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View Full Version : Hot Rod Hotline: Jim Pepper's R2 Super Lark



BobPalma
05-24-2017, 06:45 PM
:!!: Congrats on the nice article, Jim:

http://www.hotrodhotline.com/studebaker-factory-hot-rod#.WSYL4vnyuUl

Cool beans. :) ;) :cool: BP

nels
05-24-2017, 07:55 PM
Nice article, Jim. Car looks great!

Milaca
05-24-2017, 11:10 PM
Nice article, the car has an interesting history and Jim Pepper keeps adding to it's history. Keep up the good work Jim!

roy fraley
05-24-2017, 11:34 PM
Ilove the car but I hate red anything. Changing the motor 8 times doesn't say much for the engineering either. I've got a 63 Champ with a 289 2 barrel camper special never really worked hard. At 100,000 Miles it has a bad cylinder and will have to be rebuilt when I can scrath up that much cash. I'm not impressed. Roy Fraley

t walgamuth
05-25-2017, 07:07 AM
Tough crowd!

I'm glad the guy is using it and having fun. If you want dead nuts reliability, I suggest a Toyota Camry.

8E45E
05-25-2017, 07:40 AM
Is it really the 'first full-package Super Lark two door sedan built' as per the first paragraph in the article? I thought they were all Ermine White.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?17897-The-1st-Super-Hawks-Super-Larks

Craig

BobPalma
05-25-2017, 07:44 AM
Ilove the car but I hate red anything. Changing the motor 8 times doesn't say much for the engineering either. I've got a 63 Champ with a 289 2 barrel camper special never really worked hard. At 100,000 Miles it has a bad cylinder and will have to be rebuilt when I can scrath up that much cash. I'm not impressed. Roy Fraley

:eek: Goodness, Roy; did Frito-Lay forget to put a toy in your box of Cracker Jack? :mad: Well, they haven't since last year, so don't feel too bad. :) You can scan the Q-code (or whatever that thing is) and they'll send you something to alleviate your anxiety.

While you're waiting, do yourself a favor and read several high-end collector-car auction descriptions of muscle cars offered at those sales. All too often, you'll see where a high-end muscle car is offered with a "warranty block," or "factory warranty engine" or "correct date-coded block," or some such, indicating the original engine block is no longer with the car even though the car itself may have legitimate low miles. All these cars, for the most part, were driven hard, often very hard, and major engine troubles (or outright destruction) were a common result.

How hard do you suppose Jim's car was driven by the original owner if Jim bought it from him as a 4-year-old used car for $200 at a time when junk value was probably $60-$75? And Jim isn't sure he got a good deal at $200...for a 4-year-old car! :eek:

If you read the posted article carefully, it says Jim swapped the engine back and forth maybe eight times in the course of driving it on the street with a more "normal" 289; it doesn't say he rebuilt the original R2 eight times, because he hasn't.

For a significant and rare high-performance Studebaker that was sold for little more than junk value when it was 4 years old to have survived over 50 years with its original transmission intact is nothing short of a miracle. Appreciate it. :cool: BP

BobPalma
05-25-2017, 07:48 AM
Is it really the 'first full-package Super Lark two door sedan built' as per the first paragraph in the article? I thought they were all Ermine White.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?17897-The-1st-Super-Hawks-Super-Larks

Craig

:) That's right, Craig. I'm not at home so I can't check my records, but perhaps Jim's is the first Lark Custom Super Lark in Super Red. I'd have to check. (It is; see Jim's Post #10, below.)

But, yes, the first full-package R2 Super Lark was an Ermine White Regal, restored years ago by Larry "Scotty" Scott of Cincinnati.

I didn't want to rain on Jim's (and John Gunnell's) parade by pointing out that discrepancy. Note Jim's clarifications in Post #10. ;) :cool: BP

8E45E
05-25-2017, 07:56 AM
All too often, you'll see where a high-end muscle car is offered with a "warranty block," or "factory warranty engine" or "correct date-coded block," or some such, indicating the original engine block is no longer with the car even though the car itself may have legitimate low miles. All these cars, for the most part, were driven hard, often very hard, and major engine troubles (or outright destruction) were a common result.

