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1945 Studebaker US6 Military Truck Strolling Through a Junkyard Is Strangely Beautiful

When it comes to iconic 6x6 military trucks from World War II, we usually think about the GMC CCKW. Introduced in 1941, it was built in more than a half-million units and remained in service well into the 1950s. But Studebaker also built a 6x6 truck around the same time.
1945 Studebaker US6 6 photos
1945 Studebaker US61945 Studebaker US61945 Studebaker US61945 Studebaker US61945 Studebaker US6
Called the US6, the 2.5-ton hauler was manufactured by Studebaker and REO, the latter a company founded by Ransom E. Olds. Just like the CCKW, the US6 was introduced in 1941 and remained in production until 1945, but only around 220,000 units were built.

On top of that, while the GMC CCKW was the 6x6 hauler of choice for the U.S. Army, the Studebaker US6 was eventually manufactured primarily for export under the Lend-Lease policy. Not because the US6 was inferior to the CCKW, but mostly because the GMC version proved to be more suitable for Western Front conditions.

Many of these Studebaker trucks were sent to the Soviet Union, where they were used to tow artillery pieces and anti-tank guns and to transport troops over long distances. The truck became renowned for its ruggedness and reliability and legend has it Joseph Stalin himself sent a letter of appreciation to Studebaker.

Some US6 trucks were also used by the U.S. military. However, they were mostly deployed for construction purposes, including the Alaska Highway.

Come 2022, and the US6 is a sought-after collectible, especially since it is much rarer than the GMC CCKW. As a result, many of the trucks that have been decommissioned and left to rust away decades ago are being brought back to life. Some carry on as survivors, while others become restored classics. This 1945 example is one of those trucks.

Stripped off its bed, this US6 surfaced in Alaska, so it's most likely one of those workhorses that were used to build the highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska.

There's not a lot of info on it, but it's been revived and taken for a stroll through a junkyard packed with old trucks and construction equipment. It's slow, it's loud, and it's anything but majestic, but it's strangely beautiful to see it on the go now that it's 77 years old.

Making things that much better, it still relies on its original Hercules JXD engine. A 320-cubic-inch (5.2-liter) inline-six gasoline mill of the L-head variety, it was rated at 86 horsepower and 200 pound-feet (271 Nm) of torque when new. Hear it run like a champ in the video below.

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