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63larkr1
12-20-2008, 03:12 PM
Reading though Bobís fine article in Collectible Automobile I was pleased to see the 1963 R1 Studebaker Standard drag racing on page 64. The car is sponsored by Warren and Day in San Bernardino. This is the dealer that ordered as a sold car my 1963 R1 Lark Custom, built and shipped on 01/16/63. Iím interested to get any information any of you may have on my car serial no. 63V-20656 or the dealer. The car still has the dealer license plate frames from Warren and Day.
I wonder if this dealer was in to performance Studebakers and drag racing. The car in the article was tuned by Gordon Williams. Do any of you know who that is? We still drag race this car and I wonder if it has a drag racing history from way back then. Itís now a non Studebaker medium Graphite Metallic color (Bob calls it charcoal grey) but was red and white when we bought it out of Colorado. Originally it was Silver Mist. I would guess it was drag raced before. My car is supposed to have a Granatelli connection.
We would be grateful for any information you may have.
Thanks,
Richard Poe

BobPalma
12-20-2008, 03:30 PM
:) Cool connection, Richard. Since both your car and the Collectible Automobile article car were R1s, I wonder if 'ol Gordon Williams specialized in massaging R1s? (Ah-HA! Maybe that's why yours is so fast!;)[}:)]) :DBP

63larkr1
12-20-2008, 03:45 PM
Could be but how do you think he got in to my garage without me catching him? He must be sneaky.
Richard

StudeRich
12-20-2008, 04:08 PM
Richard, Gordon Williams was well known here on the West Coast, the Orange Empire Chapter had a few Gordon Williams Days at the Drags in his honor, after his young passing at under 60 I think.

I raced at the drags with him, and his car was a H.D. Flight-O-Matic Super Red '63 Lark Standard, I think with bench seat. Gordon told me that when he ordered his car they were changing to the Power Shift and wanted to sell him a P/S Bucket Seat car, but he insisted that the P/S would be no good for drag racing because it is way too easy to miss a shift! So he got his car his way, he was running Casler Racing slicks like most all West Coast racers did. He was running a R2 at the time, and I heard it later became a R3, he was the Winter Nationals Class Winner at Pomona with the R2.

His car may have been ordered at Warren Day, but I do not think they were the Dealer he worked for as a tune-up man at the time and were also his sponsor.

I'll have to find my Photos to verify, but I remember the Dealer being in Ontario, CA at the time I knew him. This IS the car that Bob Palma & George Krem spotted on one of their "unofficial tours" to the Driveaway lot in South Bend! [^]

Sorry, I know nothing of your Silver '63 Lark Custom R1. :(

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa221/studerich/My64Daytona.jpg
StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA

63larkr1
12-20-2008, 06:47 PM
Rich
Thanks for the interesting information. I wonder why he had ď240 H.P. 289 CU. IN.Ē on the fender? I would sure like to have that car I like the Standards they are real sleepers. I think I heard talk of the 1963 R3 from Ted or Bob at one time. Is the guy running the 1964 R2 Convertible on page 59 also Gordon? Looks like he had a great launch on those Casler tires! I love those old pictures.
Thanks, Richard

StudeRich
12-20-2008, 07:48 PM
Richard, if I remember right, we have verified from George's JT list that this car was built as an R1, and as I said the Dealer name is wrong, so this pic either is not Gordon's car, or it is before the R2 and before the R3!


quote:Originally posted by 63larkr1

RichThanks for the interesting information. I wonder why he had ď240 H.P. 289 CU. IN.Ē on the fender?

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa221/studerich/My64Daytona.jpg
StudeRich at Studebakers Northwest -Ferndale,WA

63larkr1
12-20-2008, 10:16 PM
Rich,
Thanks again.
Richard

Chicken Hawk
12-21-2008, 01:10 PM
Back in the middle to late '60's (can't remember the exact year) Gordon Williams stayed all night at my house when I lived in Frankton, Indiana.

He told me about he and his wife driving their '63 Cruiser to South Bend pick up his R powered Stude Lark and driving them back to California. Humorous side note is he said he thought the Cruiser was quicker than the Lark on the drive back home. For some reason I thought he said it was an R 3 but that couldn't have been since supposedly, no R 3 '63 Larks were ever made in South Bend. Maybe I'm confusing that with what Rich said about him making an R 3 out of it later.

