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View Full Version : 1964 Super Lark 132 mph? Really?



StoneDog
09-16-2018, 01:09 PM
You've probably all seen this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoDS2Vot_po

The 1964 model year brochure states:

"Super Series Studebakers with R/1 through R/4 engines are the newest of the really hot ones! Built for super performance! Factory equipped with rear axle radius rods, rear stabilizer bar, Twin Traction, disc brakes, HD springs and shocks all around, bucket seats, front seat belts, 4-ply tires, side and grill identification, floor carpeting. Require automatic Power Shift or 4-speed manual transmission."

Also advertises: "130 m.p.h. / is merely incidental..."

My question is, is that realistic? Has anyone ever driven that fast in a Super Lark (or Super Hawk for that matter) other than Andy Granatelli and his team? If a customer ordered that package (and we know a small number were so ordered), would their cars, as built, really hit 130 mph? Has it actually been confirmed on a drag strip anywhere?

DEEPNHOCK
09-16-2018, 01:26 PM
No. Not realistic for a drag strip (1/4 mile) number.
Land speed maybe...

Use this calculator and plug in your real numbers. (example: 3,000# takes 515HP for a 1/4 mile trap speed of 130mph)

http://www.1728.org/mtret.htm

8E45E
09-16-2018, 01:42 PM
According to the Lamberti papers, it was factual: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?53283-The-Lamberti-papers-6&styleid=1

Craig

jclary
09-16-2018, 01:46 PM
YEP...certainly not the drag strip...but best tune performance with optimal weather conditions...flat out land speed run...possible.;) However, we often hear the expression "Whistling through the graveyard." Back in the day, regarding Studebaker's situation, the expression could have been better expressed as, "Whistling through I.C.U.":(

What I'm wondering...did the people that got paid for these endorsement blurbs demand payment in CASH:yeahright::oops: rather than accept any checks from the automotive division of Studebaker?:QQ:

DEEPNHOCK
09-16-2018, 02:40 PM
Yes, and the article says those numbers were from Bonneville and were two way average numbers.. Not drag race numbers.



According to the Lamberti papers, it was factual: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?53283-The-Lamberti-papers-6&styleid=1

Craig

Alan
09-16-2018, 02:40 PM
All of those record speeds were done in front of the USAC, at Bonnie, after Speed Week. It cost Studebaker $100,000 to do it. I gave Sonny the paper from the runs. He was going to put it up on the Racing Stude site.

StoneDog
09-16-2018, 03:31 PM
Okay, I phrased that badly. I wasn't referring to a drag strip so much as someone, somewhere getting one of these cars up to 132 mph besides Andy Granatelli's team and using a car ordered as a "super lark" or "super hawk". I'm sure the Studebaker-sponsored, Andy Granatelli team did what they say they did, probably in specially-tuned cars under ideal conditions at Bonneville Salt Flats. My question is did anyone in a car ordered as a "super X" do that or were even capable of that...not necessarily on a drag strip or in a quarter-mile?

jnormanh
09-16-2018, 03:31 PM
Sure, the numbers were real, no question. And the cars were "stock" right from South Bend with a minor detour through Granatelli's shop.

mapman
09-16-2018, 04:15 PM
All you need to do is take any studebaker to a car show and you will hear all kinds of testimonials about how Studebakers were still pulling at 140...:rolleyes:
How would you confirm this other than in a controlled run?
Rob

53k
09-16-2018, 04:22 PM
You've probably all seen this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoDS2Vot_po

The 1964 model year brochure states:

"Super Series Studebakers with R/1 through R/4 engines are the newest of the really hot ones! Built for super performance! Factory equipped with rear axle radius rods, rear stabilizer bar, Twin Traction, disc brakes, HD springs and shocks all around, bucket seats, front seat belts, 4-ply tires, side and grill identification, floor carpeting. Require automatic Power Shift or 4-speed manual transmission."

Also advertises: "130 m.p.h. / is merely incidental..."

My question is, is that realistic? Has anyone ever driven that fast in a Super Lark (or Super Hawk for that matter) other than Andy Granatelli and his team? If a customer ordered that package (and we know a small number were so ordered), would their cars, as built, really hit 130 mph? Has it actually been confirmed on a drag strip anywhere?

My uncle bought vehicles for the State of Kansas. In 1963 he arranged for the State Police to test a supercharged Lark (R2) for possible use as a police car. The State Police clocked it at 132 mph on the Kansas Turnpike. They decided against it because it was too light to run those speeds in high wind conditions.

jclary
09-16-2018, 04:39 PM
All you need to do is take any studebaker to a car show and you will hear all kinds of testimonials about how Studebakers were still pulling at 140...:rolleyes:

Rob

Yeah...I've heard those stories often through the years. Seems they usually occur in the shade, with a group occupying lawn chairs. I suspect that these are alcohol-fueled (the stories, not the cars), and when listening, if you allow the teller to notice you might be skeptical:rolleyes:...the story is immediately retold...only louder! Sometimes it includes claims of doing unbelievable speeds in "2nd gear-overdrive"...and if you're still skeptical:yeahright:...a word or two about some fantastic gas mileage gets thrown in.:):lol:

j.byrd
09-16-2018, 05:46 PM
Dang, jclary....you had to say that just as I was going to mention Daddy's 55 Champion running a little over 90 indicated in 2nd gear and slowing down when he shifted to high... Now I'm afraid to mention it, ha !

