Hot Wheels






Jim Hartman is an automobile enthusiast and toy collector from Southern California who sells vintage Japanese tin vehicles on eBay. His eBay i.d. is "tootoy" if you want to see his current listings. Jim takes excellent pictures of the toys he collects and sells. In addition to collecting tin toys, Jim owns a 1929 Ford Roadster that was first built as a hot rod in 1948 and is currently running a Corvette engine. All of the pictures below were taken by Jim Hartman and are used with his permission.

SSS Studebaker R Series Log Truck

Here is a front view of this neat toy. This one sold on eBay for $170.59.

SSS Studebaker R Series Closed Cargo Truck

Here is a picture of the tractor section of this outstanding toy. This one sold on eBay for for a high bid of $252.48.

SSS Studebaker R Series Livestock Truck

Here is a picture of the tractor section of this version.

Another R Series Closed Cargo Truck

According to Jim Geary in his "Studebaker Toy Treasures" book, SSS International of Japan made numerous variations of the Studebaker R Series tractor with log, grain, closed cargo, and livestock trailers. While it is difficult to determine exactly what year tractor is represented, Jim Geary catalogs these as 1951 R Series tractors. One of SSS International's most popular items was a series of house trailers and caravans for which reproduction boxes are currently available. On any given day, a search on eBay will return 25 or more SSS tin toys, most of which will be cars or trucks. Despite the company's large output and wide distribution, SSS International appears to have gone out of business in the early 1960's.

Jim Hartman notes that many Japanese toy makers did work for each other or copied each other's designs. It was not unusual to find two different toy makers identified on a toy or box, and possibly even a third company which might have been a distributor rather than a manufacturer. Jim indicates that the original boxes he has for his Studebaker R Series articulated trucks say "Yamachi" rather than SSS. Jim finds this particular series of Studebaker toy trucks to be very interesting because they came in many variations and color schemes. His personal favorites are the tractors with an exhuast stack on the right side of the cab such as the blue and yellow "Fast Freight" closed cargo truck shown above.

Marusan Studebaker Tanker and Freight Combo

Here is another view that shows both rear sections and here is a shot of the original box for the "Gasoline Transport Car & Truck Construction Set" as it was called by the manufacturer.

Several sources refer to this as a mid-1950's Studebaker truck although Marusan did not identfy it as such. Both the tanker and the freight truck were sold sepearately in addition to being available in the construction set. Marusan is still in business and has a U.S. web site which includes an old toy gallery and a history of the company.

Pre-Mix Concrete Service Truck

Here is another fine Studebaker tin truck from Jim Hartman. There is no maker's name on the truck, but Jim indicates that it is very similar to other tin trucks made SSS and Yamachi Toys of Japan in the 1950's.

LineMar 1955 Studebaker Hardtop

Here is a front view of this neat model.

LineMar was a brand name used for toys manufactured in Japan for Louis Marx & Company. The Japanese companies that made toys for LineMar often sold nearly identical toys under their own brand names. LineMar also issued a number of 1950's style Studebaker trucks.

This is but a small sample of the numerous tin Studebaker toy cars and trucks that were manufactured in Japan during the 1950's and 1960's. Most were used as children's toys and were extensively played with so finding nice examples today can be both challenging and costly.

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Updated 1/17/2011