American Beauty

Nostalgia and artistry collide in the restoration of a 1955 Studebaker truck.

There’s something intoxicating about nostalgia. As we get older and our lives become more and more complicated, it seems that we reach endlessly towards the rosiness of the past, remembering it fondly and craving its simplicity. Classic car restoration encapsulates the warm comfortability of the past with the beauty of American ingenuity, an irresistible combination. For Smitty’s Classics and Cars of Fort Worth, not only is classic car restoration a labor of love, it's also a family affair. Smitty’s owner, Darrel Smith, learned to fix cars from his father, as well as mechanical school, and he explains how fixing cars was something that the men in their family were always careful to pass down generationally, initially out of necessity but today it’s a lucrative business. And the cars Smitty’s restores often seem to have family ties that run deep. Smith’s most recent restoration, a gorgeous ice blue 1955 Studebaker truck, initially belonged to the truck owners’ grandfather who bought it new. For twenty years the truck sat, accumulating rust and losing a bit of its luster, a time capsule waiting to be restored to its former glory, a task Smith and his team were all too eager to accommodate.

1. Engine

The Car's engine was converted to a 2D3 motor with a 350 turbo transmission. Originally, the car came with a 6-cylinder motor but Smitty's updated it to give it some extra zip.

2. Rear End

Smitty's fitted the truck with a '70 Camaro rear end differential for a ride that's as smooth as possible.  

3. Suspension

Similar to the differential, Smitty's added front end suspension, considerably improving the smoothness of the ride. The original truck did not have front end suspension. 

4. Body

Smitty's kept the body of the truck all original, only removing the rust that had accumulated over 20 years of being out of commission. The iconic bubbly body of the Studebaker was then given several coats of ice blue paint as the finishing touch. 

5. Steering and Brakes

Power steering and power brakes were added to the truck, a modern amenity that greatly improves the quality of the drive. Smith also added a tilt steering wheel column, giving the driver increased wheel control.  

6. Updated Wiring

The electrical on the truck was updated to today's standards, modernizing it greatly. 

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