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A long time NAPCO Owners Group member Bill Fowler of Solo Speed Shop in California just located and scored a really nice barn find!! NAPCO trucks in themselves are already rare but this Studebaker NAPCO may just be one of the rarest of the rare! It's a 1959 3/4 Ton Studebaker Deluxe (not a Transtar) that was factory outfitted with our beloved NAPCO 4x4 POWR-PAK system!!
NAPCO Owners Group Member Discovers an Awesome 1959 Studebaker 3/4 Ton NAPCO 4x4!!
This truck has great history! It was one of nine model 4E11D-122-C4 trucks produced in 1959. This particular truck was the Studebaker show truck for 1959. It did all the autorama shows across the U.S. to promote Studebaker 4x4 trucks. It was delivered to Los Angeles, CA & then right on show circuit it went! All Studebaker trucks show where they were delivered and who bought them, This truck only shows being delivered but without showing it as being sold because it was the official show truck for Studebaker!
Click to view Larger!!
Neil Watkins was a Studebaker engineer, in the later years of his career he drove from town to town enjoying the automotive show circuit. He put 10,000 miles on this truck showing the Studebaker at all kinds of venues all across the country! After shows were over Neil bought the truck for himself and the Studebaker company installed a brand new motor in it for him. When he and the truck retired from the show circuit Neil settled down in Virginia City, Nevada. Neil kept the truck until he sadly passed away in late 80s, but before he died he found another Studebaker guy in town named Chuck Haynes. The 90 year old Neil asked Chuck if he would like to buy truck as his health was not very good. Of course Chuck jumped at the offer! Here's the great part of the story... he told Chuck they did a utility truck show for Bell Telephone and further said that to showcase the abilities of the Studebaker NAPCO 4x4 he took this truck and drove it up the steps of the Capital state building in low gear with Neil walking outside of truck while the truck drove on it's own power climbing each step up with nobody sitting inside of it! What a neat thing that must have been to witness!! We (NAPCO Owners Group & Bill Fowler) are trying to find photos of this event, there has to be some around somewhere! Let us know if you know anything about this!!
Anyway Chuck was the second owner that kept this Studebaker until he sold it to Bill Fowler of Solo Speed Shop earlier this year (2012) which makes them only the third party to own this really rare Studebaker! When Bill saw the truck for the first time after it had been sitting for ten years he had no doubts about it.... he knew he had found a gem when it fired right up and runs like a top with 71K original miles. It sure is one awesome Studebaker truck and as a bonus it's a NAPCO to boot!!
This 1959 Studebaker Deluxe Model 4E11D-122-C4 was the third truck produced, built on 12-17-1959 then delivered to Los Angeles, CA. It was delivered with standard 700x16 6 ply tires, 4.88:1 ratio rear axle, 8 foot box, Paint Code 5951 (Parchment White) and Trim Code 6084.
Model 4E11D-122-C4 Deluxe 4X4 Studebaker truck
4 = Indicates a truck built for the 1959 model year for the Studebaker Corp.
E = Series of Studebaker trucks built for model years 1955 to 1964
11 = 3/4 ton nominally rated chassis with a standard 245 cubic inch, flat head, side valve six cylinder engine in front of a standard four speed manual transmission.
D = Signifies a truck built with a 4X4 drive system manufactured by NAPCO.
122.wheelbase of the truck chassis in inches- in this case a wheelbase of 122 inches measured from the center of the front axle to the center of the rear axle.
C = 'cab'.
4 = Deluxe Cab which in turn gave its name to the truck line for 1959- Deluxe rather than the 1958 Transtar line.
Serial number E11D-13517
E = same as above
11 = same as above
D = same as above
13517 = numerical sequence in which this E11 came off the assembly line in the E series of trucks beginning in 1955.
Engine number 4E7383 (the 4 and E have nothing to do with the above characters). The engine is a standard 245 cubic inch six cylinder. 4E engines were used in other years of Studebaker trucks as well.
Bill was told it's a very rare because they normally had to move the radio way over to the right side of the dash to have enough clearance room for the 4x4 shifter. Also it came from the factory with a Transtar radio that still works and is in it's correct position.
Bill, we wish you the best of luck on your cool barn find, thank you for sharing your 1959 Studebaker NAPCO 4x4 with us! What a nice piece of history to own!!