Custom Built 1947 M Series Stake Bed

Restored National Products C Cab Pickup

Resin Cast 1954 Conestoga Station Wagon

In Progress 1962 Lark Skytop

Jim Amado of Utica, New York sent a bunch of pictures of his Studebaker toy and model collection. Jim has a diverse collection of both small scale and large scale Studebaker cars and trucks ranging from factory originals, to restored examples, to custom built models.

Jim says that he has been a car nut ever since he can remember. He began tinkering with plastic models about fifty seven years ago and seriously building and collecting soon thereafter. Thirty eight years ago he opened a shop dealing in automotive related collectibles including scale models and automotive sales literature. It was a unique shop offering many unique products and services including custom built models of customer's vehicles. The shop closed in 2014 after 35 years in operation.

Jim has published a number of articles in both scale model and automotive publications, the most recent appearing in the August 2017 issue of Toy Trucker & Contractor.

Starting from the top, the 1947 M Series Stake Bed began life as an Ertl Pickup. The running boards were cut, the rear fenders and pickup box were removed, a stake bed and rack were added, and the wheels were painted black.

The National Products C Cab Pickup is a restoration and repaint with replacement wheels and tires cast in plaster.

The 1954 Conestoga Station Wagon is a resin cast kit made by All American Models. An AMT 1953 Starliner kit is needed for parts to complete it. All American Models went out of business some time ago.

The work in progress 1962 Lark Skytop is a JoHan plastic model kit with an opening cut into the roof and simulated folded top appropriated from a Volkswagen plastic model kit made by Pyro.

Custom M Series Box Truck Project

National Products 1947 Commander Coupe

Worlds Fair Studebaker Land Cruiser

1954 Commander Hardtop Promotional

The M Series Box Truck Project began life as an Ertl diecast 1947 pickup. The fender assembly and frame were cut, the chassis was lengthened, the cargo body was pirated from another diecast truck, plastic sheet was added as skirting below the box, and plastic strips were added to sides of box and around the rear wheel openings. It is still a work in progress. Jim intends to match the paint on the cab and box and is looking for find appropriate wheels with the correct number of slots and lug nuts.

The National Products 1947 Commander is a restoration with more appropriate larger diameter plaster cast tires added. The pot metal body was filed and filled where imperfections existed and the model was repainted.

The 1934 World's Fair Studebaker Land Cruiser is a rubber copy of the original National Products pot metal promotional down to the World's Fair lettering on the back. It was molded black which has proven to be a challenge to piant. The wheels and tires are wood.

The 1954 Commander Starliner Hardtop is an AMT promotional model. The original celluloid windshield has been replaced with a plastic one from an AMT plastic model kit and the side window frame has been removed at the center to better represent the hardtop body style. Chrome trim and wheels have yet to be addressed.

Ertl 1939 Texaco Tank Truck

Signature Models 1928 Studebaker Fire Truck

Revell 1910 Studebaker Electric

Jo-Han 1959 Lark Hardtop Promotional

The Texaco Tank Truck was made by Ertl and was sold as a 1939 model in 1:25 scale. It was number 22 in a series of Texaco Tankers. Jim contends that it more accurately resembles an earlier model truck and is closer to 1:32 scale. This model was available in normal Texaco red and in a less realistic special "red chrome" edition.

The 1928 Studebaker Fire Truck is a Signature Model made by Yat Ming. It is 1:32 scale and is nicely detailed including various ladders, hoses, and a hood that opens to reveal a detailed engine. Yat Ming makes a number of Studebaker models in various scales incuding a 1937 Coupe Express, 1950 Champion Starlight Coupe, 1958 Golden Hawk, and a 1963 Avanti.

The 1910 Studebaker Electric is a built Revell plastic model kit. It is part of the Highway Pioneer quick construction kit series based on designs by the British toy company Gowland and Gowland. It is 1:32 scale and was originally issued in the early 1950's. This model was reissued by Minicraft Models in the early 1990's. Gowland and Gowland is also known for a series of ships in a bottle kits.

The 1959 Lark Hardtop is a dealer promotional made by Jo-Han Models of Detroit, Michigan. This model did not come with an interior. It is nominally 1:25 scale but is likely a bit larger scale since tyhe Lark was a relatively small car. Jo-Han promotionals from this period are prone to warping and window crazing over time. This example has been repainted and an interior from a 1962 Lark plastic model kit has been added.

Liberty Classics 1922 Big Six Pickup

Liberty Classics Roadster and Pickup

Liberty Classics Panel Truck and Hearse

Jo-Han 1962 Lark Convertible

The Liberty Classics 1922 Studebaker Big Six Pickup is a modified Canadian Tire Corporation 75th Aniversary model. The load has been removed from the bed and a simulated wood floor has been installed in the pickup box. Here is an example of the stock issue model from my collection. This model was reissued in 2017 for the Canadian Tire Corporation's 95th Aniversary. The 2017 issue is all black rather than red with black trim. There are also a number of special "chase" versions of the 95th Aniversary Edition.

