A Completely Rethought, Custom 1948 Studebaker

Front-10-23-15-1In search of a small and light car, the crew over at Chateau Stillwater Garage have built one certified beauty. Spotted on Engine Swap Depot, check out this custom 1948 Studebaker that has a few surprises up its sleeve and churns a little different.

The Studebaker before its transformation. Photos courtesy of Chateau Stillwater Garage

Possessing an RB20 engine, which is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-six cylinder, Stillwater was searching for another project car to better suit this engine. Thinking outside of the box, they stumbled across a 1948 Studebaker, which was in fair condition to begin with.

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Although the Studebaker was in great shape, Stillwater reimagined the Studebaker that makes this build so unique. Buying a Nissan R32 Skyline front clip, the goal was to do some creative surgery, fitting the Skyline front clip onto the Studebaker in order to swap in the RB20 engine.

After selling a majority of the original driveline components, Stillwater went right to work. Ensuring proper fitment, they spent countless amounts of time measuring and trimming in order to make this build plausible.

The exhaust came from an Audi S4 turbo, as the five-speed manual transmission came off a Nissan Skyline. Custom on so many levels, the Studebaker was rebuilt from the ground up.

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On the left is the original Studebaker rearend, and on the right is the R33 Skyline rearend that it was swapped with.

Due to the Skyline being from Japan and right hand drive, a rack-and-pinion from a Nissan 240SX was supplemented, which went in without problems. As a result, the Studebaker also had to use the Skyline throttle, brake pedals, clutch, and steering column, adding four more inches to the steering shaft to bring together the rack-and-pinion.

For the rearend, the Studebaker had its original components pulled and replaced with a R33 Skyline rearend configuration that includes a limited slip differential. The Skyline’s five-speed manual transmission, being larger than the Studebaker three-speed, created some short clearance since a dog leg shift lever was made that was close to the bench seat inside.

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A new trunk floor was also fabricated since there was rust in a few places in the original trunk. Powder coating the frame and prepping the body for paint, the Studebaker has made great strides, in turn transforming the car into a new beast.

Call it a sleeper in disguise, the Sparkling Merlot Pearl paint came out exquisitely, making for a classy appeal on the custom Studebaker. The RB20 mill has been disguised with the Studebaker valve cover, which could trick a novice gearhead.

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From the electrical to the driveline, all has been changed and modified on this Studebaker. Heck, even the telemetry in the dash is from a Skyline. Some may be taken aback by this custom Studebaker, but we’d love to hear your opinion on this custom.

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The two tone interior also came out with great results, complementing the classy exterior. With everything completed in late 2015, the Studebaker actually made it to the Redmond Exotics car show in Redmond, Washington. Parked up next to the likes of a Chevelle SS and a Corvette Stingray, the Studebaker looks to have held up just fine.

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Has this Studebaker lost all of its prestige? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

nicaguon

Nic Aguon is a graduate from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and mass communications and holds a passion for sleek and unique automobiles. Serving as a Staff Writer for multiple publications at Power Automedia, Nic pledges to bring readers clean and concise storytelling that hits the nail right on the head. A jack of all trades, his interests range from imports to American muscle, hot rods, and Kustoms.
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