the studebomber

Tradition wants hot rods to be built from Ford parts. There might be an early nailhead or a hemi sitting between the frame rails. But everything around it should have been designed once upon a time in Dearborn, Michigan.

LOWTECH is all about traditional hot rods and customs.

And I hardly ever saw a hot rod that was appealing to my eyes and senses but wasn't a Ford.

Luckily there are geniuses like Roy of San Clemente, California who are capable of opening my stubborn, narrow-minded view. To my defense I must say he had to bring some pretty heavy machinery. And he had to piece it together from dozens of different car makes and models. But he did good. He did god damn good.

This is the story of Roy's 1934 Studebaker.

The front view is one of my favorite angles of this car. It's aggressive withouth being rude. It's dramatic but not exaggerated.

Everything is thoughtfully arranged around the centerpiece, a bored out 345 cubic inch Hemi out of a 1956 De Soto. The headers are made of 1936 Ford torque tubes. And even the wheels combine 1940 Ford centers with 1939 Chevy outer rims.

Roy took the dashboard from a 1950 Ford and combined it with an Olds gauge cluster from the same year.

The cowl vent was specifcially built for this car.

In fact, every part on this car was made to fit. »My goal was building a car the old school way« says Roy. »Just using parts we had scrounged at swap meets and junk yards.«

We don't know where Roy found the steering wheel. But it originally came from a 1950s boat.

The decklid is from a 1949 Lincoln.

The gas filler cap is from an unknown source.

The rear wheel wells are pieced together from the hood sides of a 1954 Dodge. The upper door frames are from a 1939 Chevy and the rear wheels combine 1957 Olds centers with Chevy milk truck rims and Plymouth hoops. And yes you're right, the rear window unmistakingly came with a 1939 Buick.

Let's now take a closer look at the front which is pure architecture. The 1941 Lincoln front beam partly hides behind the 1939 La Salle grille which is flanked by a pair of 1961 Chrysler headlights. Even the lines on the hood flow perfectly which is not by coincidence but rather a result of Roy's relentless eye for aesthetics combined with his amazing craftsmanship.

While the car isn't finished yet, it has come a long way from what it was seven years ago. So, you say there was never such a thing like a 1934 Studebaker three-window coupe? So, you're right. This car used to be a four door humpback sedan.

And when asked why he had chosen a Studebaker sedan to build the hot rod coupe of his dreams, Roy replied: »I just couldn't afford a Ford.«

And here we got Roy on the left with my buddy Hendrik from Switzerland petting Roy's shop dog Auto.


  1. That is one amazing piece of machinery!

  2. Where is his shop in San Clemente? Love to stop by and say hello

  3. "So, you say there was never such a thing like a 1934 Studebaker three-window coupe? So, you're right."

    wrong, studebaker made 3w coupes in 1934

    1. Wow I don't know that, thank you for the information.