1960 Studebaker Pickup, Model TK, “Champ”
Owners: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $1,708.00+
Number made: 5,085
Engine, etc.: 1/2 ton, 8 cyl., 259 cid, 180 hp; 4 speed
Studebaker produced many trucks during its years of production from the early 1900’s until 1964. In 1966, Studebaker ended all of its automobile production.
Studebaker’s first trucks were electric. Over the years various styles were produced which ended up as delivery cars, step vans, stake trucks, fire trucks, buses, ambulances, dump trucks, tractor trucks, military trucks, and pickups.
Buoyed by extraordinary popularity of the 1959 Larks (139,024 built), Studebaker frantically tooled up a restyled line of light-duty trucks for 1960 – its first since mid-1948. The 1959 Lark front sheet metal and front half of the 4-door sedan body were grafted onto slightly modified 1/2 and 3/4 ton truck chassis and beds. This formed the basis of a new line of trucks, with the name “Champ”. It was intended to compete against the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino. Both were based on current passenger car platforms while the Champ had truck underpinnings.
A nation-wide steel strike in late 1959 delayed initial production of the 1960 model trucks until February, 1960. Champs were given the same model numbers as previous 1/2 and 3/4 ton Transtar trucks: 1/2 tons – 5E5, 5E6, 5E7, etc.
A total of 5,602 Champs were built with 5,085 for the domestic U. S. market.
Source: https://www.sil.si.edu/ondisplay/studebaker/intro.htm (Introduction; select more information from menu bar under title.)
https://studebakermuseum.org/ (Additional information under “Archives & Education” menu)
http://uniquecarsandparts.com/lost_marques_studebaker.htm (Studebaker history)