StoneDog
09-16-2018, 06:19 PM
My uncle bought vehicles for the State of Kansas. In 1963 he arranged for the State Police to test a supercharged Lark (R2) for possible use as a police car. The State Police clocked it at 132 mph on the Kansas Turnpike. They decided against it because it was too light to run those speeds in high wind conditions.

Thanks, 53k, that's what I was looking for. I also find it interesting that they thought it too light to achieve that speed under non-optimal conditions. There wasn't much in the way of modern aerodynamic testing of cars in that era I suppose and the '64 Lark looked to have all the aerodynamic characteristics of a brick. Thanks for relating your information.

6hk71400
09-16-2018, 06:59 PM
Thanks, 53k, that's what I was looking for. I also find it interesting that they thought it too light to achieve that speed under non-optimal conditions. There wasn't much in the way of modern aerodynamic testing of cars in that era I suppose and the '64 Lark looked to have all the aerodynamic characteristics of a brick. Thanks for relating your information.

Many years ago on MythBusters TV show, they were trying to attach a rocket to a car (old Plymouth Fury?) and were concerned with the car lifting off the ground at high speed. There was a clip on that show with them talking to Andy Granatelli talking about the Bonneville runs and the Avanti at a high speed becoming light but not airborne. I wish I could find that clip as it was brief but it did show some speed runs with the Avanti.

Bob Miles

PackardV8
09-16-2018, 07:45 PM
IIRC, the R2 Lark was a convertible and the top balooned substantially at 132 MPH; maybe an aero benefit.

What I remember really difficult to believe was they ran an OHV6 up to 105 MPH.

jack vines

8E45E
09-16-2018, 08:05 PM
I wish I could find that clip as it was brief but it did show some speed runs with the Avanti.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?69940-R5-Avanti-Original-Film-of-1963-Bonneville-Run

Craig

Milaca
09-16-2018, 08:15 PM
Any chance the car would have had a higher top speed with an overdrive transmission?
I wonder how a 1963 Daytona would compare to a 1964 Daytona with same running gear. My thought is that a 1963 Daytona may be slightly more aerodynamic.

6hk71400
09-16-2018, 11:57 PM
Found the MythBusters Episode. 1967 Impala with a JATO strapped to the car. Andy Granatelli is in it with a few seconds of Bonneville test. Andy talked about the cars at high speed lifting up. Cost $1.99 to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYPhi2mSKRA&list=EL7YBnIY0-u1Y

Bob Miles

StudeRich
09-17-2018, 04:52 PM
IIRC, the R2 Lark was a convertible and the top balooned substantially at 132 MPH; maybe an aero benefit.

What I remember really difficult to believe was they ran an OHV 6 up to 105 MPH.
jack vines

That's RIGHT, and you can bet that one DID have Overdrive, but not with a 2.87 rear Axle like the R3's had, because we know how little torque they have, maybe a 3.54 or 3.73 TT could do that for a VERY short time! :rolleyes:

If I remember right, Paula Murphy drove that Commander 2 Dr. 6 Cyl.

BILT4ME
09-17-2018, 06:14 PM
I have had my 59 Lark at 100 MPH per the GPS. It is a 1963 259 V8 with the Carter WCFB on it (wore out but rebuilt), automatic trans with 3.31:1 rear axle. This was in 2017 on the HRPT. I could have squeezed a few more (not much more) MPH out of it, but we ran out of road. I did not have my tach hooked up, but through calculation, it would have been about 4300 RPM if I recall correctly. (Tires are 205/65-15)

Based on my little car, I don't see why 132+ wouldn't be easily achievable with one of the more aerodynamic bodies and a good tune-up, and a 289, let alone a S/C.

studegary
09-17-2018, 08:16 PM
I have had my 59 Lark at 100 MPH per the GPS. It is a 1963 259 V8 with the Carter WCFB on it (wore out but rebuilt), automatic trans with 3.31:1 rear axle. This was in 2017 on the HRPT. I could have squeezed a few more (not much more) MPH out of it, but we ran out of road. I did not have my tach hooked up, but through calculation, it would have been about 4300 RPM if I recall correctly. (Tires are 205/65-15)

Based on my little car, I don't see why 132+ wouldn't be easily achievable with one of the more aerodynamic bodies and a good tune-up, and a 289, let alone a S/C.

There is a BIG difference in power required to go 132 vs. 100 in the same car/body.

PackardV8
09-17-2018, 11:57 PM
There is a BIG difference in power required to go 132 vs. 100 in the same car/body.

