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Buyer's Guide: WWII Studebaker & Reo US6 Trucks

A Lend-Lease Favorite, the US6 G-630 is also a great collector WW2 6x6 or 6x4 truck

Vehicle: US6 2-1/2 ton 6x6 and 6x4 Trucks
G-Number: G-630
Common name: 2-1/2 ton truck

US-6 Truck

US-6 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 6x6 trucks. Production began in South Bend in June 1941 and continued through August 1945, totaling 197,678 vehicles.

US6 cargo truck with Studebaker nameplate on grille.

Though there were some 6x4 versions produced, most of the US6s were built as all-wheel-drive vehicles. Studebaker badged the grilles of early production trucks with the company’s nameplate.

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.

US6x4-48 tractor with Freuhauf trailer, restored by Guy Jenson.

US6x4-48 tractor with Freuhauf trailer, restored by Guy Jenson. 

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.

Basic specs, US6 Studebaker

Basic specs, US6 Studebaker

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 6x6 and 6x4 form. Since the 6x4 version was intended for on road use only, its weight classification was 5-ton, whereas the 6x6 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.

Unrestored US-6 owned by Rick Colquitte

Unrestored, but running, a US6 is worth about about $11-13,000.

Restored US6 by Spooner Military Vehicle Preservation Group

The same truck as above, after it was restored. Now worth about $17-24,000. 

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.

Ad from 1945 promoting the use of Studebaker trucks in the India.

Ad from 1945 promoting the use of Studebaker trucks in the India. 

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                   2,100
  •        5                   4,000
  •        4                  11,500
  •        3                  13,500
  •        2                  17,000
  •        1                  24,500+
  • Scarcity 2

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