A Jet In Studebaker Clothing

            Randy and Linda Wilkin have maybe the strangest 1946 Studebaker in the world. While the body is, mostly, from a one and a half ton flatbed this Studebaker has been converted into a pick up. And they used some pretty amazing parts to get there.
            The entire adventure began nine years ago when Randy paid $99 for the Studebaker and then traveled 2000 miles roundtrip to northwest Kansas to pick up. He then fashioned the flat bed to fit a Chevy half ton pickup frame. “I chopped 17 inches off it to make it fit,” Randy said.
            Into this he dropped a 350 Chevy V-8 that can push 300 horse power and set it all on an ’83 Chevy half ton suspension. By piecing together parts from the various trucks Randy said, “This way I got power steering and disc brakes cheap.”
            If that weren’t enough of a strange marriage of parts, Randy went on to explain that “The entire ass end is all made from air craft parts.”
            Randy use to work in the air craft manufacturing industry and found that he had access to not only left over parts that didn’t meet spec but also a great deal of equipment that he wouldn’t have laying around his garage at home. This is how he managed to have the rear gate made from Douglas DC 8 pistons. Other discarded air craft parts went into fabricating much of the bed as well.
            He hadn’t gone specifically looking for a Studebaker but knew of them from seeing a couple around. They were fairly rare and it wasn’t the kind of vehicle every gear head owned.
            “I’ve always been an oddball,” he said. “And this is so ugly it’s cute.”
            Yeah, cute as a jet.

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