Q:

What is the history of Studebaker pickup trucks?

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Quick Answer

The first pickup truck to be manufactured by Studebaker was the Coupe Express between 1937 and 1939. This was a half-ton truck based on the 1937 Dictator passenger car. This was followed in the 1940s by the widely popular and recognizable M-Series trucks based partially on the 1942 Champion passenger car. The most recent pickup trucks to be manufactured by Studebaker were the E-Series, Transtar, and Champ, which were discontinued in 1964.

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Full Answer

Other pickup trucks manufactured by Studebaker include the 2R-Series between 1949 and 1953 and the 3R-Series in 1954.

The Studebaker Coupe Express was a pace-setter for light trucks. Most trucks at the time were heavier commercial vehicles. The Coupe Express was introduced two decades before Ford introduced its Ranchero, its first half-ton pickup. Additionally, it combined the car styling of the Dictator passenger car with a full-size truck bed. At the time, this was an unusual offering in the truck market.

Studebaker's M-Series vehicles were also significant in the development of the pickup truck. Continuing the theme of the Coupe Express, the M-Series sported a more aerodynamic design than most contemporary trucks. The pickup trucks in this series included the half-ton M5, the three-quarter ton M15, and the 1 1/2-ton M15A, all of which were built using the Champion passenger car's engine.

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