Sunday, January 11, 2015

Kicking things off

In November, my friend Juice & I brought my 1960 Studebaker Champ truck to its new home at Walnut Bank.  After replacing the fuel pump and battery, it started right up, after sitting for five years in Juice and Judy's back yard.  I drove it to Stoughton and back and by the time I was home it was smoking like crazy due to oil leaks and such.

I backed it into the garage, opened the hood and pondered.

At the Walker reunion - 1985 (That's Adam in front)
The truck and I have been together since the summer of 1977.  I pulled it from the back lot of my families' International Harvester dealership in Bargersville, Indiana.

The truck was a farm truck, rode hard, and put away wet.  All the windows were broken, the floorboard was pretty much gone, the cab sagged, the brakes were bad.  In short, it was perfect for a 19 year old kid.

Tim adding auxiliary seating

My buddy John and I fixed it up, the best that we knew how.  I rebuilt the engine, replaced the brakes, new windows, sand blasted, painted, learned to weld and patched the floorboards.  Being kids, we didn't really know what we were doing.  We got 'er done, but it was a pretty crummy job.

Over the years, I've fixed up several times.  Each time a bit better.  It's been stored in numerous barns.  It's been up to its carburetor in a flood.

Adam after learning to drive the truck
Neil after learning to drive the truck

Ready for surgery
When Adam turned 16, we brought it Wisconsin and fixed it up yet again.  We replaced the clutch, put on new safer brakes and added seat belts (like that would help).

1960 model 5E12 Studebaker Champ
  • 3/4 ton
  • 259 cu in V-8
  • 140 HP
  • Spicer 60 rear axle 4.27 gear ratio, 5000 lb ground rating
  • Warner T98 4-speed transmission, ratios: 6.4, 3.09, 1.69, 1.0
  • Turning radius 24'8"

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