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Joshbarts
09-17-2018, 07:44 PM
Here is the background.

Grandpa bought this Lark 25-30 years. I don’t know where from but pretty sure it was somewhere in northern Minnesota. He passed 20 years ago. It has been sitting, buried on family farm, ever since.


It was recently offered to me (as a grandson) and I went and got it.


Pics tell a better story.

Joshbarts
09-17-2018, 07:48 PM
More with a wash at the pump house.

creegster
09-17-2018, 07:53 PM
What is up with those mirrors?

Looks to be in great shape though.

Not sure how bad that paint is- that may be fixable somewhat easily (someone with more expertise can chime in). Do you have larger photos? These are kinda small.

Dave Bates
09-17-2018, 08:18 PM
Looks like a great start

StudeRich
09-17-2018, 08:22 PM
Welcome to the SDC and to the SDC Forum Josh! :)

This appears to be a 1959 Lark VI (VI = Six) for 6 Cylinder Flathead 170 c.i.d. Engine.
It is a W6 Model, top of the line "Regal" 4 Door Sedan.

It will be very drive-able on more types and speeds of Roads and Highways/Interstates if it has the 3 Speed Manual Transmission WITH Overdrive. (Chrome "T" Handle marked: "O.D." under the Left side of the Dash).

The Serial Number plate for Registration purposes is on the Forward Drivers Door Post.

The Number should start with "59S" for a 1959 6 Cyl. Studebaker and the number following that is the Sequential Assembly Line Sequence number among all 6 Cyl. 1959 Studebaker Cars built at the South Bend Plant.

Much more info about this Car on the "Production Order" is available, but must be purchased from the Studebaker National Museum in the Home of Studebaker... South Bend, Indiana.

You will want to get a Bill of Sale as a Family Gift from the Executor of the Estate for 0 Dollars and try to find your Grandpa's Title if possible.

Kurt
09-17-2018, 08:32 PM
I love these kind of stories. Fix it up drive it around and remember Grandpa. I have my Grandfathers Studebaker as well

BRUCESTUDE
09-17-2018, 08:40 PM
Very cool! Awesome that it's a family vehicle too!

Joshbarts
09-17-2018, 08:43 PM
What is up with those mirrors?

Looks to be in great shape though.

Not sure how bad that paint is- that may be fixable somewhat easily (someone with more expertise can chime in). Do you have larger photos? These are kinda small.

I have no idea about the mirrors. I assumed they were original. I have done lots of looking around and have not seen them anywhere. When looking at the car it isn’t a hack job. It looks totally legit.

Joshbarts
09-17-2018, 08:47 PM
Welcome to the SDC and to the SDC Forum Josh! :)

This appears to be a 1959 Lark VI (VI = Six) for 6 Cylinder Flathead 170 c.i.d. Engine.
It is a W6 Model, top of the line "Regal" 4 Door Sedan.

It will be very drive-able on more types and speeds of Roads and Highways/Interstates if it has the 3 Speed Manual Transmission WITH Overdrive. (Chrome "T" Handle marked: "O.D." under the Left side of the Dash).

The Serial Number plate for Registration purposes is on the Forward Drivers Door Post.

The Number should start with "59S" for a 1959 6 Cyl. Studebaker and the number following that is the Sequential Assembly Line Sequence number among all 6 Cyl. 1959 Studebaker Cars built at the South Bend Plant.

Much more info about this Car on the "Production Order" is available, but must be purchased from the Studebaker National Museum in the Home of Studebaker... South Bend, Indiana.

You will want to get a Bill of Sale as a Family Gift from the Executor of the Estate for 0 Dollars and try to find your Grandpa's Title if possible.

Thanks for the welcome. Much appreciated. I dont have a pic of the door tag but I have seen it. It does start with 59S. I was wondering what model it is. It has what appears to be the original flathead 6. It does have the 3 speed with OD handle under the dash. I am working on titling it. The title is nowhere to be found but not looked for very hard. It may show up yet.

Joshbarts
09-17-2018, 08:50 PM
More pics???

JRoberts
09-17-2018, 08:58 PM
That is a really nice looking Lark. Glad to have you among us.

