1951 Studebaker Pickup “Bertha” Restomod Is Widened Over a C6 Corvette Chassis and Engine

Old trucks are cool, whether you’re talking about a Ford F100 or a Chevy 3100. However, this 1951 Studebaker pickup called Bertha proves that even the ugly ducklings can be turned into award-winning machines.

A couple of months ago, we talked about “Sho Bird“, the twin-turbo 1931 Chevy that won the 2022 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award. However, this was a fantastic year for custom cars and the other “Great 8” models were amazing, this one being one of them.

Bertha the Studebaker is basically a hot rod wet dream. However, the tech that goes underneath it basically makes it an extreme restomod, since it’s going to drive like a brand new car, specifically a Corvette.

The un-sexy body of the old truck has undergone some extreme cosmetic surgery. Its fenders, for example were stretched out 4 inches each so they fit on the Corvette tracks. Meanwhile, the body has been channeled 10 inches lower onto the frame, while the bed was shortened.

It’s pretty easy to spot the 5-inch chop in the roof. However, I feel like everything is different here. For example, that front end looks like it was designed for Gotham city. It’s got a modified grille out of a 1949 Ford, wide-set billet frames around the headlights and a chin splitter.

Bright orange paint emphasizes the added grille design, while the Corvette’s LS motor is beautifully encapsulated. The bodywork has been finished in a deep red paint that’s based on a factory Ford color (2017 Magma Red from F-150), while the orange is from Chevy’s Corvette, as are the wheels. The rest of the C6’s powertrain helps this put power down, and you can clearly see massive cross-drilled brakes, clashing with the retro design. Ever seen “Studebaker” written on 6-piston calipers?

The full-custom interior was created by Vos Upholstery of Cedar Lake, Indiana, and features a modified 1950 Plymouth dashboard.

The custom pickup belongs to Jim and Rhonda Sappenfields, who entrusted the work to U.S. 12 Speed & Custom. This 20-year-old award-winning project was originally started by the late Gene Pierce of South Bend, who passed before he was able to complete it.



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