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skyway
07-11-2007, 12:09 PM
All,

Going to look at one of these after work tonight; supposedly an unmolested but neglected 85,000 mile, midwestern car.

I'm comfortable round Studebakers and Larks, but any words of wisdom about what to look for on this particular model?

As I understand it 259 was the norm on these first year Cruisers, but that 289's were available? Engine number (part # I assume) said to be 535601.

Thanks.

Gary K

studegary
07-11-2007, 03:20 PM
A 1961 Lark Cruiser is a very nice car. Yes, a 259 was standard and the 289 was an option. Since 1961, I have only seen one '61 Cruiser with a factory installed 289. Look for rust in the normal Lark places, like floors, rear end of front fenders and trunk. A Cruiser has a nice, but unique, interior. I would be concerned that the interior is acceptable, except carpet, and that the engine at least is free/turns over.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

StudeRich
07-11-2007, 05:50 PM
NO! the raised casting number is the same on all V-8 blocks of that era. Remember anything RAISED cannot be easily changed on the next unit. The SERIAL number is STAMPED into the top left front corner of the block into the flat machined pad next to the oil filler pipe. Look for a "P" for 289 or a "V" for 259.

This is very easy to remember...when the first V-8's came along, the logical prefix for the serial was "V", then later when the 1956 President 56H (Includes Sky Hawk, Pinehurst) came out with the first 289 they naturally called it "P" for President, and it was carried on from 1960 on to 1964 after the President was gone.


quote:Originally posted by skyway

Engine number (part # I assume) said to be 535601.

StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

skyway
07-12-2007, 12:32 PM
Thanks Guys.

I looked last evening and, alas, it is essentially a rust bucket with a useful drivetrain and other parts.

As I thought, the seller had published the casting number ("part # I assume") as the "engine number". In fact it is V517xxx, and so solidly in the 1961 range. It was the fact that 1962 259's began at v534xxx, that had me thinking it might have had a later engine swapped in.

Not for me, but it sounded to be a good runner, with the correct Delco window distributor, 3.31 twin trac. Finned drums, tight front suspension, and trashed but operating split recliners.

Thanks again.

Gary

pitbulllady
08-05-2007, 01:17 PM
Hmmm...all this time I thought that my '61 Cruiser has a 289, but while I was messing around with the battery this morning, I decided to get a flashlight and have a better look at the engine number, which is hard to see due to the AC compressor, even though the numbers are clean and not covered in crud like they are on many engines. My engine number is V528525, which puts in definately in the '61 range, but I guess that also means it's a 259, right?

pitbulllady

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v669/pitbulllady/Automotive/CloneofDSCF4452.jpg

Randy_G
08-05-2007, 01:41 PM
Yes you have a 259.

Randy_G
1959 Lark Sedan
www.AutomotiveHistoryOnline.com
http://www.automotivehistoryonline.com/sedan4small.jpg

pitbulllady
08-05-2007, 06:25 PM
quote:Originally posted by Randy_G

Yes you have a 259.

Randy_G
1959 Lark Sedan
www.AutomotiveHistoryOnline.com
http://www.automotivehistoryonline.com/sedan4small.jpg



Now, at least I wish I could track down that know-it-all from the First Friday Cruise-In who argued that I had a C**** engine in my car, who insisted that there was NO way it was a Studebaker engine, period, who said, "I can see the engine number and that is a C**** engine number", when he was looking at the CASTING number(the raised numbers). At least I can confirm that I still have the original Stude engine! Same guy said that Studebaker NEVER put V8 engines in any of their trucks and never had them in any of their cars until 1958, so he found it impossible to believe they'd put one in a Lark.

pitbulllady

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v669/pitbulllady/Automotive/CloneofDSCF4452.jpg

StudeRich
08-05-2007, 10:15 PM
Sharon; the really ironic thing about this guy's mis-information is that he is talking about the Company that practically INVENTED the overhead valve V-8! Studebaker was one of the first OHV V-8 manufacturers in 1951 when there were no Chevys, only Studebakers, Oldsmobiles and Cadilacs! And they never stopped making them to the end of U.S. production. [:0]

Anyway the most recognizable engine in the world has to be the narrow skinny little small block Chevy, and if he was a real car guy he would know it does not even resemble one! [xx(]

StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

pitbulllady
08-05-2007, 11:11 PM
quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

Sharon; the really ironic thing about this guy's mis-information is that he is talking about the Company that practically INVENTED the overhead valve V-8! Studebaker was one of the first OHV V-8 manufacturers in 1951 when there were no Chevys, only Studebakers, Oldsmobiles and Cadilacs! And they never stopped making them to the end of U.S. production. [:0]

Anyway the most recognizable engine in the world has to be the narrow skinny little small block Chevy, and if he was a real car guy he would know it does not even resemble one! [xx(]

StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA


Yeah, that's what was so funny..if it hadn't also been so (edited)annoying! He just had that attitude that plainly said he thought I was a blithering idiot, and he knew everything there was to know about cars and engines! I hope he shows up at the next one, so I can bring a flashlight and show him the number myself. With well over half of the cars at these cruise-ins being Chevy's or MOPARS(though there was an overabundance of 1930 Ford hotrods at this last one), and there being a lot of folks who are really die-hard Chevy fans in this group, I think it would be funny to get him over with a bunch of them and let him try to convince THEM that it's a Chevy engine! I guess that most of the people who hang out at these cruise-ins so seldom see vehicles that aren't made by "The Big Three", especially any of these "orphan" cars, that they don't know what to make of the engines. The one other "orphan car" there was a restored 1929 Willys-Knight coupe, and a lot of even the veteran cruise-in participants had never heard of that auto manufacturer!

pitbulllady

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v669/pitbulllady/Automotive/CloneofDSCF4452.jpg

JeffDeWitt
08-06-2007, 12:18 AM
Gary, sorry to hear the car didn't work out.


quote:his is very easy to remember...when the first V-8's came along, the logical prefix for the serial was "V", then later when the 1956 President 56H (Includes Sky Hawk, Pinehurst) came out with the first 289 they naturally called it "P" for President

I don't believe that is strictly true. According to the engine data page in 55 the 259 was the big engine and some of them got the "P" prefix.

We all know there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Studebakers!

Jeff DeWitt

skyway
08-06-2007, 01:52 PM
Gee was I surprised to see this thread back in the rotation!

Jeff,thanks for the kind words, but to paraphrase Paul Harvey, THERE'S MORE!

That '61 Cruiser I looked at did go to the crusher, but not before I came away with the Delco window distributor, 3.31 TT rear end complete (with finned drums), and brand new, but not finned, V-8 front brake drums.

Alas, the motor/trans and front suspension parts were byond me.