1946 Studebaker Pick up Street Rod- Randy Wilkin

How often do you think a $99 find can be used and turned into a great build?

Check out the article and see just how this one was done and the great finds that went into it for virtually nothing.

Make sure you go to the bottom to see all of the pictures of this great car!


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What type of vehicle?

1946 Studebaker Pick Up Street Rod

1946 Studebaker Pick Up on a 1970 Shortened GMC Frame

When was it purchased?

Truck was bought about 2005 . It was in NE Kansas , I live in sw Ohio.

A friend and I went after it in December, leaving on a Friday evening. I had my wife’s 2002 grand Cherokee with 4.0 motor and no tow package . But had Jeep dealer put a hitch on it when bought. Jeep had 25,000 miles on it ( still have it with 185,000 miles on it, only regular Mtc. so far.)

Saw A M series at a car show and fell in love with it . Only saw it the one time . Anything in Ohio I found was rusted down . Back to going after it , Had a borrowed trailer ( which I bought later ) . We pulled up by the M16 flatbed at 11 am on Saturday . Wood on bed was rotten . Found out a dump was right behind feed store where I got truck .We unbolted the bed, chained it to a tree and pulled truck out from under bed, 3PM by then, headed back . That 4.0 pulled that trailer and truck like a pro. Just sit down since no tow package.

We got home Sunday evening , So went 2000 miles in less than  2 days.

Scraped area is underneath cab , had cracked undercoating , I scraped it all off , pour 15 on it , than recoated with new undercoating.

It took 7 years to get it on road, I was working full time, building when I had time and the money.

Never touched for a year when wife had back surgery.

Been on road about 5 years. I parked it last year when I had 2 back surgeries, Not back out yet.

How much was it purchased for?

I bought it off of EBay for $99 with 320 watchers.

It was missing all grilles, trim and glove compartment door and caved in top and hood.

I gave $65 for the frame and  sold the 10 bolt rear for $65.

I Bought a 3:73 12 limited slip out of Cincinnati Enquirer For $125

I also got a front suspension out of a 1983 Chevy for $125

The bed was built out of $140 of new metal

Give me some backstory, are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc. Some info about you.

I went to an auto mechanic school fresh out of high school.

Worked as MGR of a auto parts store for 19 years.

Went to ABX AIR in Wilmington , Ohio when I was 43 , Got my airframe and powerplant license and got into Aircraft sheet metal repair.

Left their when 60  ( job went south after DHL pulled out on us .) Got on at Kenworth Truck in Chillicothe , Ohio , retired from there.

This is my 3rd street Rod , (always had my toys) , 440 6 pk Cuda , AAR Cuda , 33 Willys coupe , 36 Ford 2 Dr. sedan

What have you done to it so far?

Truck is on a GMC 1970 frame I shortened 17 inches. It has the exact same width as

Studebaker frame, but a wider track .

Since it isn’t stock , I decided to run 2 inch wider fenders all around.

I installed a Chevy pickup firewall to better fit the engine.

Gave $65 for frame, then sold the 10 bolt rear for $65.

Bought a 3:73 12 bolt limited slip out of Cincinnati Enquirer For $125 and also got a

front suspension out of a 1983 Chevy for $125. That gave me power disc

brakes and power steering.

( 10 of 12 bolts lined up putting it under the 1970 frame )

The engine is a 355 SBC, 4 bolt main with Camaro block hugger headers , and 2 1/2 exhaust thru magnaflow  mufflers.

It has Douglas Dc8 thrust reverser pistons in it.

Has a Edelbrock 600 CFM carb and HEI ignition.

The transmission is a 700r4 with a corvette lock up converter. It locks when going into overdrive and unlocks if it comes out of overdrive.

The bed was built out of $140 of new metal .

Rear Bumper is a Dc8 torque tube , tailpipe tips are 3/8 solid aluminum pulled out of trash at work.

The toolbox holds battery, fire extinguisher, tools and cleaning supplies.

Put wood on bed floor, but did not drill holes through the floor.

I put cross pieces of aluminum floor sitting on rubber and drilled the aluminum and threaded it .

Has a EZ wiring kit, not a home kit , but a company kit that came with fuses and marked wiring . No one was here to help at home except my wife , she got called out more than once.

EZ wiring was great , marked every 6 inches where it went, came separated for rear , front and interior . Longer wires than I needed . I took all my wiring up thru the kick panels through clear plastic tubes in order to clean up firewall.

Has a trailer hitch I had for 25 years , bolted right in .

I was told that it is hard to see brake lights with all the red.

I have 2 led lights on toolbox , Machine shop At ABX made me bezels for tube in rear , 2 Led brake lights there and 2 led regular tail lights and license light goes from white to red when you brake.

Center grille strip is factory thin stainless , mine is 3/8 aluminum made by ABX machine shop .

Friend at ABX made the eyes for the truck.

Truck runs at 1600 rpms at 55 , Gets about 20 MPG , makes noise when I want , quiet when I want .

It has Dakota Digital Gauges , Vintage Air , Heat and Defrost , AM/FM /CD , a tilt wheel out of a S10 that has been shortened 3 inches. I built an add on to my dash and installed the Dakota Gauges myself.

It still sports the wing windows , fresh air scoop and short running boards from the M16 I started with.

Any help you have gotten?

Fred Kidder Jr. did body work and paint .

Rick Futrell in Tip City did interior

Andy’s glass in West Union did Glass

At ABX I got a 1 day pass to blast frame and Cab and parts. It went in with old paint and came home primed.


Check out the pictures.


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