Shop Truck

Roadkill Customs 1949 Studebaker Shop Truck

Build a Hot Rod in 30 Days for $1,000?

This truck has been built twice — with a tear-down and cross-country move in between. The first build section documents the build mating the ’49 Studebaker 2R5 with a 2001 Dodge Dakota. The second section documents starting the build over after a cross-country move and mates the ’49 Studebaker cab and front end with a ’77 Chevy Camaro and frame rails from an ’80s S-10 to build the truck as it runs today. And this is where the 30 days / $1,000 starts.

Project: Take a ’77 Camaro and a mid 80’s S-10 (for frame rails) and build a new soul for my ’49 Studebaker tin.

Goal: Build to Driver in 30 days for $1,000 — Looking for a truck that looks and smells like it just got pulled out of a corn field, but runs and drives like a ’70s muscle car.

Actual Build Costs and Totals (to the point of the photos marked in this album below):

  • $300 1949 Studebaker Truck
  • $400 1977 Camaro Donor Car (front clip, engine/transmission, rear-end, rear springs and driveshaft)
  • $100 S-10 Frame (for the frame rails)
  • $640 Carburetor, Bed, Hardware, Miscellaneous
  • ——
  • $1,440 Cash Spent
  • <$465> Cash Recovered: Unused Camaro and S-10 Parts Sold
  • ——
  • $975 Net Project Cost
  • Time Investment: 236 Hours or 29.5 work days

UPDATE: Since the initial build was complete as shown here, and after a 1,000 mile round-trip-road-trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles, approximately $510.00 was put into the truck in consumables: tires, rotors, and a couple cow-hides for the upholstery. Sum total to date: $1,485.00


1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup TruckThis is just how the truck sat when I arrived to make the deal, and after being pulled from its long-term resting spot further back on this property in Southern Indiana. Getting the truck took many visits, and quite a bit of persuasion, but in the end, I masterfully closed the deal and had the truck delivered 40 miles away for a cool 300 bucks. Essentially, I stole it.


1949 Studebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build Plan

This is the sketch and the notes from the original build plan:

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build Plan

10″/12″ Z in the rear, 6″ Z in the front, 215/70R/15 in the rear, 195/70R/15 in the front…

Shorten the bed 18 inches, shorten the rear fenders 4 inches. This all measures out OK, and I like the stance, but I don’t like the front wheel exposure, but I can’t lower it any more [without cutting].

Getting Started: Tearing Down the Studebaker and the Donor Truck

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build
The Roadkill Customs 1949 Studebaker Shop Truck
Donor Truck Teardown
The Roadkill Customs 1949 Studebaker Shop Truck

Donor Truck Teardown 2

 

The initial placement and positioning of the Studebaker cab. Eventually, the cab gets channeled several inches.

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 5

 

The cab is in place and it’s time to deal with some of the body-work issues that will be addressed. Here’s an example of the kind of  problems that were dealt with.

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 6

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 8

 

No Problem. There are no plans to paint the truck, but I absolutely wanted the body in proper shape and to be in decent repair.

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 7

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 9

 

Time to deal with that ugly firewall. 

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 3

 

All the crap cut off and cleaned up, and the initial tacking together of a cut-down spare tailgate for a firewall panel.

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 10

 

Welded up, skimmed and primed. Mounted with weld-in bungs and hex-head screws.

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 10b



The grill was in rough shape…

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 12

 

I took some scrap and started futzin’ around…

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 13

 

…and created a basic frame which will be welded into place…

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 14

 

Setting basically in place, the finished grill is set to be clamped and welded into place…

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 15

 

Grill, hood and fenders placed and tacked – ready to be welded together for one-piece front-flip tilt front-end…

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 16

The channel cuts in the floor have been boxed over. The seats (the back seat from the donor truck) fit PERFECTLY.

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 17

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 18

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 19

 

The hood and fenders tacked, cut and tilted; making certain everything works…

1949 Sudebaker 2R5 Pickup Truck Build 20

 

And that’s where this part of the build stopped. Enter “circumstances” and a cross-country move. The next page starts the build that built the truck that is the Roadkill Customs Shop Truck today…

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