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Lot 25
1947 Studebaker M5 Coupe Express 1/2-Ton Pickup


From the Pugsley Collection


• Beautiful restoration with outstanding workmanship
• Authentically presented show-winning truck with Art Deco styling
• Recent magazine feature vehicle

169 cid L-head inline six-cylinder engine, 85 HP, single-barrel Carter carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, I-beam front axle with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 113”

For the 1941 model year, Studebaker introduced an entirely new line of trucks deemed the “M” series. Hardest working in the light duty class was the M5 “Coupe Express” ½-tonner that was designed for any task it was handed. Studebaker economized wherever possible in its styling such as making the front and rear fenders on the pickup models interchangeable and designing the running boards to be the same for both driver and passenger sides of the truck. The instrument cluster was taken right off the parts shelf from the 1941 Champion passenger cars. Initial sales were slow but started to pick up when, shortly after the 1942 models were released, the USA entered World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the war Studebaker did quite well filling out government contracts, building nearly 200,000 vehicles that were pressed into military service. When peace was declared, South Bend went back to work making civilian cars and trucks including the M5 pickups. The “Coupe Express” was really a cut above most other trucks of the day in that items that were extra cost on a Ford, Dodge or Chevrolet, were standard equipment for Studebaker. Little things like dual sun visors and windshield wipers, arm rests for the doors, dome light, adjustable wind-wings and an adjustable seat all contributed to make the M5 a great buy. Safety was also a concern for Studebaker which introduced its box-girder steel frame that leveled the load and helped to protect the driver and passenger. For economy, the proven Econ-O-Miser six-cylinder engine with automatic choke provided plenty of power without consuming more than its share of fuel. This same engine had been used in the famous Studebaker Weasel during the war, as well as other applications. For 1947, the M5 was given a little cosmetic facelift with the hood front name plate and the headlight surrounds now in a chrome plate at no extra cost and, to top it off, a streamlined chromed hood ornament was added.

This 1947 M5 Coupe Express pickup has been treated to a full restoration. When we first saw this truck, it was breathtaking. The body work is perfectly lined up and the doors open and close as though the truck was born yesterday. The rotary locks, another Studebaker feature, hold the doors secure and the windows roll up and down with ease. Under the hood the engine is presented in a deep olive green topped by the oil bath air cleaner and features a factory tag on the radiator letting the new owner know how to maintain a proper cooling system. The only non-factory item appearing is a period-correct Fram oil filter system which is properly bolted to the left side of the engine block. This truck starts up easily and shifts through the gears easily with synchro action for second and third gears. The pickup bed is clean and, since the restoration, has had nothing but air to carry. Adding appeal, it has been fitted with chrome plated front and rear bumpers. All five wheels have been painted red and given dual white pinstripes and carry a beautiful set of original hubcaps while riding on a fresh set of Firestone tires. Our consignor has used it very sparingly to keep up the presentation, basically taking it out for a couple of photo shoots including the session for this catalogue. He says he has put on less than 20 miles and, of all the cars in his collection, this is one that he highly prizes. With the recent interest in light duty pickup, this unique and handsome Studebaker is one truck that will stand out in the crowd, while providing pleasure from its performance and stylish looks. This truck was the subject of a four-page spread in the February 2020 edition of Collectible Automobile, a copy of which will be included with the purchase of the truck.

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