Friday, July 1, 2011

Race Truck Of The Day: July 1, 2011

Today's Car of the Day comes from jedimario's collection and is Hot Wheels' 1963 Studebaker Champ.

The Champ is seldom given credit for introducing a feature that is nearly universal among today's pickup trucks: the sliding rear window, which was available from the start, proved to be quite popular among Champ buyers. It was truly one of Studebaker's better ideas, and caught on later among the major truck makers.

With a cab based on a sedan body, the Champ was among the first pickups to offer true "car-like" comfort, with a wide, comfortable bench seat and a handsomely-styled interior. Other manufacturers took until the late 1960s and early 1970s to follow the Champ's lead.

Finally, the last Champs of 1963-64 were among the first American trucks — if not the first — to offer service bodies constructed of fiberglass. Today, such bodies made of fiberglass and composites are still gaining acceptance, with the steel service body remaining the mainstay.

While it didn't prove to be the savior of the Studebaker truck line, the Champ also pointed the way to a more rationally-sized yet still rugged pickup, something Dodge later claimed as a "first" with their mid-sized Dakota, which was introduced as a 1987 model, nearly 27 years after the Champ.

For more info and pics of a real truck that somewhat resembles this one: Studebaker Champ

Well, well, didn't think I could leave some odd, obscure vehicle that should never, ever get fully race prepped on the shelves in fully race prepped form now did you?  This thing is CRAZY!  It's what the Craftsman Truck Series would have been 50 years ago.  Amazing.  Perfect execution from Hot Wheels.  All of the detail is where it needs to be, and a lack of some can be forgiven due to the shaved bodies stock cars typically have.

Nice touch on the tailgate there too.  Anyway, I couldn't think of anything for the 6th pic...who wants to put some Falcons logos on one of these, I think it'd fit ;)

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