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Psomion
01-05-2005, 08:29 AM
Hey everyone, I've been an american independent car guy for a few years now. I'm a hugs AMC nut (for a 21 year old at least) and wouldn't sell my eagle for anything (thankfuly i'm not married yet to get yelled at for such cars). Anyway, i've always enjoyed studebakers and have come accross one in my price range ($500). it is a 1961 lark 4 door sedan. Nothing special, but its a classic and will be more suited for crusing than the eagle is. i've not seen the car yet but i'm wondering what i should look for as far as major issues? i was told its fairly rust free which is good. Are there any spots that studes are known for rust that i wouldn't think to look? how about mechanics? i know the engines are bullet proof (this one is the 259) but is there any weird stude stuff i should look out for? thanks alot for your help!!

-Doug

Transtar60
01-05-2005, 12:24 PM
Look under the floor mats specially drivers feet area. Bottom of the center post between front and rear doors.

The easiest to spot will be the front fenders "eyebrow" above the headlites, and the front fender rear edge just in front of the doors.

Depending where you and the car is at, look closely at the frame. The bottom plate of the frame is rather thin and will rust out first.


The 259 engine is a stout bugger as are all Stude V8's, usually with neglect it will have little oil leaks(front cover, valve covers) but they can be sealed up with new gaskets and seals.
There are guys like Jeff Rice around the country who make 2 barrel manifold into 4 barrel manifolds so you can use Edlebrock AFB clones etc. There are two or three options for electronic ignitions, disc brakes, and now even a flanged axle kit for upgrading from tapered axles in the Dana 44.

The automatic tranny is a 3spd automatic similiar to Ford C4 etc, so parts are available and so is expertise. Look at the SDC main page under tech tips for more on what to do to the car after buying it.

Welcome to the club. (PS One is never enough, eventually you're gonna need a Stude truck to haul Stude parts<G>).

Sonny
01-05-2005, 02:02 PM
Hi Doug and welcome to the wonderful world of Studebakering! You lucky dawg! I like the '59 thru '61 Larks a LOT. Charlie got it right on with his suggestions and descriptions. I would only add one thing, that the '61 is kind of a "one year car", although it looks a lot like the '59 & '60. The body and interior are the year specific details, but parts are still very much available.

Charlie was also exactly right on when he said that ya can't have just one! [^] Once again, welcome to Studebakering, hope that you keep us posted on the progress with the '61 and let us know when you get the next one! :D

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Transtar60
01-05-2005, 06:26 PM
Sonny reminded me of one thing specifically that applies to '61's.
Tail lights. THe lenses are pretty rare but do pop up on ebay from time to time. Dont let that scare you off tho, just something to be aware of. I think(never tried it) if you use the entire tail assembly you can use 59-60 lenses on the car.

Psomion
01-06-2005, 09:03 AM
Thanks for the advise... I've not gotten my first stude yet even but will be making arrangements to do the look over shortly. I've never got a real classic car (pre muscle) so am not sure of everything i'm getting myself into. I have my AMC and i know how parts can be for that (and mine is an 1988) so i figured studes would be a fun challenge. Luckly i do live 20 min from carlisle pa so anything that doesnt' show up on ebay can be found in the little box in the back corner of some stands (-=

PS I still live at home.. my mother will kill me if i bring more than one new car home... i'm pushing it as it is.

-Doug

N8N
01-06-2005, 12:38 PM
If you live near Carlisle you really should make it a point to show up at the York swap. Heck you might even find your first Stude there!

http://studebakerdriversclub.com/ev_PA.asp

say hi if you make it...

nate

--
62 Daytona hartop
64 Daytona convertible (in boxes)
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Sonny
01-06-2005, 01:43 PM
quote:Originally posted by Psomion

Thanks for the advise... I've not gotten my first stude yet even but will be making arrangements to do the look over shortly. I've never got a real classic car (pre muscle) so am not sure of everything i'm getting myself into. I have my AMC and i know how parts can be for that (and mine is an 1988) so i figured studes would be a fun challenge. Luckly i do live 20 min from carlisle pa so anything that doesnt' show up on ebay can be found in the little box in the back corner of some stands (-=

PS I still live at home.. my mother will kill me if i bring more than one new car home... i'm pushing it as it is.

-Doug


Hope that you can slide another car in at the house Doug, I'm familiar with the "Mom doesn't like old cars" syndrome. :) Something about your AMC. Yep, they are Very hard to find parts for them. The reason being, when Chrysler bought AMC waaaay back when, they got a HUGE tax break for destroying all the new parts that went with AMC. I heard some hairy tales about boat-loads of new AMC parts being dumped off in the middle of the ocean and sent to scrap yards until everything was gone. Luckily for us Stude guys, ALL of our parts were saved and you ca still buy New-Old-Stock parts. Plus, there seems to be a lot more interest in Studebakers and repro parts are all over too. A Stude will be MUCH easier to get parts for.