Indeed, Bob,

I suspect my car has a 'factory warranty replacement' engine. According to the Production Order, it left the Hamilton plant with JTSC 1107. It currently has JTSC 1116, one of the two unaccounted for engines that had no record of being installed in a car on the Hamilton assembly line. So far, I have not found any documentation in the form of dealer-to-factory correspondence to indicate it was a factory authorized engine replacement, but I am keeping my hopes up.

Craig

jpepper
05-25-2017, 08:56 AM
John Gunnel is a former editor for Krause publications. He is now a freelance writer. This article came from a 20 minute interview at one of our WRSDC gatherings. Let me correct a few minor errors. 63V28392 is the 1st pkg R2 4-speed SR Custom 2dr. There were 7 built. It is the first of the 7. There were 13 similar Regals for 20 total. It is the 13th pkg R2, the 5th SR car, the 3rd pkg Custom, and the 2nd pkg R2 4-speed Custom (the 1st was EW). This information is from the 63 JT spreadsheet.
JTS 1586 block (the original) is no longer with us. I scrapped it in 1968. The car now has JTS 1259. One head, intake manifold, and water pump manifold on JTS1259 are original to JTS1586. They are all that remain from the original engine. The 4-speed is original to the car. The Hurst shifter in the car was installed in 1964.
Yes I did change engines regularly. I had a 289 from a 58 President that I would swap out for the R2 when I wanted to work on the R2. I needed the car for transportation so I could not have it apart for long. I could swap engines in about 4 to 5 hours. It was the same two engines being changed back and forth so I could drive it daily. In early 1970 I installed R3 (B110). It was in the car until 1986. After that it had a 289 out of a 62 Champ. That engine became the Madison 2000 auction engine. It had a 259 in it for a while after that then sat with no engine for a number of years until I acquired JTS1259.

R3 challenger
05-25-2017, 10:21 AM
Bob is right when he says that many high-end muscle cars of all makes no longer have their original engines. For example, our local museum just got in a red 1966 Plymouth Belvedere Hemi that was purchased new in 1966 specifically for drag racing. The car has 800 documented actual miles--all of it on the drag strip--and the engine in it now is a race-prepared Hemi, not the original Hemi. In this case, the original engine was saved and never used, but that doesn't always happen with such cars.

Congrats, Jim, on the fine publicity for Super Larks. We're sure glad you saved that one.

BTW, I'm keeping a roster of 1963 F-bodied (2-door sedan) R2-powered Larks. Being slightly lighter than an Avanti and having a higher center of gravity for good weight transfer, they represented the fastest accelerating 1963 Stude one could buy (of course, the Avanti would win hands down in top speed). At the moment, we know of close to 30 surviving 1963 F-body R2s out of 130 built. A few of them are Jim's car, the Stude Tomato, the Whistler, the early Super Lark Larry Scott restored, a recent barn find in Indiana, Jon Myer's R2 Lark that appeared (but was not run) at Bonneville, and a car I own.

If you know of such a car, please let me know; we're looking for 2-door sedan '63 Larks originally built with an R2. Thanks.

George

jclary
05-25-2017, 10:22 AM
...How hard do you suppose Jim's car was driven by the original owner if Jim bought it from him as a 4-year-old used car for $200 at a time when junk value was probably $60-$75? And Jim isn't sure he got a good deal at $200...for a 4-year-old car! :eek:

If you read the posted article carefully, it says Jim swapped the engine back and forth maybe eight times in the course of driving it on the street with a more "normal" 289; it doesn't say he rebuilt the original R2 eight times, because he hasn't.

For a significant and rare high-performance Studebaker that was sold for little more than junk value when it was 4 years old to have survived over 50 years with its original transmission intact is nothing short of a miracle. Appreciate it. :cool: BP

" WARRANTY????":lol::oops:...How we have forgotten:(...I'm not sure about the rest of you, or how it was in different areas of the country, but I recall (mid 1960's) how "us" recent high school grads were treated at car dealerships back in the day. That was the era when just about all manufacturers were building big engine cars with not enough in their bones to support the weight or horsepower. They were targeting the youth market. Any kid who could talk their parents (and their bank) into approving credit could easily become the proud owner (and slave to a debt) of a factory hot rod.

I recall, being that I only weighed about 112 lbs, looked like I was 13 years old, and only made .55 cents an hour...coaxing a salesman out of his comfortable office was difficult, let alone getting one to talk serious salesmanship to me. In my part of the backwoods Carolinas, it was mainly the "Big Three, Ford, GM, & Chrysler corp. I don't ever recall anyone discussing, or wishing for any Studebaker. But, Chevy SS (anything), Ford "Sport" (Galaxy, Fairlane, Falcon Sprint, Mustang) and Plymouth Sport Fury...were all the rage. If you could get the credit, then the dealer would take the money and let the Bank or Finance company beat you up for the payments.

But...Warranty?...for just about all these "performance" cars, was something like "six weeks, or 1200 miles." I knew of several guys that bought (and destroyed) so called "muscle cars," never intending to pay for them, and tore them up within days. Looking back on it, I'm so grateful that no salesman took me serious, and I somehow avoided falling into the "debt" trap for a death trap. It is amazing that any of these cars have survived, the way they were kicked around, slammed, and beat up.

So...especially for the "outlier" manufacturers, trying to target the same market, I think that any performance vehicle, whether factory, or cloned, speaks volumes for the skill, and intellect, of a succession of owners, mechanics, and restorers. I admire them all!

BobPalma
05-25-2017, 11:32 AM
Bob is right when he says that many high-end muscle cars of all makes no longer have their original engines. For example, our local museum just got in a red 1966 Plymouth Belvedere Hemi that was purchased new in 1966 specifically for drag racing. The car has 800 documented actual miles--all of it on the drag strip--and the engine in it now is a race-prepared Hemi, not the original Hemi.

If you know of such a car, please let me know; we're looking for 2-door sedan '63 Larks originally built with an R2. Thanks. George

:eek: OMG, 'cuz; do you mean they trailered it down the return road after each run so all 800 miles showing would really have been on the drag strip? :lol: :lol:

:) Seriously, be sure to include Lanny Bertram's Ermine White 1963 Lark Custom 2-door in your count. It now has a 1964 R2 engine because he bought it out of California with no engine in it. But he has the car's Production Order (I've seen it) and it was indeed built as an R2. It has a 4-speed in it now, but I can't remember if it was built as a 4-speed or Powershift. I'm thinking 4-speed, but he'll need to confirm that.

Lanny's car would be easy to identify from POs because it originally had a Chestnut bucket seat interior; rare. It now has a black interior, but the OEM interior was indeed Chestnut. Against Ermine White, I think that would have been an attractive combination, but I'm willing to bet it was "one of one" in that combination in a Lark Custom. ;) :cool: BP

8E45E
05-25-2017, 02:04 PM
Seriously, be sure to include Lanny Bertram's Ermine White 1963 Lark Custom 2-door in your count. It now has a 1964 R2 engine because he bought it out of California with no engine in it. But he has the car's Production Order (I've seen it) and it was indeed built as an R2. It has a 4-speed in it now, but I can't remember if it was built as a 4-speed or Powershift. I'm thinking 4-speed, but he'll need to confirm that.

Lanny's car would be easy to identify from POs because it originally had a Chestnut bucket seat interior; rare. It now has a black interior, but the OEM interior was indeed Chestnut. Against Ermine White, I think that would have been an attractive combination, but I'm willing to bet it was "one of one" in that combination in a Lark Custom.

You took a photo of his P.O. here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?93505-Studes-2016-Indianapolis-World-of-Wheels&highlight=world+wheels

Craig

8E45E
05-25-2017, 02:11 PM
BTW, I'm keeping a roster of 1963 F-bodied (2-door sedan) R2-powered Larks. Being slightly lighter than an Avanti and having a higher center of gravity for good weight transfer, they represented the fastest accelerating 1963 Stude one could buy (of course, the Avanti would win hands down in top speed). At the moment, we know of close to 30 surviving 1963 F-body R2s out of 130 built. A few of them are Jim's car, the Stude Tomato, the Whistler, the early Super Lark Larry Scott restored, a recent barn find in Indiana, Jon Myer's R2 Lark that appeared (but was not run) at Bonneville, and a car I own.

If you know of such a car, please let me know; we're looking for 2-door sedan '63 Larks originally built with an R2.

Don't forget to include the May, 1963 Popular Science magazine test car: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?6791-Super-Lark-comparison-lots-of-pics&highlight=popular+science

If the cover photos is of the same car as testing inside, its Green Mist. Has anyone ever figured out what its serial number was, like what was done for 'The Whistler' before it was discovered?

Craig

2R2
05-25-2017, 05:12 PM
Don't forget to include the May, 1963 Popular Science magazine test car: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?6791-Super-Lark-comparison-lots-of-pics&highlight=popular+science

If the cover photos is of the same car as testing inside, its Green Mist. Has anyone ever figured out what its serial number was, like what was done for 'The Whistler' before it was discovered?

Craig

Craig, according to my records ( am sure others will correct me if I am wrong) The only Green Mist, 4-speed, R2 Regal 2-door, full package car was 63V-33501.

8E45E
05-25-2017, 06:09 PM
Thanks, Eric.

Then that MUST be the one!!

Craig

R3 challenger
05-25-2017, 11:17 PM
Don't forget to include the May, 1963 Popular Science magazine test car: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?6791-Super-Lark-comparison-lots-of-pics&highlight=popular+science

If the cover photos is of the same car as testing inside, its Green Mist. Has anyone ever figured out what its serial number was, like what was done for 'The Whistler' before it was discovered?

Craig


Thanks Craig, but I'm just trying to register surviving cars. It's likely that the Popular Science test car was the first Super Lark, 63V-23721; to the best of my knowledge, that car hasn't been found yet. The first six Super Larks (full package) were all Ermine White R2s; two of them have surfaced and are on my list, but not the first one.

Bob, Lanny Bertram's R2 Custom 2-door sedan is on the list; I believe you were the one who told me about it some time ago.

The most unfortunate case I've heard yet was about one of these rare cars being parted out 40 years ago--and it was straight California car with full package! At least the engine still exists.

George

packardHawk58
05-27-2017, 08:52 PM
Hi George, I don't know if you have this one on your list.
I imported it a few years ago. It might get to be restored one day.
63V 13200

http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae194/packardhawk58/63V13200_zpsyv1uivwt.jpg (http://s971.photobucket.com/user/packardhawk58/media/63V13200_zpsyv1uivwt.jpg.html)

R3 challenger
05-28-2017, 07:58 PM
Thanks, Brian. Yes, 63V-13200 is on my list, but with a previous owner. Thanks for letting me know about it; I'll update the list.

Interesting that your car is almost identical to Ted Harbit's Stude Tomato. Both are Regal Red with BKV buckets, originally built with R2, 4-speed, 3.73 TT, and disc brakes, and both are Custom in trim level. Both were built too early to have the full Package. Yours was built without a radio (the Tomato was built with an AM/PB radio), and the Tomato was built with HD springs & shocks. Otherwise, the two cars are virtually identical.

George



Hi George, I don't know if you have this one on your list.
I imported it a few years ago. It might get to be restored one day.
63V 13200

http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae194/packardhawk58/63V13200_zpsyv1uivwt.jpg (http://s971.photobucket.com/user/packardhawk58/media/63V13200_zpsyv1uivwt.jpg.html)

8E45E
05-28-2017, 09:36 PM
Too bad the R2 Custom with the Skytop option hasn't been found as of yet.

Craig

drew72mgb
06-01-2017, 07:56 AM
Too bad the R2 Custom with the Skytop option hasn't been found as of yet.

Craig

Does it still 'exist'? - I mean is there still a chance it survived this long?

8E45E
06-01-2017, 08:01 AM
Does it still 'exist'? - I mean is there still a chance it survived this long?

And you thought the same about a 1940 Bantam Convertible Sedan?

Chances are, you'll have one of a kind. In this case, there was only one 1963 Custom Skytop equipped with an R2.

Craig

drew72mgb
06-01-2017, 11:12 AM
And you thought the same about a 1940 Bantam Convertible Sedan?

Chances are, you'll have one of a kind. In this case, there was only one 1963 Custom Skytop equipped with an R2.

Craig

Bantam built 60 of the standard convertible sedans, all finished the same. And, yes - it has been a challenge to find the parts to restore it!

Having grown up with a R1 1963 Daytona Skytop - I got interested in what was built, how many - and very curious if this "One of One" is still around, but, I would guess if it was - everyone here would know all about it.

Have there been any sightings of it - after it was built? Or, are those sightings bordering on classified information?

Drew

tacweld
06-01-2017, 08:27 PM
awesome great to see it