Power required increases at the cube of speed.

jack vines

HOXXOH
09-18-2018, 01:33 AM
Bonneville is at 4200' elevation and the surface of the salt is nowhere near as smooth as I-80 right adjacent to it. While I can't put a number to the effects that the salt has on the rolling resistance, the air density on the typical 59 degree day reduces power on NA engines to less than 86% of that at sea level. The 240hp R1, only had 206 at Bonneville on a good day and that was at the crank.

t walgamuth
09-18-2018, 05:14 AM
Bonneville is at 4200' elevation and the surface of the salt is nowhere near as smooth as I-80 right adjacent to it. While I can't put a number to the effects that the salt has on the rolling resistance, the air density on the typical 59 degree day reduces power on NA engines to less than 86% of that at sea level. The 240hp R1, only had 206 at Bonneville on a good day and that was at the crank.

Plus the salt is very slippery.

studegary
09-18-2018, 07:55 PM
Power required increases at the cube of speed.

jack vines

That would mean that it would take 2.3 times the HP to go 132 vs. 100.
Are you sure that the factor should not be squared, rather than cubed? That would ONLY require 1.7 times the HP.

PackardV8
09-18-2018, 08:58 PM
Hi, Gary,

I'm no longer sure of anything, but here's a formula horsepower just to overcome aero drag for a low drag sports car and one can see a MPH cubed in there somewhere. The cube root dependence has a firm basis in physics. The air resistance force is proportional to speed squared, and power needed is force times speed, so it’s speed cubed.

https://phors.locost7.info/images/06image07.gif

But for typically-sized cars, here’s a ±10% formula:

Top speed (mph) = 20 times cube root of horsepower

Example: 300hp; cube root is 6.694; times 20 is 134 mph, so the R2 Lark at Bonneville was making approximately 300 hp at 4200' ; so that trip through the Paxton shop may have added a bit to the stock 280 hp at sea level, or it could just fall within the ±10% of this formula.

jack vines

studegary
09-18-2018, 09:16 PM
Hi, Gary,

I'm no longer sure of anything, but here's a formula horsepower just to overcome aero drag for a low drag sports car and one can see a MPH cubed in there somewhere.

https://phors.locost7.info/images/06image07.gif

v (mph) 30 55 65 90 120 150 200
F (pounds) 14.5 48.7 68.0 130 232 362 644
horsepower 1.16 7.14 11.8 31.3 74.2 145 344

The chart isn't pasting vertically, but for example, it takes 11 horsepower to go through air at 60 MPH and 74 to go 120. Then, there's rolling resistance and internal friction.

But for typically-sized cars, here’s a ±10% formula:

top speed (mph) = 20 times cube root of horsepower

Example: 400hp; cube root is 7.36; times 20 is 147mph.

The cube root dependence has a firm basis in physics. The air resistance force is proportional to speed squared, and power needed is force times speed, so it’s speed cubed.

jack vines

I now believe that you are correct. Thanks for clarifying this.
Using the closest examples from your chart, 90 mph/31.3 HP and 120 mph/74.2 HP, comes up with 2.4 times, which is similar to the 2.3 times that I showed for 132 vs. 100.
It supports what I stated in post no. 21.

EDIT: This means if the guy went 100 mph with 225 HP, it would take 518 HP to go 132 mph.

Maple Leaf
09-18-2018, 11:40 PM
As a reference point, I can give you a real world experience example at the OHIO MILE in 2016. I entered my Pro-touring style 1966 Commander with a 421 SBC of about 500+ HP and 500 Pounds of Torque. Because we did not have an on board fire suppression system, we were limited to 150 MPH (with a 5 MPH tolerance); which we calculated to be 5600 RPM.
After completing slower qualifying runs, my son, Scott went over 6000 RPM (161 MPH calculated), before hitting the brakes, and going through the traps at just under 150 MPH. I was more careful, hit 5600 RPM at the 3/4 mile marker, and feathered out of the throttle, and then back on in the traps, with an official speed of 154.8 MPH. I have never done a 1/4 mile, but did a rolling start 1/2 mile at 140 MPH, and lap after lap, lift at about 145 MPH on the 1/2 mile back uphill straight at the Mosport road race track.
At the same event Jack Heidel ran close to 140 MPH in an Avanti with a 259+ Studebaker engine, which I would think would not be more than 300 HP.

Blue 15G
09-19-2018, 08:15 AM
Don't know about '64, but in 1963 Popular Science magazine tested a Super Lark along with some other similar size cars. I believe the article was called "Testing the Hot Compacts", or something to that effect, and the title of the article and the cars tested were shown on the cover. Anyway, they had a table of the performance results and the Lark they tested did go over 130, as I recall. I have this magazine in my archive somewhere. I'll have to dig it out and see where they ran these cars for the test results.

8E45E
09-19-2018, 08:20 AM
Don't know about '64, but in 1963 Popular Science magazine tested a Super Lark along with some other similar size cars. I believe the article was called "Testing the Hot Compacts", or something to that effect, and the title of the article and the cars tested were shown on the cover. Anyway, they had a table of the performance results and the Lark they tested did go over 130, as I recall. I have this magazine in my archive somewhere. I'll have to dig it out and see where they ran these cars for the test results.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?6791-Super-Lark-comparison-lots-of-pics

Craig

Blue 15G
09-19-2018, 08:47 AM
Thanks for posting that Craig!