Alright, I know Ram’s show guts and glory, and I know F-whatever50’s are built Ford-Tough, and I think Chevy’s are still like a rock, or are still the most dependable something-something. And I even know Tundras have a tough guy talking about them as well. But none, AND I MEAN NONE OF THEM, are called the Champ.
That distinction goes to the now-defunct Studebaker, which was probably not the most dependible gut-glorifying tough-built truck. Who cares, it was called the Champ. It wins.
I love the word “champ”. Just keep saying it over and over. Actually, go call your kids or your friends “champ” for awhile, and see how it feels. It feels awesome. Way back when, when I was in 8th-grade band, just counting the days before I could quit and lead a normal high-school life, my only enjoyment was our band teacher, Mr. Willard. If I say “junior high band teacher”, I promise you will picture Mr. Willard. Brown sansabelt slacks, old beat up wingtips, a shirt either unbuttoned one-too-many, or sporting a tie way too short, and hair still celebrating his heydays from years ago.
He loved to lead the band, whether we were in place or marching the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona. He put us in the Parada del Sol every year, which boasted that it was the largest horse-drawn parade in the world. All that meant for an 8th-grader that didn’t want to be there was that he would have to spend a good portion of his Saturday maneuvering the largest horsepoop-infested street in the world. I didn’t play a note. I just looked down to make sure I didn’t step in anything.
I digress from this digression. Mr. Willard was all about the music, which meant he had no place in his brain to learn our names. So he called all of us “Champ”. Think about how cool it was to get that daily affirmation. You were guaranteed to be a champ every day if you were in band. Who couldn’t have such bolstering self-esteem? For that I love the word “Champ”. And for THAT, I love the Studebaker Champ.
Thankfully, outside of its killer name, the model is fantastic. I love that the decision was made to make it a racing truck. I kept all three colors of the casting in 2011, skipped the Nostalgia version, but am adding this one in grey and blue.
Which leads to its availability. Is anyone finding this batch in stores? I hope it arrives, but I get concerned that these later batches of the year won’t find their way to the pegs. Maybe they have. I got mine from Wheel Collectors, in case anyone is looking for one…
Hot Wheels ’63 Studebaker Champ (2012 Boulevard):