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1939 Studebaker Kit Truck - XXXessive

It's A Mini-Truck - Really!

Lance Martz
Dec 1, 2004
Photographers: Lance Martz
OWNER Scott and Kathy Powers
RIDE '39 Studebaker kit
LOCATION Clarksville, Tennessee
Scott Powers has a background in street rods and musclecars, but when he wanted to get into custom trucks and shows, he decided that his first love must somehow crossover. This dilemma proved to be a thorn in his side. After attending one show, however, he found the perfect blend of both, and the rest has been a work-in-progress ever since. The truck he found was a kit truck, based on a '94-'03 Chevy S-10, made almost completely of fiberglass. Once Scott got his hands on his own at a truck show, he started making plans to go nuts on his own version of the kit truck. Since it was already assembled and had captured his attention, Scott quickly focused on how to make the truck his own, using his own tastes to accomplish the job.
The truck was orange and running, but came into Scott's hands with a 4.3L Vortec V-6 engine. Since a real street rod wouldn't use a stock engine, neither could Scott. After finding a small-block V-8 and prepping it for use, Scott began pulling the V-6 engine out, certain that the new mill would put some serious grunt behind the truck. Fitting the new engine into what was otherwise an S-10 engine compartment proved to be quite a task. Scott planned to take the truck to a show right around the time he made the swap, and worked feverishly to get it running. Later, once he had more time, Scott dove back into the engine bay to make all the unneeded wires and brackets go away. What he ended up with was a big-horsepower engine in a lightweight truck. Any way you look at that combination, it adds up to fun.
Next, Scott completely reworked the interior. Although the fiberglass dash from Ultimate Customs in Canada was the right width, that was where the ease of installation ended. Scott spent many hours making the dash fit and making everything behind it work well. When he was nearly done, he pulled the dash back out and had it painted to match the exterior base color. Wanting even more impact from the exterior, Scott opted to paint the body using purple flames, which really make the kit truck an attention-getter.
Since the last round of modifications, Scott has been finessing the truck in every way he can, while not missing any of the Southern shows he's become addicted to attending. When asked about the buildup, he said that the most important part of building any custom is to plan everything before you start cutting anything for modifications. Otherwise, his plan of attack is for everything to take longer than originally planned. We'd say that the results speak for themselves.
Photo 8/10   |   1939 Studebaker Kit interior
The Lowdown
Wheels/Tires Front:
15x8-inch American Racing Torque Thrust II with 235/60R15 Hercules tires; rear: 15x10-inch American Racing Torque Thrust II with 275/60R15 Hercules tires
Chassis/Suspension Stock S-10 chassis front-to-back with air-ride suspension installed front and rear / Firestone 2,500-pound 'bags up front / Firestone 2,600-pound 'bags in the rear / two Thompson 317 air compressors / 5-gallon air storage tank / manual BlowJax air valves
Photo 9/10   |   1939 Studebaker Kit purple Flame Job
Body Modifications/Paint Since the body of the truck is a custom aftermarket kit, custom bodywork was minimal.
Engine/Performance 600 hp from blown small-block LT1 V-8 engine / built by Mark Richmond in Clarksville, Tennessee / Crane cams / Crane lifters and roller rockers / dual Holley carburetors / Weiand 671 supercharger / Hedman headers / Speedway Shotgun air cleaner / MSN 6AL ignition / '89 Chevy 700 R4 transmission / Corvette Servo in transmission / B&M Street Bandit aluminum shifter
Paint/Graphics Bright-orange basecoat with inverted purple flames by Fabion in Clarksville, Tennessee
Photo 10/10   |   1939 Studebaker Kit r1 Racing Buckets
Interior/Stereo Ultimate Customs' fiberglass Grand Am dash / Cyberdyne digital gauges / R1 Racing buckets seats / Billet & Acrylic Fantasies inner door handles / custom-made door panels / custom-made center console / black carpeting / JVC head unit / air-control gauge and controls in center console / midrange speakers in center console
Miscellaneous Ford Taurus headlights / billet grille inserts / stainless-steel mirrors / custom bed kit


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