Once upon a time I was relaxing, ( back in the day when there was a thing known as spare time), on the porch perusing the latest copy of Old Cars Weekly newpaper. I came upon an ad for a 1949 Studebaker 2R5 truck just outside Binghamton New York.
Well, Binghampton is a haul, so I called the guy and his story was that the truck had always been garaged, had no rust and ran fine. It was only 700 dollars, so I thought I would make the 200+ mile trek to see it. Not wanting to make this trip too many times I took a trailer with me. Now at the time I had an old ’79 Jeep Wagoneer, and with a heavy trailer behind it it got almost 8 miles to the gallon (might have been closer to 8 gallons to the mile, but who’s counting), so it wasn’t a cheap trip, but if the truck was good it would be worth it.
The trip out was uneventful (which is all I ask) and when I got there the address was a service station. I found the guy who said he was too busy to show me the truck. SInce I had driven that far he sent me with one of his employees to show the truck to me. We set out and drove about 10 miles, then turned up a dirt road… and drove… and drove… still driving I spotted a barn. I figured that was where the truck was since I was assured it had always been inside. No such luck, we stopped and he opened a gate to a cow pasture which we then drove across. On the other side of the dung ladden pasture was had another gate to go through. That was when we came to a small automotive and farm equipment junk yard. There, sitting in the middle of 50 or so cars and trucks all striving to make their way back into the soil, was the Studebaker I had come to see.
I looked it over which prompted me to ask, ” I though this was always stored inside?” He said it was until about 30 years ago when it was parked in it’s current location. “I was told it ran” He replied that it did when they last pulled it out of the barn. I was also told there was no rust… that part was true… all the rust was covered up with what we called “newspaper tin”, thin sheet of aluminum used to make the plates for printing newspapers. After looking the truck over I could see these were a few good parts left but certainly not 700 dollars worth.
We went back to the garage where the owner asked if I was interested. I told him I wasn’t as it wasn’t in good enough condition and wasn’t at all what he said it was. I saw that all around the office were photos of Ford trucks and car show trophies. I asked about those and it turns out he had five show trucks. I mentioned it must be tough driving all those to the shows. He replied, indignantly, “Well, I don’t drive them!’ ‘ They get trailered”. He seemed insulted that I would have the nerve to suggest he drive his trucks.
Odd how someone who seemingly knows what a good truck is could describe such a rusted hulk in such good condition. I would guess that the Studebaker, or what’s left of it, is still there.