Business Basecamp: 1946 Studebaker M-16 Panel Van Restomod – SOLD!

by | May 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

June 20, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

May 16, 2022 Update – The seller just replaced their expiring listing with a fresh Craigslist ad. In it, the description, pictures, and already-lowered price of $7,900 remain.

April 15, 2022 Update – The seller just replaced their expiring listing with a fresh Craigslist ad. In it, the description, pictures, and already-lowered price of $7,900 remain.

April 3, 2022 Update – The seller of this rare 1946 Studebaker just lowered their asking price from the original ask of $9,400 by $1,500 to land at $7,900.

Visit any festival or vacant city street corner these days and chances are you’ll come across a food truck. Many times the truck itself can be more interesting than the food offered.  That’s likely the vision of the builder of this rare 1946 Studebaker M-16 Panel Van originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Northwest Austin, Texas when they set about modernizing and converting it into a food truck before his partnership dissolved. What got our attention is how all of the mechanicals have been fully modernized in a restomod-like fashion. Specifically, a 2007 5.3 liter Vortex V8 connected to a matching GM 460L Automatic Transmission sends power through a custom-made driveshaft that twists a GM-sourced dually rear end. With plenty of modern power and the added weight capacity of the modern dually axle, the choice is yours on whether to continue the vision of building a retro-themed food truck or perhaps turning this rig into a camping van.

Currently offered for $9,400, you would likely be hard-pressed to source a similar solid vintage panel van and replicate the power train.

On his YouTube Channel, Steve Magnante provides a nice overview on the history of Studebaker trucks while combing through a junkyard:


With what appears to be fully sorted, modern mechanics on this 1946 Studebaker M-16 Panel Van, your only choice now is what and how you are going to use the extended cargo space. The only thing we would redo before configuring this rig is to change out the wood supports for steel one’s better structural integrity and fire resistance.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1946 Studebaker M-16 Panel Van– Very Unique Vehicle! The engine and entire drive-train was swapped out with the following:
2007 GM 5.3 liter Vortex V8
Matching GM 460L Automatic Transmission
Custom-made driveshaft
GM Rear end dully

1 – 1/2 ton Step Van, built for World War 2 as an ambulance or delivery/supply vehicle, due to its very high ground clearance and rugged build. It turns over instantly and the engine will rev. and ROAR and then PURRS at idle!

All of the engine electronics; headlights, taillights, instrument & speedometer gauge, engine electrical/charging and battery are new, and 12 volt. The lights are attractive and bright LED’s.

It is “street legal” as it does not require any sort of inspection in Texas. I currently have the clear & clean title, tags, and Antique license Plates; in my name. It needs two new tires, the other four have good rubber and the front ones are virtually new. It also needs a brake job.

The previous owner began to convert it into a Food Truck but stopped when his partnership ended. The Rear Body and frame of the Van was cut and extended by roughly 18 inches, the roof and one side were cut open and re-framed, and the roof-dome was added, but the work was never completed.”

Food Truck or Cool Camper: What would you do with this Studebaker M-16?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. JimmyinTEXAS

    I cannot believe there wasn’t anybody interested in this truck for this price, which I think is extremely good.


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