Lou Van Anne
09-17-2018, 09:27 PM
Both of my grandfathers drove Studebakers....can't get any better than that!
I love these kind of stories. Fix it up drive it around and remember Grandpa. I have my Grandfathers Studebaker as well

StudeRich
09-17-2018, 09:38 PM
That appears to be a MUCH Loved little Lark! I think your Grandfather cared a Lot about saving it. :!:

If it was stored in the Barn a good part of it's life, it should not have a lot of "Studebaker Terminator"...

RUST!

TWChamp
09-17-2018, 10:18 PM
That's a fine looking car, and will be a lot of fun. You'll stand out at the car shows because you have something different and better than what the big 3 offered.

Jessie J.
09-17-2018, 10:44 PM
One of the few 4 door vehicles that looks as good as the 2 door.

Buzzard
09-17-2018, 11:03 PM
Josh,
Welcome and congrats on a great find. When you get the serial number and any option info pm me or post here as I am the holder of the '59 Lark registry and now you make our total an even 30.
Enjoy and be proud at any car shows as you dare to be different.
Cheers, Bill

Noxnabaker
09-18-2018, 02:59 AM
As I'm soft for 59-60 Larks & especially 4doors I think it's a REAL cool one!
Those engines can be made quite fast, my parents had a -59 wagon that the previous owner had done some stuff with & it was the first car I went (over!) 200km/h in... & those engines can be real quite too so people have to listnen by the exhaust to hear it run.
Nice one! :)

showbizkid
09-18-2018, 11:09 AM
Welcome to the Forum!

skyway
09-18-2018, 12:41 PM
A set screw holds the 3-spoked "cage" inside which the mirror rotates on a ball joint; yes?
To my knowledge they were not a Stude factory option but were put on many different makes late '50's to mid 60's cars.
Those mirrors show up a lot at swap meets,... and on my 2d owner 1964 Cruiser.

jclary
09-18-2018, 01:21 PM
A set screw holds the 3-spoked "cage" inside which the mirror rotates on a ball joint; yes?
To my knowledge they were not a Stude factory option but were put on many different makes late '50's to mid 60's cars.
Those mirrors show up a lot at swap meets,... and on my 2d owner 1964 Cruiser.

Allow me to offer a hearty welcome to our motley group of excentric Studebaker fans!:!: (Anybody can buy a Chevy:rolleyes:;))

I don't know if, by 1959, outside door mirrors were standard or an option, but back then, folks would often leave off items knowing they could buy suitable aftermarket at a lower price and pay/finance the car for less. Those mirrors look to be period correct for aftermarket mirrors of the era.

That is a wonderful looking little Lark, and as long as you adjust your expectations to match the car's intended purpose of practical transportation, it is possible you will have an heirloom long enough to pass on to your heirs.:)

Joshbarts
09-18-2018, 01:35 PM
Josh,
Welcome and congrats on a great find. When you get the serial number and any option info pm me or post here as I am the holder of the '59 Lark registry and now you make our total an even 30.
Enjoy and be proud at any car shows as you dare to be different.
Cheers, Bill

Bill-

I had planned on doing that. I read the entire thread of the Lark registry. I am looking forward to adding to it.

Joshbarts
09-18-2018, 01:37 PM
Very interesting. Yes, that is exactly what they are.

Joshbarts
09-18-2018, 01:41 PM
Thanks for welcome. What an interesting group for sure. I have been reading a lot on this forum before posting. Lots of great information and great conversations.

My expectations are practical of this Lark. I do see it as an heirloom. Besides this treasure there were a few others that I plucked out. I wanted to have something to pass on to all three of my children. This Lark has the personality and classic style that my second daughter could really pull off.

Noxnabaker
09-18-2018, 02:04 PM
Oh by the way, I think the mirrors might be Chrysler stuff, not sure but...

jimmijim8
09-18-2018, 04:21 PM
Oh by the way, I think the mirrors might be Chrysler stuff, not sure but... The mirror is aftermarket made by Yankee Mfg.

70Avanti2
09-18-2018, 05:02 PM
Man I wish I still had my Grandfathers lark. Enjoy the car and never get rid of it.

Joshbarts
09-18-2018, 09:46 PM
A few more...

jclary
09-19-2018, 08:26 AM
Hey Josh, now that you have begun to revive this little Lark and allow it to experience sunlight and fresh air again...a couple of tips/suggestions. Take a close look under the doors. You will see slits at the bottom of the doors. Take something like an old hacksaw blade (grind down the teeth) or a similar tool of your choice, and clean/clear a path for moisture to exit. On many of our Studebaker cars, (especially unrestored originals) you will see wrinkled, stained, and distorted inside door panels. That is because folks neglect the water drains and allow water to build up inside the doors to where it filter's out through the upholstery clip holes and soaks the upholstery grade cardboard to which the upholstery is attached. Yours may or may not already have such damage, but keeping those little drains clear will sure help.