He told me that he had trouble breaking tail housings on the automatic (maybe he had a solid mount?) and that one year when he won the Winternationals and NHRA disqualified him for having the wrong carburetor inlet fitting. I recall us discussing how NHRA must have had a thing about not allowing a Studebaker to win if they could find someway to disqualify them (in '64, they disqualified the '51 saying the bore was .003" too big when it was not. The same year Russ Mathews was right behind me with his Buick and was too light when weighing but they let that go?).

Gordon also said he broke a few pistons by running it on the lean side but it ran quicker running it lean. He said going through the lights it would let out a loud "bang" and he knew it was another piston broke.

Rich, you mentioned Gordon changing the '63 R 2 to an R 3. Did you ever see it and if so, do you know if he used a side mount blower or stay with the top mount and blow through bonnet instead of the enclosed carb box?

We are planning to make the Tomato into a clone R 3 but I don't see any way to use the side mount blower without having to cut the radiator surround to move it forward and I don't plan to do that so will stay with the top mount and carb bonnet (there is not room for the carb box with the top mounted blower).

I wonder what the factory had in mind if they had built an R 3 '63 Lark?

I was saddned to hear when Gordon had passed away. Like most Stude people he was a true gentleman and all around great guy.

Ted


quote:Originally posted by 63larkr1

Reading though Bobís fine article in Collectible Automobile I was pleased to see the 1963 R1 Studebaker Standard drag racing on page 64. The car is sponsored by Warren and Day in San Bernardino. This is the dealer that ordered as a sold car my 1963 R1 Lark Custom, built and shipped on 01/16/63. Iím interested to get any information any of you may have on my car serial no. 63V-20656 or the dealer. The car still has the dealer license plate frames from Warren and Day.
I wonder if this dealer was in to performance Studebakers and drag racing. The car in the article was tuned by Gordon Williams. Do any of you know who that is? We still drag race this car and I wonder if it has a drag racing history from way back then. Itís now a non Studebaker medium Graphite Metallic color (Bob calls it charcoal grey) but was red and white when we bought it out of Colorado. Originally it was Silver Mist. I would guess it was drag raced before. My car is supposed to have a Granatelli connection.
We would be grateful for any information you may have.
Thanks,
Richard Poe

studeken
04-26-2009, 08:09 PM
Just a couple of notes abt. the Gordon Williams '63 Lark. I was always under the impression that both this car and his wife Jerry's 63 cruiser were ordered at the same time from Warren and Day and they picked up both from the factory. Gordon had specifically ordered the std SANS undercoating to keep weight down, but since Studebaker always gave more than they promised, and he was such a good customer, they undercoated it FOR FREE! Took him and son Ron two weeks of torching and scraping. Ron's probably still got the burn marks on the back of his hand! Wish I could find him. Last saw him in '79, but he's probably still going fast at some strip in So Cal. Warren and Day closede almost immediately after the factory, whereupon most of their parts were bought at Crown Motors in Ontario. Gordon didn't work for a dealer- he worked graveyard shift in the motor pool at the old Kaiser Steel plant in Fontana- gave him lotsa daylit for building and tuning. Saw a couple of the broken tailshafts- that car left HARD, the trans was a 6cyl taxicab trans and d/l and traction bars were STOCK. At the time of his death he was building the 60 Lark that Jon Meyer calls spooky, 'cause he was going 11s too often and the 63 had no rollbar. thanx for listnin.

Ken Pyle

Orestudeguy
04-26-2009, 10:58 PM
Hey Ken,
Welcome to the forum!
Glad to see you on here!

George
Grants Pass, Oregon
64 Station Wagon with fixed roof (Canadian Car)

64 Wagonaire sliding roof South Bend car.

63 GT Hawk

51 Champion Starlight Coupe
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh183/orestudeguy/58Commander.jpg

starliner62
04-27-2009, 06:44 AM
Thanks Ted and welcome Ken. These high performance/racing posts are the most entertaining for me. I am in the process of building a 289/304/who knows for my 63 2 door sedan, s keep the memories coming.
When I got my Lark/Custom, in the back seat was a large binder with most of the writings from Dick Datson, some form George Krem and quite a bit from Ted. I now have the history of the Chicken Hawk and I have really enjoyed reading about it.

Jamie McLeod
Hope Mills, NC

BobPalma
04-27-2009, 07:48 AM
quote:Originally posted by starliner62

Thanks Ted and welcome Ken. These high performance/racing posts are the most entertaining for me. I am in the process of building a 289/304/who knows for my 63 2 door sedan, s keep the memories coming.
When I got my Lark/Custom, in the back seat was a large binder with most of the writings from Dick Datson, some form George Krem and quite a bit from Ted. I now have the history of the Chicken Hawk and I have really enjoyed reading about it.

