HMV Buyer’s Guide: Studebaker & Reo US6 Trucks

Vehicle: US6 2-1/2 ton 6×6 and 6×4 Trucks
G-Number: G-630
Common name: 2-1/2 ton truck

The US6 trucks were designed by Studebaker Corp, of South Bend, Indiana, to be competitive with the GMC CCKW or the IHC M5-H6 6×6 trucks. Production began in South Bend in June 1941 and continued through August 1945, totaling 197,678 vehicles.

These trucks, like the White M3A1 Scout Car and the Ford M8 and M20 armored cars, were powered by the 320-cid Hercules JXD six-cylinder engine. The proper engine for the US6 has the Studebaker spoked logo cast into the manifold. The US6 used the same transmission and transfer case as the GMC CCKW, and even the Timken axles were the same as those used on many of the GMCs.

Most of these trucks have a hardtop cab based on the civilian Studebaker M-series cab. This was not the same as the later M-series military cab. Rather, Studebaker used letters to denote its various truck models, J, K, M, etc. The civilian cab was modified by the addition of a swing-out windshield with top-mounted vacuum wipers, metal interior panels, and military instruments. A source of confusion regarding designations for these trucks comes from Studebaker’s number system. The U.S. model was built with a number of body codes. These codes were U1 through U13.

The brake system employed by Studebaker was not the Hydrovac system that GMC used, but instead was a vacuum-boosted system.

These trucks were produced in short (148-in.) and long (162-in.) wheelbases, and in 6×6 and 6×4 form. Since the 6×4 version was intended for on road use only, its weight classification was 5-ton, whereas the 6×6 version was rated using the traditional off-road system of 2-1/2 tons.

During December of 1942, production of the US6 with an open cab was begun. However, this was not to the liking of the major user of the US6 — the Soviet Army — and production reverted to the closed cab in March of 1943, with only about 10,000 of the opencabbed trucks having been completed.

Reo Motors of Lansing, Mich., was contracted to build copies of this truck in addition to the output of Studebaker. The 22,204 trucks that Reo built were indistinguishable from the Studebakers, except for the data plates.

US6 MODELS
US6 U1 SWB cargo without winch
US6 U2 SWB cargo with winch
US6 U3 LWB cargo without winch
US6 U4 LWB cargo with winch
US6 U5 LWB 750 gallon tanker
US6x4 U6 SWB Semi-tractor
US6x4 U7 LWB cargo without winch
US6x4 U8 LWB cargo with winch
US6 U9 LWB cab and chassis without winch
US6 U10 SWB Rear Dump without winch
US6 U11SWB Rear Dump with winch
US6 U12SWB Side Dump without winch
US6 U13 SWB Side Dump with winch

Note: US6x4 production stopped in July 1945, with the last all-wheel-drive version being built the following month.

Condition code & Value (dollars)

  •     6    4,500
  •     5    7,500
  •     4     11,000
  •     3     16,500
  •     2     22,000
  •     1    24,500
  •     Scarcity    2

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