Also, you appear to have the original vinyl dash pad. The early vinyl material was fragile and subject to out-gas its elastomers, crack, and fade in direct sun exposure. So, some kind of cover for the dash, package shelf, and top of the rear seat would be helpful to limit sun exposure except when driving the car out to events like club meets and cruise-ins.

This past weekend, I had the privilege to share some time with a person I consider the premier upholstery expert in our Studebaker world, Rene Harger. I have a '60 Lark retired in my barn. I mentioned that Lark, and the fact that the Vinyl headliner is making a dive for the floor! He explained that it is likely caused by the cloth sleeves sewn into the headliner for the support bows. Those bows can rust due to moisture, the rust will abraid the cloth, and the fiber will fray/deteriorate, seams will fail, and the headliner will drop. So be careful with the headliner and how you clean it. My take is to mostly leave it alone.

Regarding your owner's manual. If you have a special value to the original, since it was your grandfather's...buy another copy to share with others. Keep the original for special relatives & friends, but mainly allow folks to handle the second copy. I learned that with my truck's original manual. They are easily damaged by allowing casual observers to thumb through them.

Thanks for joining in and sharing your enthusiasm. We never tire of these stories.:!:

dleroux
09-19-2018, 11:01 AM
Welcome Josh. Yours is the perfect example of where you might want to apply for a "provisional" title if you can't locate the original. This will allow you to register the vehicle & if no one has any claims to the title, I doubt we'll be hearing from Grandpa, after 36 months, the DMV will issue you a clean title. That's the wait time in WA and WI may be shorter but the process should be the same.
-good luck
& BTW, where in WI?

Hallabutt
09-19-2018, 01:17 PM
Josh,

Great opportunity for both you and the Studebaker world. This car looks to have many of the original features that have become a passion in the old car world. If I am right and many of the original features like paint, interior and mechanical features, turn out to be as factory produced, please consider keeping it that way. There may be the temptation to make it better by altering it. Try to resist the temptation, it will probably only spoil it's originality.

Try to fill in the ownership gaps, so that you have the full story of the car and it's survival. The car's story of survival has become a truly important part of the hobby today. Whatever history that you can find will add to the understanding and enjoyment of everyone.

Whenever and wherever you display this car you will be the only one with a car just like it. This includes International Studebaker meets, as well. First generation Larks, especially for door cars are very rare on the display field. You find dozens of Hawk, GT's, and Avantis everywhere, but no cars like yours. Ten years of experience with my 1960 four door wagon has taught me a great deal. It's like living in a parallel universe with all the rest of the Studebaker world, congratulations.

Bill

skyway
09-19-2018, 06:02 PM
"The mirror is aftermarket made by Yankee Mfg."

Yup! Forgot about that.
Nice catch Jimmijim!

Milaca
09-19-2018, 09:10 PM
The location of the mirrors has me believing that the car was purchased at an estate auction of a Studebaker collector near Brainerd, MN back around 1988. I have a 1963 Lark 4-door from that auction with mirrors in the same location (I purchased it from a guy that bought the car at the auction), and I was told that several cars sold at that auction had the mirrors mounted in the same location. If I recall correctly, I was told the collectors name was Dixon. I know of two local collectors that bought Larks at that auction.

Joshbarts
09-20-2018, 09:55 AM
Hey Josh, now that you have begun to revive this little Lark and allow it to experience sunlight and fresh air again...a couple of tips/suggestions. Take a close look under the doors. You will see slits at the bottom of the doors. Take something like an old hacksaw blade (grind down the teeth) or a similar tool of your choice, and clean/clear a path for moisture to exit. On many of our Studebaker cars, (especially unrestored originals) you will see wrinkled, stained, and distorted inside door panels. That is because folks neglect the water drains and allow water to build up inside the doors to where it filter's out through the upholstery clip holes and soaks the upholstery grade cardboard to which the upholstery is attached. Yours may or may not already have such damage, but keeping those little drains clear will sure help.