Jamie McLeod


:) Jamie: Be sure to find a copy of the March 1996 Turning Wheels for your collection, if you don't have one. It contains the most comprehensive biography of Ted Harbit that's ever been published, to the best of my knowledge. :DBP

63larkr1
04-27-2009, 08:59 AM
Ken,
Thanks for the information on Warren and Day, and Gordon. As I said my car came from that dealership. If you have your May 2009 TW itís pictured there as it is today. I would sure like to find out more about its history. Thanks again. Richard

studeken
05-01-2009, 07:51 PM
Richard, was your "63 ever a dark blue? If so, I might know the car from So. Cal.

Ken Pyle

63larkr1
05-02-2009, 12:57 PM
Ken,
I donít think so but it may have been. When I bought it, it was red and white with a blue and white interior an odd combination, kind of like STP. Someone had used plywood to make the bucket seats into high backs. The in side firewall, kick panels, and trunk had blue carpet. Originally it was grey with a chestnut interior. Itís on the back of the May TW, as it looks now. Tell me more about this car.
Richard

studeken
05-02-2009, 02:31 PM
Richard- sorry if I got your hopes up any. A cranial flatulation, a common occurrance lately. When I roomed with Ron Williams in '67 in Fontana, he had a dark blue '63 R1 4sp Lark. We pulled the motor on the back patio, took it through the sliding glass door and rebuilt it on the kitchen table. That was my first engine building experience,he took me through it step by step.So I kinda learned it from Gordon. Anyway, I had a dream abt the car last nite and remembered that it was a hardtop. Sorry

Ken Pyle

63larkr1
05-02-2009, 10:05 PM
Thanks Ken, I dream about Studebakers too! I sure would like to find out more about mine!
Thanks, Richard

studeken
05-03-2009, 01:38 PM
Richard- A good guess might be that your was bought from Warren and Day by some testosterone-fueled airman from Norton AFB in San Bernardino. Seemed like at least half the E st cruisers in Berdoo were guys from Norton AFB or March AFB in Riverside. Moved to Berdoo spring '63 but wasn't converted to Studeterianism yet.

Ken Pyle

Street Streaker
09-04-2009, 09:11 PM
To Rich, Richard, and Ken,

I am the current owner of Gordon Williams R2 Super Lark. I bought the car from Gordon in California in 1971. (I now live in Minnesota).
The car is Red, and is an R2 with R3 Heads. As Ted Harbit mentioned in his note, Gordon picked up the car in South Bend, and drove it back to California for "break in". Gordon spent a lot of time on the car before getting it right - and the car was a very fine example of a Storming Studebaker when I purchased it. Gordon was bracket racing the car when I bought it from him, and the car turned a consistent 12:07 in the Quarter. Gordon had a best time of 11:79 in the Quarter, I had an 11:97 on a cool night at Irwindale. Shortly after buying the car, I brought the car back up to stock specs, and raced it in SS class on the AHRA circuit. NHRA still frowned on the Supercharger back then, and wouldn't classify it in any class except Gas Supercharged. I had few problems with the car during my drag racing days. The most odd problem was when the car wouldn't fire after coming back from a run at Irwindale. Gordon Williams was at the track at the time, and helped me diagnose it. The rotor wasn't turning, and it turned out that the shear pin in the Distributor was busted. We replaced the shear pin - it immediately sheared again. I brought the car back to Simi Valley where I lived, and took off the Oil Pan. I found some aluminum in the pan, and after removing the oil pump I found a piece of aluminum stuck in the oil pump gears. Looking up at all the cylinders from the bottom, I found that a small piece of skirt missing from the bottom of the pistons. It was small enough as to not be a problem, so I did not replace the piston. (The car still has the same broken piston in it to this day). I cleaned up the engine, replaced the rod bearings, and it was good to go. How did the aluminum get into the oil pump? On the bottom of a 289 Oil Pump, there is a 3/4" plate that runs across the bottom screen and covers a circular hole that is a little over 1/4" in the center of the screen. That plate is held on to the oil pump with small bend up tabs (like you find on the old metal toys). That plate vibrated off the oil pump and fell into the pan, the piston broke on that last run I made, and the broken pieces were sucked up through that 1/4" hole and jammed the oil pump gears, causing the shear pin to shear in the distributor.

A couple of years after I bought the car from Gordon, I was in College, and had taken all the stickers off, and replaced the front fenders with proper ones that had inner fenders. (Gordon had cut them away for the large headers that were on the car). I had bought a smaller set of headers that fit better, and had a 1 piece exhaust system with blown out glass pack mufflers that bolted to the headers. This made the car street legal, and the 'Street Streaker' was born. The muffler system knocked off 3/10ths of a second, so I was turning 12.4 on the street with the car (checked them out at the strip). Anyway, anyone who lived in Southern California in the 60's and 70's knows about Van Nuys Blvd, and the Street Streaker made it's debut on that famous street in 1973. That was a different era, and I wouldn't think of doing that again (and think about how dangerous and scary it was back then), but I will say that there are a lot of Hemi's, Big Block Chevy's and Ford's that were rather embarassed by being soundly beat by red, boxy, 2 dr Studebaker Sedan. The car had quite a reputation on the Blvd.

One other side note. When I replaced the front fenders in Calif., I believe that I either left them at my house in Moorpark when t was sold, or I may have given them to a good Studebaker friend. Anyway, a nice fellow named Nick Hanson called me last week, and heard that I had bought Gordon Williams old car, and he thought he had the old fenders for it. It seemed very incredulous that those fenders could make it back from California, back up to Minnesota where the car resides. It was true, he sent me pictures, and there was the old painted 'SPEED C

Dick Steinkamp
09-04-2009, 09:17 PM
Just a great story [8D].

Thanks for posting, Rich.



Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/dstnkmp/63%20Daytona%20done/PP026-1.jpg

mbstude
09-04-2009, 09:17 PM
Great story, Rich. Made my day. [8D]

Welcome to the Forum.

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA

laughinlark
09-04-2009, 09:38 PM
Wow, What a cool read. I felt my muscles flex, my game face came on. The only things missing were the sound and smell.[:0] Thanks so much for the post.

Gordon

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t60/laughinlark/gordsjsmk-1.jpghttp://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t60/laughinlark/11-28-07130-1.jpghttp://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t60/laughinlark/all283.jpg

Clem64
09-04-2009, 09:43 PM
Thanks Rich for taking the time to give us that great and inspiring high performance Studebaker history[8D].

Dean Croft
Roseburg,OR

CLEM http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x56/Clem64/Clem64Forum1A.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x56/Clem64/CIMG1894sm.jpg DESEE

StudeRich
09-04-2009, 10:05 PM
Thanks very much Rich. for putting to an end, all the rumors, guesses and hearsay concerning this wonderful race car!

When I was still in the South Bay area: Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hawthorne etc. I belonged to the Orange Empire Chapter of SDC and we were the ones that started the Annual Gordon Williams memorial Drag Race, I THINK it was at Erwindale. Unfortunately it lasted only 2 or 3 years I think, but we had a lot of fun remembering Gordon and racing our Studes.

When Gordon and I raced together one time at Lyons, I think (he rarely went there) he told me about how his tune-up experience at the Stude. Dealer in Ontario taught him many tricks about improving the advance curve in the Prestolite dual point Dist. and he offered to do mine, but we never got together to do that, he was a Great guy, the best! [^]

StudeRich

4961Studebaker
09-05-2009, 08:44 AM
Very cool story, and thanks for taking the time to come share with us on the forum Rich.

And how cool of you Nick to make the CALL, (I remember your post)
Sometimes that's all it takes, a call, an email and now we know the story.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=32185

ChopStu
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q14/kkad0711/IMG_5406-1.jpg

studeken
09-05-2009, 11:29 AM
Rich Childers- I've had that name on the tip of my tongue for about 35 years now. Thanks SO much. If I ever get up that way will you let me see the car again? It'd be like goin' home. Thanx again, Rich KP

Ken Pyle

63larkr1
09-06-2009, 04:14 PM
Rich Childers,
Thanks for posting the history of your adventures with the Street Streaker. I would have loved to be around to see it run. I was in the Navy at the time in San Diego, too bad I didnít know about this car then! Great story, I enjoyed it.
Richard

doug
09-06-2009, 04:34 PM
Growing up in Pomona, I attended the Winternationals in the '60's as a teenager. I could not believe some guy in a Studebaker would drive in, uncork the headers and whip everyone. He corked the headers and drove home. Before I was a Studebaker fan, I was suprized by a guy, with one arm out the window, driving away from all the popular cars of the day.