The Liberty Classiscs Studebaker Roadster may be termed a "business roadster" as it has a substantial trunk. The Liberty Classics Studebaker Pickup has been repainted black and its bed cover has been removed. The dark green Liberty Classics Studebaker Panel Truck and gold Liberty Classics Studebaker Hearse have also been repainted. The hearse awaits a more suitable repaint and more appropriately colored spokes for its wheels. These models were issued in a number of versions with model years ranging from 1914 to 1918. They are all nominally 1:25 scale and all are configured as coin banks.

The 1:25 scale plastic 1962 Lark Convertible was built from the Jo-Han "Snap Kit" version. As such, no glue was required for assembly nor did the model need to be painted as long as you wanted it to be blue. This example has been painted a light metallic brown and has very nicely detailed trim. The hub cab centers have also been painted and the steering wheel has been two-toned as would be correct for the real thing. This model also came as a fully assembled dealer promotional with a friction engine. This promotional example from my collection shows the lack of detail on the dealer promotional model.

AMT 1955 Studebaker Hardtop Repaints

Front View

Side View

Another Two-Tone Scheme

Whitewall Tires Added

Jim repainted two AMT 1955 Studebaker Hardtop promotional models in different two-tone styles. These models are subject to warping but Jim was able to acquire two with only minimal warpage. The blue and white car is painted in a scheme that was used for both two-tone and three-tone combinations. For three-tone schemes the roof, upper body, and lower body were painted three different colors. Jim acquired this model about a year ago but didn't like the original color plus it was scratched so he repainted and detailed it to match his tastes. The model now resides in Jim's display case.

The dark green over light green car with the roof, upper rear quarters, and trunk painted dark green is also a correct paint style that was used on 1955 two-tone sedans, hardtops, and coupes. This scheme required an additional bright trim piece below the rear window to provide a break point. When Jim acquired this model it had a scuffed and cracked roof which he repaired. He then added the appropriate additional bright trim and repainted the car. The whitewalls which give it a really classy look as shown in the last picture were added later.

1954 Conestoga Station Wagon

Front View

Rear View

Top View

This 1954 Studebaker Conestoga Station Wagon was built from a resin kit made by All American Models. When Jim acquired the Conestoga from a fellow modeler it was already built, detailed, and painted blue. Jim added the white to make it two-tone. The basic resin kit included the body and interior and was intended to be used with the AMT 1953 Starliner Hardtop plastic kit as the source for the chassis, engine, chrome trim, and other parts. Since the wagons had a shorter wheelbase than the hardtops, the chassis from the AMT kit had to be shortened. Jim has an unbuilt example of the kit in his collection that he says will be made into a 1954 Studebaker Sedan Delivery.

All American Models (AAM), located in Lafyette, Indiana, produced a number resin conversion kits for plastic model cars and trucks. These were designed to be used with parts from commonly available kits from companies such as AMT, MPC, and JoHan. All American Models is no longer in business but some of its molds were sold to a company named R&D Unique. Unused AAM resin kits appear on eBay from time to time with prices ranging from under $20 to over $100 depending upon the rarity of the kit.

1960 Studebaker Lark Convertible

Front View

Rear View

Interior and Boot Cover

This 1960 Lark Convertible model was converted from a Jo-Han 1959 Lark Hardtop model. Jim removed the cracked roof from the 1959 Hardtop and added an interior from a 1962 Lark Convertible kit. The boot cover from the 1962 Lark kit did not fit the contours of the 1959 body so Jim found a boot cover in a parts box that fits quite well. The front grille has been changed to the 1960 style with a Lark emblem at the center and a license plate reading "1960" has was added to cover the "1959" molded into the body at the rear.

1953 Commander Starlight Coupe

Side View

Rear View

Jim made this 1953 Commander Starlight Coupe from an All American Models resin body and AMT 1953 Starliner model kit parts. All American Models produced several Studebaker bodies which required parts from an AMT kit to complete. In addition to the 1953 Starlight Coupe, these included a 1954 Conestoga Station Wagon and a 1962 Gran Turismo Hawk Hardtop. Here is a 1954 Conestoga Panel Delivery that Jim made from an AAM body and AMT parts. AAM conversion kits typically included the body, hood, and other parts needed to complete a model. All are out of production but they regularly appear on eBay with prices generally ranging from $50 to $100 or more.

Thanks to Jim for sending the pictures and information about his great Studebaker toy and model collection

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