Also, you appear to have the original vinyl dash pad. The early vinyl material was fragile and subject to out-gas its elastomers, crack, and fade in direct sun exposure. So, some kind of cover for the dash, package shelf, and top of the rear seat would be helpful to limit sun exposure except when driving the car out to events like club meets and cruise-ins.

This past weekend, I had the privilege to share some time with a person I consider the premier upholstery expert in our Studebaker world, Rene Harger. I have a '60 Lark retired in my barn. I mentioned that Lark, and the fact that the Vinyl headliner is making a dive for the floor! He explained that it is likely caused by the cloth sleeves sewn into the headliner for the support bows. Those bows can rust due to moisture, the rust will abraid the cloth, and the fiber will fray/deteriorate, seams will fail, and the headliner will drop. So be careful with the headliner and how you clean it. My take is to mostly leave it alone.

Regarding your owner's manual. If you have a special value to the original, since it was your grandfather's...buy another copy to share with others. Keep the original for special relatives & friends, but mainly allow folks to handle the second copy. I learned that with my truck's original manual. They are easily damaged by allowing casual observers to thumb through them.

Thanks for joining in and sharing your enthusiasm. We never tire of these stories.:!:

One of the first things I did was clean out the inside of the doors. I think that is where some of the stink was coming from.

The upholstery needs replacing. The headliner is gone but the rods were all in the trunk. As far as protection from the elements, the Lark gets a prominent spot in my detached heated and insulated garage.

Good call on the owners manual. I will keep that one as a treasure for sure.

Thanks for the advise. It is much appreciated.

Joshbarts
09-20-2018, 09:59 AM
Josh,

Great opportunity for both you and the Studebaker world. This car looks to have many of the original features that have become a passion in the old car world. If I am right and many of the original features like paint, interior and mechanical features, turn out to be as factory produced, please consider keeping it that way. There may be the temptation to make it better by altering it. Try to resist the temptation, it will probably only spoil it's originality.

Try to fill in the ownership gaps, so that you have the full story of the car and it's survival. The car's story of survival has become a truly important part of the hobby today. Whatever history that you can find will add to the understanding and enjoyment of everyone.

Whenever and wherever you display this car you will be the only one with a car just like it. This includes International Studebaker meets, as well. First generation Larks, especially for door cars are very rare on the display field. You find dozens of Hawk, GT's, and Avantis everywhere, but no cars like yours. Ten years of experience with my 1960 four door wagon has taught me a great deal. It's like living in a parallel universe with all the rest of the Studebaker world, congratulations.

Bill

From what I can tell it is original as the day it came off the line. There are seat covers protecting the original fabric but over time it has deteriorated. The paint is OK. There is a little surface rust from scratches and what ever but not terrible. There are a couple dents and dings, the trim is popping here and there, and it needs a good cleaning underneath. My plan is get it running again as is and drive it. My brother wanted to LS swap it and chop it up. I shot that down. There are enough cars out there to do that to. It wont be this one.

Joshbarts
09-20-2018, 10:03 AM
The location of the mirrors has me believing that the car was purchased at an estate auction of a Studebaker collector near Brainerd, MN back around 1988. I have a 1963 Lark 4-door from that auction with mirrors in the same location (I purchased it from a guy that bought the car at the auction), and I was told that several cars sold at that auction had the mirrors mounted in the same location. If I recall correctly, I was told the collectors name was Dixon. I know of two local collectors that bought Larks at that auction.

Wow, that is an incredible story. Brainerd would be in the range my grandpa would have been auction hunting. 1988 would have been around the time he was still healthy enough to pulling cars home. He passed in 1998, was not doing much the last 5 years. So anything would have to have been pre 93(ish). 1988 would have been in the window he was retired and restoring cars as a hobby and there were a lot.

Incredible. Thank you for sharing.

voxnut
09-20-2018, 01:36 PM
Like everyone else has said, welcome aboard!

I admired Studebakers from afar for quite a few years - my Dad's first car was a 1929 Studebaker that he bought in 1948, and he always told stories about it with a certain fondness, even though both personally and professionally he was a GM guy the rest of his life. I goofed around with all kinds of old cars, but mostly low end British and weird European cars back when those kinds of things could be had cheaply, made to run reasonably well on a college student's budget, enjoyed for awhile and then sold on.