Thanks for all the information about this interesting person and his car.

meneep
02-22-2011, 06:29 AM
I know this is an old thread, and I am not sure exactly how I found it but, I see the mention of Rich Childers and thought I might share a little story.
When I was a kid growing up in Simi Valley California, there was a guy that lived at the end of my street (Sawyer Ave) that had this very cool, very loud red Lark. As a kid, I was facinated by the cars attitude. It was bright, loud, and looked really fast.
I remember riding my bicycle by and looking at it any time the garage was left open. The guy that owned the car, Rich, I think was amused by the little kid that thought his car was so cool.
And, in fact, one time actually walked down the street and talked to my Dad about me.
That conversation turned into me getting to ride to Irwindale raceway with Rich and watch drag racing for my very first time!
I am 47 years old now and still remember that day! From riding in the Dodge (A-100?) flat towing the Lark, to be givien paper and pencil to record what the other cars were running, to being treated to McDonalds on the drive home. that day stuck with me!

Its influence has kept me drag racing my entire life! Brusa, NHRA, NHRDA, AHRA, doesnt matter, I race anytime I can!
I remember Rich moving to Moorpark(?) and my friend Brian and I running into him at the store a couple tiimes in the years after that.
Always think back on that trip to Irwindale Raceway.

Now to try to do for others what Rich did for me, I actually teach a little drag racing course with some friends at Bremerton Raceway. We call it Drag Racing 101! lol
Anyway, thats my Rich Childers story, hope it entertains you in someway!

Jim Cassidy
Olympia, Wash

BobPalma
02-22-2011, 06:45 AM
Just a couple of notes abt. the Gordon Williams '63 Lark. I was always under the impression that both this car and his wife Jerry's 63 cruiser were ordered at the same time from Warren and Day and they picked up both from the factory. Gordon had specifically ordered the std SANS undercoating to keep weight down, but since Studebaker always gave more than they promised, and he was such a good customer, they undercoated it FOR FREE! Ken Pyle

Hello, Jim Cassidy, and welcome to the forum...and having dug up this topic from two years ago! Good memories, and glad you are paying it back, helping younger guys get involved. (Geeze, at 47, you are one of the younger guys! <GGG>)

By way of additional information, Ken Pyle's recollection, above, is correct: Gordon and his wife ordered their '63s together, picked them up in South Bend, and drove them back to southern California.

Now here's an item that hasn't been mentioned yet: Today (February 2011), Studebaker parts vendor Ed Reynolds owns Gordon's wife's 1963 Cruiser. It is stored inside at Studebaker International in Greenfield IN.

The car's original Blue Mist was covered with a poor-quality white repaint years ago, much of which is flaking off. The car needs a complete restoration but is not especially rusty and is indeed documented, by Serial Number, to have been the car Gordon's wife picked up and drove back to California when Gordon picked up his R1/heavy-duty Flightomatic 1963 Standard. BP

candbstudebakers
02-22-2011, 10:59 AM
Thanks for posting this neat bit of info, since I was in the navy and station in Long Beach back then I remember a lot of cruising and street racing, I didn't have ride back then so just enjoyed it when I could, in 61 when I came back from over seas I was on the USS Yorktown and saved a little money to buy a car, remember looking at and driving a 57 commander 2 door sedan but for some odd reason I did not buy it ( sure wish I had) but got a 55 Pontiac and that turned out to be the wrong move but that's a different story. thanks again for bringing this up I missed it before...Bob

lightinglark956
07-17-2013, 10:35 PM
anyone have any idea what happened to the memorial trophy ? was a half piston wall trophy that had a base added to it with 10 name plates .memorial race was set up for 10 yrs and winner was to have his info engraved I would love to find that trophy any ideas or recollections of where it might be pls contact me at lightinglark956@yahoo.com thank you pat Williams

R_David
02-14-2014, 09:54 PM
Not to resurrect a really old thread yet again ;), but I just talked to the son of the original owner of my hawk on the phone. He says that his Mom (Grace McGarrigle) and Dad both worked at Warren and Day Studebaker right up until they closed. And that his mom was so proud to be able to buy her 61 Studebaker Hawk (now mine). He said she was the office manager there at Warren and Day and that his dad was the service manager there. They are both long gone, but I sure made his day talking to him on the phone about his mom's car. I promised to send him pictures via snail mail. He is 84 years old and not on the internet. You should have heard his voice when I told him I was calling to see if he knew anything about this old Studebaker with his Mom's name on the dash, he was amazed that I was able to track him down. He even called me back a few hours later to talk to me some more about it. And to promise that if I ever wanted to sell it I would call him first.

StudeRich
02-14-2014, 11:05 PM
That is a great story Ross, I love hearing these kind of Stude. History stories. The Warren and Day connection is very connected to this story about the Car I watched win it's class at the Winter Nationals. :)
Most Studebaker people are the most dedicated, involved people you would ever want to meet as were both of your Car's owners. :!: