View Full Version : Body question--Lark hardtop

Bill Pressler
07-12-2007, 03:41 PM
I bought my '63 Daytona Skytop in May '88. I was looking for a low-priced '64 but found this '63 two hours from home, and with a Skytop and factory R1, decided to "bite".

It didn't take long to see that the car, being from the midwest its entire life, was pretty structurally rusty. After a few years I took it to a reputable restoration place that had done several Studebakers over the years. At the time I didn't want the expense of a "body off", and told the restorer I'd be happy with an authentic (original) looking car that I wouldn't be afraid to drive, and that might take a second or third in its class at a zone meet.

My car still looks very nice after a dozen or so years post-restoration, but in hindsight (and being a bit better off now than then) I wish I would have told the restorer to take it to the next level. The driver's door requires a firm push to close, the right door closes easily, but closing either door shows more shaking in the quarters than I like, especially with the windows down. The car had NOS inner rear quarters welded in, and had quite a bit of floor repair done (all metal). Body mounts were repaired as deemed necessary. New trunk rear corner supports were installed. I recently noticed that the braces or mounts that connect from a "winged" offshoot of the frame, to a small bolt at the rear of the rocker panels, in front of the rear wheel openings, were apparently quite rusty as the left-side looks to have had significant metal welded in, and the right one, while not as bad as the left one must have been, has a few holes in it near the center and near the bolt hole to the "winged" mount off the frame. This right one is solid in the part that curves downward, and both the left and right-side braces/mounts are solid where the small bolt goes throught it to the rocker panel.

How significant are these braces/mounts to the solid feel of the car? The bolts to the rocker panel at the rear, from these braces/mounts, sure seem small.

Apparently Lark hardtops don't have the boxes under the floors that Hawk hardtops had for stiffness, correct?

Also, does having a large hole in the roof (Skytop) add to the "flexy" feel of the body, or not?

Just thinkin' out loud.

Bill Pressler

07-12-2007, 04:52 PM
Having owned and driven two Lark Skytop hardtops, I will answer part of your question. There is no rigidity lost by the incorporation of the Skytop. The main structure of the roof and most of the roof (in the important areas - around the edge) is still there. Now, Lark convertibles and even Wagonaires (I've owned and driven both) seem to lose rigidity, even with their X-frames and balance weights.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

11-08-2009, 01:05 PM
Have your car inspected by someone that knows about structural Studebakerability. Not necessarily the guy that did your body work. Many Stude guys are capable of diagnosing the problem. Not sure about torque boxes on your model but I believe all hardtop and convertible Studes from 47 to 64 or 65 have them from the inception but sometimes they tend to deteiorate. jimmijim

Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.

11-08-2009, 04:57 PM
The body mounts are critical to makeing a solid car, if they are bad, the car is going to act a bit funny. Sounds like yours were fixed one way or the other before though.

Dylan Wills
'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

11-08-2009, 07:54 PM
Could it be that your hinges are worn on the drivers door, thereby making it difficult to close?

Brent's rootbeer racer.
MN iron ore...it does your body good.

11-09-2009, 01:07 AM
Oooops! Sorry, meant to post on your new thread!

Dylan Wills
'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon