Midwest Moxie – 1961 Studebaker Champ – Mike McNessor @Hemmings

1961 Studebaker Champ

Drive somewhere in a Studebaker Champ and you can expect to put smiles on people’s faces. This is a truck that hits every happiness-inducing high note: It’s an old pickup, it sports quirky Jet Age styling, it’s unusual, and it’s the progeny of a beloved American independent.


But the Champ’s backstory is more of a tragedy, like the plot of that tear-jerking 1979 movie with which this truck shares its name. A great boxer, slightly past his prime, steps into the ring for one more bout, wins the fight, only to die in the end. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite as sad as Ricky Schroder bawling over a lifeless Jon Voight in The Champ, but you get the point. By the time the Champ squared off against Detroit’s commercial heavyweights, Studebaker lacked the resources to compete in this increasingly fierce arena. South Bend’s Champ was like a battery of scrappy combination punches, thrown furiously by a staggered Studebaker, that were too little too late to save the storied company.

1961 Studebaker Champ

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Related – 1950 Studebaker Pickup Truck Custom

Categories: 1961, Champ, Hemmings, Pickup, studebaker

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