Photos by Mark Williams
We stumbled across this classic 1955 Studebaker E Series V-8 half-ton pickup in Ann Arbor, Mich., on display at the Rolling Sculpture Car Show earlier this month. It's been meticulously restored by owner Ron Cripe.
Studebaker's E Series trucks were inaugurated in 1955. There was the 2E in 1956, 3E in 1957-58 and so on until the 8E models marked the last Studebaker pickups that were sold in 1964. Styling was a mix of carried-over sheet metal from the 1949-53 2R Series and 1954 3R Series.
According to Cripe, 1955 was also the first year an eight-cylinder engine option was available for Studebaker's lightest hauler. The180-horsepower, 259-cubic-inch (4.2-liter) V-8 was paired with a four-speed manual transmission. A six-cylinder was the standard engine.
Cripe's truck is optioned with a heavy-duty rear suspension, which features a remarkable 11 leaf springs in each spring pack. Today's Ford F-150 half-ton has only three leaf springs. Also noteworthy, the leaf springs are held in place below the rear live axle instead of resting above the axle, like today's trucks.