I had an acquaintance who owned a 1954 Studebaker Conestoga wagon in the mid-90's and I really admired that. Fast forward to early 2014, and I saw the local SDC chapter display at the big car show we have every year. Talked to them and asked a bunch of questions, and by the time I walked away, I realized there would be a Studebaker in my life. I was finally in the position to look for a Stude wagon in 2015. I originally wanted a Conestoga, but then came upon the Lark wagons and was smitten, so whatever I could find in my price range would be the one that came home with me. It took nearly a year, but I was able to pick up my 1961 Lark VIII Regal wagon - since dubbed "Martha." The previous owner is active here on the site.

I only give you the rambling story to let you know that in my 35 years of goofing around with old cars, other than perhaps the '63 Triumph TR4 I owned in the very early 90's being its equal, I haven't had more fun with a car than with the Lark wagon. I hope that you have fun bringing yours back to life and enjoy many happy miles of motoring and enjoyable hours of tinkering!

75841

Joshbarts
09-21-2018, 03:43 PM
I hope that you have fun bringing yours back to life and enjoy many happy miles of motoring and enjoyable hours of tinkering!

75841

What do you mean hours of tinkering? Do these things take work??? :)

voxnut
09-21-2018, 06:16 PM
What do you mean hours of tinkering? Do these things take work??? :)

Ha Ha! Nope. Of course I was kidding. They are appliances, just like a Prius. :)

StudeRich
09-21-2018, 10:36 PM
Ha Ha! Nope. Of course I was kidding. They are appliances, just like a Prius. :)

NOPE, I disagree!
Honda's, Toyota's, Hyundai's, Nissan's and all NEW Cars are disposable, "Transportation Devices" or "Appliances"; Studebakers are Automobiles! :!:

studeclunker
09-22-2018, 12:10 AM
What a nice car! Lucky you to get your Gramp's last project. I like your Airstream too! Welcome to the asylum!

LarkingAround
09-22-2018, 03:45 AM
Welcome to the forum.

I'm a new member myself and I can tell you that I've already had a hearty and friendly welcome as well as all the help I could possibly ask for when posting my constant "help me" threads. Very helpful and friendly bunch here. :!:

Enjoy you Grandfathers Lark, it looks fantastic.

voxnut
09-25-2018, 10:07 AM
NOPE, I disagree!
Honda's, Toyota's, Hyundai's, Nissan's and all NEW Cars are disposable, "Transportation Devices" or "Appliances"; Studebakers are Automobiles! :!:


Hopefully the fact I was was joking was apparent, especially in light of my previous comments.

BILT4ME
09-27-2018, 01:38 PM
Congratulations Josh!

I have my first car, a 1959 Lark VIII 2DHTP in my driveway. I drive it frequently.

I bought it in 1981 in NW Iowa and it had 28K miles on it. It now has 102K on it.

My mirrors are different than your and appear to be factory original, HOWEVER, I have discovered that they were apparently dealer-added items, especially in those areas. I had a 1960 Lark also and it only had one mirror on the left front fender, but was in a slightly different location than the ones on mine.

Your mirrors are considerably farther forward than the ones on my car. The front fender location is nearly worthless for seeing behind you.

Enjoy your car and especially the story, whatever it turns out to be!

We share our story all the time, at gas stations, car shows, and even in traffic on the interstate!

Stude Shoo-wop!
09-27-2018, 06:16 PM
What a nice car! Lucky you to get your Gramp's last project. I like your Airstream too! Welcome to the asylum!

Welcome to the asylum indeed. The only difference is our nutty selves don't have to listen to any warden! Josh, I myself have a 1962 GT Hawk as my first car and our two birds would look very nice together!

RadioRoy
09-28-2018, 12:10 AM
Welcome to the asylum indeed. The only difference is our nutty selves don't have to listen to any warden!

Maybe, but some of us are married. :)

Buzzard
09-28-2018, 10:44 AM
Roy,
It's Mrs. Warden, Ma'am, to me!
Bill

Joshbarts
10-01-2018, 10:00 AM
Hopefully the fact I was was joking was apparent, especially in light of my previous comments.
Ha, I knew you were joking.

Joshbarts
10-01-2018, 10:03 AM
Maybe, but some of us are married. :)
You are right about that. Thankfully mine has been supportive. She wants the airstreams reno'd, I want the cars done, I get to do all the work... wins for all of us.