Studebaker Custom Kart Hauler

This stunning 1953 Studebaker coupe-based vintage show car was first built in 1958 by Lee Talbot and Sam Chakries and first shown at the 1959 Oakland Roadster show, known today as the Grand National Roadster Show. Combining the aerodynamic Studebaker frontal design of the early 1950s with a pickup bed, similar in concept to the Ford Ranchero or Australian “Utes” of the era, the Kart Hauler was literally designed to haul the fast go-karts that were popular during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

A painstaking restoration was completed in January 2009 in time for the Kart Hauler to make its second show debut at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California, marking the 50th anniversary since its first appearance in 1959.

The flawless restoration was completed with no expense spared, including body and paintwork by Jon Falcon, with upholstery by “Howdy” Ledbetter. For power, a 259-cubic inch V8 from a 1955 Studebaker President was used, with period speed parts including a Stu-V dual-carb intake with dual Stromberg WW two-barrel carburetors, as well as Offenhauser finned valve covers, a finned valley pan and a number of other polished goodies. Power is harnessed by a Borg-Warner/Studebaker T86 three-speed manual transmission with overdrive and a period-style floor shift, routed to a 4.27:1 final drive.

The resurrected “Kart Hauler” includes a faithful reproduction of the popular late-1950s/early-1960s Rupp Dart “A Bone” go-kart. Features include twin West Bend 820 engines with 13,000-rpm redlines, an Airheart hydraulic brake and period-perfect wheels, tires and upholstery. The subject of numerous features in magazines including Custom Classic Trucks, Hot Rod, Hot Rod Deluxe and Street Rodder, as well as on electronic media including Hot Rod TV, the “Kart Hauler” exemplifies the customizer’s blend of artistry and innovation.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

Est. 200+ hp modified 1955 Studebaker President 259 cu. in. V8 engine, vintage Stu-V intake manifold with dual Stromberg WW carburetors, Borg-Warner/Studebaker T86 three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension, live rear axle, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 116.5"

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Studebaker Custom Kart Hauler