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Classic Truck Articles

1949 Studebaker
by: James May

Studebaker had a long and honorable history as a trans porter of goods.  From 1852 onward the company was a major mover on the North American continent. Whether it was the US Civil War, where Studebaker supplied wagons and buggies to the Union Army or getting pioneers across the prairies to the west coast in famed Conestoga wagons, Studebaker was there. 

While the emphasis was on passenger cars, trucks were always part of the corporate lineup. As early as 1902 Studebaker offered a range of delivery vans ranging from a half-ton to two-ton models.  By 1905 the company had developed five-ton electric tracks. These early models had a motor at each wheel. Gasoline Studebaker trucks were available in 1904. The Everitt-Metzger-Flanders concern was folded into Studebaker in 1911. Since E-M-F was building trucks, those models became part of Studebaker. Also that year Studebaker purchased an empty Ford plant in Detroit and all vehicles were built there until November of 1918. 

In 1913 Studebaker introduced an engine governor that "will insure the owner against the evils of high speeds." Nineteen thirteen was also the first year that Studebaker used the word "pickup" to describe its trucks.   Studebaker was first to offer its services to the US government when that country finally entered World War One in 1917. While many horse drawn vehicles were ordered, not a single motorized Studebaker was used in combat.  [more]