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Barn Find: This 1956 Studebaker Transtar Survivor Shows Only 23k Original Miles

Founded in 1852 and folded in 1967, the Studebaker Corporation is remembered for many firsts, ranging from nylon upholstery to double-wall pickup beds. The Indiana-based brand was bleeding money ever since the 1950s, which is why most of the pickup trucks manufactured in that period had very little in the way of creature comforts and oomph.
1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find 17 photos
1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find1956 Studebaker Transtar barn find
Take, for instance, this 1956 barn find. Offered by a private seller on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $18,500, the half-ton workhorse is rocking a 185 side-valved mill connected to a three-speed manual transmission.

Also known as the Champion, the 3.0-liter flathead straight-six develops a little more than 90 horsepower. Smoother than the Skybolt Six overhead-valve adaption, this plant “runs great” according to the seller. Even though the head and fan aren’t in tip-top shape from a visual standpoint, the engine compartment is remarkably clean given the light-duty truck’s age.

Located in Arizona where the humidity is pretty low, the Transtar is showing 23,049 miles (37,094 kilometers) on the clock. The odometer is framed by a 90-mph (145-kph) speedometer, which is flanked by an oil gauge, temperature gauge, fuel gauge, and an amp gauge. Presented with the factory-issue paint and original interior, the truck is largely unmolested.

“Recent work completed on this pickup was done to preserve the rare unmolested condition of this vehicle,” said the seller. “Service performed to make it ready for play, drive, or show include fuel system, gaskets and seals, water pump, carburetor, motor mounts, radiator, starter, generator, brake system, and more.” By more, he's probably referring to the brand-new rubber shoes on every corner of the workhorse, hub caps, and 12-volt battery.

Very rare and desirable for a particular type of collector, the Transtar is backed up by vehicle history documentation. Although there are rips in the seat and superficial rust on undercarriage components and a little more rust on the tailgate, $18,500 is a bit of a steal for this pickup. Hagerty’s valuation tool says that a 1956 model - also known as the 2E series - in concours condition is worth $40,000 nowadays while an excellent one is $27,800.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 

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