Studebaker did not make post-war wagons until 1954, a bit late for the booming all-steel wagon market. But for their new 1947 line a woody wagon was intended to be part of the line-up, and this prototype was built and shown at several car shows. At the last minute, the wood plug was pulled. It’s handsome enough, but woody wagons were very quickly falling out of favor, as all-steel wagons were cheaper and of course much more friendly for everyday family use. Not having an all-steel wagon was a missed opportunity.
So it was a pretty obvious call to leave this as a one off, which then moldered away somewhere on Studebaker’s sprawling test grounds. It was found in 1980 by a team of Studebaker Drivers Club members, who retrieved the body. The Studebaker National Museum eventually took possession and complete restoration was undertaken. It was a long, painful restoration but it was finally completed in 2012.
And here it is, looking as fresh—although a bit out of date—as it did in 1947.