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The Champion was one of Studebaker’s best-selling models because of its low price (US$660 for the two-door business coupe in 1939), durable engine, and styling. The car’s pontoon styling was authored by industrial designer Raymond Loewy who had been under contract with Studebaker for the design of their automobiles. Champions won Mobil gas economy runs by posting the highest gas mileage tests.
During World War II, Champions were coveted for their high mileage at a time when gas was rationed in the United States. From 1943-1945, the Champion engine was used as the power plant for the Studebaker M29 Weasel personnel and cargo carrier, which also used four sets of the Champion’s leaf springs arranged transversely for its bogie suspension.