Looking Back: 1955 Studebaker E Series V-8


Photos by Mark Williams

We stumbled across this classic 1955 Studebaker E Series V-8 half-ton pickup in Ann Arbor, Mich., on display at the Rolling Sculpture Car Show earlier this month. It's been meticulously restored by owner Ron Cripe.

Studebaker's E Series trucks were inaugurated in 1955. There was the 2E in 1956, 3E in 1957-58 and so on until the 8E models marked the last Studebaker pickups that were sold in 1964. Styling was a mix of carried-over sheet metal from the 1949-53 2R Series and 1954 3R Series.

According to Cripe, 1955 was also the first year an eight-cylinder engine option was available for  Studebaker's lightest hauler. The180-horsepower, 259-cubic-inch (4.2-liter)  V-8 was paired with a four-speed manual transmission. A six-cylinder was the standard engine.

Cripe's truck is optioned with a heavy-duty rear suspension, which features a remarkable 11 leaf springs in each spring pack. Today's Ford F-150 half-ton has only three leaf springs. Also noteworthy, the leaf springs are held in place below the rear live axle instead of resting above the axle, like today's trucks.


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