As Nate pointed out, we have a big swap meet coming up at York, PA in the spring, and we also have a big swap meet in Reedsville, PA in the fall. Don't limit yourself to ebay for parts, you can find 'em here or at any of the MANY Studebaker vendors.

One other point, that '61 Stude can be made to have quite a bit of muscle, (as in muscle car). We have Studebakers, (at the highest level but still stock), that are whuping butt at the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drags! How about a Studebaker that has beaten a 427 Yenko Camaro? A fella can't count the old Studebakers out of the muscle car arena. [^]

In any event, I understand that a fella living at home has limitations, but if you're motivated to get a Studebaker, get it performing up to muscle car standards, and turn it into a total chick magnet, (well, mebbe I'm being just a tad over-enthusiastic there :D), we'll be here to help. Good luck.

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Psomion
01-06-2005, 02:32 PM
Yes, i've always been a guy who makes fun of hondas with turbos by pointing out how much more the old stude blocks can handle.. I told a chevy guy about the lark i'm looking at and his first question was what other engines i could swap in?!? He has a 350 65 chevelle 4 door so i think i'd like to hand his rear end to him stock then go from there. his 350 isn't stock anyway so a 259 beating it would be fun. I will def head down to the swap meet car or not. Maybe if the lark deal falls down someone close by will help me find another nice project.

-Doug

Roscomacaw
01-06-2005, 03:16 PM
Doug, I want to welcome you to the world of Studes too! Having had a serious fling with AMCs myself, I can tell you flat out that parts for a Stude will be a BREEZE by comparison. Only trim stuff from the upper crust models of Studes are really a problem to find. And much of THAT is being repro'd as we speak!
But with your sights set on a Lark, any parts you need will be a "cakewalk" to round up. The 259's legendary for it's sleeping potential (and I'm not talking about reclining seats either! [}:)]). All it really needs to make giant steps beyond average is enhancement to it's breathing abilities. [:0]
Even tho thru the years, Stude-powered Studes have been setting records, they've been pretty much dismissed by your average gearhead at large. As with your friends first question - the standard line is: "What's it got under the hood?". The inferrance being that if it's still able to move, the boat anchor Studebaker engine must've long ago been deep sixed! I can't tell you how many times I've heard and amazed-tone response of "REALLY???" when I share that my daily driver Studes still go with the powerplants they sported new! It's a genuine point of pride with me, Sonny, Transtar and many others of the Stude community. ;)
No denyin' - there's lots of pretty Studebaker out there with alternate powerplants for motivation. Nothing wrong with that if you like that sorta thing. But MY personal slant is that Studebaker was no second-rate company. And just like AMC, their engines were in-house designs and just as much a part of what a Studebaker is as the seductive sheet metal. If you're gonna SAY you have a Studebaker - why not a Stude thru & thru as opposed to a caricature of a Stude?
I've heard the argument that Studes were built with "off-the-shelf" components. Hogwash. Sure, they used rear axles built by Dana (but built to Studebaker specs), they bought transmissions from Borg-Warner (but tailored to Studebakers's specific needs), they even got brakes from Wagner-Lockheed and Bendix (again, custom-tailored to work on Stude vehicles). But they bought their engines from no one for the most part.[^] Besides - even the Big 3 built cas like that.
Yeah, there were the last two years of Chevybakers, there were the Detroit diesel-powered trucks, and there were the Hercules-powered military trucks of WWII. Those anomalies were matters of convenience for the task at hand. But the great preponderance of Studebaker's vehicle production from '04-on had a STUDEBAKER engine under the hood. To summarily dismiss those engines as too much trouble or expense is like sticking your head in the sand so as NOT to face the facts. Of course - we're forced to tactfully tack on a disclaimer when we talk like this to keep from irritating our alternate-powered friends - "YOUR car-YOUR choice." Otherwise they get to feeling slighted when we suggest that a Studebaker-powered Stude is more of a Stude than a Chevy-powered one. Maybe my math skills are lacking and that's why I get hounded for suggesting such a blasphemy! [xx(]
I must say tho that it's a genuine breath of fresh air for me and my like-thiking compatriots to hear from a younger Stude nut who has a notion to carry a torch for Stude power. I recently gave away a really solid 62 Lark wagon that I wish you'd been around to recieve. It went to a good home, but if I still had it, I'd entrust it to you if we could find a way to get it from my place (in California) to you!;)

Miscreant at large.

Sonny
01-06-2005, 03:17 PM
quote:Originally posted by Psomion

............ Maybe if the lark deal falls down someone close by will help me find another nice project.

-Doug


You can count on it! :D

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com